We’d like to thank everyone who joined us for our Town Hall Meeting and End of Season Celebration.  More than 100 sailors joined us for a recap of the season, and a total of 250 celebrated with us afterwards at Columbia Yacht Club.  We enjoyed seeing so many of you, and hope you enjoyed the evening.  If you missed the meeting, you can click below to see the results of the survey and our takeaways from it. 

View the survey results >

Like any new organization, we had some bumps along the way.  But we are delighted with the results in our first year of operation.  We saw an average participation increase of 5 percent from 2016.  In addition, our Casual Race Series – generously supported by Westrec Marinas – was very successful.  The six-race series saw an average of 14 boats on the start line, with more than 20 new types of boats joining our community.  And our five member clubs collaborated to run a very successful inaugural Chicago Junior Race Week, with more than 100 junior sailors participating! 

Survey results also showed progress in many other areas, including: 

  • Substantial improvement in entry procedures, viewing of results, and communications 
  • Improvements in scheduling coordination 
  • Clearer and easier to understand race documents   
  • Better section breaks for PHRF boats 

In summary, more than 62 percent of our sailors believe that CASRA improved racing in Chicagoland.  We are particularly grateful to the Chicago Yachting Association and all of its member clubs, which honored CASRA at its annual Yachting Celebration last month!  

Of course, we still have more work to do.  We plan to continue working to bring more people into sailing.  We’re going to work to improve our race management and protest process, and work to get documents to you in plenty of time for you and your crew to process them.  We are working on the 2018 schedule right now, and plan to publish it by the end of 2017.  

We owe a great debt of thanks to our sponsors, who provided the support necessary to improve racing in Chicagoland.  Thanks to Westrec MarinasWintrustPinnacle YachtsNorth Sails, and Quantum Sails for their support.  We encourage you to support our sponsors.  Please visit them often, and thank them for supporting racing in our community! 

We’ll be in touch with you often during the off-season with news and information about the 2018 season.  Best wishes for a terrific holiday season.  And as always, please share any comments with us at!

Ryan Smith

Hold the date & mark your calendars everyone for the CASRA End of 2017 Season Town Hall Meeting & Celebration.

  • What: Town Hall Meeting immediately followed by 2017 End Of Season Celebration & Awards
  • Date: Friday, November 10, 2017
  • Time: 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm
  • Venue: Columbia Yacht Club

Details to follow shortly.  In the interim, email questions to Chicago Sail Racing  CASRA and the five clubs comprising CASRA look forward to seeing you all there. 

Ryan Smith
Chicago Regatta

Dear CASRA Racers, 

Please make plans to join on Saturday, September 9th for the Chicago Regatta, presented by Wintrust.  The Chicago Regatta is a Chicago Yacht Club event, consisting of five different events – a buoy race for smaller one-design boats, a distance race for offshore boats, a casual race for newer sailors (and those seeking a more relaxed event), an M-32 catamaran regatta, and a poker run for power boaters.  After the on-water events, please join us at Chicago Yacht Club’s Monroe Station for a fabulous party, complete with a live blues band, a “Sweet Home Chicago” buffet dinner, and awards presentation.  We’re also planning a great silent auction, where you’ll be able to bid on many terrific items, such as sailing gear, coaching sessions with world-class sailors, slips, deluxe Chicago river cruises, rides on M-32 catamarans, gourmet dinner packages, and much more! 

The Chicago Regatta on-water events are free of charge.  Tickets are required for the post-race buffet, entertainment, and silent auction, which are $30 each until next Wednesday, September 6th,  While Chicago Yacht Club is not charging for its on-water events, we are trying to raise money for three great charities: 

  • The University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital
  • SOS Villages Illinois
  • Chicago Yacht Club Foundation 

Each of these organizations helps Chicago-area kids in different ways.  If you can join us for the Chicago Regatta, please consider a donation to one or more of these great groups.  To learn more about our Chicago Regatta charities, and to sign up and make a donation, please review the flyer below and visit  I look forward to seeing many of you in St. Joe this weekend, and at the Chicago Regatta on September 9th! 

Warm regards, 

Greg Miarecki
2017 Chicago Regatta

Ryan Smith
CASRA August Upate

We’ve had a terrific August of racing so far!  Congratulations to Vayu for winning overall honors in the Columbia Cup, and to Kashmir for winning overall honors in the Verve Cup Regatta.  This week, we have two very special races planned.  On Friday night, Chicago Yacht Club is running its annual Junior Night Navigational Race.  It’s a quick race.  Kids must drive and navigate.  After the race, we’ll have an awards ceremony at CYC Monroe Station.  Do you have some great junior sailors?  Enter this race and put them on the helm!  Click here to register.

On Sunday, Burnham Park Yacht Club and Jackson Park Yacht Club will run a Casual Air Show Race.  What could be better than an air show and a race, all rolled into one?  Enter the casual series (if you haven’t already), grab your friends, and watch the show while you enjoy the race.  Click here to enter.  Thanks to Scuttlebutt Sailing for its recent coverage of our new Casual Series.  Click here to read the article.

As always, please share comments and ideas with us at  We hope to see many of you on the water this weekend!

Ryan Smith
CASRA Photo Contest Winners!

Thank you all for participating and congratulations to the winners!

First Prize ($100) — Mike Evans

Second Prize ($50) — Joe Heneghan

Third Prize ($25) — Chris Albanis

Ryan Smith
Send us your pictures and win MONEY!

Everybody knows that one of the best things about sailing is the beauty that we get to see every time we are out on the water.  Now is your chance to share that beauty with CASRA—and win some cash too!

Announcing the CASRA photo contest.  Here are the details.

Beginning today and running through July 31, e-mail your best sailing pictures taken during the 2017 racing season to us at  We will judge all the entries, and announce the winners in early August. 


  • First prize — $100 
  • Second prize — $50
  • Third prize — $25

Simple as that.  We will publish many of the pictures on our social media sites and use them to populate our website throughout the rest of the year!!! 

So get out your cameras (or most likely your phones) and snap away!!  


Submitting your photo grants the Chicago Area Sail Racing Association (CASRA) a royalty-free, nonexclusive right to display the photograph on the CASRA website, social media platforms, and e-mail communications. Entries must be the original work of the entrant and not infringe on the rights of others

Ryan Smith
CASRA July Update

Thanks to everyone who joined us for this past weekend’s night navigation race to Michigan City and back to Chicago.  The storms missed the fleet, and the breeze held – mostly throughout the entire race.  Click here to see the results.

This weekend is our final weekend of action before many of us head to Mackinac.  Jackson Park is running its Lutz Trophy Race – both distance and buoy races – on Saturday.  Click here to sign up.

And on Sunday, Columbia will run the second of our Casual Races, sponsored by Westrec Marinas.  The first casual race was a huge success, with 15 boats hitting the start line, and several new racers coming out to join the fun.  Kraken, a 1970 Cal 25 owned by John Coakley and Brendan Blewett, scored a third place finish last time and will be back again on Sunday.  Coakley is excited to take part in the new series:  “We sail every chance we get. We started beer can racing in the newbie section 2014. We were very happy when CASRA announced the casual race series. This is a great opportunity for cruisers to get involved in racing. The open start time is easier than having to stage for the start.”  Coakley added that “the cribs as marks were very easy to navigate to as they can be seen from great distances.”

The Casual Series is also great for racing boats who want to bring new people into racing.  Chris Albanis was at the helm of Providence for the Abe Jacobs Casual Race.  “I felt empowered getting to be at the helm at the start, which is the most stressful part of a race.  The more casual format also allowed me to bring friends who have sailed before, and are considering racing moving forward.  I also love the clearly visible marks of the course.  The Burnham Park Yacht Club race committee was great, and gave every finisher a cannon!  The competitive spirit was definitely there but to a point that is comfortable for us non-hard-core racers” 

Join the fun this Sunday.  Click here to register for the Casual Race Series. Awards party for both the BPYC June 25th Casual Race and the ColYC July 9th Casual Race will be held on ColYC's Aft Deck under the tent, immediately following racing on Sunday July 9th.  See you on the water.  

And please keep comments and ideas coming to

See you on the water! 

Ryan Smith
CASRA June Update

We’ve had a great season so far.  Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club and Columbia Yacht Club have led off with the first two events of the season.  Participation in these events is up approximately 20 percent over last year’s numbers!  Thanks to everyone who joined us so far this year!

This week, Chicago Yacht Club is up with the Chicago NOOD regatta.  There is still time to enter and join the fun – both buoy and distance races.  Click here to enter this weekend’s races.  And CCYC is getting ready for our first port-to-port race of the season, with the Waukegan race.  Click here to enter.

Many CASRA clubs are using the CASRA Safety Regulations.  We have made some slight modifications to the regulations, including provisions regarding requirements regarding carrying of knotmeters, depth sounders, emergency antennas, jacklines, flashlights, and reefing equipment.  Please click here to review the current versions of the Nearshore and Offshore Safety Regulations.  Please note that all clubs have the ability to amend these regulations as they see fit, and may use alternative safety regulations, so please consult race-specific amendments for updated information and requirements.  Note also that, per the Sailing Instructions, only the Race Committee may protest a boat for safety equipment violations.

We are very excited about the new Casual Race Series, presented by our friends at Westrec Marinas.  This series is free to all boats in the Chicago Park District system.  It features an easy, low key start, a clear, easy to follow course, and a fun party at the end.  Are you new to racing?  Want to bring family and friends for a casual race?  Click here to enter, and click here to review the Notice of Race and the Sailing Instructions for the series.

We need your help in two ways.  First, do you know someone who owns a sailboat, but doesn’t race?  Get someone involved and win a prize with the CASRA Casual Race Challenge.  Here’s how it works:

  1. Encourage a boat that has not previously raced in a race sponsored by a CASRA member club to enter the Casual Series.
  2. Tell us the name of the boat and skipper whom you encouraged at
  3. If that skipper enters the series and participates in one of these races, you will win a North Sails gift pack!

Second, would you consider helping out on Race Committee this season?  We always need help.  Please send a note to if you’d be willing to serve on one of our race committees.

We’d like to extend a special thanks to our Gold Level sponsors for their support:  Westrec Marinas, Wintrust, North Sails, Quantum Sails, Pinnacle Yachts, and Line Honors.  Watch for more information about their participation in CASRA during the coming weeks!

We continue to meet regularly during the sailing season, and discuss how we can improve your racing experience.  Please provide comments, questions, and feedback at

See you on the water! 

Ryan Smith