Going NOOD from Annapolis to Seattle

Published on May 5th, 2014

With 200+ boats participating in the Annapolis NOOD, ladies and gentleman, we are officially announcing the end of winter on the East Coast. The 2014 Sperry Top-Sider Series kicked off in February, bouncing from Florida, to California and landing in Annapolis, MD last weekend.

Earlier this year, Ken Read challenged the sailing community to step up and build better events. Field of Dreams was not referencing sailing when that creepy voice whispered to Kevin Costner “if you build it they will come,” but that is a great movie and sailing should take the advice. Build a better regatta experience and chances are your event’s participation will grow.

The Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regattas is a perfect example of an event that is working hard to grow participation. With three down and three to go, NOOD Regattas are working with partners to add more onshore activities to the regatta program. Event organizers, Sailing World and long-time event supporter North Sails have teamed up to offer sailing performance analysis, One-Design Dock Talks, awards for the top performing local sailor, and after sailing parties.

The end goal? Make regattas fun for all sailors. Because who doesn’t want to have fun?

Annapolis NOOD got off the a soggy start as eager sailors crammed into the tent on Thursday night to attend a local weather knowledge talk with North Sails’ Chris Larson. “North Sails Local Knowledge is a program we added to the NOOD Regattas this year,” said Larson. “It’s an opportunity for both local and out-of-town sailors to brush on local conditions. May offers the most diverse and enjoyable sailing conditions in Annapolis. As the ‘local guys,’ we want to arm people with as much knowledge as possible so they can maximize their regatta experience.”

If you were sailing a J-Boat during Annapolis NOOD, chances are you had a chance to join one of the many scheduled Dock Talks. The highly competitive J/70 class boasted the event’s highest entry list with 54 boats. Rumor is 70+ sailors almost sunk the dock during a post race chat with North’s Tim Healy and Will Welles!

While most would say Saturday brought less than ideal sailing conditions, Annapolis skipper John White and his crew onboard J/80 USA 1162 weren’t complaining.

“Off the starting line, we were confident the east side of the course would be best for stronger winds and better current,” said White, whose team is preparing for the J/80 World Championship in Annapolis later this year. “We had a great start and won our side, but Will Crump [of Annapolis], who was over early and had to restart, worked the opposite side and was right behind us at the first mark. Those guys are so good, and so fast, but they made one little mistake on the last leg to allow us to win this one.”

At the end of the day, White took home a bullet for the day, earning him North Sails Local Boat of the Day.

The next NOOD Regatta will be in Seattle, WA on May 16-18, which will include the NORTH Rally Race. After making its debut at the San Diego NOOD, this one day, random leg, PHRF-scored race is geared for new-to-racing sailors, families, custom boats that don’t fit within the One Design concept of the NOODs as well as the avid racer that only has one free day.

Scuttlebutt is such a fan of the Seattle NOOD North Rally Race that the first five people to contact us will have their $55 entry fee paid for them. Be sure to enter by May 9 as the $25 late fee is not part of this offer. Entry includes the Saturday party and two drink tickets.

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