Please select your home edition
North Sails 2021 Innovation - LEADERBOARD

2021 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Chicago at Chicago Yacht Club - Day 2

by Laura Muma / Sailing World 12 Jun 2021 22:06 PDT June 11-13, 2021
2021 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Chicago © Mark Albertazzi

World-champion sailor Andy Horton, who is competing in this weekend's Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Chicago, said that no one on their Great Lakes 52 team believed the forecasted afternoon thunderstorm would materialize but when it did, he agreed ending racing early for the day was the right call. "I told the Fox team that the windiest place I have ever been was during a storm in Chicago and it blew 76 knots," he says. "Anything can happen here and do not underestimate this lake."

All competitors completed two races before being sent to safe harbor before the worst of the storm passed.

Horton is tactician for Victor Wild's Fox, a Botin 52. Fox is the newest of the seven-boat GL 52 fleet and after five races, it leads by one point over Doug DeVos' Windquest. The class uses the ORC rating system, which levels the playing field across the multi-generations of boats. "Basically, we need to beat the other competitors by varying time differentials," says Horton. "Which means you better sail the boat well in order to finish on top."

Local sailor Martin Johnsson's J/70 Aquaholiks, a Corinthian (all-amateur) team, is currently leading the nine-boat class, finishing in first or second places today. "Our first race today began in light-air conditions similar to yesterday," Johnsson says. "However, by the end of the second race, the J/70 planes downwind at around 13 knots, and we were definitely doing that, right as the storm started building over the city."

Johnsson, a previous J/70 class and overall Chicago NOOD winner, believes the key to their strong finishes today was staying on top of adjusting the boat and rig tune as the wind increased throughout today's two races. "Unlike yesterday where the focus was on just going fast, today we had to really work the boat to stay on your game."

In the Tartan 10 class, the top-spot battle is shaping up between yesterday's leader Meat, today's winner Erica, and third-placed Winnebago. Erica's owner and helmsman, Brian Kaczor, says getting decent starts is what helped them earn the lead today. "I made it very tough on the team yesterday with my horrible starts," Kaczor says. "Today I finally began starting better, and from there we have the boat speed to do well."

"We were definitely keeping an eye out for Meat and Winnebago," he says. "The key tomorrow is me starting the boat well, and then the crew can just do their thing. We've sailed together for four years, which makes it very easy for me to just steer and trust that everyone does their thing."

Special additions to the Saturday race schedule include the Cruising World Rally Distance Race, in which 28 cruising and racing boats sailed a course ranging from 10 to 15 miles, and a remote-control sailboat race during the Sailing World Happy Hour at the Chicago Yacht Club.

Len Siegal's Lucky Dubie won the Rally's ORC Division on his boat's debut. A longtime competitive sailor in Chicago and owner of three previous Lucky Dubie-named boats, Siegal is transitioning over to the cruising / racing side of sailing and purchased the used 40-foot J/122 to do distance races and Great Lakes cruising. "Heck, we even have an oven on board the boat now," he joked.

"I'm not used to doing straight-line distance sailing after doing buoy races for so many years," he says. "But I'm thrilled with the boat and how we sailed. I'm with a new crew, and other than us trying to figure out where things were on the new boat, it felt great. I'm grateful to be out on the water after the last year of the pandemic, and we had a really fun race."

Other distance race class winners of the included Tom O'Donohue's J/120 Jahazi, and Brian Morgan's Night Train, a Thomas 35.

To close out the second day of the Chicago NOOD, sailors and spectators attending the Sailing World happy hour enjoyed the mayhem of 21 DragonForce 65 remote-controlled sailboats bobbing and weaving on a miniature race course just in front of the Chicago Yacht Club.

Tomorrow after the final day of racing, one class-winning competitor will be chosen to compete in the Helly Hansen NOOD Caribbean Championship in October in the British Virgin Islands.

For comprehensive results, visit

Related Articles

Marblehead Race Week
Widnall and crew win overall title The Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series at Marblehead Race Week, it's been said, is a regatta of mental endurance. Posted on 1 Aug
Mid-Summer Classic on tap for Marblehead sailors
150 boats take to the waters east of Marblehead Neck It's late July in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and the deep-harbor mooring field is packed from shore to shore with boats and teams preparing for the biggest regatta of the summer: the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series at Marblehead Race Week. Posted on 28 Jul
Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Chicago
Callisto won its nine-boat division and earned the regatta's overall prize The best teams in sailboat racing excel across a range of conditions, and for competitors at the 2022 Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series Chicago, that's exactly what was required over three days of challenging Lake Michigan conditions Posted on 13 Jun
Chicago Sailing Season opens
With the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series this weekend The sailing season in Chicago hits its stride this coming weekend as the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series brings sailors from across the country to the 'Windy City' for what is always one of the biggest events of the season. Posted on 9 Jun
Patience rewards competitors in Annapolis
At the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series over the weekend Jeffrey Todd and his teammates on the J/22 Hot Toddy have finished second in their class at the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series in Annapolis more times than they can, or care, to remember, but this weekend they finally broke the curse with a win Posted on 16 May
Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series preview
Opening the Chesapeake sailing season Maryland's colonial state capital city is surrounded by vast waterways that stretch deep from interior into greater Chesapeake Bay, which is why Annapolis is hailed as a sailor's playground and residents call it "The Sailing Capital" of the United States Posted on 12 May
Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta overall
Finishing just as it started - with brilliant sunshine and a building sea breeze The Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series San Diego finished just as it started—with brilliant sunshine and a building sea breeze, conditions that local sailors expect this time of year. Posted on 28 Mar
San Diego set to host second event
Of the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series The waters off San Diego will be filled with racing sailboats this weekend, as the second event of the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series opens the Southern California racing season with three days of competition, March 25-27. Posted on 23 Mar
Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta overall
A Class Cat legend wins his Caribbean Challenge Berth Singlehanded A-Class Catamaran sailor Ben Hall will have his hands full in the British Virgin Islands this fall once he recruits fellow A-cat skippers to help him compete in the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series Championship. Posted on 21 Feb
Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta day 2
Sun-sational sailing in St. Petersburg More than 200 sailboats competed in the 2nd day of the three-day Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series in St. Petersburg in 8- to 14- knots of breeze, helping some teams to solidify their leads, and others to capitalize as they head into final day. Posted on 20 Feb
J Composites 2022 - J99 FOOTERLloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px3 BOTTOMHella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 004 gif Bottom