Thursday, March 14, 2013

J/Teams San Diego NOOD Preview

J/70 one-design sailboats- sailing San DiegoOne-Design J/70s, J/80s, J/105s and J/120s
(San Diego, CA)- The western stop for the Sperry Topsider NOOD Regattas will be the San Diego event that will be held at San Diego YC from March 15th to 17th.  The event is breaking new ground as it will be the debut of the J/70s first West Coast one-design regatta, the world's fastest developing sportboat class.  Perhaps most importantly, J sailors overall will be well represented with a strong fleet of J/80s, a renowned fleet of remarkably competitive J/105s and, of course, one of the best 40 ft offshore one-designs rolling along the Pacific coast, the J/120s.  With 101 boats registered to sail, the thirty-six J/Teams represent 36% of the overall fleet!

It looks like the J/70’s have a great fleet, a very deeply talented group no less, and may have up to a dozen boats sailing.  For such a fleet, it's remarkable to see some of California's offshore and one-design racing luminaries participating, testimony to the fact the J/70 is perhaps one of the most fun and easy-to-sail performance sportboats ever created.  Leading the charge is past 470 and M24 World Champion Dave Ullman from Ullman Sails sailing is own boat USA 32.  Then you have one of talk radio's more famous hosts, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, sailing her new VENDETTA USA 201 with Chris Snow on board and you also have Bennett Greenwald on PERSEVERANCE USA 206 with Vince Brun aboard! Then, you have Sean O'Keefe on DECOLORES 3; Craig Leweck of Scuttlebutt newsletter fame sailing with Jeff Brown; Scott Grealish on SPLASH from Portland, OR; and several other characters giving them all a "run-for-the-money".

The J/80s have a half-dozen boats participating with returning champion Curt Johnson sailing his renown AVET from California YC.  He'll be challenged with Matts Brown FIREBOLT, Dan Gribble's MONEKY SHOULDER and Steve Wyman's NUHUNU, amongst others.

With thirteen J/105s sailing, and after spending nearly a month sailing against some of America's best sailors in the fall of 2012 (J/105 NA's, Lipton Cup, Masters Regatta), the SoCal 105 contingent are ensuring their boats are fine-tuned for the first major regatta of the season.  No less than Jon Dekker on AIRBOSS, Steve & Lucy Howell's BLINK, Tom Hurlburt and Chuck Driscoll's BLOW BOAT, Gary Mozer's CURRENT OBSESSION 2, Rick Goebel's SANITY, Dennis & Sharon Case's WINGS will be participating in this regatta.  If you recall any of these names, you'll recognize a number of J/105 champions amongst them.

While their friends on the East Coast have always enjoyed their J/120s in major offshore events like the Bermuda Race and Halifax Race, and their Great Lakes friends have enjoyed both offshore and one-design racing, the West Coast J/120s have not only enjoyed racing offshore on handicap quite successfully, they've also had excellent one-design racing in both the San Diego and San Francisco area.  The fleet of eight boats collected for this year's San Diego NOOD is a tribute to their fun and focus on J/120 one-design sailing. CAPER's John Laun, Charles Nichols' CC RIDER, Mike Hatch's J-ALMIGHTY, John Snook's JIM, Peter Zarcades MELTEMI and Tom & Terri Manok's POLE DANCER will all be a factor in the overall results-- for many who know this fleet, it would be hard to "lay odds" at the local betting parlor as to who's the top three!   For more San Diego NOOD sailing information