Fourteen classes compete at Annapolis NOOD
Published on May 1st, 2015
Annapolis, MD. (May 1, 2015) – The largest national sailboat racing circuit in the United States, the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta series, kicked off its third stop of the season in Annapolis, Md., today with roughly 1,000 sailors competing on the Chesapeake Bay. Vying for individual class trophies, teams are ultimately competing for the regatta’s overall prize—a trip to the British Virgin Islands in the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Championship, hosted by Sunsail.
Fourteen one-design classes raced on Friday, with competitors enjoying a full day’s races in four different division courses [one-design means the boats are identical]. Overcast skies accompanied the inaugural race day with winds topping out at just 10 knots, making for a competitive regatta from the beginning.
More than 55 boats set sail in the J/70 class with three races completed. Joint Custody, skippered by Jenn and Ray Wulff, takes the lead with 13 points, and Peter McChesney’s Bang Ding Ow in second trailing with 17 points.
“I told my team to keep your head out of the boat and ignore local knowledge. People say follow local knowledge, which is staying to the left and avoiding the current because the left side is closer to land” said Wulff. “Today that wasn’t the case, and we did the opposite. Jenn did a great job driving as always, and we stayed away from the larger group of boats at the start, which gave us great starts.”
Wulff later added that the team switched over to Quantum sails this year, and had great boat speed all day to keep momentum going. Pro sailor Taylor Canfield, a sailor on Terry Hutchinson’s USA 419 of the J/70s class, noted that the team had a couple small mistakes, but had a great last race. The wind conditions were forecasted to be higher, but the team sailed conservatively to keep themselves in the hunt for tomorrow.
The J/80 class had 25 boats competing and two boats, Meltemi and R80, tied for first place with 18 points. Vayu, skippered by David Andril, lags in third place by one point.
Mike Hobson, skipper of Meltemi, said it was a good day first day of sailing and got four races in. “There was breeze and the first two races were effective with good starts. The last two we had more choices of which way to go and local knowledge went out the window because wind shifts.” He added, “The fleet is competitive – with lots of boats and no consistent winner it mixes it up. We are pretty happy, the race is tight and we will start again tomorrow to see if great racing holds up.”
“The crew would say don’t screw the start up,” Hobson said. We need to stay in the game and had to dig hard to get out of the last two starts today. Tomorrow, we just have to try and stay in the game.”
In the Etchells fleet, an older but still technical class, had nine boats complete four races throughout the day. Ken Womack’s 1371 leads with 10 points, followed by Jeff Borland’s Make Mine A Double with 12 Points and Whirlwind in third with 15 points.
“Today was a good day – we had four races,” said Borland. “It was a fun fleet, but the last race was a bit of a struggle. The breeze was different and we missed a couple of shifts. There are so many good sailors in this fleet and if you miss a shift, you’re in trouble. Today we were just ready to go – the bay changes and weather rarely happens as it is predicted.”
To recognize exceptional individual performances in each boat class, NOOD Premiere Sponsor, North Sails, will present daily awards for the top three daily crews in each class. Additionally, on each Saturday of the season, North Sails will present the best performing local boat with an award for that day’s best racing. The final awards will be presented on Sunday, May 3, at the culmination of the event.
The overall winner of the Annapolis NOOD will join Grant Dumas of St. Petersburg, Fla., and his crew of the Tripp 38 Warrior and John Laun’s Caper crew of San Diego, Calif., along with other victors in the British Virgin Islands to compete in the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Championship hosted by Sunsail.