Nearly nada at Annapolis NOOD

Published on May 5th, 2018

Annapolis, MD (May 5, 2018) – After solid conditions yesterday at the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta allowed all 13 classes to complete five races, the winds today allowed for only one race for the second day of competition.

Five local teenagers who were specially selected to compete in the J/80 class as the Helly Hansen Junior Crew finished the fleet’s only race in first place — the first Junior Crew victory since Helly Hansen began sponsoring local teens at each of the series’ five annual stops in 2016.

When asked the key to their success, the teens credited a wise tactical call at the beginning of the race, which set the stage for smooth sailing all the way to the finish line.

“Before our start, we watched the J/70s go out to the right side of the course and hit some lulls out there, so we decided to go to the left,” said Ben Podlich, 17, the team’s tactician. “We tacked on the first big header we got, once we were close to the layline. Around the windward mark, it got a little swirly with Courageous and a couple other boats, but we ended up coming out first.”

From there, the team was able to catch a breeze on the left side of the course, keep the boat’s weight to leeward and as far forward as possible, and hold onto first through the finish.

The crew — completed by skipper Kate Riley, 18; Amelia Johnson, 15; Carter O’Neill, 15; and Chase Conway, 14 — heads into the final day of racing ranked 14th out of 21 boats.

The Helly Hansen Junior Crew was awarded the North Sails “Local Boat of the Day” award in celebration of the achievement.

Other teams were able to cash in today’s one race for the first-place spot in their fleets’ rankings.

Etchells skipper Matt Lalumiere and his team are leading their competitive class by only one point after winning the day two race, despite starting the day in fourth place. Like the Junior Crew, Lalumiere’s team Ca$h Money were able to get ahead of the pack quickly amid challenging conditions.

“The wind was all over the place,” Lalumiere said. “We tacked a few times and went with the shifts, and we led the whole way.”

Lalumiere said he’ll make a game plan for Sunday based on what the wind is doing in the moment, but the ultimate goal is to make sure the teams currently in second and third place stay behind his boat.

“Tomorrow we can’t screw up, because we’re only in first place by one point,” he said. “It’s a small fleet so you can make some big gains, but we just want to make sure those two guys stay behind us the whole time. It doesn’t matter what place we come in as long as we stay ahead of those two.”

Likewise, Pat FitzGerald and his crew on the J/24 Rush Hour are in a precarious position heading into day three, currently ranked first but tied in points with Spaceman Spiff’s Pete Kassal. His team found that, in contrast to Friday’s focus on the left side of their course, Saturday’s conditions favored the right.

“It turned out to be very important to get to the right early, because there was better pressure on the right-hand side of the first upwind leg,” FitzGerald said. “Off the starting line, we quickly went to the right and dialed into some pressure there. Then we tacked back onto starboard and were able to round the weather mark first. That one leg was the key to the race, and then on the downward leg we just had to stay in the breeze.”

His plan for the final day of racing? “Try to sail a good race and to stay ahead of Pete.”

The Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta in Annapolis is scheduled for May 4 through 6.

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Source: Dave Reed

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