Winter escapees come to play
Published on February 13th, 2019
The 31st season for the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta begins on February 15 to 17 in St. Petersburg, FL. The NOODs aren’t purely OD anymore, as Sailing World editor Dave Reed reports in this event preview:
John Schellenbach, a Tartan 10 skipper and longtime Chicago NOOD competitor had enough of his Windy City winter, never mind having survived a brutal polar vortex. He and about 20 other Chicago area sailors were itching to get south and get some sailboat racing in. They’d take anything, he says, and their search ultimately led them to a for-charter Beneteau 345 named Lunaly.
Schellenbach has no idea what shape it’s in, what makes it goes fast, or whether it’s fast at all. All he knows is he’s skippering a ship of hometown fools in the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta St. Petersburg Regatta’s five-boat PHRF 3 division. “I’ll be honest. We’re coming down for the warmth,” Schellenbach says. “I don’t know anything about the boat, and in fact, I’ve never raced PHRF before.”
Thursday (Feb. 14) will be the team’s first practice in the boat, if all goes to plan, and then it’s right into the racing for the weekend, which early forecasts promise to be both windy and light, and possibly somewhere in between.
PHRF 3 is one of the regatta’s smaller fleets, but the total PHRF assemblage will feature an eclectic mix of modern and classic designs in PHRF 2 and PHRF 1 as well. With full attendance, PHRF will be the St. Petersburg NOOD’s busiest circle. The timers and scorers will certainly have their work cut out for them.
Mike Kayasu’s perennial PHRF 1 winner, the Farr 30, Raven, is absent from the entry list, opening the door for 2018’s runner up, Warrior, the Tripp 38 helmed by local PHRF stalwart Grant Dumas. He’s typically in the hunt, but there’s a tinge of uncertainty in his prediction.
“As our local group evolves and boats come and go, things change,” Dumas says. “There are a few boats that are on the rise, and some with their game on, this year. While we’re usually strong, it’s been a learning year so far. We’ve had a couple of setbacks, and I will fess up to having some mental lapses, like not leaving the dock on time and missing starting sequences.”
Dumas is also without his long-term tactician, which is critical on a complicated boat like Warrior. “When there’s a strong personality in the tactical role, things tend to go well, when there’s a weakness in that role, there’s a lot of second guessing throughout the boat.” – Read on
2019 NOOD Event Schedule
February 15-17 – St. Petersburg, FL
March 15-19 – San Diego, CA
May 3-5 – Annapolis, MD
June 7-9 – Chicago, IL
July 25-28 – Marblehead, MA
Caribbean NOOD Championship
British Virgin Islands
*Dates subject to change