Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in Annapolis: Frigid Friday

Spring is slow to come to Annapolis, but out on the courses racing stays hot.

Helly Hansen NOOD Sailing Regatta in Annapolis, Maryland
Light air and a large fleet made starting the J70s a challenge. It took three attempts to get the first race off the line.Paul Todd/Outside Images

When it’s a little brisk or a little damp, J/70 tactician Ashley Love has a solution for warming up cold fingers and toes — the rush of leading the fleet. “We got around the first mark of the day, in the first race, in the lead,” says Love. “The weather today was freezing, but looking back at everyone really gets your blood pumping. Your heart is racing, the adrenalin is flowing and all of the sudden you’re warm.”

Love sails aboard Tsunami, currently second place overall and first place in the Corinthian division. They credit their success to their focus on sailing in clear air and finding a good lane, not worrying about the other 41 boats on the course. "The starting line was chaos," says Love. "It was a total mess with so many boats, and everyone was trying to get over the line at the same time so it was crazy."

The J/70 class has 25 Corinthian boats, sailing on the same line as those with professionals aboard. “That’s the beauty of this sport,” says Love. “We can sail against the Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan of sailing, any time you want to. As we know, racing against people better than you is how you improve.”

Love admits to sometimes observing the professionally-sailed boats in her fleet to help her make tactical decisions, but prefers to focus on her own race to keep her head in the game. “Most of the time, everyone is just a hull and a sail in the water,” says Love. “They're is just a boat, and we don’t get intimidated by who is on them.”

Tsunami sits just one point behind Geoff Becker's Papa Wheeli, and one point ahead of John Brim's Rimette. Peter McChesney's Trouble has the second-best Corinthian performance, sitting in 7th overall in the class.

In the first two races, Becker had bullets, but started on the wrong end in the third race and ended up 15th overall. “We were at the very bottom of the fleet at the start and caught up to 15,” says Becker. “Honestly, at the start we would have paid for 15, so finishing there was fortunate on our side. When you sail in big fleets, being behind a few boats isn’t as big of a deal. If you can be more patient, losing a handful of boats here and there isn’t a problem. You can give away small gains for bigger gains.”

While Becker’s boat is not Corinthian, he enjoys sailing against the combined fleet. “Any team can do well in any given race,” says Becker. “There are enough good sailors in these boats now, a lot of people can do well. A few years ago, the less experienced drivers weren’t good, but now the boats are doing better as the drivers improve. There are some really great amateur drivers and sailors in this fleet. I like that the J/70s keep everyone together sailing against each other.”

Helly Hansen NOOD Sailing Regatta in Annapolis
"The class has some growing to do, as any other young class, but we're growing fast and have an impressive number of boats already. This core group at the NOOD has been moving around together, and if they stick together they'll all see improvements." – Ennio Staffini, Anema & CorePaul Todd/Outside Images

Two miles further out of Chesapeake Bay from the J/70s, 12 C&C 30 One Designs are doing battle in their first regatta since their class rules were finalized. The most successful of these was two-time ORC World Champion Tommaso Chieffi from Italy, tactician for local sailor Ennio Staffini, aboard Anema & Core.

The NOOD is Staffini’s second regatta on the new C&C, which bears the same name as his TP52. Staffini says he always drives his boats; the class didn’t solidify their owner-driver rule until after Key West Race Week this year, so the NOOD is the first regatta under those rules.

“The class has some growing to do, as any other young class, but we're growing fast and have an impressive number of boats already out there,” says Staffini. “This core group at the NOOD has been moving around together, and if they stick together they'll all see improvements. The qualification of the rules will help everyone improve.”

Another local team – Bob Moran and his crew on Bobsled – are runner's up to Anema & Core, with Newport-based Angus Davis and his team on Nyabinghi in third.

Two days of racing remain on Chesapeake Bay. Follow along at sailingworld.com/nood-regattas/annapolis and on social media at #HHNOOD

Editor's Note: A scoring error on Friday has been corrected. Ennio Staffini's Anema & Core was scored OCR in the first race, altering their overall score to 5th in the class. The scores below have been adjusted to reflect this change.

Results

J/22 (One Design - 25 Boats)
1. Hot Toddy, J 22, Jeffrey Todd , Annapolis, MD, USA, 1 -4 ; 5 2. no name, J 22, Terry Flynn , League City, TX, USA, 5 -1 ; 6 3. USA 677, J 22, Brad Julian , Annapolis, MD, USA, 7 -3 ; 10

J/24 (One Design - 6 Boats)
1. Buxton, J 24, Peter Rich , Annapolis, MD, USA, 3 -1 ; 4 2. Rush Hour, J 24, Pat FitzGerald , Baltimore, MD, USA, 1 -3 ; 4

Alberg 30 (One Design - 7 Boats)
1. Laughing Gull, Alberg 30, Jonathan Adams , Severna Park, MD, USA, 2 -1 ; 3 2. LinGin, Alberg 30, Tim Williams , Arnold, MD, USA, 1 -4 ; 5 3. Latika, Alberg 30, William Woodford , Havre de Grace, MD, USA, 3 -3 ; 6

Cal 25 (One Design - 6 Boats)
1. White Cap, Cal 25, Timothy Bloomfield , Sherwood Forest, MD, USA, 1 -1 ; 2 2. ZEPHYR, Cal 25, David Hoyt , Glen Burnie, MD, USA, 4 -2 ; 6 3. Chicken Little, Cal 25, Charlie Husar , Annapolis, MD, USA, 2 -4 ; 6

J/70 (One Design - 43 Boats)
1. Papa Wheelie, J 70, Geoff Becker , Arnold, MD, USA, 1 -1 -15 ; 17 2. Tsunami, J 70, Todd Olds / Thomas Iseler / Preben Ostberg , Annapolis, MD, USA, 2 -12 -4 ; 18 3. Rimette, J 70, John Brim , Palm Beach, FL, USA, 13 -3 -3 ; 19

J/80 (One Design - 22 Boats)
1. White Lightnin', J 80, Vince Kalish , Annapolis, MD, USA, 5 -1 ; 6 2. USA 1162, J 80, John White , Severna Park, MD, USA, 1.5 -5 ; 6.5 3. VAYU, J 80, David Andril , Arlington, VA, USA, 1.5 -8 ; 9.5

J/30 (One Design - 10 Boats)
1. Bump..., J 30, Pam Morris , Galesville, MD, USA, 2 -4 -4 ; 10 2. Pogo, J 30, Charles Lutz , Annapolis, MD, USA, 9 -1 -3 ; 13 3. Infectious Smile, J 30, Tristan & Sheila Keen , Annapolis, MD, USA, 1 -11 -2 ; 14

J/35 (One Design - 5 Boats)
1. Aunt Jean, J 35, James Sagerholm / Jerry Christofel , Annapolis, MD, USA, 1 -1 -1 ; 3 2. T-Bone, J 35, Bruce Artman , Tracys Landing, MD, USA, 2 -2 -2 ; 6 3. Medicine Man, J 35, Chuck Kohlerman , Aston, PA, USA, 3 -4 -4 ; 11

Etchells (One Design - 8 Boats)
1. Ca$h Money, Etchells, Matt Lalumiere , Chester, MD, USA, 4 -1 -3 -2 ; 10 2. Caramba, Etchells, Jose Fuentes , Washington, DC, USA, 3 -3 -5 -1 ; 12 3. Make Mine A Double, Etchells, Jeff Borland , Annapolis, MD, USA, 2 -4 -4 -3 ; 13

J/105 (One Design - 19 Boats)
1. inigo, J 105, Jim Konigsberg , Fairfax, VA, USA, 2 -2 -2 ; 6 2. Distant Passion, J 105, James Macdonald , Smiths, BER, 8 -3 -3 ; 14 3. Tenacious, J 105, Carl and Scott Gitchell , Annapolis, MD, USA, 6 -4 -5 ; 15

J/111 (One Design - 7 Boats)
1. Perseverance, J 111, Bennet Greenwald , San Diego, CA, USA, 1 -1 -2 ; 4 2. Velocity, J 111, Martin Roesch , Ellicott City, MD, USA, 3 -2 -1 ; 6 3. Wicked 2.0, J 111, Douglas Curtiss , South Dartmouth, MA, USA, 2 -4 -3 ; 9

C&C 30 (One Design - 12 Boats)
1. BobSled, C&C 30 One Design, Bob Moran , Annapolis, MD, USA, 2 -2 -7 ; 11 2. Nyabinghi, C&C 30 One Design, Angus Davis , Bristol, RI, USA, 5 -1 -6 ; 12 3. Extreme2, C&C 30 One Design, Dan Cheresh , Saugatuck, MI, USA, 1 -8 -5 ; 14

PHRF 50-75 (3 days - 5 Boats)
1. Red, Farr 280, Peter Sulick , Naples, FL, USA, 4 -1 -1 ; 6 2. Rush, J 109, Bill Sweetser , Annapolis, MD, USA, 2 -2 -2 ; 6 3. Nordlys, J 109, Bob Schwartz , Port Washington, NY, USA, 1 -4 -4 ; 9