Thursday, February 14, 2013

St Petersburg NOOD Preview

J/70 MUSE sailing off Key West, FLHot J/70 Debut, Strong J/24 Fleet Sailing
(St Petersburg, Florida)- Riding the tail-feathers of the J/24 Midwinters will be the Sperry Topsider St Petersburg NOOD Regatta hosted by St Petersburg YC.  As one of Florida's leading yacht clubs, StPYC has a reputation for not only being a fabulous host but also one of those famously gentile clubs that simply knows how to take care of their sailors and run a great regatta.  Famous for being the starting point of the SORC (Southern Ocean Racing Circuit), sailors from around the world would belly-up to the bar and admire the gorgeous full-hull tank-testing scale models of 12 meters that hung from the ceiling-- amongst the sailing heroes casting admiring glances were Ted Turner on the Carter 39 MUNEQUITA; Dennis Conner on the many Peterson-designed WILLIWAWs; as well as Tommie Blackaller (bless his heart) on Good Lord knows what, but certainly and most infamously with Tommie Dreyfus on YOUR CHEATIN HEART! Their ghosts are still there for those offshore sailing history buffs as well as the gorgeous 12 meter and other wooden models-- who can name them!?

For the J/Tribe, it looks like there will be two good fleets of boats in both J/24s and J/70s.  For the former, they're the "veterans" and have a tradition of supporting local sailing for a long time.  For the latter, they're the "new kids on the block", the J/70 is debuting for what appears to be the largest fleet in the regatta with over seventeen entries!

J/24 St Petersburg sailors at NOOD RegattaAmongst the J/24s will be Todd and Genoa Fedyszyn sailing SPOONY TACTICS.  If you recall, the Fedyszyn's received their boat as a wedding present from her parents. "It's a good boat," said Genoa. "It might not be pretty, but it's fast." Both Todd and Genoa coach sailing for St. Petersburg YC's junior program; they spend most weekends attending the sailing aspirations of others.  One regatta they never miss is the St Pete NOOD. "With our schedules, this is the one event we set aside in advance," said Todd. "We look forward to it every year."  They will have tough competition from David Ogden, J/24 sailor extraordinaire from Royal Canadian YC in Toronto, ONT, Canada and from local ring-leader Robby Brown from across the Bay at Davis Island YC.

As for the J/70s, the experience at Key West proved one thing only, the class is on a steep learning curve, acknowledged even by the winner Tim Healy and those like Brian Keane on SAVASANA who were vying for class honors.  With ten boats from the Midwinters and seven new boats showing up, the class will continue a dramatic ascent up that learning curve.  With additional participation from a number of Midwest boats from the Great Lakes (IL, MI, OH) the event promises to break even more new ground for performance.  Chief amongst the leaders may be teams on the fast-track at Key West, including J/24 and J/80 champion sailors like Kerry Klingler on MENACE; Mark Ploch/ Mike Bruno on SUGAR DADDY; Joe Colling on USA 69; Brandon Flack on TORQEEDO; Peter Vessella on USA 171 and Heather Gregg-Earl on her gorgeous, sublime MUSE.   For more Sperry Topsider St Petersburg NOOD Sailing Information.