Please select your home edition
Ocean Safety 2023 - New Identity - LEADERBOARD

2018 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in Chicago: Day 1

by Evily Giannopoulos Peros 9 Jun 2018 03:17 BST 8-10 June 2018
2018 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta - Day 1 © Paul Todd /

Despite morning weather delays as lightning passed over Lake Michigan, crews competing in 11 classes completed two races during the first day of the annual Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta in Chicago. Now in its 30th year, the series is the largest and longest-running sailboat racing circuit in the country.

A total of 166 teams are registered to race during the three-day event, most of them from the greater Chicago area. For the eight boats in the Farr 40 fleet, this marks the beginning of training season for the class's World Championship, which will be hosted in Chicago this October.

"Everybody's trying to tune up for Worlds, using this as a training event, both for their own boats and to gauge where the rest of the fleet is," said Flash Gordon crew member Peter Holz. Holz is co-driving the boat with owner Helmut Jahn in place of his son, Evan Jahn, who is out with an injury.

According to Holz, sailing conditions on Friday were ideal after the weather systems cleared up. Team Flash Gordon had to fight for third place in the first race of the day before breezing through the second race for a win, which earned them the top position in the fleet.

"We had a great start in the first race, but then got caught on the wrong side of the course going upwind," Holz said. "But we did a good job of triaging the situation and pulling out a third place against a really competitive fleet. It was a good battle. In the second race, we were in a good groove the whole time."

The key to Flash Gordon's day was "clean starts and boatspeed, boatspeed, boatspeed." Looking ahead at the rest of the weekend, Holz said the crew is feeling good and well-positioned for success.

"We sailed a clean first day, and that's all you can ask for. We just want to keep doing what we're doing and let our superstar crew get us around the buoys as fast as possible."

In the Beneteau First 36.7 fleet, Joie de Vie leads the pack after two tight races on Friday, a feat skipper Donna Hastings credits to her crew's teamwork, communication and reaction time.

"The fleet is exceptionally competitive, so we're thrilled with our results for today," Hastings said. "The whole team on this boat is just phenomenal. We have such a tight-knit bond among the entire crew and that's what propelled us to second place for both races. It was really, really fun."

The team hopes for more of the same throughout the weekend, and Hastings plans to focus on their strengths to lead them to success.

"The biggest thing for us is communication," she said. "We've raced so much together over the last six years that we almost don't have to talk too much to each other, we just know what to do."

Sailing conditions were difficult for the J/88 fleet, according to local skipper Andy Graff.

"The challenge is that this boat is really tender and picky on rig tuning and sail tuning," Graff said. "We didn't know what we were going to get in terms of wind velocity, and it was important to make a last-minute call to get our best chance for the race."

Graff and his crew aboard Exile closely observed the conditions in the half hour before the first start, noting where the wind extremes and shifts were appearing on the racecourse. They changed sails several times before settling on a middle option, which helped then power through the waves and quickly change gears as needed.

Exile leads the fleet heading into day two. Thee Helly Hansen Chicago NOOD continues through June 10.

For more information, visit

Results after Day 1: (top three in each class)

J 70 (One Design - 13 Boats)

1. Empeiria, J 70, John Heaton, Wilmette, IL, USA, 1 -2; 3
2. Rip Rullah, J 70, Andrew Criezis, Chicago, IL, USA, 3 -3; 6
3. Berteau Group, J 70, Sarah Renz, Chicago, IL, USA, 2 -7; 9

J 105 (One Design - 10 Boats)

1. Gryphon, J 105, Sam Powers, Harbor Springs, MI, USA, 1 -1; 2
2. Flying Pig, J 105, Mike Sheppard, Chicago, IL, USA, 4 -2; 6
3. Sealark, J 105, Clark Pellett, Chicago, IL, USA, 3 -4; 7

J 88 (One Design - 8 Boats)

1. Exile, J 88, Andy Graff, Chicago, IL, USA, 1 -2; 3
2. Windsong, J 88, Tim Wade, Bowling Green, OH, USA, 4 -1; 5
3. Dutch, J 88, John Leahey, Chicago, IL, USA, 2 -3; 5

J 109 (One Design - 8 Boats)

1. Blackfin, J 109, Keith Eickenberg, Naperville, IL, USA, 1 -4; 5
2. Callisto, J 109, Jim Murray, Lake Bluff, IL, USA, 5 -1; 6
3. Full Tilt, J 109, Peter Priede, Homer Glen, IL, USA, 2 -5; 7

J 111 (One Design - 12 Boats)

1. Rowdy, J 111, Richard Witzel, Chicago, IL, USA, 2 -1; 3
2. Kashmir, J 111, Karl Brummel, Steve Henderson, Mike Mayer, Chicago, IL, USA, 3 -2; 5
3. No Quarter, J 111, Mark & Colin Caliban, Tinley Park, IL, USA, 1 -5; 6

Farr 40 (One Design - 8 Boats)

1. Flash Gordon 6, Farr 40, Helmut and Evan Jahn, Chicago, IL, USA, 3 -1; 4
2. Hot Lips, Farr 40, Christopher Whitford, Chicago, IL, USA, 1 -4; 5
3. Norboy, Farr 40, Leif Sigmond / Marcus Thymian, Riverwoods, IL, USA, 2 -3; 5

Beneteau First 40.7 (One Design - 9 Boats)

1. Mojo, Beneteau First 40.7, Gary Powell/ Scot Ruhlander, Chicago, IL, USA, 1 -2; 3
2. Das Boot, Beneteau First 40.7, Jay Muller, Chicago, IL, USA, 5 -1; 6
3. La Tempete, Beneteau First 40.7, Thomas Weber, St Charles, IL, USA, 2 -5; 7

PHRF 1 (PHRF_ToT - 7 Boats)

1. Sin Duda!, Santa Cruz 52, Lindsey Duda, Chicago, IL, USA, 1 -1; 2
2. Natalie J, TP52, Philip O'Niel III, Bloomfield Hills, MI, USA, 2 -3; 5
3. Imedi, TP52, Linc Yates, Zion, IL, USA, 5 -2; 7

Tartan 10 (One Design - 22 Boats)

1. Diamond Girl, LS 10, Amy & Rick Cermak, Racine, WI, USA, 1 -1; 2
2. Erica, T-10, Brian Kaczor, New Lenox, IL, USA, 3 -4; 7
3. Retention, LS 10, Mark Croll, Chicago, IL, USA, 6 -3; 9

Beneteau First 36.7 (One Design - 11 Boats)

1. Joie de Vie, Beneteau First 36.7, Donna Hastings, Mt. Prospect, IL, USA, 2 -2; 4
2. Veni Vidi Veatchi, Beneteau First 36.7, Jason Veatch, Clarendon Hills, IL, USA, 1 -5; 6
3. Split Decision, Beneteau First 36.7, Nick Norris, Elmwood Park, IL, USA, 3 -4; 7

PHRF 2 (PHRF_ToT - 8 Boats)

1. Cayuse, McPhearson 35, Team Cayuse, Chicago, IL, USA, 3 -1; 4
2. NoMaTa, J 35, Daniel Leslie, Winthrop Harbor, IL, USA, 1 -3; 4
3. Archimedes III, C&C 115, Joe Hummel, Wilmette, IL, USA, 2 -2; 4

Related Articles

2021 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Chicago overall
One final race at Chicago NOOD; Team Mojo wins big Team Mojo, the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Chicago's overall winning team, took its lumps early in the regatta but ultimately won the seven-boat Beneteau First 40.7 class and the overall title. Posted on 14 Jun 2021
2021 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Chicago day 2
Racing ahead of the thunderstorm World-champion sailor Andy Horton, 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. Posted on 13 Jun 2021
2021 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Chicago day 1
Chicago sailors celebrate return to racing Courageous owners Ray Douglas and Kris Maybach jumped the gun in the opening race of the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Chicago series, drawing an over-early penalty and forcing them to re-start behind the rest of their eight-boat J/109 fleet. Posted on 12 Jun 2021
Stage is set for Chicago NOOD
150 sailboats arrive to compete in the Chicago stop of the nation's largest regatta series The colorful battle flags and race boats are filling the docks outside Chicago Yacht Club's Monroe Harbor station as more than 150 sailboats arrive to compete in the Chicago stop of the nation's largest and longest-running regatta series Posted on 11 Jun 2021
Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta St. Petersburg overall
Gary Schwarting's Melges 24 Obsession wins the overall title Long-time Melges 24 sailor Gary Schwarting believes he had some help from above this weekend to win the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta overall title today in St. Petersburg. Posted on 5 Apr 2021
Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta St. Petersburg day 2
St. Petersburg delivers another stellar day of sailboat racing Between catamaran sailboats flying by the St. Pete Pier and doublehanded teams taking off around Tampa Bay for the North Sails Doublehanded Distance Race, St. Petersburg delivered another stellar day of sailboat racing. Posted on 4 Apr 2021
Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta St. Petersburg day 1
Gusty conditions test racers on St. Petersburg Regatta's opening day While a late-season cold front passed over Tampa Bay for an unexpectedly chilly start for the 120 teams competing on the first day of the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta St. Petersburg Posted on 3 Apr 2021
National Sailing Series draws top racing teams
Two new dinghy racing fleets will debut at 33rd edition of Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta St. Petersburg Two new dinghy racing fleets will debut at this weekend's 33rd edition of the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta St. Petersburg: the new Melges 15 class and the established Thistle class, which has been active since the 1940s. Posted on 31 Mar 2021
Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego overall
Argyle Campbell repeats as overall winner Etchells sailor Argyle Campbell won the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta overall title today in San Diego, winning his fleet by a narrow margin and being selected among the regatta's other class winners to represent San Diego at the NOOD Caribbean Championship Posted on 22 Mar 2021
Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego day 2
Doublehanded racing and day two Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego The complete Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego roster took to the waters off San Diego today for a mix of fleet and distance racing, including the inaugural North Sails Doublehanded Distance Race. Posted on 21 Mar 2021