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Preview of San Diego Helly Hansen NOOD

Published on March 8th, 2016

San Diego, CA (March 8, 2016) – Helly Hansen and Sailing World are heading back to San Diego on March 18-20, 2016 for the 18th annual San Diego NOOD Regatta. San Diego is one of five stops in this offshore series that culminates with the Helly Hansen NOOD Championship in the British Virgin Islands in October.

Similar to last year, San Diego Yacht Club is hosting this stop of the series in conjunction with Coronado Yacht Club. This is a particularly fun regatta for San Diego to host as it features a well-attended South Bay course for the smaller ‘one designs’, and often attracts out-of-town crews which mixes up the competition.

Competitors will also sail on two ocean venues, and one cruising course located in San Diego Bay. San Diego’s March weather is typically unpredictable with “America’s Finest City” weather still subject to disruption by fronts rolling in from across the ocean, so it’s difficult to predict race conditions. Historically, winds have ranged from “AP” to “N” (postpone to abandon) with waves from “none” to “why are we here?” With El Nino threatening the region this year, participants should come prepared for anything.

For the 2016 race, there will be up to thirteen classes of boats ranging from dinghies to large keel boats and will be divided across the three venues. Currently there are over eighty boats registered. Classes in South Bay need to meet an eight boat minimum per class for their own start. Classes with fewer than seven entrants may be combined for starts but will be scored separately. At the moment, the J/70s are the biggest fleet registered.

J/70 Fleet Captain and chairman of the 2015 J/70 North Americans, Dave Vieregg, explains the purpose of the J/70s competing in the NOOD. “The J/70 has seen explosive growth worldwide, steady growth on the west coast and here in San Diego over the past 3 years. We’re building upon the momentum of the 3rd ever North American Championship which was held in San Diego this past September where 50 boats lined up to compete.”

“For the first time in many years the Etchells fleet will be participating in the NOOD regatta,” announced Mike Terry, Etchells fleet captain. “Etchells Fleet 13 members worked to eliminate scheduling conflicts that had prevented participation in previous years and are very excited to be a part of this world class event again. The fleet is also looking forward to the opportunity to showcase itself in the NOOD for those that normally don’t have the opportunity to see this fleet in action.”

The Etchells Class will be sailing the NOOD as their kick-off for the four race West Coast Spring Series (, and it will double as their Bill Bennett Cup. They are expecting sailors from across the US to attend this event in one of the most competitive fleets on the West Coast. Etchells fleet member, Chris Snow, explains the historical significance of the combining these two events.

“The NOOD regatta will serve as our Bill Bennett Cup which is sailed in memory of Billy Bennett who grew up at San Diego Yacht Club and went on win the Etchells Worlds here in San Diego crewing for Vince Brun. Bill is still missed, as he was one of the best sailors to come out of SDYC and our local fleet. He had an infectious sense of humor and was a lot of fun to sail with and against.”

Snow also describes the North Race Rally portion of the NOOD, which serves as a great bonding activity for crew members. “The North Rally Race on March 19th is a great way to spend a competitive day on the water in a relaxed low key environment. Sailing takes place in San Diego Bay in a ‘beer can’ style format. We encourage any and all sailors and all types of boat, racing, cruising, day-sailors, whatever to come and participate.”

The I-14 fleet is expected to have some atypical entries and finishes this year according to Brad Ruetenik, an I-14 sailor. Ruetenik elaborates, “The I-14 fleet is very busy this spring with the Pacific Rim Championships in Hawaii only a few weeks away from NOODs in San Diego, which will divide our fleet. Therefore, our NOOD participation will be a little disjointed. We are interested to see how this will play out since this will shake-up crews and allow some new sailors and boats to participate. “

Ruetenik continued, “Some of the more experienced 14 sailors who have shipped boats to Hawaii will be sailing with the newer 14ers in an attempt to help them up the learning curve. Going further, the I-14s Worlds will be in France in August, so several boats will not be able to do both the Pacific Rim as well as Worlds in a single year. With the 2018 Worlds in Richmond, CA, we are going to focus on more west coast races since our strongest presence is in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.”

Last year’s J/120 winner and Helly Hansen NOOD Overall Winner was SDYC’s staff commodore John Laun aboard his boat, caper. Laun has registered for the 2016 race to defend his title and describes winning last year’s regatta and proceeding to the Championship event in the BVI.

“The crew of caper has always enjoyed the NOOD Regatta. It is a hotly contested event for the J/120 fleet with the class winner in doubt right to the end each year. In 2015, it was caper’s turn to win the class with good results on Sunday, and as a result of some powerful analysis, caper was also named the overall winner for the regatta. That meant a fun week in the BVI for the crew, partying and racing the winners of the other NOOD Regattas thanks to SunSail – plus some most excellent Helly Hansen gear for all. It’s always fun to race with the caper crew in the fun J/120 fleet with such good competitors, and to win the regatta overall was over the top.”

The awards ceremony will be held at San Diego Yacht Club after the completion of races on Sunday, March 20 where prizes will be awarded by class.

Report by Event Media

Event Website

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