At the Chicago Yacht Club’s Belmont Station, the Beneteau First 36.7 NAC Championship continued with tight mark roundings and finishes. Highly competitive and very close, racers saw southwest winds of 10 to 14 knots in the first race but shifting to around five knots by race 3.
Patriot, Beneteau First 36.7 hull number one, from Bayview Yacht Club and the North Star Sail Club, had a big day with a 1-3-1 finish, moving up to sixth place overall. Ken Sharpe, skipper of Patriot, said, 'Today was a good day, we controlled our own destiny and executed our game plan.
We had good starts, improved team effort and we kept the boat going fast.' Sharpe, a colonel in the Air Force Reserve (hence the name Patriot), continued, 'We’ve enjoyed great hospitality here in Chicago along with the good racing. This week we’ve seen everything from big waves to flat water. We are looking forward to a strong finish tomorrow.'
A local boat, Tried and True, owned by Robert Foley, had a successful day on the water, finishing up in fourth place overall. 'We’ve been to a number of NACs, and this is the most competitive fleet we’ve ever experienced in this 36.7 class nationally,' Foley said. 'One important aspect that I appreciate is the camaraderie between all of the teams. The host club is providing terrific racing and a collegial environment. It’s a pleasure for our team to be involved with such a great, competitive class.'
Today’s races were hotly-contested, ending with only five points separating second and fourth place. Tomorrow’s final two races will decide the podium positions.