Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Thrilling Annapolis NOOD Regatta

J/105s sailing off Annapolis
(Annapolis, MD)- Even a self-described “punch in the nose” couldn’t stop Will Crump and his teammates aboard R80 from winning the J/80 fleet at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Annapolis today. The feat also earned them an invitation to the British Virgin Islands—as the regatta’s overall winner—to represent Annapolis at the Helly Hansen Caribbean NOOD Championship, scheduled for 2021.

Will Crump- J/80 winner, NOOD Overall winner
“John [White – friend and rival on board J/80 USA 1162] must have heard me say I was going after him in the starting sequence today,” Crump said jokingly. “Well, he won that round in race one today when he came after us right away, ‘punched us in the nose,’ and we finished fifth.

“Then we traded, and I got him in the next race,” Crump said. “It was another really fun day, very challenging and shifty. The fleet continues to be super competitive so winning is very rewarding.”

Behind the two leaders was a well-known world-class Naptown sailor- Mike Hobson on MELTEMI, securing the bronze on the podium with a win in the first race and posting five more races in the top three to finish with 31 pts. Top woman skipper Sarah Alexander on MORE COWBELLS took 4th place and Derick Lynch's OUTLAWS ended up 5th.

The final of three days of racing treated sailors across 78 teams to cooler temperatures, sun and moderate (but signature Annapolis shifty) winds for the final two to three races among the two divisions and 10 fleets.

J/105 sailing downwind
In the largest fleet of the event, sixteen J/105s battled it out with co-owners Cedric Lewis and Frederik Salvesen winning the class by 24 points with their family and friends aboard MIRAGE.

Lewis and Slavesen met during high school sailing and have sailed together for 35 years. “It was nice to have a bit of normalcy in this age of Coronavirus and get out racing,” said Lewis. “Our team has been dealing with adversity so sailing together was great.”

He credits flawless crew work as a major key to their success. “Today we finished up strong with a 2-1-1,” he said. “The breeze was all over the place and we saw pretty hefty shifts. We would start with a plan and stick to it. No freaking out if we fell behind.”

The MIRAGE team compiled an impressive record, winning 7 of 9 races for a total of 12 pts, an unheard-of record in the usually extremely competitive Annapolis J/105 fleet.  A distant second was Andrew Kennedy's BAT IV with 36 pts and taking the bronze was top woman skipper Sara Morgan Watters on CRASH!

J/70s sailing off Annapolis
First-time Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Annapolis competitor John Heaton on his Chicago-based Empeiria adapted quickly to Annapolis’ tricky sailing conditions, winning the 11-boat J/70 fleet by 17 points over Cate Muller-Terhune on Murder Hornet.

“Hats off to Annapolis; wow, what a challenging place. You can see why sailors here are very good tactically; it’s just so shifty,” said Heaton. “It’s a great venue and we’re thrilled with how much racing we got in. It was fun to sail against other, new boats here.”

According to Heaton, Sunday was a day of transitions, with special attention paid to crew movement as the wind strength went up and down. “Our first race today started a bit slow; I think we rounded the top mark in 8th, but we just focused on sailing the boat well and grinding boats down,” he said. “We ended up second, holding off two boats right at the end. A really fun, super competitive race and I was really proud of us to keep our heads up and sail hard.”

Another big surprise for the J/70 fleet, aside from a Chicago "outsider" winning, was top woman helm Cate Muller-Terhune sailing MURDER HORNET. She won two races along the way to earning a solid second place...it may have helped her to have someone like Alan Terhune on mainsheet- a past J/22 World Champion. Rounding out the podium was a familiar team on the J/70 circuit, Henry Filter's WILD CHILD took the bronze while, simultaneously also winning the Corinthians Division.  Second in the Corinthians was the trio of Bowe/ Jenner/ McNamara on TEA DANCE SNAKE and third was Peter Firey's PHOENIX.

J/22 sailing off Annapolis
With just three days practice under their belts, the J/22 U.S. Naval Academy entry won the J/22 fleet, breaking yesterday’s tiebreaker with J/22 veteran Jeffrey Todd on Hot Toddy. Taking third place was Zander King's RYTHMIC PUMPING.

USNA Skipper Jeffrey Petersen, from Santa Ana, Calif., is a plebe in his first two weeks at the U.S. Naval Academy, but he has raced internationally as a youth match-racing sailor. That experience helped today as he said the unstable and shifty wind created opportunities for them to do more maneuvers. Otherwise, Petersen said, “In a straight line, Mr. Todd’s speed was incredible. My team did an incredible job putting the boat in the right spot,” he said. “I really do owe it to them, especially as I shift out of my match-racing hat and into fleet racing.”

J/35 sailing upwind off Annapolis
In a Herculean effort to get his dismasted J/35 Abientot to the starting line of this weekend’s Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Annapolis, Roger Lant went to extreme measures.

“I actually bought another J/35 last week,” Lant said. “We pulled the mast out of it, stripped it and then sent it to the junkyard. It was everything I had in me to get to the starting line. But, today went very well so I am absolutely thrilled."

He credits his crew’s tenacity and great teamwork for their solid performance in the four-boat J/35 fleet to secure three first-place finishes and one second in shifty, challenging conditions on Chesapeake Bay. “It was very tough sailing out there, but also a lot of fun.”

The breeze, which peaked at 10 to 15 knots with large wind shifts, kept the committees on their toes to deliver three to four races across the 10 fleets and two circles.

The quartet of J/35s saw a very strong battle for the top of the leaderboard. Sure enough, Jim Sagerholm's AUNT JEAN and Roger Lant's ABIENTOT traded off 1st and 2nd over the course of nine races. First team to blink was, amazingly, Sagerholm's AUNT JEAN, suffering defeat in the fourth race and having to post a 3rd on his scoreline.  As a result, Lant's inspired crew on ABIENTOT with their "new" mast pulled off the unthinkable, beating AUNT JEAN to the top of the podium! Third was Jim McNeely's MAGGIE.

J/30 sailing on Chesapeake Bay
The J/30s had great racing amongst their fleet of eight boats from all over Chesapeake Bay. Surprising many, a smoking hot TOTALED MAYHEM sailed by Doug & Amy Stryker's basically decimated their class, posting all top 2 finishes in the nine races sailed, finishing with just 15 pts.  Also sailing a solid regatta was Bruce Irvin's SHAMROCK, collecting four bullets along the way, to finish with 21 pts.  Third was top woman skipper Heidi Frist, sailing SUZIE Q on to the bronze step on the podium. Heidi started the regatta strongly with a 1st and 3rd, leading the fleet. Thereafter, she closed the first day in 2nd place with an additional two 4th place finishes. Sunday was another story for her team, faltering in a few races but nevertheless still earning a well-deserved bronze medal.

J/24s sailing on Chesapeake Bay
The half-dozen J/24 class saw another case of getting "schooled" on how to get around the race track. Winning his first six races before taking a breather, Pat Fitzgerald's RUSH HOUR won handily with a tally of seven bullets in eight races for 10 pts. In a tight battle for the balance of the podium were Kent Bartlett’s SPACEMAN SPIFF and Jim Bonham's SISU. Their battle went down to the wire on the last day with the SPIFFERS closing with a strong pair of deuces to take the silver, with SISU taking the bronze.

J/30 Crash with wild women
Annapolis NOOD Overall Winner Crump, selected from among individual class winners, summed up the weekend, saying “I’m really grateful for winning, and very grateful that we were even able to have an event this year. This is the only event we are doing all year,” he said. “It felt great to get out and sail and sort of pretend the world is the way it’s supposed to be, even for a short amount of time.

“We’re definitely looking forward to going to the Caribbean. Our team was lucky enough to get down there in 2011, and now that we know what it’s like we can’t wait to go back.”  For more Annapolis NOOD sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.