Dates Set for the 24th North American Challenge Cup
Published: Wednesday, April 1, 2015
The Chicago Yacht Club has released the Notice of Race for the 24th North American Challenge Cup (NACC). The event, one of the longest-running regattas in America for disabled adults, will he held from Friday, July 31 to Monday, August 3 at the Chicago Yacht Club's Belmont Station.
Racing will be sailed in three classes of sailboats: the one-person 2.4mR, the two-person Freedom 20, and the three-person Sonar. The NACC begins with a pre-race clinic on Friday, conducted by US Sailing/Sperry Topsider Paralympic Coach Betsy Alison, followed by three days of competitive sailboat racing.
The Chicago Yacht Club created the NACC regatta in 1992 as part of its ongoing effort to bring world-class sailboat racing to Chicago and the Great Lakes. This regatta was one of the very first truly national regattas, bringing sailors from around the country, and quickly grew to become an international regatta as well. Additionally, the NACC has become recognized as one of the “must do” regattas in the disabled racing circuit, and as a result has hosted many Paralympics competitors and medalists.
A look back over the list of past NACC winners and participants reads like a “who’s who” of world champion disabled sailors. From the very first NACC regatta in 1992, won by the team of Robie Pierce & Nick Bryant Brown, the list includes many other well-known names, including winning sailors like John Ross-Dugan, Ken Kelly, Bob Jones, John McRoberts, Chris Murphy, Jim Leatherman, Paul Tingley, Brian McDonald, Brad Johnson, Jean-Paul Creignou, John Ruf, Nick Scandone, Maureen McKinnon-Tucker, Rick Doerr, Brad Kendall, Gerry Tiernan, Stacie Louttit, Sarah Everhart-Skeels, and Jennifer French, just to name a few. This list exemplifies the top caliber level of competitors who continue to compete at NACC, with teams coming from as far away as Japan, Israel, Ireland and Sweden, as well as teams from Canada, the East coast and West coast.
In addition to some of the highest levels of competition, the NACC is known for including a one-day racing clinic to kick off the regatta, giving both novice and seasoned racing sailors the opportunity to learn new skills and techniques, as well as provide the opportunity for boat tune-ups and adjustments to ensure optimal sailing and crew work. Chicago’s beautiful skyline serves as a magnificent backdrop for the pre-race clinic and three days of solid racing. The regatta offers a good mix of new sailors and experienced sailors, with plenty of racing, as well as good parties and off-the-water enjoyment.
“I want a good result while having fun with a friend and enjoying Chicago,” said Ken Kelly. And his long-time crew Bob Jones agreed, “The NACC is a tradition and the opportunity to see people who I’ve become very familiar with over the years.”
The NACC has a long history of generous sponsors who continue to support this event over the past 23 years. In recognition of their long-standing support of the NACC, Chicago Yacht Club has named the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation as co-hosts. The Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation provides the sailboats for the competitors, as well as the on the water support staff and equipment. Cook-Illinois Corp is providing the sailors with bus transportation throughout the four-day event, plus transit both to and from the airport for a total of six days of bus service. The Chicago Yacht Club Foundation is another key sponsor of the event. Additional sponsors for this year’s NACC regatta are White Lodging Hotels, Chicago Match Race Center, Chicago Park District, Carol’s Cookies, and Crowley’s Yacht Yard.