Friday, March 16, 2012

J/Navy @ San Diego NOOD

J/105s sailing off San Diego, California (San Diego, CA)-  The next Sperry Topsider NOOD event is taking place in southernmost California- San Diego.  Playing host to a large number of classes are San Diego YC, Mission Bay YC and Coronado YC.  From March 16th to 18th, the gloves are off for a full-on competition for "SoCal Global Supremacy", especially amongst the J/105s as this fleet heats up for the J/105 North Americans in San Diego later in 2012.

Of the forty-one J's sailing in this years edition of the San Diego NOOD Regatta (about 33% of the fleet), six are J/24s, six are J/80s, seventeen are J/105s, five are J/109s and seven are J/120s.  Here is how the fleets breakdown in terms of contenders (never an accurate measure, of course, but at least a guideline).

Within the J/24s, expect to see Susan Taylor from California YC near the top of the leaderboard.  In the J/80s, class leader Kurt Johnson on AVET also from Cal YC is expected to be hanging in the top three.  In the J/109s, Tom Brott on ELEKTRA is an obvious favorite, but Daylen Terrens" GREAT BALLS OF FIRE and John Shulze's LINSTAR and Gene Pitkin's GERONIMO have had their fair share of brilliance in competition.

The two big J-classes, the 105s and 120s will all boil down to which crews are "bringing it" on the weekend in question-- namely, can they get it together now to get it done by Sunday!?  In the J/120s, Tom & Terri Manok's POLE DANCER, perennial champion Chuck Nichol's CC RIDER, Peter Zarcades' MELTEMI, John Snook's JIM, Gary Winton's SHENANIGANS and Mike Hatch's J-ALMIGHTY can all win.  Might as well toss in Steve Harris' TAMAJAME for good measure as these boats are all so close it's just about as easy to guess as who'll be the winner of the next Powerball Lottery!

The J/105s will be a tough road to win for any team.  Many top contenders over the past few seasons are sailing with good teams and don't expect many of them to be "gentle" when it comes to shrewd tactics and positioning on the race course.  If the J/120s are tough to predict, the J/105s are even more difficult.  Certain to be amongst the contenders will be Tom Hurlburt's BLOWBOAT, John Howell's BLINK, Gary Mozer's CURRENT OBSESSION 2, Rick Goebel's SANITY, John Demourkas' ROCK'N & GROOV'N, Dennis & Sharon Case's WINGS and Rich Bergmann's ZUNI BEAR.  When the smokes clears on the 105 battlefield at the end of the weekend, it will become clearer which teams have begun to step up their game for the big event in San Diego this fall.  For more Sperry Topsider San Diego NOOD Regatta sailing information