Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in San Diego: Friday

A tie at the top of the J/70 class sets the tone for the weekend.

Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta

Viper 640

Viper 640 skipper Alex Steele was one crewmember short this morning, so he went doublehanded. With the breeze filling in above forecast he says it was only a bit more challenging than he thought it would be, but it didn’t stop the pair from winning the first race and leading the next wire to wire to handily take the lead in the 10-boat Viper fleet.Paul Todd/Outside Images

The Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta, the largest national sailboat racing circuit in the United States, kicked off its second stop of the year today in San Diego, California. More than 100 teams are competing in 12 classes throughout the weekend for the series’ top prize — a trip to the British Virgin Islands to compete in the Helly Hansen NOOD Championship Regatta, hosted by Sunsail.

Jeff Janov of Malibu, California, took a slightly different approach to filling out his team for the three-day regatta in San Diego: he enlisted his two young sons, 10-year-old Jordan and Grant, 13. Having them onboard, he says, made all the difference in the team’s outstanding opening day performance in the 24-boat fleet, which found them tied for first with Bruce Golison’s Alamitos-based squad on Midlife Crisis.

“It was a good day,” says Jordan, understated. “Victor [Diaz de Leon, the boat’s professional tactician] liked the pin-end starts because he thought there would be more wind on the left.”

Diaz de Leon’s strategy turned out to be the winning theme of the day: the left side of the San Diego Bay racecourse was the place where the biggest gains were to be found, contrary to what the locals typically expect. “It should have been more of a right-side day,” said local expert Chris Snow. “But what ultimately happened was not usual. Because the wind didn’t shift as far right as you’d expect it to, I think it sort of went up and over the higher buildings on Coronado and got a little light in the right corner because of that.”

There was more wind in the upper-left corner of the racecourse, therefore, and the J/70 fleet’s top teams took full advantage of it, as did Alex Steele, skipper of the top Viper 640 Last Call, who won the first two races and finished second in the third. Steele, it’s worth noting, was sailing one crew member short, which should have been a disadvantage in the day’s 10- to 15-knot winds. “With only the two of us, we were really quick downwind,” says Steele. “So we just had to be able to stay in touch upwind and make our gains on the downwinds.”

Also racing on the San Diego Bay racecourse were the Ultimate 20 sailors, led in the standings at the end of the day by Mark Allen’s team on Junta from Salt Lake City, Utah. A trio of Bucaneer 18 dinghies, as well two International 14’s, enjoyed ideal flat-water sailing. For International 14 skipper Cameron Puckey and Brad Ruetenik, each of which had last-minute crew cancellations, it was an opportunity to sail together in the exciting, high-performance two-person dinghy. “It was an awesome day to be out there,” says Reutenik. “It was a good chance to sail on Cameron’s boat.”

Day one race results, including the top three finishers in each class, are listed below:

Ultimate 20 (One Design - 7 Boats) 1. Junta, Ultimate 20, Mark Allen , Salt Lake City, UT, USA, 1 -2 -2 ; 5 2. Ultimate Antics, Ultimate 20, Bob Comstock , Fresno, CA, USA, 3 -1 -3 ; 7 3. Juiced!, Ultimate 20, Jim Ulatowski , Denver, CO, USA, 5 -4 -1 ; 10

Bucaneer 18 (One Design - 4 Boats) 1. Wonder, Buccaneer 18, Matt Davis , Phoenix, AZ, USA, 1 -2 -1 ; 4 2. Easy, Buccaneer 18, Chuck Williams , Yuma, AZ, USA, 2 -1 -2 ; 5 3. Rainie's Day, Buccaneer 18, Michael Parker , Chandler, AZ, USA, 5 -5 -5 ; 15

J 70 (One Design - 24 Boats) 1. Midlife Crisis, J 70, Bruce Golison , Rossmoor, CA, USA, 1 -1 -8 ; 10 2. Minor Threat, J 70, Jeff Janov , Malibu, CA, USA, 5 -3 -2 ; 10 3. Zumbale, J 70, Luis Barrios , Mexico, CDMX, MEX, 2 -8 -1 ; 11

Viper 640 (One Design - 10 Boats) 1. Last Call, Viper 640, Alex Steele , Costa Mesa, CA, USA, 1 -1 -2 ; 4 2. Cobra, Viper 640, Tim Carter , Harbor City, CA, USA, 2 -4 -1 ; 7 3. Breakaway, Viper 640, Eric Chadwick , Pasadena, CA, USA, 5 -3 -3 ; 11

I 14 (One Design - 5 Boats) 1. Mind Your Step, International 14, Cameron Puckey , Cardiff, CA, USA, 1 -1 -1 ; 3 2. Cheeky-Bastard/ Science Project/ Got Wave *Ohs, International 14, Aidan Mobley , Playa del Rey, CA, USA, 2 -2 -2 ; 6 3. Astragulus, International 14, Brad Ruetenik , Encinitas, Ca, USA, 6 -6 -6 ; 18

Full race results for day one of the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in San Diego are available Cumulative Results.

Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego

Golison cross

With Bruce Golison on the helm the J/70 Midlife Crisis was in good hands. Golison is a master of San Diego Bay’s quirks, and on the first of three days at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in San Diego, Crisis was on form, winning the first two races and taking an eight in the third.Paul Todd/Outside Images
Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego

International 14

Aidan Mobley, the San Diego NOOD Regatta’s youngest International 14 owner, at the age of 17, took to the trap wire of his new (to him boat).Paul Todd/Outside Images
Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta

J/70s on Parade

Patrick Danley's Tally Ho covers the weather flank of J/70s headed to the right side of the course. The team's best finish on the day was a 12th.Paul Todd/Outside Images
Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego

Viper bite

With 10- to 15-knots of breeze and flat water on San Diego Bay on the opening day there was plenty to smile about in the quick-planing Viper 640 fleet.Paul Todd/Outside Images
Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego

Leeward mark takedown

For some Southern California J/70 teams the NOOD Regatta was the start of their spring season and the top, more practiced teams were in good form.Paul Todd/Outside Images