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Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Chicago - Day 3

by Tony Veneziano 10 Jun 21:45 UTC 7-9 June 2019
Lindsey Duda's Santa Cruz 52 drifts to the finish of the PHRF 52 class race, the only race contested on Sunday - Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Chicago © Dave Reed/Sailing World

Morning rain and fog saw the remaining scheduled races cancelled on the third day of the 2019 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Chicago. Spirits were high, however, as competitors gathered at Chicago Yacht Club for the evening's awards party. At each NOOD Regatta, individual fleet winners earn a chance to be selected for one berth at the Caribbean Championship in November in the British Virgin Islands. Today, Gyt Petkus (La Grange, IL), winner of the J/105 fleet, had the luck of the draw, winning his second Caribbean Championship appearance since 2007.

"We've owned our J/105 Vytis for 25 years," says Petkus, who's nephew Keith Krause trims the boat's mainsail. Steve Druzbicki calls tactics, Mike Brown trims jib, and Petkus' daughter Julija is the team's foredeck crew. The team started the regatta with two third-place finishes on Saturday, before winning the next two and taking the lead. "Friday was a bit frustrating with the fog coming through," says Petkus of the first day's cancelled races. "But yesterday was awesome. The conditions were great. The J/105s are tweaky boats, so the little details made a big difference as far as point and speed."

Petkus finished the shortened series tied with rival skipper Clark Pellet (Chicago, IL) aboard Sealark. The tiebreaker went to Pytkus and his crew. Petkus says he's looking forward to returning to the Virgin Islands, this time with his daughter, Julija. "All I've heard growing up was how much fun sailing in the Caribbean is," says Julija Petkus. "I can't tell you how excited I am to finally have the chance to go down there and sail with my dad."

Alex Newton Southon and top one-design sailor Jody Lutz (Brick, NJ) came away with the win in the RS21 fleet. Newton Southon is a co-owner of RS Sailboats, which is introducing the new RS21 boat in the United States. "It was a fantastic event in the RS21 fleet," he says. "We had teams from all over, including a squad from Japan, who were sailing the boat really well."

Peter Wright (Hinsdale, IL) helmed his boat, Maggie Mae, to a first-place finish in the 11-boat Beneteau First 36.7 fleet. "We look forward to the NOOD Regatta every year," says Wright. "It's one of the best weekends of the summer and our class is really competitive."

Wright won two of four races on Saturday, placing him atop the leaderboard. "Yesterday was outstanding," Wright says. "Going upwind, you never knew whether or not you were going to be in the lead. One little mistake could cost you, so we were happy to sail as well as we did."

In the six-boat J/88 fleet, John Leahey's Dutch was the top team. "Overall we had a great time with some tough competition from Exile and Windsong, who were just a few points behind," says the skipper from Colorado. "We were looking for more competition today, but we were happy to take the win."

Sailing with Leahey was Connor Coorgard (Blaine, MN), who served as tactician. "Connor was really good at playing the shifts. We started a race today and we were way ahead before the race was abandoned. He had us going really fast, which definitely paid off in the end."

On the PHRF 1 course, Shawn and Jerry O'Niell (Chicago, IL) raced their Sydney 38, Eagle, to a first-place finish in the five-boat fleet. PHRF uses a handicap rating system to determine results, and after four races, Eagle had the winning formula.

"It was tough conditions for our boat with the light air and waves," says Shawn O'Neill. "The 1D35s were making it hard for us, so we were happy to come away with the win."

With Sunday's racing contested in light and variable winds, PHRF 1 was on its final downwind leg when the wind shifted 120 degrees and a fog bank engulfed the racecourse. With limited visibility, the race committee canceled the race soon after.

"No one likes it when races get cancelled," says O'Neill, "but it was the right thing to do. We felt bad for all the teams that travelled to be here, and really appreciate them coming to Chicago for the event. But at the end of the day, sailing is a sport where mother nature makes the final decision."

For Buddy Cribb in the J/70 fleet, the race cancellation was more relief than frustration. "We were halfway through the first downwind when they blew it off," says Cribb. "We weren't in a good position in the race when it was cancelled so luck went our way this time."

Cribb's primary goal at the Chicago NOOD was to qualify for the 2019 J/70 World Championship in Torquay, UK, and with a first-place finish at the NOOD, he earns an entry to the class' biggest stage. "Qualifying for worlds was one of the reasons I came up here," says Cribb, "so I'll be driving 20 hours back to Florida with a smile on my face."

Brian Kaczor captured the 23-boat Tartan 10 fleet in his boat, Erica. Kaczor has been racing his boat since 2005, but claims his current crew is the best he's ever had. "Everyone put a ton of work into the boat over the winter, which really made the difference this weekend," Kaczor says.

Kaczor added that a mix of good tactics, boatspeed, and crewwork made all the difference yesterday. "It was pretty tough because the wind and the waves didn't match up," says Kaczor. "We were quick to adjust our sail trim and put the boat where we needed on the racecourse. The race committee did a great job keeping things fair, so hat's off to them working us through the tough conditions."

An out-of-town crew from Cleveland, Ohio, won the eight-boat J/111 fleet, with skipper Jeff Davis leading his team on Shamrock. "It's a lot of fun when you can sail in challenging conditions like we had this weekend," says Davis. "The fog and the waves and the varying wind we had made the racing really tricky, so we're happy to leave town with the championship."

The 2019 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Series continues in July in Marblehead, MA.

2019 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Chicago Results (Top 3)

J/70 (One Design - 18 Boats)
1. Victory, USA677, Buddy Cribb - 3 -2 -3 -2; 10
2. Surge, USA179, Ryan McKillen - 7 -3 -1 -1; 12
3. USA 167, USA167, James Prenergast - 2 -1 -6 -4; 13

J/88 (One Design - 6 Boats)
1. Dutch, USA29, John & Jordan Leahey - 1 -1 -1 -4; 7
2. Exile, USA88, Andy & Sarah Graff - 2 -3 -2 -1; 8
3. Windsong, USA30, Tim Wade - 3 -2 -3 -2; 10

Farr 40 (One Design - 4 Boats)
1. Hot Lips, USA40027, J C Whitford - 3 -1 -1 -1; 6
2. Eagles Wings, USA40101, John Gottwald - 1 -2 -2 -3; 8
3. Inferno, USA40048, Philip Dowd - 2 -4 -3 -2; 11

RS 21 (One Design - 5 Boats)
1. USA 2, USA1, Jody Lutz/ Alex Southon - 1 -2 -3 -1; 7
2. RS21#5, 5, Atsushi Nishizaka - 3 -1 -2 -3; 9
3. Rhumb Jungle, USA6, Kurt Korte - 4 -4 -1 -2; 11

DragonForce 65 (One Design - 19 Boats)
1. hal 9000, USA65, Val Smith - 1 -9 -2 -1 -6 -2; 21
2. 585, USA585, Taylor Canfield - 3 -2 -3 -5 -2 -8; 23
3. MsDirected, USA292, Bart Heimlich - 6 -1 -9 -3 -5 -1; 25

North Sails Rally - ORR (Sat Only) - Offshore Racing 2 (ORR - 7 Boats)
1. Skye, USA46892, Jeff & Jane Hoswell - 1; 1
2. Paradigm Shift, USA25578, Dave Dickerson - 2; 2
3. Badge, USA60009, Daniel Koules - 3; 3

North Sails Rally - ORR (Sat Only) - Offshore Racing 1 (ORR - 9 Boats)
1. Providence, USA6649, Jerry & Greg Miarecki - 1; 1
2. Night Train, USA42525, Brian Morgan - 2; 2
3. Aegir, USA64, Jason Shilson - 3; 3

North Sails Rally - ORR (Sat Only) - Cruising (ORR - 3 Boats)
1. Broderi, USA42917, Robert Kolar - 1; 1
2. Mise en Place, USA0076, Paul Thompson - 2; 2
3. Endeavour, USA52974, Matthew Gallagher - 4; 4

North Sails Rally - PHRF (Sat Only) - Offshore Racing (PHRF_ToT - 10 Boats)
1. Defiance, USA52575, team defiance smirl - 1; 1
2. Jahazi, USA52039, Frank Giampoli - 2; 2
3. Ob La Di!, USA1414, Rick Reed - 3; 3

J/111 (One Design - 8 Boats)
1. Shamrock, USA61666, Jeffrey Davis - 2 -1 -1 -1; 5
2. Warlock, USA28, Tom Dickson - 4 -5 -2 -2; 13
3. Kashmir, USA12, Michael/Steve Mayer/Henderson - 1 -2 -3 -9; 15

Beneteau First 40.7 (One Design - 9 Boats)
1. Mojo, USA404, Gary Powell/ Scot Ruhlander - 2 -1 -1 -1; 5
2. Das Boot, USA51457, Jay Muller - 1 -7 -4 -2; 14
3. Turning Point, GER1979, David Hardy - 3 -5 -3 -3; 14

PHRF 1 (3 Days) (PHRF_ToT - 5 Boats)
1. Eagle, USA38006, Shawn/Jerry O'Neill - 2 -1 -1 -1; 5
2. Heartbreaker, USA35004, Eric Oesterle - 3 -3 -2 -2; 10
3. Dire Wolf, USA35035, Jeffrey (Dewey) Janicek - 1 -2 -6 -3; 12

PHRF 2 (3 Days) (PHRF_ToT - 10 Boats)
1. NoMaTa, USA40395, Daniel Leslie - 1 -3 -1 -2; 7
2. Archimedes III, USA56810, Joe Hummel - 2 -2 -7 -1; 12
3. Painkiller 5, USA247, Alice Martin - 5 -1 -3.5 -9; 18.5

PHRF 52 (3 Days) (PHRF_ToT - 4 Boats)
1. Windquest, USA52015, Doug DeVos - 1 -3 -2 -1 -2; 9
2. Heartbreaker, USA88528, Robert and Laura Hughes - 4 -2 -1 -2 -1; 10
3. Natalie J, USA5252, Philip and Sharon O'Niel III - 2 -1 -3 -3 -3; 12

J/105 (One Design - 6 Boats)
1. Vytis, USA104, Gyt Petkus - 3 -3 -1 -1; 8
2. Sealark, USA349, Clark Pellett - 2 -1 -3 -2; 8
3. The Asylum, USA673, Jon Weglarz - 1 -2 -2 -4; 9

J/109 (One Design - 10 Boats)
1. Time Out, USA333, Doug Evans - 2 -6 -1 -6; 15
2. Callisto, USA368, Jim Murray - 6 -3 -5 -1; 15
3. Slapshot II, USA124, Scott Sims - 10 -1 -3 -4; 18

Tartan 10 (One Design - 23 Boats)
1. Erica, USA30475, Brian Kaczor - 2 -1 -1 -2; 6
2. Diamond Girl, USA404, Amy & Rick Cermak - 4 -2 -6 -1; 13
3. Retention, USA410, Mark Croll - 1 -5 -2 -7; 15

Beneteau First 36.7 (One Design - 11 Boats)
1. Maggie Mae, USA262, Peter Wright - 2 -1 -1 -3; 7
2. Soulshine, USA60310, Jarrett Altmin - 1 -5 -3 -2; 11
3. Erizo de Mar, USA101, Antoni Czupryna / Waldemar Emmerich - 4 -3 -4 -1; 12

For comprehensive results, visit

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