MARBLEHEAD, Mass. (July 29, 2017) — The third day of the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta at Marblehead Race Week brought strong breeze and big seas that ultimately caused cancelled races for six of 10 classes. The two Laser divisions and a 30-boat J/70 fleet took advantage of the wind to complete five and two races, respectively.
This was the first day on the water for the single-crew Lasers, which compete in two categories based on sail size. Leading the larger Laser Full Rig fleet is Phil King, of Ipswich, Mass., after four first-place finishes in five races, while 14-year-old Marblehead local Mason Cheney currently holds the top spot of the Laser Radial group.
After racing in unusually rough conditions during Marblehead Junior Race Week July 24-26, Cheney was well-prepared for today’s weather.
“[During Marblehead Junior Race Week] I learned a lot about how to sail in waves, chop, heavy wind,” Cheney said, explaining that he’s used to sailing in Marblehead’s typical light air. “I cranked on all the controls that I had.”
With lighter wind on the forecast for Sunday, Cheney will find more familiar conditions, but will be up against stronger competition from his older sister Morgan, 15, who is also competing in the class.
John and Molly Baxter of Team Vineyard Vines continue to lead the J/70 class after their second day of racing, while Duncan Swain’s Clown Car sits atop the Corinthian division and third overall. The Helly Hansen Junior Crew—four local youth sailors selected to compete in the regatta—are ahead of half the seasoned crews in 15th of 30 boats.
After the final races on Sunday, regatta organizers will announce the overall winner based on the strongest individual finish in the most competitive class. The winner earns a berth in the championship regatta, held Oct. 22-29 in the British Virgin Islands.