Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championship kicks off

Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championship 2013
Sue Marshall
The Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championship got underway on Thursday at Chicago Yacht Club’s Belmont Station with 16 boats battling for an early lead. The day was taken by local boat Maggie Mae, skippered by Peter Wright. Bayview Yacht Club’s Grizzly, driven by Chuck Bayer, came in a very competitive second, finishing one point back.

A Northeast breeze set in overnight causing competitors to deal with 3-5 foot waves and 17-18 knot winds in the first race. By the third and final race, winds had calmed a bit to eight to 10 knots but the sea state remained choppy.

Wayne Bretsch, the regatta PRO said, 'It was a gorgeous day of racing on Lake Michigan. The weather today included a beautiful sailing breeze and the morning started with sever chop which diminished throughout the day. We raced three races, each covered approximately six miles in four legs.'

Bretsch continued, 'This was a great start to a great event. The preparation by Chicago Yacht Club definitely shows a lot of work done by a lot of people. We are looking forward to a very competitive regatta over the next three days, and the winds look promising.'

This annual championship regatta features some of the best one-design sailors in North America. Racing will continue through Sunday.

Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championship 2013
Sue Marshall

Beneteau North American Championship 2013
Sue Marshall

Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championship 2013
Sue Marshall

Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championship 2013
Sue Marshall

Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championship 2013
Sue Marshall

Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championship 2013
Sue Marshall

Beneteau First 36.7 North American Championship 2-13
Sue Marshall

Click here for today’s standings
http://www.sail-world.com/114114