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North American Challenge Cup - Day 1 a strong start

by Rachelle Treiber on 28 Jul 2013
North American Challenge Cup Rachelle Treiber
The first day of racing wrapped up for the North American Challenge Cup at Chicago Yacht Club's Belmont Station. Chicago Yacht Club’s NACC 2013 got off to a strong start today, in spite of shifting winds and unseasonably cold and gray skies. The 2.4mR class had six boats on the starting line, with a very strong, competitive fleet.

The 2.4mR fleet managed to get in three races before coming back into the club due the extreme cold, wet conditions. Tracy Schmitt from Canada is in first place with nine points, with Charley Rosenfeld in a close second with 10 points. Tim Ripley and Jody Hill are in third and fourth place respectively with 12 points each. Paul Horton is in fifth place and Kevin Holmberg is in sixth place.

The Freedom 20 fleet has seven boats competing this year, and they managed to complete four races in the first day of racing. Ken Kelly and Bob Jones are in first place, having won three bullets and one second for a point score of five. Ken and Bob won the Freedom 20 class in 2012 as well as 2010 and their finishes from the first day are looking to make them a tough team to beat. Local Chicago sailors Gary Pierce and Zak Kordik are in second place with 11 points, and another Chicago team of Bridget Bodo and Larry Campbell are in third place with 16 points. Chris Murphy and Donna Demarest are in fourth place with 16 points, Lans Hinrichs and John Tarrant are in sixth with 18 points, Rob Klein and Julia Dorsett are in sixth with 19 points, and Bonnie Everhart with local Chicago sailor Dan Daniher are in seventh with 21 points.

The Sonar fleet has a very competitive group of sailors with total point scores amongst all six boats coming in rather close. Sara Everhart Skeels, racing with her husband, Brian Skeels and Canadian Brenda Hopkins as crew is in first place with nine points. Andy Fisher with Mike Hersey and Brad Johnson as crew are in second place, also with nine points, with Sara winning the tie breaker. Jennifer French, racing with her husband, Tim along with Scott Ford are in third place with 12 points, Ryan Porteous with Crew Cindy Walker and Kris Scheppes are in fourth place with 15 points, the local Chicago team of Chris Martin, Ralph Broks and Pat Loduca are in fifth place with 19 points and the San Francisco BAADs team of Jim Thweatt, John Wallace and Larry Young is in sixth place with 21 points.

Racing will continue over the next two days, with the Winner’s Dinner taking place at the Chicago Yacht Club Monroe Street Station on Monday, July 29th.

Background: This weekend the Chicago Yacht Club hosts the North American Challenge Cup (NACC), a well-respected sailing regatta for disabled adults. The regatta takes place July 27 – 29 at our Belmont Station, 300 W. Belmont Street. The NACC is a very competitive regatta that has grown tremendously over the past two decades, from its inaugural year in 1992 with racing in only one class, the Freedom 20s, to the addition of two Paralympics class sailboats, the one-person 2.4mR and the three-person Sonar.

In past years the NACC regatta has hosted competitors from around the globe, including many Paralympics medal winners. It is considered to be one of the 'must-do' regattas in the disabled racing circuit. This event is one of the premier disabled sailing regattas, and counts as one of the longest running events in the North American disabled sailing circuit.

Racing will begin each day at 9:30 a.m. A press boat will be available for photographers and interviews can be arranged with racers before or after each day of racing.

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