Prepping for the Chicago NOOD
Big waves and a strong northerly breeze served up ideal, if challenging, conditions to the 23 classes and nearly 275 competitors racing in the Chicago edition of the Lands’ End NOOD regatta. Three races were completed on each of four courses on a day that rewarded those who found the power to drive through the waves and the teamwork to handle the spinnaker. “The wind was less than the waves,” said Mike Elliott, skipper of the S2 7.9 Instigator, which finished the day in second behind Brad Boston’s Frequent Flyer. “We had some new crew so we flew the No. 3 in the first race,” said Elliot, “and we finished fifth. The breeze was dying a bit and I said, ‘We’ve got to go to the No. 1 in the next race.'” Elliott and his partner Dan Mullen scored a second, beating Frequent Flyer. On the J/30 Planxty skipper Dennis Bartley had great upwind speed driving through the waves, and won all three of his fleet’s races. The magic may have been in flying a No. 2. According to one crewmember, the boats with No. 1s were overpowered and those with No. 3s were underpowered. The title sponsor, Lands’ End’s C&C 115 Guaranteed. Period. also had a good day with two firsts and a fourth in PHRF 3, and its standard sailplan, with a big main and 108-percent jib, was likely an asset. “While the other boats were changing headsails,” said designer Tim Jackett, who rode the rail while the Lands’ End team sailed the boat, “we were shifting gears. In these conditions we looked smart, whatever we did.” Jackett said in 5 to 8 knots “you have to work pretty hard, like we did at the Detroit NOOD. That’s the compromise in going to the smaller jib.” Guaranteed. Period. was steered by Jerry Gavin, and skipper Randy Adolphs trimmed. According to Jackett, who was sailing Friday only, after a slow first beat in the first race, they adjusted their trim and found an extra half a knot of speed. Jackett also said that they did “nothing fancy” and sailed very conservatively, taking down their spinnaker early. Giving up a little distance to make a clean rounding was a good call by this reporter’s observation; on a day with big waves it seemed as if the majority of crews were late with takedowns and gave up valuable distance. First day results are posted in a separate story.