Breezy Conditions, Excellent Sailing at Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta
Published on February 15th, 2014
St. Petersburg, FL (February 15, 2014) – Favorable 10-20 knot winds yielded a full day of racing for nearly 1,000 sailors competing at the second day of the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta on Tampa Bay. The pivotal day saw strong performances from both local skippers, and those in town for the regatta, placing themselves in contention for class wins at tomorrow’s final day of competition.
The J/70 class has emerged as this year’s most competitive. The 28-boat fleet is the regatta’s largest and has seen dramatic jockeying atop the leader board. The day began with Jud Smith and crew aboard AFRICA leading the class, however three consecutive first-place finishes to start today’s racing launched Minneapolis-based skipper Joel Ronning into the lead. Ronning and crew, on the aptly-named Catapult, sprung into the class’s top-spot by making quick, tactical decisions and flawlessly executing their sailing strategies in choppy waters.
As any sage sailor will attest; knowledge is power, especially when applied by a local. Skipper Ray Mannix, representing the St. Pete Sailing Association and sailing aboard his J/29 Semper Fi, has leveraged his intricate knowledge of Tampa Bay after the two days of racing with perfection – literally – claiming all five first-place finishes in the PHRF 2 class.
The impressive feat on “North Sails Saturday” rendered him the ideal recipient of the first-ever “Local Boat of the Day” award, an honor designed by North Sails that will be presented each Saturday of the NOOD season to the top-performing local competitor.
Chuck Allen, North Sail’s manager of operations and regatta services, attributed Mannix’s honor to, “North Sail Saturdays was created to recognize the sailors involved at a local level. Ray and the Semper Fi crew set a strong benchmark as the first-ever recipients of the ‘Local Boat of the Day’ award by sailing to first-place in all five of their races after two days of racing.”
Tomorrow’s final day of action will begin approximately at 10 a.m. The St. Pete Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta is a spectator-friendly event and there is no charge to view the races from land or water aboard private boats.
The overall winner in St. Pete will receive a Caribbean charter aboard a Sunsail 44i.
Bo Morris, PR Director, Bonnier Corporation