The country’s largest and longest-running sailing regatta series—the Helly Hansen National Offshore One-Design Regatta—sails into Chicago early next month with three days of on-the-water events and post-race socials at host Chicago Yacht Club, including the Cruising World Rally Race on Saturday, June 12.
The Rally Race includes an offshore ORC-handicapped division as well as spinnaker and non-spinnaker PHRF classes. Entry is open to any boat 25 feet or longer that holds a current ORC or Lake Michigan PHRF certificate. In addition to a day of family-friendly racing over a distance course using navigational marks, crews can enjoy post-race grilling and drinks at Chicago Yacht Club’s Monroe Harbor clubhouse. There is no in-person registration or skipper’s meeting required to race; all race information is available online at yachtscoring.com.
“Serious one-design racing has been the emphasis of the NOOD regattas for more than 30 years, but we added our one-day Rally Race a few years ago as a low-key and easy way for owners of cruising boats to get out of their slips and get in on the action,” says Sailing World editor, Dave Reed. “It’s been a big success at other NOOD venues because, as we know, even recreational sailors enjoy a race. The Rally is a great opportunity for owners and crews to test their skills in a different way. Plus, we’re all sailors at the end of the day, and every sailor loves the camaraderie.”
Besides the Cruising World Rally, the regatta, which starts June 11, will host multiple one-design racing divisions, which will compete over three days, as well as the North Sails Doublehanded Distance Race that also takes place on Saturday. At the conclusion of racing, one top skipper and crew will be selected to compete at the Helly Hanson NOOD Caribbean Championship with Sunsail charter boats in the British Virgin Islands in October (which is also open to any competitor). In all, more than 100 entries are expected to participate in the Chicago event, including the exciting and grand-prix Great Lakes 52s.
In addition to Helly Hansen and series organizer Sailing World, other racing sponsors include Mount Gay Rum, North Sails, Sunsail, Torqeedo, Regatta Premium Craft Mixers, Anchor Brewing, and Team One Newport.