Beneteau First 36.7 NAC Championship - Tight racing on day 2

Finish - 2013 Beneteau First 36.7 NAC Championship
Michael Thoney
The 11th annual Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championship continued Friday at Chicago Yacht Club’s Belmont Station, with day two bringing winds of eight to 12 knots out of the southeast, resulting in flatter water than yesterday’s first day of racing. The competition was spirited, with early favorites maintaining their positions but boats from deeper in the fleet made their presence known as well.

Chicagoan Mark Norris, skipper of Spilt Decision, said, 'It was an absolutely beautiful day to be out racing. Competition was fabulous, the top eight to 10 boats are all finishing within seconds of each other.'

Detroit-based Grizzly finished the day in first place, swapping overall places with Chicago’s Maggie Mae. Chuck Bayer, owner of Grizzly, has sailed in 10 of the 11 NAC regattas, finishing in second place five times. 'This is a great one-design regatta. The other boats are all fast, and the competition is fierce as expected. My crew is as good as any out here, which has contributed to our strong performance so far.' Grizzly is one of four Detroit boats competing in Chicago.

Wayne Bretsch, the regatta PRO, said it was a great day to be sailing. 'The starting lines were close on all three races which included two four-legged races and a five-legged race, finishing to windward,' Bretsch said. 'Everything went smoothly and when things are going well, there isn’t a lot of excitement. The racers seem to be very happy.'

Chicago has the largest organized fleet of Beneteau 36.7‘s in North America and has hosted the NAC’s three times. As a testament to the 36.7’s racing durability, four of the first 10 hulls are participating in this week’s regatta.

Mark rounding - 2013 Beneteau First 36.7 NAC Championship
Michael Thoney

Spinnakers - 2013 Beneteau First 36.7 NAC Championship
Michael Thoney

Spinnakers-skyline - 2013 Beneteau First 36.7 NAC Championship
Michael Thoney

At the mark - 2013 Beneteau First 36.7 NAC Championship
Michael Thoney

Racing continues on Saturday with three scheduled races. Two races are set for Sunday.

Click here for today’s standings
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