Chicago NOOD 2012
This weekend’s Sperry Top-Sider Chicago NOOD Regatta will see the emergence of a couple of new fleets alongside some old favorites. The **Viper 640 **is one of two classes on the new Belmont Station Course. “The very first appearance of the Viper 640 class at the Chicago NOOD is hugely important for the new Great Lakes Viper fleet,” says Anthony Bowker of Chicago Corinthian YC, who will be racing Preflight.
Bowker, alongside Nick Kofski—who is the new owner of DamnYouKofski—are just getting their fleet off the ground in Chicago. To amass numbers for their one-design fleet at the NOOD, they’ve drawn in out-of-towners from Michigan, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Ontario.
“The boat to beat is Jackpot, owned Lee Shuckerow from Harrison Twp., Mich.,” says Bowker of the three-time North American champion. “They will face stiff competition from veteran ‘Viper-ers’ Darren and Steve Gilbert from London, Ont., aboard Black Sheep, and Steve Conger with zigzag from St. Clair Shores, Mich.”
Bowker does, however, note that he and Kofski may be new to the class, but they will have the advantage of local knowledge.
The Vipers will race on June 8 and 9. On Friday night, Rondar boats will be at Montrose Harbor to host a clinic for owners and provide demo sails.
Alongside the Viper class on the Belmont Station course will be the Rhodes 19 fleet. “If you look merely at last season finishes, White would be the favorite statistic-wise, however I wouldn’t count anyone out,” says fleet captain Harold Hering. “It boils down to how well the crew works together for a series like this, and on a boat with only 3 people, everybody makes a significant impact.”
While the Vipers and Rhodes 19s will be new to the NOOD, many classes are returning. The Chicago area is a hotbed for Tartan 10s, and T10s have consistently been one of the biggest fleets at the Sperry Top-Sider Chicago NOOD. This year is no exception: 30 boats have registered. The majority are locals, but five of the entries are from out of town, and Ken Colbert, out of Chicago YC with Rover, predicts a group of 7-9 boats will be at the top.
“There are no new boats in Chicago this year,” says Colbert, “but two were new last year—Eleanor Rigby and Honey Badger—two were recently rebuilt—Liberty and Silver Surfer—and two have new owners/partners—Mikaze and Out of the Blue.”
Also returning on the Monroe Station Course will be the Beneteau 40.7 class. David Hardy, who is the local fleet captain and owns Turning Point, says the NOOD is a great way to bring the Chicago fleet together. “For the last several years, we’ve taken advantage of the venue to raft our fleet at the club and have a fleet party along with the NOOD festivities,” says Hardy. “Consequently, we have become a pretty close fleet with lots of friendly banter. That’s not to say we don’t compete hard. Last year the first two boats tied with 24 points in 8 races.”
Two newcomers to the fleet will bump up the entries to 10 boats this year: Matt Mergener, sailing out of Milwaukee’s South Shore YC on Instigator, and Brian Angioletti and Konstantin Selikhov out of Columbia YC in Chicago on Wired.