Monday, February 26, 2018

Gorgeous St Pete NOOD Regatta

J/111 sailing St Pete NOOD regattaJ/Sailors Enjoy Sunny Seabreezes on Tampa Bay
(St Petersburg, FL)- The 2018 edition of the Helly Hansen St. Petersburg NOOD saw “classic” Tampa Bay weather conditions in late winter along the Gulf of Mexico.  As winter weather slides into spring-time weather, the near record warmth produced beautiful sea-breezes on Friday and Saturday for most race courses to sail seven races.  Sunday produced similar conditions, but the familiar easterly gradient dying into a westerly sea-breeze materialized too late for all race courses, forcing an AP over A to end the day and the regatta.  However, no one appeared disappointed after getting in fantastic racing over the first two days, with everyone enjoying the amazing hospitality always on offer at St Petersburg Yacht and the support of major sponsors like Mount Gay Rum.

The J/tribe saw great racing for three one-design classes- J/70s, J/88s, and J/111s.  In addition, there were excellent outcomes for J/crews in PHRF handicap racing.

J/70 sailing St Pete NOOD regattaWhile many of Pamela Rose’s thirty-eight competitors have raced sailboats most of their lives, the J/70 class winner onboard her ROSEBUD took home her first major regatta win this weekend— and qualified for the J/70 World Championship— only two years after taking up the sport. A self-proclaimed “serious boater,” Rose said she didn’t expect to enjoy sailing so much when she bought ROSEBUD, looking for a new challenge three years ago.

After taking sixth place last year at the St Pete NOOD, Rose gathered a crew of top-notch talent– Morgan Reeser, Charlie Smythe, and Willem Van Waay– to help accelerate her success this year.

“The goal for me was to win a qualifying seat [for Worlds],” Rose said. “I’ve been working really hard. I was thrilled to have this amazing team— they are very experienced, very calm. I call them the dream team.”

Rose said she will plan her summer schedule around training, including an entry into the Helly Hansen Marblehead NOOD in July, to get a test run in the same venue that the 2018 J/70 World Championships will be held in September.

J/70s sailing St Pete NOOD regattaWinning after the first day was Brian Keane’s SAVASANA crew from Marblehead, MA.  However, they could not hold off the veteran crew on Rose’s ROSEBUD to take second overall with 28 pts.  Winning the last race, Bennet Greenwald’s crew on PERSEVERANCE from San Diego, CA managed to just make the podium with 34 pts total.  Rounding out the top five were Josh Goldman’s BUILDING A with 35 pts and Travis Odenbach’s USA 40 with 36 pts, 4th & 5th, respectively.

In the J/70 Corinthians, it was Mark Hillmans’ crew from Annapolis, MD winning with 80 pts total. They were followed by Nancy Glover/ Mark Foster’s WINTERWIND from Marblehead, MA in second; Peter Bowe’s TEA DANCE SNAKE in third; David Mendelblatt’s USA 39 in fourth; and Lily Flack’s MUSTO YOUTH TEAM in fifth place.

J/111s sailing St Pete NOOD regattaThe half-dozen J/88s enjoyed spirited racing over the first two days of sailing.  Leading after the first day was J/88 Midwinter Champion Mike Bruno’s WINGS from New York. However, on the second day of racing, it was Al Minella’s ALBONDIGAS from Milwaukee, WI that ran the table with straight bullets to win the regatta with just 11 pts total.  Second was Bruno’s WINGS crew with 18 pts.  Then, taking the bronze on the podium was Andy Graff’s EXILE from Chicago with 24 pts.

The J/111s also had a half-dozen boats sailing. The outcome for the first two boats was a near repeat of the 2017 J/111 World Championship, with Peter Wagner’s SKELETON KEY taking the class win with 8 pts, followed by Jim Connelly’s SLUSH FUND in second with 11 pts.  Rounding out the top three was Rob/ Ryan Ruhlman’s SPACEMAN SPIFF with 14 pts.

J/88 sailing St Pete NOOD regattaFor J/Sailors in the PHRF world, it was, essentially, a sweep of division wins across the board.  In PHRF 2 class, George Cussins’ J/105 FIRE & ICE won.  David Arata’s J/105 J-HAWK was third. And, the J/42 SHAZAAM, skippered by Roger Gatewood, was fourth.

PHRF 3 Class was crushed by the masthead J/29 called SEMPER FI sailed by Ray Manix from St Petersburg Sailing Association— straight bullets over five races!  At the other end of the spectrum the little J/22 MOJO skippered by Bob Touton from Davis Island YC took fourth place.

For the one-day North Sails Rally- Cruiser Division, Jose Suarez-Hoyos from Davis Island YC won the class sailing his J/35 NO WAY JOSE!  For more Helly Hansen St Petersburg NOOD Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.