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Buccaneer and Viper 640 update

Published on March 13th, 2013

The new-and-improved 2013 Sperry Top-Sider NOOD regatta series makes its next stop in San Diego (Mar 15-17), so the South Bay course will be teeming with action: we get up to speed with the Buccaneer and Viper 640 classes with Dave Reed of Sailing World.
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The buccaneers of early seafaring days were a crafty lot, said to have raided coastal towns by parking their ships out of sight and invading unsuspecting villages, not from the sea, but from the hills. The same will be true this weekend as teams from the Buccaneer class descend upon the Coronado and San Diego YCs for the 2013 Sperry Top-Sider San Diego NOOD Regatta. Many of them will be rolling in from the eastern sailing enclave of Phoenix, Ariz., and some from up the coast, and fortunately, the Mount Gay Rum will be in ample supply. No marauding required.

The seven-hour drive is a long one, says class organizer Ron Gibbs, of Phoenix, but the Buccaneer class is looking forward to its NOOD return, this time on the San Diego Bay racecourse. Previous regattas on San Diego’s “outside” Point Loma courses were swamping affairs. “We prefer the inside,” says Gibbs, “especially because we only have six inches of freeboard. We’re excited to be in the South Bay, which is perfect for us. We do a lot of bobbing and baking [in Arizona], so in San Diego we should have winds that are at the higher end of the range for us, but it’s these challenging conditions that always send us home with perma-grins that last for weeks.”

Gibbs is one of an entourage of Buccaneer sailors that have been busy loading a four-stack trailer in Phoenix this week, but he won’t be behind the wheel of the SoCal-bound tow. Instead, he’ll be loading up the wagon with his wife and kids so they can spend quality family time at Disneyland before the NOOD. “The kids’ spring vacation lines up nicely,” he says. “The family will come down to San Diego but head home just before we start racing – I’ll be bumming a ride back to Phoenix.”

The Buccaneers are not the San Diego’s NOOD’s most populous class by any stretch (the Vipers are vying for that bragging right), but they will be using the regatta as a recruiting mission. They’re hoping to hawk one or two of the boats they’re bringing. – Read on

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