Boating Boondoggle in the BVI
Published on November 6th, 2018
Sailing World magazine’s annual sailboat racing circuit, the National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta Series, celebrated its 30th season in 2018 during a five-stop tour across the USA. Aside from the bragging rights and Helly Hansen schwag that comes with division victory is the selection of one team for the coveted title of Overall Winner at each event.
For those overall winners that want to parlay their good fortune was the offer of free charter to compete in the Caribbean NOOD Championship Regatta finale on October 21-26 in the British Virgin Islands. Sailing World’s Dave Reed reports on this annual boating boondoggle:
Dr. Jim Sears and his teammates sealed their fate at Monkey Point. As the countdown timer ticked to its final minute and the whistle blew, the doctor’s Team Viper got antsy. In agonizing slow motion, the white bow of the Sears’ Sunsail 41 — with sails eased to their stopper knots — broke the starting line early.
When the race committee hailed his bow number, 69, the doctor winced in the shadow of his signature lucky straw hat. He knew then and there his four-year reign over the Helly Hansen NOOD Caribbean Championship was crumbling.
The team to leeward, strategically maneuvering to claim the doctor’s title, was led by its skipper Joel White, the tall, white haired and jovial general contractor from Marblehead, Massachusetts. White and his teammates on Juhnksho Bob knew they had the doctor right where they wanted him.
The two teams have been friendly rivals since the last time they faced each other in the NOOD Regatta’s British Virgin Islands championship in 2015. That year, Sears won the regatta on the final day, but White and Co., were the only team to beat them. They vowed to someday return to try again.
There, at the starting line off Monkey Point, White and his teammates surged forward in the waning seconds of the countdown and were caught over early as well. “I knew we were over,” White would later confess (although his bowman and co-skipper John Caunter naturally disagreed). “When we heard our number, it was like, ‘Uh oh,’ and then we heard Jim’s number called, and we were like, ‘Well, that’ll help!’” – Full report
This video from Brett Langolf of Team Kopp-Out brings us along for the ride: