June 7, 2001 – While Chicago-area residents race to work on the morning of Friday, June 15, a different type of rush hour will be brewing off the citys shoreline: beginning at 8:30 am, a fleet of 280 sailboats will be rushing to starting lines on Lake Michigan to begin a three-day battle for sailing honors at the Sailing World NOOD (National Offshore One-Design) Regatta. But the rush-hour traffic on the racecourse will have a twist of heightened intensity. Sailors will not simply be racing toward a destination: theyll be competing for trophies in this national regatta.
The Chicago NOOD–which is part of a nine-event national racing circuit–begins Friday, June 15 and runs until Sunday, June 17. A fleet of some 280 boats will be racing in 24 individual classes. The event is presented by Farmers Insurance Group and Mount Gay Rum and hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club (Monroe Street Station).
“Its exciting to see such a big turnout for our class for this event…Well no doubt have some very active starting lines!” said Holland (Mich.) sailor Doug Padnos, defending champion from the 2000 Chicago NOOD in the S2 7.9 class. Padnos (who also topped this class in 1999) will be racing to turn his winning record into a triple crown, but he admits that competition will be stiff in this 17-boat class. According to Padnos, S2 7.9 sailors rate the Chicago NOOD on a par with their National Championships and the event draws the class top talent. Among the competitors in the S2 7.9 class will be Bill Jenkins and Gary Shoemaker on a boat called CRIME SCENE; this duo from Detroit won the Detroit NOOD in early June handily, winning five individual races in the six-race regatta.
A stalwart group of Great Lakes sailors, with competitors from regions beyond the Lakes who trailer their boats to Chicago, have competed in this event for 13 years. Padnos is one of 13 class winners from the 2000 Chicago NOOD who are returning to defend their wins (see list, below).
Big-fleet tactics will be the rule at the NOOD in all classes, but a sailors ability to compete in a large field will be especially key in the Level 10 class. With 48 boats, this class of Tartan Tens and a newly launched design called the LS10 is the largest class to ever compete at a NOOD event.
T10 class winner from the 2000 Chicago NOOD Bill Buckles (Lorain, Ohio) will be back to defend his win. Buckles, who has been tuning up for the NOOD with his regular crew, looks forward to the game hell have to play to defend his title. “We know we have the boat speed; thats not our problem,” said Buckles. “But well have to be smart, and–whenever youre racing in a fleet this size–well have to have a bit of luck.” Vermilion, Ohio, skipper Heidi Backus Riddle–who topped the Tartan Ten class in early June at the Detroit NOOD–will also be on the starting line in Chicago, along with the class toughest competitors from Lake Michigan. All Tartan Ten (T10) sailors will be sparring against the newly launched LS10. The Tartan Ten is no longer in production, but the LS10 revives this design. The hull, sail plan, and weight are the same as the T10, but the transom design, cabin and shroud configuration have been modified.
“Theres more interest in the class this year, and I attribute that to the new boat,” said local T10 fleet captain Tim Snyder, who will also be racing in the Level 10 class. The Chicago NOOD will host the largest field of T10s yet to race against the new LS10–and the class will look to this event as a key gauge of how this revived design compares to the existing fleet.
A class of 70-footers will be the largest boats in the regatta. The Great Lakes 70 class, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, counts 14 boats in its membership. Twelve of those class members will be competing at the NOOD to kick off the class 2001 Season Championship. Bill Alcott (St. Clair Shores, Mich.) will defend his win from the 2000 NOOD in 1993-built Equation.
Three fleet trophies will be given out during the NOOD. Farmers Insurance Group will award the top-scoring family crew at series end with the Farmers Family Award. On Friday, June 15, support sponsor Lewmar will present the Lewmar Boat of the Day Award to the boat with the lowest point score of the day. Hall Spars & Rigging will present their Boat of the Day Award on Saturday.
The NOOD regattas are organized by Sailing World magazine (Newport, R.I.) and presented by Farmers Insurance Group and Mount Gay Rum. Support sponsors who join host Chicago Yacht Club include: Hall Spars & Rigging, High Sierra Sport Company, Lewmar, North Sails, Samuel Adams, and Sunsail.
Sailors who want more information about upcoming NOOD regattas should visit the Sailing World website (www.sailingworld.com) or contact the magazine at 401-845-5100 (telephone) or [email protected] During the regatta, race reports and fleet results will be posted daily on the Sailing World website.
NOTE: Below is a list of class winners from the 2000 Chicago NOOD who are returning to defend their wins. To arrange an interview with a defending champion, please contact Diane McGee Chase (numbers above).
Bill Buckles (Lorain, OH), LIQUOR BOX
Len Siegal (Chicago, IL) LUCKY DOBIE
PHRF (81-96 class)
Alan C. McMillan (Palatine, IL), FIN-ESSE (Sirena 38)
Great Lakes 70
Bill Alcott (St Clair Shores, MI) EQUATION (Santa Cruz 70)
Doug Padnos (Holland, MI), K2 (winner in 1999 and 2000)
Tom & Deb Weber (St. Charles, IL), LA TEMPETE
Robert Lang (Chicago, IL), RUSH HOUR
Dan Darrow (Libertyville, IL), SALACIOUS
Thomas F. Papanek (Chicago, IL), FUZZY LOGIC
PHRF (99-113 class)
Sean Dwyer (Chicago, IL), DECOY (W.D. Schock/NY 36)
Ronald W. Carroll (Hinsdale, IL), KIAORA
Karen Gottwald (Chicago, IL), CAGEY
Donald G. Rychlinski (Milwaukee, WI), KATO