RYC Takes the Chicago NOOD's by Storm!

It always turns a few heads when I say “I’m going to Chicago to sail in the NOOD” (you have to say it out loud).  This year three RYC boats competed in the 2007 Sperry-Topsider North American Offshore One-Design regatta, June 15-17 at the Chicago Yacht Club and two of them brought home first place trophies.  Jeff Shaffer’s Surface Tension, a Nelson Marek 36, took top honors in the newly formed GL36 class with 2-5-1-1-1 finishes. Cathy and Bob Sample’s Flags, an Andrews 30, topped the PHRF 4 fleet with 1-2-2-1-2 finishes.  

Over 200 boats at this year’s NOOD competed in 17 classes on four circles for three days of very competitive, one-design racing.   Competing on the same circle but in different classes, these two Racine boats managed to get five races in challenging light and shifty conditions.  It took patience to wait out the inevitable postponements, and skill on the part of skippers and crew to successfully manage the minimal wind speeds and  predict the shifts. For example, while Surface Tension was the first boat in class to round the windward mark in every race, Flags, who started in the class behind, rounded well ahead in race #4.

Shaffer’s crew consisted of old timers, Mark Lewis, Mike Reisinger, Mike Hettel, Mickey Nielsen and Judy Cook, supplemented by new crew,  Bill Jelinek (new to the boat, not new to racing!) and Chris Earl, who was competing in his first NOOD regatta.  Half of Shaffer’s crew are STAR sailors who periodically join together to compete on the big boat.

Flags featured  nearly an all-Racine crew in addition to the owners, Gregg Henning, Joe McGauran, Joe Fox, Paul Tobias, Pat Markham and  Steve Leach.  Although this was the first regatta where all of them raced together on this boat, and some of the crew were tackling unfamiliar jobs, the depth of racing experience played out to advantage.

The other Racine competitor was Rick Hennig’s Wild Horses, an ID48, finishing with a 6-5-3-3 record for a 4th place in PHRF 1. On other boats,  John Stanley helmed Nitemare to a perfect 1-1-1-1 first place finish, Chris Nielsen drove Seagoon to a second place finish with Eric Rahmel as tactician, and Amy Cermak led T-Time to a competitive 12th place in the 33 boat T10 class.

Story by Judy Cook