Kicking Off Annapolis Sailing Season
Published on April 28th, 2016
by Bill Wagner, Capital Gazette
The inaugural Annapolis edition of the National Offshore One-Design circuit was held in 1999 and was a smashing success. Eighteen years later, Annapolis has become a staple of the popular series and typically attracts the largest number of entries of any NOOD event.
This year’s Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD, being held Friday through Sunday (April 29-May 1) on the Chesapeake Bay, has drawn 169 boats in 12 one-design classes. Another 18 boats will participate in the North Rally Race which introduces handicap point-to-point racing to the regatta.
From the outset, the Annapolis NOOD has always been held the last weekend of April or first weekend of May. Spring is when winds are most consistent on the Chesapeake Bay.
“If you’re going to hold a three-day regatta you want to do it when conditions are ideal. This time of the year is usually pretty good in terms of steady breeze,” said Jeff Todd, a North Sails professional and veteran skipper in the J/22 class.
J/30 and J/105 tied for largest class at the inaugural Annapolis NOOD with 18 boats apiece. Bebop, co-owned by brothers-in-law Bob Rutsch and Mike Costello, has raced in all 17 regattas held to-date and has won the J/30 class eight times.
“We have always focused on this regatta because it’s a big deal. In terms of numbers and quality of competition, it might be the most important event on the bay,” Rutsch said. “Part of what makes the Annapolis NOOD special is that it kicks off the sailing season. It’s a good old-fashioned regatta weekend and marks the beginning of the racing schedule.”
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