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Chicago Yacht Club welcomes sailors to the 2023 J/70 North American Championship

by Chicago Yacht Club 11 Sep 16:13 PDT September 18-24, 2023
The J/70 start line during the 2023 Verve Cup Inshore © Chicago Yacht Club

More than 50 teams are gearing up for a week of sailing in the Windy City, where Chicago Yacht Club is hosting the 2023 J/70 North American Championship Sept. 18-24. Past event winners, newcomers, professional sailors and Corinthian teams will battle it out on the water to determine the top J/70 team in North America.

With four days of racing and three days of practice and measurement, the week will showcase one of the most competitive one design classes in the sailing world. Sailors will compete across five different divisions--Open, One-Pro, Corinthian, Mixed and Youth.

"Chicago Yacht Club is honored to host this year's J/70 North American Championship," says Eileen O'Neill Gioielli, event co-chair. "We are expecting the best competitors from all over the United States, and we will be joined by international teams from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, the U.K. and Turkey."

Chicago Yacht Club is readying to host 53 registered competitors, including several hometown teams and CYC members. 2022 J/70 North American Champion Jud Smith, who helmed "Ten" last year, is returning to the 2023 regatta on Jack Franco's "3 Ball JT." Rounding out the team is Bill Hardesty and Patrick Wilson. Smith and Wilson are among a handful of two-time winners of the championship returning in 2023.

Chicago native Cate Muller-Terhune, who was in reach of the 2022 title as the 2nd place finisher, is also back with her team "Casting Couch." Also on the roster is John Heaton, of Chicago Yacht Club, and his team "Empeiria," which includes trimmer William Felder, another two-time winner of the J/70 North American Championship.

The championship regatta will feature fleet racing with an International Jury of top sailing industry experts.

"Not only are competitors flying in from all corners of the US and around the world, but the class requires an International Jury," says Claire O'Neill, event co-chair. "We will have judges representing five countries. Additionally, we will have three inspectors, Deputy Race Official Jen Steffler and Principal Race Officer Mark Foster."

The event follows Chicago Yacht Club's Verve Inshore, which hosted 30 boats in the J/70 class August 25-27, 2023. Verve Inshore J/70 winner Brian Keane will return to Chicago Yacht Club to challenge for the NA title in his boat "Savasana." The NA Championship comes less than two months before the J/70 World Championship, set to take place Oct. 30-Nov. 5 in St. Petersburg, FL.

Racing begins Thursday, Sept. 21, and concludes Sunday, Sept. 24. Twelve races are scheduled for the week.

Chicago Yacht Club would like to thank sponsors AA Dive Services, Acqua Panna, Boater's Closet, Casa Azul, Crowley's, Noble Oak, North Sails, Sail 22, Samuel Adams, San Pellegrino and Twisted Tea.

Follow the action at Chicago Yacht Club's Facebook and Instagram pages. Find more information about the 2023 J/70 North American Championship at the event website.

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