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2018 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in Chicago: Overall

by Evily Giannopoulos Peros 11 Jun 2018 02:12 BST 8-10 June 2018
2018 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in Chicago © Paul Todd /

After three days of intense competition and challenging conditions on Lake Michigan, the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta concluded its fourth stop of the season in Chicago on Sunday.

Among the eleven class winners stood one above all: J/111 Kashmir, which earned the event's overall title. The boat is co-owned by Steve Henderson, Mike Mayer and Karl Brummel.

This was team Kashmir's first major regatta of season in preparation for the J/111 North Americans later this summer, and the crew saw improvements in boatspeed throughout the weekend as they settled in with new sails.

"I thought we were fast downwind and our speed upwind was OK on Friday, but not great," Brummel said. "We had some boathandling problems that we were able to fix."

Kashmir's results on Friday were a second and a third, but in Saturday's first race, said Brummel, "we just got launched, and fortunately the other top three or four boats somehow got buried. We just kept getting faster and faster; our speed upwind was probably better than anybody's at the end of the regatta. We were breaking in new jibs, so it was the first time trimming those and getting the rig right."

The gameplan going into the final race was to get a clean start and cover the competition, Brummel said. All they had to do was sail their boat well and sail better than everyone else.

"But we failed to execute that plan," he said. "We got a horrific start. We were second row, we tacked out to port and went right. It turns out there was a nice lane of pressure on the right that wasn't on the left and we rounded the mark first."

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, he added, but what also helped was that the second-place boat was over the starting line early and had to restart.

"That took some pressure off of us, but the third place boat got a good start so we were not thrilled with the first 30 seconds of the race," Brummel said. "We were flat out lucky."

As the Helly Hansen Chicago NOOD's overall winner, team Kashmir earns a berth in the Helly Hansen NOOD Caribbean Championship Regatta, presented by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands this October.

Like team Kashmir, several other fleets were training for upcoming class championships during the Helly Hansen Chicago NOOD this weekend. San Francisco native Bruce Stone, a NOOD veteran and former overall winner, is sailing in Chicago for the first time in nearly 40 years in anticipation of the 2018 J/105 North American Championship in nearby Harbor Springs this July.

Stone and his wife, Nicole Breault, own two J/105s of their own, but are chartering Gryphon from owner Sam Powers, who joined their crew. This is their second regatta as a team, and despite sailing with a completely new crew this weekend, team Gryphon was the only crew in the event to win every race they sailed.

"We were very attuned to rig tune," Stone said. "In between races, we were adjusting the rig based on whether the wind was picking up or not. We didn't really see a lot of other boats doing that, so we think it was really important. We also roll tacked a lot — the team was sailing it like a dinghy instead of a big boat. Weight placement was really critical, sailing a little bit low and fast to keep the boat moving."

Similarly, in the Farr 40 fleet, winning team Flash Gordon 6 have put together a new core of people for the class's world championship, which will be hosted in Chicago this October.

"The whole weekend was a steep learning curve, with everyone learning roles and how to interact," said Nate Reynolds, one of the boat's trimmers. "You could tell as we progressed through the weekend that everyone knew how to interact with one another, and it finally came through when it counted on the last race."

Skipper Ben Marden echoed those thoughts, praising his own crew aboard the J/88 Banter for finding a good groove as they train for the J/88 North Americans in Chicago this fall. After a tricky first day, they made a radical decision that ultimately propelled them to four consecutive first-place finishes during the next two race days.

"I was the only person who had the same job on the second day," Marden said. "Five people changed jobs, and we stuck with the new positions. We loosened everything up and were more aggressive with rig tune and light-air boathandling. This was a great test for the team so we could take notes and come out of it with some new information on things we can improve upon."

This was Marden's first Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta as a boat owner, and only his second regatta since buying the boat last winter.

Local owner John Heaton also celebrated a "first" this weekend with his inaugural win in the J/70 class. For his crew on Empeiria, the keys to the weekend were consistency, boatspeed and communication.

"It was mainly about working really hard on speed all the time," Heaton said. "That's a testament to the team I have onboard. They work the boat really well. In the J/70s, it's important to get free of other boats, put the bow down and go fast. That really helped us, especially today. We were confident in our boatspeed, got free of other boats and kept it rolling."

While constant discussions on speed and tactics fueled team Empeiria, the winning boat in the regatta's largest fleet found a different way to focus.

"There is absolutely no talking on the boat," said Amy Cermak, skipper on the Tartan 10 Diamond Girl. "We just say 'jibe' and everybody knows their job really well. We had awesome teamwork."

Cermak credited her husband and team trimmer Rick Cermak with preparing the boat for success: "He made sure everything was as perfect as we could make it. And I was driving it like I stole it."

In one of the regatta's two PHRF (handicapped) fleets, winning skipper Lindsey Duda said her crew aboard Sin Duda! was down to the wire on Sunday, scoring the top spot by one point against a major competitor.

"It did come down to the last race," she said. "It was a tough weekend, but my crew was fantastic. We started off on a really good foot. Saturday wasn't the greatest, but it was nice today. We were really just trying to stay conservative and keep an eye on Natalie J [the second place team]. We were pretty stoked to be competitive with them."

The 2018 Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta Series concludes in Marblehead, Massachusetts, July 26-29.

For more information, visit

Final Results (Top Three):

J 70 (One Design - 13 Boats)

1. Empeiria, J 70, John Heaton. Wilmette, IL, USA, 1 -2 -3 -2 -1 -3; 12
2. Rip Rullah, J 70, Andrew Criezis. Chicago, IL, USA, 3 -3 -1 -1 -6 -4; 18
3. Pale Horse, J 70. Jake Christy. Bloomfiled Hills, MI, USA, 4 -9 -2 -8 -5 -2; 30

J 105 (One Design - 10 Boats)

1. Gryphon, J 105, Bruce Stone / Nicole Breault / Sam Powers. San Francisco, CA, USA, 1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1; 6
2. The Asylum, J 105, Jon Weglarz. Chicago, IL, USA, 2 -6 -2 -5 -2 -5; 22
3. Vytis, J 105, Gyt Petkus. la grange, IL, USA, 6 -3 -3 -3 -7 -2; 24

J 88 (One Design - 8 Boats)

1. Banter, J 88, Ben Marden. Chicago, IL, USA, 3 -4 -1 -1 -1 -1; 11
2. Exile, J 88, Andy Graff. Chicago, IL, USA, 1 -2 -2 -3 -4 -2; 14
3. Windsong, J 88, Tim Wade. Bowling Green, OH, USA, 4 -1 -3 -2 -2 -5; 17

J 109 (One Design - 8 Boats)

1. Callisto, J 109, Jim Murray. Lake Bluff, IL, USA, 4 -1 -2 -3 -5; 15
2. Slapshot II, J 109, Scott Sims. Wilmette, IL, USA, 5 -3 -1 -6 -3; 18
3. Blackfin, J 109, Keith Eickenberg. Naperville, IL, USA, 1 -4 -5 -4 -7; 21

J 111 (One Design - 12 Boats)

1. Kashmir, J 111, Karl Brummel / Steve Henderson / Mike Mayer. Chicago, IL, USA, 3 -2 -1 -3 -1; 10 | Overall Winner
2. Shamrock, J 111, Jeffrey Davis. Cleveland, OH, USA, 4 -3 -3 -1 -5; 16
3. Rowdy, J 111, Richard Witzel. Chicago, IL, USA, 2 -1 -9 -4 -2; 18

Farr 40 (One Design - 8 Boats)

1. Flash Gordon 6, Farr 40, Helmut and Evan Jahn. Chicago, IL, USA, 3 -1 -6 -2 -1; 13
2. Norboy, Farr 40, Leif Sigmond / Marcus Thymian. Riverwoods, IL, USA, 2 -3 -1 -5 -3; 14
3. Hot Lips, Farr 40, Christopher Whitford. Chicago, IL, USA, 1 -4 -4 -4 -2; 15

Beneteau First 40.7 (One Design - 9 Boats)

1. Mojo, Beneteau First 40.7, Gary Powell/ Scot Ruhlander. Chicago, IL, USA, 1 -2 -5 -1 -3; 12
2. Das Boot, Beneteau First 40.7, Jay Muller. Chicago, IL, USA, 5 -1 -4 -2 -1; 13
3. La Tempete, Beneteau First 40.7, Thomas Weber. St Charles, IL, USA, 2 -5 -1 -3 -7; 18

PHRF 1 (3 days) (PHRF_ToT - 7 Boats)

1. Sin Duda!, Santa Cruz 52, Lindsey Duda. Chicago, IL, USA, 1 -1 -3 -5 -2; 12
2. Natalie J, TP52, Philip O'Niel III. Bloomfield Hills, MI, USA, 2 -3 -6 -1 -1; 13
3. Eagle, Sydney 38, Shawn/Jerry O'Neill. Chicago, IL, USA, 3 -5 -1 -2 -4; 15

Tartan 10 (One Design - 22 Boats)

1. Diamond Girl, LS 10, Amy & Rick Cermak. Racine, WI, USA, 1 -1 -2 -3; 7
2. Retention, LS 10, Mark Croll. Chicago, IL, USA, 6 -3 -3 -2; 14
3. Erica, T-10, Brian Kaczor. New Lenox, IL, USA, 3 -4 -4 -6; 17

Beneteau First 36.7 (One Design - 10 Boats)

1. Soulshine, Beneteau First 36.7, Jarrett Altmin. Chicago, IL, USA, 7 -1 -2 -2; 12
2. Veni Vidi Veatchi, Beneteau First 36.7, Jason Veatch. Clarendon Hills, IL, USA, 1 -5 -4 -7; 17
3. Split Decision, Beneteau First 36.7, Nick Norris. Elmwood Park, IL, USA, 3 -4 -5 -6; 18

PHRF 2 (3 Days) (PHRF_ToT - 8 Boats)

1. Cayuse, McPhearson 35, Team Cayuse. Chicago, IL, USA, 3 -1 -1 -1; 6
2. Archimedes III, C&C 115, Joe Hummel. Wilmette, IL, USA, 2 -2 -2 -3; 9
3. NoMaTa, J 35, Daniel Leslie. Winthrop Harbor, IL, USA, 1 -3 -3 -8; 15

North Sails Rally - ORR (Sat Only) - Cruising (ORR - 5 Boats)

1. Perico, Sabre 402, Ryan Johnson, Chicago, IL, USA, 1; 1
2. Intangible, Tartan 3700, Tom Falck, Burr Ridge, IL, USA, 2; 2
3. Broderi, Beneteau 40.7, Robert Kolar, Chicago, IL, USA, 3; 3

North Sails Rally - ORR 1 (Sat Only) - Offshore Racing (ORR - 12 Boats)

1. SKYE, Nelson Marek 46, Jeff & Jane Hoswell, La Grange, IL, USA, 1; 1
2. Renegade, J 133, Thomas Papoutsis, Winnetka, IL, USA, 2; 2
3. Hiwassee, Farr 395, Ian Fisher, River Forest, IL, USA, 3; 3

North Sails Rally - ORR 2 (Sat Only) - Offshore Racing (ORR - 13 Boats)

1. Paradigm Shift, C&C 115, Dave Dickerson, Hinsdale, IL, USA, 1; 1
2. Maggie Mae, Beneteau First 36.7, Peter Wright, Hinsdale, IL, USA, 2; 2
3. Providence, Ericson, Jerry & Greg Miarecki, Chicago, IL, USA, 3; 3

DragonForce 65 (Sat Only) (One Design - 24 Boats)

1. Kamilar,, Brian Kamilar, USA, 10 -1 -1 -1 -4 -1; 18
2. DragonKiller, Dragonforce, Martin Alice, Chicago, IL, USA, 6 -4 -4 -2 -1 -8; 25
3. BLUEHHO, DragonForce 65, Daniel Burns, Highland Park, IL, USA, 5 -5 -2 -3 -12 -7; 34

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