Racing continued on the second day of the 2019 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego (March 15 to 17). With the addition of one-design keelboat fleets on the ocean course, there was plenty of action in the waters off San Diego. While competitors inside San Diego Bay continued their series from Friday, the San Diego Yacht Club race committee set its first racecourse 2 miles south of Point Loma, where classic Southern California sailing conditions provided an action-packed day of racing for six different classes.
After three races in the Etchells fleet, Tom Carruthers, of San Diego, lead the highly competitive class in his boat, Elizabeth. Carruthers finished the day with a narrow 2-point lead over Jim Cunningham’s Lifted, of San Francisco, setting up a North/South rivalry for Sunday’s races.
“Jim used to be my training partner,” Caruthers said. “We’re still great friends, and in the third race we beat him by about a foot. It was a tricky day out there. Sometimes the wind would shift one direction, but there would be more breeze on the other side of the racecourse, so we had to balance that throughout the day.”
In the Beneteau First 40.7 fleet, Mark Stratton, of Marina del Rey, California, found his form aboard Lugano, winning three of four races. “We had great wind, great competition, and a beautiful, sunny day,” said Stratton. “The wind started off a bit light and built steadily throughout the day. By the end it was champagne sailing.”
Stratton is a veteran of the Beneteau First 40.7 fleet, having owned his boat for 10 years. “The fleet-size is fairly small right now,” Stratton said, “but a few more owners are coming on board, so I think in the next couple of months, we’ll see the fleet-size double.”
Inside the harbor, the North Sails Rally Race committee sent a fleet of boats on a distance race around San Diego Bay. The fleet included monohulls and multihulls, with the start and finish line set just off Shelter Island.
Oliver Michaelis, of San Diego, came away as the top monohull, sailing his Farr 30 Troublespot. Unlike the regatta’s one-design fleets, the North Sails Rally Race uses a time-handicap system to determine race winners.
“The way you sail the race in a multi-class fleet is different than when all the boats are the same,” said Michaelis. “You have to take into account how fast each boat goes, how big they are, and how they maneuver. Our Farr 30 performs well in the conditions we had today, which is part of the reason we came away with the win.”
In the multihull fleet, Mark Berdan, of San Diego, helmed his Farrier F82R, Uneven Keel, to a race win. “We were really excited because we had six trimarans today, and we seldom get that many down here,” said Berdan. “The Corsair dealer organized to get the boats here, so it was great having a fleet of our own out there.
“The racecourse was really fun. We had a turning mark just east of Point Loma, then we came back in and rounded a leeward mark south of the Midway Aircraft Carrier just off the Marriott Hotel. The wind and current can be tricky in there, so we had to keep an eye out.”
Berdan explained the main reason he loves sailing the NOOD regatta in San Diego is the variety of competition that the event brings to the area. “I’ve been racing in the NOOD regatta for a few years now,” said Berdan. “It’s great to see all the different types of boats. I have friends in a few different fleets, so it’s an awesome way for everyone to come together.”
On the bay course, the Formula 18 catamarans saw a range of conditions south of the Coronado Bridge. James Orkins, of Mission Bay, California, skippered his boat, Olive Oil, winning three of four races in the eight-boat fleet.
“On the third race, our trapeze-wire broke and my crew fell out of the boat,” Orkins said. “Luckily, we were able to get him back in without tipping over, and we were able to hang in there for a fourth-place finish. These boats have a ton of controls so it was really important to adjust as the conditions changed.
In the RS21 fleet, Alan Field’s team continued its dominance. “We had a great team with Garrett Woodworth, Ryan Costello, and Kyle Collins,” said Field, who is racing the boat for the first time this weekend. “We were able to rotate positions and gain perspective from different areas of the boat. In the end, we had three different drivers.”
That didn’t stop the team from Los Angeles’ California Yacht Club from winning all four races Saturday. “We love the new boat,” said Field. “And when your goal is to learn, it helps to spread the knowledge around as much as possible.”
The 2019 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego will conclude Sunday, with one overall regatta winner qualifying for the NOOD Caribbean Championship in the British Virgin Islands in late October.