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J/88 North American Championship at Chicago Yacht Club - Day 1 & 2 recap

by Chicago Yacht Club 23 Sep 2022 20:17 PDT 22-23 September 2022
Sin Duda! skippered by Lindsey Duda at J/88 North American Championship © Jim Sorbie

This weekend, Chicago Yacht Club is hosting the J/88 North American Championships off Chicago's magnificent downtown lakefront. After two days of racing, the Chicago-based Dutch, owned by John and Jordan Leahey, holds an eleven-point lead over second place Deviation, owned by Iris Vogel of New Rochelle, New York.

Conditions varied dramatically between the two days of racing. On Thursday, the 26-boat fleet saw winds over 20 knots for much of the day, with five to seven foot waves. Friday's racing featured light and lumpy conditions, with winds in the six to eight knot range for much of the day. The gradually dying breeze on Friday afternoon caused the time limit to expire for about half the fleet on the final race of the day.

Dutch won the first three races on Thursday, and followed up with a strong performance on Friday, with two top three finishes on Friday. John Leahey, Dutch's skipper, commented that "conditions were very challenging on both days. And the competition in this regatta is really outstanding - we're fortunate to be where we are right now."

Competition is indeed fierce, with strong performances by many teams. In Race 6, Chicago-based skipper Lindsey Duda took home the win in a sterling effort, besting the second-place boat by nearly three minutes in the four-mile race. Vogel's Deviation and Ben Marden's Banter took the other two available bullets on Friday.

On both days, the Chicago Yacht Club Race Committee dealt with wind oscillations of more than 40 degrees at times. "Conditions have been very challenging so far - lots of Charlie flags in this regatta," commented Leif Sigmond, Principal Race Officer and Past Commodore of Chicago Yacht Club. We're looking forward to two more great days of racing with some good breeze," Sigmond added. "We'll see who comes out on top."

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