Good Start to Final Stop on the NOOD Tour

Published on July 24th, 2015

Marblehead, MA (July 24, 2015) – Clear skies and temperatures in the high 70s kicked off the largest national sailboat racing circuit in the United States, the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta series, on its fifth and final stop of the season in Marblehead with roughly 1,000 sailors competing on July 24-26.

Vying for individual class trophies, 140 boats 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.

Eight one-design classes raced on Friday, with competitors enjoying a full day’s races in three different division courses. Winds topped out at 6-8 knots, making for a slow but competitive day on the water.

In the Town Class, 14 boats competed with shifty winds throughout the day. Lille Venn, skippered by Berit Solstad, is in first place with six points, followed by David Cooke’s, Aufblitzen, with nine points, and finally Arthur Tip O’Neill’s, Frolic, with 13 points.

Solstad mentioned a big resurgence in the “townie” class, with s number of new boats joining the fleet this year. “Day one the wind was predicted to go right, and they did. It helped us a lot in our racing, and we had some extremely close finishes. Sailing in Marblehead is my favorite – so many new people come out to compete, and it is fun and exciting.”

She noted one of the best parts of sailing on home turf was being able to compete with her sister, Karen. “We see a lot of new friends and old faces throughout the weekend, which makes it special.”

The second largest fleet of the regatta, the J/70s have 23 boats in the class and finished the day with three races. Jud Smith’s, AFRICA, sits in first place currently with four points, followed by Will Welles’, Scamp, with seven points and Rascal, in third place with 17 points, skippered by Henry Brauer and Stewart Neff.

Smith thought the team overall did great. “Winds started in westerly, and ended southerly. It was a challenging day with breeze changes, but we held the lead.” Smith’s crew consists of his wife, Cindy, along with Will Felder and Marc Gauthier. He continued and said, “We got a clean break in one of the races when the race got called back. Not sure if tomorrow will be more wind, but Sunday should be how I like – a little more wind, a little drag-racey.”

The overall winner of the Marblehead NOOD will join Ron Buzil and his crew of the Beneteau First 40.7 Vayu, 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 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Terry Hutchinson, winner of the Annapolis NOOD and other victors in the British Virgin Islands to compete in the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Championship hosted by Sunsail. Each overall winning team will be outfitted with new sailing gear, compliments of Helly Hansen.

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