Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Doyle Wins Annapolis NOOD Overall

J/111s crossing gybes downwind (Annapolis, MD)- With nearly 200 boats registered and over 1,000 J sailors crewing on 141 J's (72% of the fleet!), it may have been inevitable that some J/Team would win the Overall Trophy for Best Performance of the Sperry Topsider Annapolis NOOD Regatta- that title went to Chris Doyle sailing his J/22 "JUG 4-1".  Competition amongst the various J One-Design fleets was remarkably intense all weekend long.  The weather Gods certainly did their best to throw a monkey wrench in the works.  And, the various PRO's, including the famous Peter "Luigi" Reggio, were tested to their limits to get in more than five good races for most fleets across the four race course divisions.  Kudos to race management for their perseverance and ability to make the most of what many curveballs were thrown at them over the course of the three day event.  Day one was tough sailing for some fleets, some sailed and some were canceled due to little wind and impending line squalls and thunderstorms flowing across the Chesapeake Bay.  Saturday's racing was wonderful with nice sunny northerlies blowing 5-12 knots.  And, Sunday was greeted by another grey day with just enough breeze for most race courses to get in two good races.

J/22 one-design class sailing AnnapolisHighlighting day one were strong showings from local Annapolis boats in the J/22 class, which was one of the largest classes competing during the weekend - it was also the J/22 East Coast Championships for the class. The top three placing boats in the 36 boat class all hail from Annapolis.  LEADING EDGE held the lead after posting an impressive one-point first-day tally. HOT TODDY and HANDBASKET also posted admirable scores, two-points and three-points respectively, and hope to continue such dominance after one race in the next two days of competition.

Clear skies and favorable winds prevailed over Chesapeake Bay today during day two, which saw top-tier racing from all 17 boat classes. Many fleets managed to get in four races for the day, like J/22s and J/24s. Others were less fortunate, with the J/111s, J/109s, J/35s and J/30s getting in three races and the J/80s and J/105s only two.

Light and variable winds greeted the final day. Demonstrating masterful tactics throughout the three days of racing, Chris Doyle, skipper of "THE JUG 4-1" from the J/22 class, was awarded the Overall Annapolis NOOD title. As the Overall Winner in Annapolis, Doyle will be invited to participate in the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Championship Regatta in the British Virgin Islands to compete in the season-ending event aboard Sunsail 44is against the other overall winners in the 2012 series.

J/111 Velocity from Annapollis sailing past markThe fleets all had great racing.  The J/111s had their first East Coast one-design event.  And, it was great racing with all boats trading the five spots amongst one another.  In the end, the local Annapolis boat VELOCITY sailed by Marty Roesch and team prevailed on the last race, winning by two points over Henry Brauer's Newport/Marblehead team sailing FLEETWING.  Hanging tough on the first two days was Bob Moran's RAGIN team.  However, like FLEETWING, they had a rough last two races on Sunday in light airs and lots of current, hanging in for third overall.  Anthony Culotta's CUORE DI LEONE and James Whited's BAD CAT both showed enormous improvement over the course of the regatta.  Both boats, in fact, were leading races at one point or another and with a bit of training under their belts will be contenders in the future.

With three dozen teams starting, the J/22s proved yet again the top teams are no push-overs.  However, some teams do get hot, hot, hot depending on the regatta.  While all Annapolis teams were leading the first day, the next two days belong to Chris Doyle and gang from Rochester.  Chris's team managed to walk away with the top overall honors for the regatta after a slow start; after a 7th in race one, they tallied up a 1-4-1-2-4 to win by 14 points!  Second was another slow starter, Brad Julian on JULIAN ASSOCIATES; they managed an 8th in race one, followed by a 3-1-4-14-3 for 33 points.  Third was another local hotshot, Todd Hiller on LEADING EDGE with a very, very fast start of 1st, followed by a few duds like a 13-13-12 then a ego-boosting 1-7 to finish with 47 pts.  Fourth was yet another local, Jeff Todd on HOT TODDY, having a similarly yo-yo-like experience to score 2-12-8-6-7-19 for 54 pts.  Rounding out the top five was another Rochester J/22 mafia team, Vic Snyder on MO'MONEY, sailing to a 19-2-10-3-11-12 for 57 pts.  As a result, Chris Doyle's crew from Rochester will be heading down to the British Virgin Islands to sail in the Sperry Topsider NOOD Championships.

The J/24 class didn't' see any dominating performances like what was witnessed in the J/22s.  In the end, it was a titanic battle amongst the top five again.  Never say die in this group.  Just like their hero, Kenny Read winning the recent legs in the Volvo Ocean Race on his Volvo 70 PUMA.  Just never give up and keep the pedal "fire-walled"!!  After the smoke cleared from the battlefield, it was the great yacht HONEY BADGER sailed by Travis Odenbach that took home all the silverware, winning with a remarkably consistent 3-2-3-4-4-5 record for 21 pts.  Making a strong comeback after a slow start was Robby Brown from Tampa's Davis Island YC, sailing USA 799 into second overall with a 10-4-4-2-2-1 for 23 pts.  John Mollicone on 11TH HOUR RACING started out strong but failed to get into second gear and hit the right corners later, amassing a 2-11-1-6-3-6 for 29 pts, good enough for third place.  Rounding out the top five were class stalwart Tony Parker on BANGOR PACKET with a 13-14-7-1-1-2, another slow starter but a very, very fast closer!  Fifth was Chris Stone on VELOCIDAD, losing on a tie-breaker to Tony.

There was an excellent turnout of thirty-four J/80s for the fourth event on their Winter Circuit and sailing in what amounted to be their East Coast Championships.  Winning his first major J/80 event after two years of sailing was Brian Keane from Buzzards Bay, MA, sailing to a 10-5-2-3 for 20 pts to take the gold.  There were also a lot of new teams amongst the balance of the podium and top five.  Clarke McKinney sailed well on CW's VACATION to snag second with a 5-1-6-11 for 23 pts.  Third was Nizar Abuzeni from Saint Croix, US Virgin Islands, sailing ARROW to a steady 6-3-4-12 for 25 pts.  Fourth was Jim Kershaw on COOL J and fifth was Ken Mangano on the magnificent MANGO mon!

J/111 Bad Cat rounding windward markThe eighteen boat J/105 fleet was as competitive as ever.  Nevertheless, it was that fun-loving gang from way up North, Jim Rathbun on HEY JUDE from Toronto, ONT, Canada that sailed a fantastic, consistent regatta, never finishing out of the top three!  Their record of 2-2-1-3 for 8 pts was one of the dominant performances at this year's Annapolis NOOD Regatta.  Local hotshot Peter McChesney also sailed well but had to overcome a tiebreaker to finish second.  Sailing MYSTERY MACHINE, Peter's team got a 3-1-9-1 for 14 pts to win the tiebreak over the MIRAGE team of Cedric Lewis and Fredrik Saldesen that had a 4-6-2-2 also for 14 pts.  Fourth was Hugh Bethell on JESTER and fifth was the MBE Syndicate on VELOCE.

The nine J/30s had a scream and the racing was tight for the top three.  With six races under their belts, it was still a wide open fight for the first four positions.  In the end, Robert Putnam's BETTER MOUSETRAP won the dog-fight, getting a 1-4-4-2-1-4 for 16 pts to win J/30s overall.  Second was Ron Anderson's INSATIABLE with a 2-7-1-6-2-2 for 20 pts.  Third was that sweet, but tough, gal aboard BUMP, skipper Pam Morris, that showed the boys how it's done, sailing a very consistent 4-2-3-4-3-5 for 21 pts.  Rounding out the top five were RAG DOLL sailed by Rob Lundahl in fourth and BEPOP sailed by Bob Rutsch and Mike Costello in fifth.

One of the most storied J/35s continued its winning ways no matter what body of water it sails on.  AUNT JEAN, now sailed by Jim Sagerholm, has won in New England, on the Great Lakes and now on the Chesapeake.  Amazing boat.  Great crew, too!  Jim's team walked off with the top spot with  an average of below a second!  Their record of 2-1-2-1-2 for 8 pts would be awfully hard to beat!  The next two boats had a donnybrook, but winning in the end was MAGGIE, sailed by Peter Scheidt, finishing second with a 4-2-5-2-3 for 16 pts.  MEDICINE MAN skippered by Charles Kohlerman was third with a 1-6-6-3-1 tally for 17 pts.  Fourth was DAKOTA GIRL sailed by another excellent woman skipper, Stephanie Reuer and fifth was Mark McGonigle on WINDEPENDENT.

J/109 one-design class sailing AnnapolisThe dozen strong J/109 fleet had three past J/109 North American Champions dueling it out for top honors.  In the end they took 2 of the top 3.  Bill Sweetser on RUSH was on form and sailed a remarkable 1-2-1-2-1 scoreline for 7 pts to win the J/109 class quite handily.  Perhaps as one of the top Annapolis/ Chesapeake teams they should have since most of the racing demanded local knowledge and geometry tucked under Thomas Point Lighthouse.  Long Island sailors on CAMINOS led by Ryan Dempsey sailed an excellent regatta to garner a 2-1-6-3-7 for 19 pts, enough to secure second.  Just missing out second in the end was Ted Herlihy's team on GUT FEELING, securing third place with a 3-5-3-1-8 score for 20 pts.  Next in the top five were Tony Syme on LOGOS in fourth and Paul Milo on VENTO SOLARE in fifth.  For more Sperry Topsider Sailing World NOOD Annapolis sailing information   Sailing photo credits- Sarah Proctor