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 www.chicagoregatta.com. I look forward to seeing many of you in St. Joe this weekend, and at the Chicago Regatta on September 9th!
2017 Chicago Regatta
CASRA AUGUST UPDATE
AUGUST 15, 2017
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see many of you on the water this weekend!
CASRA Photo Contest Winners!
AUGUST 4, 2017
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
Send us your pictures and win MONEY!
JuLY 7, 2017
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 email@example.com. 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
CASRA July Update
JuLY 5, 2017
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you on the water!
CASRA June Update
June 7, 2017
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:
- Encourage a boat that has not previously raced in a race sponsored by a CASRA member club to enter the Casual Series.
- Tell us the name of the boat and skipper whom you encouraged at email@example.com.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
See you on the water!
JPYC Past Commodore James Webb
June 2, 2017
We are sad to inform you that James Webb, the Immediate Past Commodore of the Jackson Park Yacht Club, suddenly passed away last weekend. Jimmy was a co-skipper of the T-10 Witch-Craft, and had competed in 43 Races to Mackinac, as well as hundreds of races across Lake Michigan. Jimmy regularly gave back to the sport through his decades of service to JPYC, and through his work as a CASRA Board member during this inaugural year.
Our sincere condolences and prayers go out to family and friends. All services will be held this coming Saturday.
St. Peter's United Church of Christ
125 W. Church St.
Elmhurst, IL 60126
If you are interested in sharing about Jimmy during the service, please submit a written version of your speech to Kim Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, June 2nd at 5:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate a memorial donation to the JPYC Foundation for the "Jimmy Webb Junior Scholarship Fund." To make a donation, please click on the following link: www.jacksonparkyachtclub.org/jimmywebbjuniors.html.
2017 RACE REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!
MAY 16, 2017
We are pleased to announce that registration for the 2017 CASRA season is live. Please click here to sign up for CASRA events. Registration will use a slightly different process this year. Specifically:
- CASRA is using “Yacht Scoring” as our registration platform this year. Many of you have used Yacht Scoring for other Chicago-area events, including the NOOD, Verve Cup, and Colors. The Race to Mackinac also uses a system that runs on the Yacht Scoring platform. If you have ever registered for a race on Yacht Scoring before, you can use your same login credentials to register for CASRA events. If you have never used it before, a simple one-time registration is required which will then carry your data forward to every event for which you register.
- In the past, entry to these races has required membership in other organizations, as well as the payment of administrative fees. These requirements have been eliminated for most races. All distance and buoy events are $50, with no additional fees required by CASRA.
- Entry deadlines for all races is 72 hours prior to the race’s start.
- This year, most CASRA events will use LMPHRF “time on time” scoring. This is a change from prior years, which utilized “time on distance” scoring. For registration purposes, you can simply enter your current LMPHRF rating. The rating will be converted to a time on time factor for scoring purposes.
- Because races are run by different clubs within CASRA, you will need to enter races individually. Once you enter a race, you will click the “return to event” link to bring you back to the CASRA landing page. From there, you will click on the next event you want to enter. While registration must be done on a race by race basis, the process is fairly quick – and can take less than a minute per race. Yacht Scoring will remember your boat and contact information, and populate your entry fields for you.
- This year, CASRA clubs are offering a series of Casual Races, which are designed to be fun, easy, and friendly for new and experienced racers alike. Click here to review the Notice of Race for the Casual Series. Thanks to generous support from Westrec Marinas, this races are FREE (no, this is not a misprint) to all boats with moorings in the Westrec system. Boats will be assigned a “CASRA rating” for the purpose of these races – you will not need to purchase a rating certificate to participate in these races. Click here to enter your boat in the Casual Series (one entry will be good for all six races). Watch for additional information about the Casual Series in future e-mails.
If you encounter any issues, please e-mail us at email@example.com. We will get back to you as soon as we can. The season will kick off on Saturday, May 27th, with Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club’s Spring Opener, with the Olympic Cup following on Sunday.
We are looking forward to seeing you on the water often this year.
2017 SAFETY EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR NEARSHORE & OFFSHORE RACES
MAY 3, 2017
The five founding member clubs that make up CASRA place safety at the forefront of sailboat racing. Since the day CASRA was formed, safety has been integral to all work that commenced on improving and growing sail racing along the Chicago waterfront.
For the 2017 racing season, the five founding member clubs of CASRA have developed and adopted broad requirements for both nearshore and offshore races for which the clubs are the Organizing Authorities (OAs). The 2017 Nearshore Safety Equipment Requirements and the 2017 Offshore Safety Equipment Requirements are now available.
These safety requirements must be adhered to by all competitors participating in the races that are organized and administered under the Common NORs and SIs. Official documents will be published on yachtscoring.com with courtesy copies available on this site under Race Docs.
Enjoy the 2017 season that is about to commence, and above all, sail safe.
QUANTUM SAILS BECOMES CASRA GOLD-LEVEL SPONSOR & TITLE SPONSOR OF QUANTUM DISTANCE RACE SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP
April 27, 2017
CASRA welcomes Quantum Sails to the growing list of Gold Level Sponsors supporting sail racing growth in the Chicago Area.
In a nod recognizing the growing attractiveness of port to port distance racing, Quantum Sails has stepped forward to sponsor a new distance series as a Gold Level Sponsor of CASRA.
Quantum will crown a “Quantum Distance Race Series Champion" and award prizes to the overall winner from the following events. The Notice Of Series (NOS) will be published soon.
- Chicago to Waukegan Race - June 17th
- Waukegan to Chicago Race - June 18th
- Michigan City Night Race - June 30th
- Chicago to St Joe Race - September 1st
- St Joe to Chicago Race - September 3rd
Quantum Sails will further support sail racing growth in the Chicago area with racing education seminars, post race debriefs, and practice starts for sailors new to racing in the CASRA Casual Series.
CASRA is excited to be partnering with Quantum Sails with the “Quantum Distance Race Series Champion" and welcomes them as a new Gold Level Sponsor for 2017.
WINTRUST IS CASRA OFFICIAL BANK AND GOLD SPONSOR
Wintrust Expands Their Long Term Support of Sail Racing in Chicago
April 19, 2017
CASRA is pleased to announce and welcome Wintrust as the Official Bank of CASRA, and a Gold Sponsor as well.
Wintrust's demonstrated commitment of supporting several Chicago area sports teams, sporting events, and programs make them an ideal partner with and sponsor of CASRA. With prior and current involvement in major sail racing regattas, Wintrust is known and respected by racers, yacht clubs, and the community at large.
Through it's network of community banks Wintrust has been serving Chicagoland communities for 25 years. As a strong supporter of Chicago based sports teams, sailing regattas, and community outreach activities, CASRA looks forward to a long term relationship with Wintrust. We are proud to have them on board.
CASRA YACHT CLUBS COLLABRORATE TO GROW YOUTH SAIL RACING
April 11, 2017
Following the creation of CASRA by the five premier yacht clubs in Chicago, over the winter representatives got to work on several topics. One being to determine how they could collaborate to extend this passion for sailing and improving the sport to junior sailing in Chicago.
CASRA club reps were joined by our friends at the Chicago Park District Sailing Program, who also run a youth sailing program in the city. Recognizing the need to encourage youth sailors and grow the sport, the five clubs decided to jointly organize and host a new event, Chicago Junior Race Week, this summer. The notices of race are published at www.chicagojrw.com.
This exciting multi-day event will draw youth sailors from ages 7 to 18 from all over the Great Lakes, and beyond, to Chicago for three days of high-caliber racing on Chicago’s beautiful lakefront this June and July.
In cooperation with the Sheridan Shores Sailing Schools, the event will kick off with the “Mini-Mac” - an 8nm distance race for Optimists, Lasers and C420s from Wilmette Harbor to just off of Chicago’s Belmont and Montrose Harbors. This distance race down the lakefront will expose youth sailors to distance racing strategy and tactics in a safe manner close to the Illinois shore, and will let them get a taste of what many of their families get to experience in the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac a few weeks later as well as during the many other distance races run by other clubs in Chicago and throughout the Great Lakes. The Mini-Mac is an optional part of the Race Week and will be particularly fun for those who participate in the Wente Cup at Sheridan Shores held June 28-29.
Following the Mini-Mac, on July 1 and 2 youth racers in Optimists, C420s, 420s and Lasers, as well as ‘Beginning Racers’ who may be attending their first regatta will enjoy two days of high-caliber, fun fleet racing in Chicago. Optimist sailors will race out of Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club in Montrose Harbor, while C420s, 420s and Lasers will be racing out of Chicago Yacht Club’s Belmont Station in Belmont Harbor. At the end of the regatta, an overall winner of the Chicago Junior Race week will be announced.
For those youth sailors new to racing, perhaps attending their first regatta or just dipping their toes into competitive sailing, Jackson Park Yacht Club will host a ‘Beginner Racer’ class in the protected waters of Jackson Park’s Outer Harbor. Sailors of almost any ability level, in any type of singlehanded youth dinghy, will get to try out racing and see what their older or more experienced friends love so much about the sport. This is another way the five Chicago yacht clubs are trying to share our passion for the sport of sailing with all sailors, of all ability levels.
The five clubs will bring their combined resources to bear to ensure that this event is world-class. These clubs have tremendous race committees and judges, dedicated volunteers both on the water and off, and great facilities on Chicago’s lake front, supported by top-notch professional staff. Our friends in the power fleets and cruising sail fleets of our clubs will be supporting this event, as they do all the racing events at our clubs, through their volunteer time and great support on the water.
Families of youth sailors will get to experience Chicago in the summer, over a holiday weekend, and all that it has to offer visitors. Members of the five organizing clubs will take families out on the water to help them see their kids race. Coupled with fun social events at the host clubs, this will be an excellent way for racers and their families to enjoy a fun weekend of racing in America’s greatest summer city.
Growing participation in the sport of sail racing has to include starting at the bottom - in the next generation of sailboat racers. By offering fun, competitive racing in a world-class city, the five clubs comprising CASRA are working towards providing a great experience for youth sailors, helping them to develop a life-long passion for the sport.
Registration for Chicago Junior Race Week is open now at chicagojrw.com or via yachtscoring.com. We encourage you to follow them at facebook.com/ChicagoJRW for the latest information on this great event which will certainly become an annual summer tradition.
CASRA & WESTREC UNITE TO GROW
CHICAGO SAIL RACING
April 5, 2017
CASRA is working to make our sport more accessible and fun. In its inaugural season, CASRA has partnered with Westrec Marinas to offer new Casual Races to the Chicagoland boating community. This new Casual Series will offer six races, including the following:
- Abe Jacobs Regatta - Sunday, June 25th, 2017
Hosted by Burnham Park Yacht Club
- Columbia Yacht Club Casual Race - Sunday, July 9th, 2017
Hosted by Columbia Yacht Club
- Verve Cup Casual Race - Saturday, August 12th, 2017
Hosted by Chicago Yacht Club
- Air Show Regatta - Sunday, August 20th, 2017
Hosted by Burnham Park Yacht Club & Jackson Park Yacht Club
- Hobelman Regatta Casual Race - Sunday, August 27th, 2017
Hosted by Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club
- Chicago Regatta Casual Race - Saturday, September 9th, 2017
Hosted by Chicago Yacht Club
These races are designed to be fun and easy for new and experienced racers alike. All races will start at 12:30 PM, to allow more time for racers to get on the water. Races will be approximately 7-11 miles, and will end by 4:00 PM. All six races will be free to all boats renting moorings from Westrec in the Chicago harbor system.
Starting procedures are simple and easy to understand. The start line will open at 12:30 PM and close at 1:00 PM, and boats may cross the start line any time during that half-hour period. The Race Committee will record each boat’s start time, and subtract it from its finish time. The Race Committee will use the resulting elapsed time to score the race. CASRA will offer informal ratings for all boats free of charge, so new racers need not pay for a rating certificate. Yacht clubs will separate new racers from experienced racers, to the extent possible. Each sponsoring yacht club will host a fun party and awards event after each race.
Easy. Fun. Simple. If you are new to the sport, this is a great way to try sailboat racing. If you are an experienced racer, this is a great chance to have some fun on the water, and introduce less experienced people to the sport. Watch for further information in the coming weeks at chicagosailracing.org, and special thanks to Westrec Marinas – CASRA’s first Gold Level sponsor – for making this new series possible!
LEARN TO SAIL & RACE WITH EXPERIENCED
SAILORS & RACERS
April 3, 2017
All five founding clubs that created CASRA (Chicago Area Sail Racing Association) have races scheduled all season long. See the 2017 race schedule at chicagosailracing.org. For those wanting to learn to sail and race in these events, check out the programs of the CASRA clubs below.
Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club Sailing Crew Training PrograM
Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club’s “Crew School” is a hands-on training program for anyone who is interested in learning the skills to become a valued crew member on a racing sailboat. Crew School is held on six consecutive Wednesdays from April 5 through May 10. Experienced skippers at CCYC will introduce you to nautical terms, points of sail and sail trim, crew roles and responsibilities, behavior on board, what to wear, safety equipment, racing rules and more!! At the end of Crew School, graduates will be introduced to racing skippers at CCYC, and will have an opportunity to begin racing immediately!
Chicago Yacht Club Crew U
Chicago Yacht Club Crew U is a seven-week program that starts in May and goes through June. This class is led by members of the Chicago Yacht Club who offer their boats and wisdom to help you get the skills you need to crew on a boat. The course includes some classroom instruction, but the vast majority is taught on the water. The classes are held on Tuesday nights, and many students get additional practical experience racing on offshore boats during Wednesday night racing. If you are interested in being part of yacht racing on Lake Michigan, this is a great way to up your experience and build relationships that may yield a position all summer long on one of the boats.
Columbia Yacht Club Sailing & Crew Education
Columbia Yacht Club's Skipjacks program is a social introduction to sailing which takes place Tuesday evenings over the course of seven weeks with club member captains doing the on-the-water instruction on their own boats. The class sizes are appropriately sized allowing students to sail on many boats, meeting all captains and students. It’s a tremendously fun program and helps people get comfortable on boats and learn the basics of sailing and racing. Lifelong relationships begin here. Many Skipjacks participants become cruising and/or racing crew with the Columbia captains they meet in the Skipjacks program. This course runs May 9-June 27, 2017, Tuesdays at 6:30pm.
Columbia Yacht Club's Skipjacks Advanced program is an accelerated Keelboat Certification program for those having previously completed the Skipjacks program. This course runs May 23-June 27, 2017, Tuesdays at 6-9pm, or July 25-August 10, 2017 Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6-9pm.
2017 RACE SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED
March 22, 2017
Since the Dec 2016 Survey of Racers and subsequent CASRA Town Hall Meeting, significant work has been underway by CASRA and the five founding member yacht clubs in Chicago.
The 2017 race schedule is a thorough coordination by all five clubs. There are no overlapping events that conflict with others among these five clubs. Boat owners, racers, and crew are now able to race any/all events in the Chicago area without having to prioritize one event over another due to scheduling.
The prior 'dry spell' of buoy racing, brought to CASRA's attention by one of Chicago's largest and competitive One Design fleets, has been eliminated. The 2017 schedule has been reconfigured to eliminate clumping of buoy racing and thereby also eliminating buoy racing dry spells of prior years.
Addition of new distance races along the Chicago waterfront, and racing later in the season has been added per input from racers via the survey and at the town hall meeting.
CHICAGO SAILOR SURVEY RESULTS
DECEMBER 14, 2016
Recently, CASRA conducted a survey of sailors in the Chicagoland area. The purpose of the survey was to learn what sailor like and don’t like about the racing in Chicago. And most importantly, to learn what CASRA can do to make things better starting in 2017. Almost 200 sailors responded to the survey and provided some great input.
TOWN HALL MEETING SUMMARY
DECEMBER 10, 2016
On December 10, 2016, the Chicago Area Sail Racing Association (CASRA) sought input from racing sailors across the City. CASRA hosted a “town hall” meeting at Columbia Yacht Club at which CASRA leaders reviewed sailors' responses to a survey which had been distributed to sailors three weeks prior the meeting.
Approximately 100 sailors braved the bitter cold temps and early hours of the first winter storm of the season to attend. Interest in the survey results, posted here on the CASRA website, was significant. 29% of those polled responded to the survey. Given the significant response, sailors attended the meeting to voice concerns and learn what the 2017 sailing season may look like.
CASRA leaders fielded questions, comments and observations from participants on how to improve racing in 2017 and grow our sport. Sailors’ concerns will be addressed by each of the five clubs comprising CASRA’s Board as they work to complete the DRAFT 2017 Race Schedule which had been introduced at the meeting.