Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Smashing San Diego NOOD Regatta!

J/70s sailing San Diego NOODSanta Barbara YC Qualifies for US J/70 Youths!
(San Diego, CA)- The masses attending this year’s Helly Hansen San Diego NOOD Regatta were not disappointed!  As they have managed to accomplish in the past, the San Diego YC hosted another great event for the 500+ sailors that were participating in their annual spring bash on the San Diego Harbor and offshore of Point Loma.

The weekend marked the second major event in the Helly Hansen Sailing World NOOD events for the summer of 2017.  Three large one-design fleets of J’s were sailing- J/70, J/105 & J/120.

J/70s sailing San Diego NOODThe nineteen J/70s enjoyed great sailing, with ten races completed over the three-day weekend.  Taking class honors was Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT; but it was not without some drama.  Jeff couldn’t sail the first day due to business commitments, so he had his 14 year old son steer the first day- to lead the regatta with a 2-1-3 record! Then, as the weekend progressed, they maintained a consistently high score until they posted two uncharacteristically high scores- a 15th and 12th in the 8th and 9th races.  However, by closing with a 1st in the last race, they sealed the deal to win class overall.

Second in J/70s and also Top Corinthians crew was none other than Pat Toole’s 3 BIG DOGS of J/24 North American Championship fame from the talented Santa Barbara YC group of sailors.  The Big Doggers sailed their best series to date in J/70s and are sure to be a contender in future major events.  Just four points off the pace behind them was Jim Murrell’s HUCKLEBERRY.  Rounding out the top five were Bruce Cooper’s USA 32 in 4th place and Dave Hochart’s USA 540 (also 2nd Corinthians).  Of note, third Corinthians was Craig Tallman’s JAVA.

J/70 Santa Barbara Youth teamThis event also marked the third regatta for US J/70 Youth Championship teams to qualify.  In this event, there were three teams from across the spectrum of youth programs in Southern California.  They included the HELLY HANSEN JUNIOR CREW skippered by Jack Reiter representing the host SDYC; Luke Pierce sailing CAKE, representing Santa Barbara YC; and Robert Garret skippering SLOOP JOHN B, representing Newport Harbor YC.  For these three crews, it was a nip and tuck battle all weekend long.  In the end, it was the Santa Barbara YC/ SB Youth Foundation crew of high-school kids on CAKE (Lucas Pierce (skipper), Ryan Eastwood (Tactician), Chris Kayda, Kris Ozolins, and Payne Donaldson) that qualified as the top youth team from the regatta for the US J/70 Youth Championship in Newport, RI this coming August. The SBYC/SBYF team has been supported by CAKE’s owner, Scott Deardorff- also the Rear Commodore of Santa Barbara YC. Here is Lucas’ commentary:

“A couple of months ago, I was approached by Mr. Deardorff, to see if I had any interest in putting together a team to try to qualify for the J/70 Youth Championship.  He offered to let us use his J/70.  None of us have very much keelboat experience, but we were really excited to give it a shot!

J/70 youth sailors chillin'We set up a practice schedule and worked mostly on our boat-handling.  We were able to do one local regatta in really light air. But, other than that, we didn’t have any regatta experience in the J/70.

Our plan was to try to qualify for the J/70 Youth Nationals this summer at the San Diego NOOD regatta, March 17-19.

We really enjoyed sailing against the high level of competition at this regatta and the two other junior teams.  We know almost all of the kids on the other teams and we’re all good friends.  We learned a lot over the weekend.  Our starts improved a lot as we got a feel for when to unfurl the jib and how to set up.  We felt really fast downwind the whole time, but learned a lot about how to sail faster upwind, like how to flatten the sails, the boat, and how to use the backstay.

We’re looking forward to practicing some more and seeing a lot of our old Opti, Laser and 29er friends in Newport this summer!”

J/105 sailing San Diego NOODThe eleven J/105s had their dose of sanity fed to them from one of the West Coast’s top J/105 crews.  There was no question the regatta was going to come down to the top three teams that have been leading the class the past few years- Rick Goebel’s SANITY, Dennis Case’s WINGS and Tom Hurlburt/ Chuck Driscoll’s JUICED.  In the end, it was the SANITY crew skippered by Rick Goebel that walked off with class honors with an undeniably powerful, ego-crushing scoreline of all top three finishes- a 2-2-1-3-1-3 tally for just 12 pts total.  Their compatriots in crime at the top of the leaderboard, nevertheless, made it a struggle for both Goebel but as well as themselves.  WINGS won that battle by a whisker in the last race, hanging onto a 7th to secure second by one point over the jazzed-up JUICED crew!  Rounding out the top five were Scott McDaniel’s OFF THE PORCH (happy to win the last race) to secure 4th place, and Stew Cannon’s J-OK in fifth (happy to win the first race!).

J/120 CAPER sailing San Diego NOODThe J/120 class was probably grateful they were not white-washed by the insanely smart or fast (or both) crew on board John Laun’s CAPER.  While they started off with a “less than zero” tally in their first race, a negative 6 pts, the caped crusaders on CAPER just put it all together and sailed away with a 1-3-1-1 tally for the gold!  What was cooler than that performance? A new face in the crowd- the proverbial “new kids on the block”!  A bunch of MAD MEN, no less.  It was Ernie Pennell’s crew on MAD MEN that sailed an amazing regatta to get the silver by one point!  Shockingly, it was Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY team that was on the short-end of that stick, settling for the bronze behind “the new kids”. Rounding out the top five was another surprise, Tim Hogan’s almighty lucky SHAMROCK was just one point back in 4th place and past multiple regatta champion, Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER, had to settle for 5th place. Amazing how times are a-changin’ in the SD 120 world.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside Images  For more Helly Hansen San Diego NOOD sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.