Saturday, February 13, 2016

St Petersburg NOOD Preview

J/88 Wings sailing off Florida (St Petersburg, FL)- Ninety-five keelboats are participating in this year’s HELLY HANSEN St Petersburg NOOD Regatta hosted by the St Petersburg YC.  Thirty-eight of those teams (40% of the fleet) are J/Boats covering the range from one-design classes of J/70s and J/24s and PHRF racing classes that includes J/29s, J/105s, J/100, J/88, J/40 and J/42!

The forecast looks promising for the fleet with light to moderate southwesterly’s on Friday to start the regatta.  Then, over the weekend, a cold front is forecast to blow through and winds will increase out of the northerly quadrant in the 10-18 kts range on Saturday, and then gradually swing to the NE/E on Sunday and diminishing to 8-12 kts.

The J/70 class has a good turnout with 22 boats as many of them are taking the opportunity to sail in race conditions that should be similar to the J/70 Midwinter Championship that will be taking place two weeks later at the same club and in the same waters in southwestern Tampa Bay.  Many tops teams are in attendance; including locals like Rob Britts’ HOT MESS from Davis Island YC, Kerry Klingler’s MENACE from Cedar Point YC, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA from Beverly YC, Will Welles’ SEA BAGS SAILNG TEAM from Newport, RI, Bruno Pasquinelli’s STAMPEDE from Forth Worth Boat Club, and Geoff Becker’s USA 25 from Annapolis, MD.

The J/24 class also has a nice turnout with eight teams since they, too, are warming up for their J/24 Midwinters taking place at Davis Island YC in northern Tampa Bay a week later.  Local hotshot David Mendelblatt’s FAT LADY from St Pete YC is sure to be a strong contenders, as will perennial J/24 champion Travis Odenbach’s HONEY BADGER from update New York, Carter White’s SEA BAGS SAILING TEAM from Portland YC in Maine, and Nobuyuki Imai’s SIESTA from Wakayama City, Japan.

There is a good turnout in the PHRF handicap world of offshore racing.  In the PHRF 1 Class, four J/Teams will be vying for contention with nine other boats; they include Peter Tuite’s J/100 CURRAGH from Clearwater, FL, George Cussins’ J/105 FIRE & ICE from Davis Island YC, David Arata’s J/105 J-HAWK from St Pete YC, and Mike Bruno’s J/88 WINGS from American YC (recent winner of the J/88 Class at Key West Race Week).

The fourteen boat PHRF 2 Class sees two J/29s doing battle with each other- Robert Wetmore’s FAMILY CIRCUS Gulfport YC and Raymond Mannix’s SEMPER FI from St Pete Sailing Assoc.

The North Sails Rally on Saturday has a strong turnout of fifteen boats ready to take a fun, laid-back tour of Tampa Bay on a random-leg course scenario.  With promising fresh winds it should be a fast tour!  Taking up that challenge are some classic cruising J’s, such as Jeff Russo’s J/40 INTREPID from Davis Island YC and Roger Gatewood’s J/42 SHAZAM from St Pete Sailing Assoc.  For more HELLY HANSEN St Pete NOOD regatta sailing information