2008 Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD Regatta

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Terry Hutchinson's team on the Melges 24 Quantum Racing/Rosebud tacks for the right side of the course shortly after the start of Race 1 at the Sperry Top-Sider St. Pete NOOD. Prints of this photo and others available at http://noodregattas.smugmug.comStuart Streuli

While the first race for the 49-boat Melges 24 class started in a promising breeze, the wind quickly died away. Prints of this photo and others available at http://noodregattas.smugmug.com.

While the first race for the 49-boat Melges 24 class started in a promising breeze, the wind quickly died away. Prints of this photo and others available at http://noodregattas.smugmug.com.Stuart Streuli

2008SPNOOD_Day1_C

Stuart Streuli

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Stuart Streuli

Chip Till and his crew on Tunnel of Love, one of 25 J/24s sailing in the 2008 Sperry Top-Sider St. Pete NOOD Regatta, goes for an unconventional approach to the starting line, coming from windward of the committee boat with 30 seconds until the gun.

Chip Till and his crew on Tunnel of Love, one of 25 J/24s sailing in the 2008 Sperry Top-Sider St. Pete NOOD Regatta, goes for an unconventional approach to the starting line, coming from windward of the committee boat with 30 seconds until the gun. It worked, however, they won the race.Stuart Streuli

2008SPNOOD_Day1_F

Stuart Streuli

2008SPNOOD_Day1_G

Stuart Streuli

Mike Carroll and Marty Kullman's New Wave leads two other Melges 32s toward the leeward make. The Melges 32s were the only of the Circle B boats to get a second beat in before the race committee shortened all courses.

Mike Carroll and Marty Kullman's New Wave leads two other Melges 32s toward the leeward make. The Melges 32s were the only of the Circle B boats to get a second beat in before the race committee shortened all courses.Stuart Streuli

The crew of John Taylor's Melges 32 Ninkasi scrambles through a complicated windward douse and jibe during Race 1.

The crew of John Taylor's Melges 32 Ninkasi scrambles through a complicated windward douse and jibe during Race 1.Stuart Streuli

With the finish line just a few feet away, two Melges 24s sit becalmed, anxiously trying to lock up a solid finish. Paul Hulsey's Hoodlum, foreground, won the race, finishing under jib in very light and shifty winds.

With the finish line just a few feet away, two Melges 24s sit becalmed, anxiously trying to lock up a solid finish. Paul Hulsey's Hoodlum, foreground, won the race, finishing under jib in very light and shifty winds.Stuart Streuli

Paul Hulsey's team, still becalmed; the finish line, which was through the leeward gate, in sight.

Paul Hulsey's team, still becalmed; the finish line, which was through the leeward gate, in sight.Stuart Streuli

While the first few boats crawled across the line fairly well separated, the breeze filled lightly from behind and the finishes came fast and furious in the middle of the pack, with most of the boats aiming for the right-hand gate, looking downwind.

While the first few boats crawled across the line fairly well separated, the breeze filled lightly from behind and the finishes came fast and furious in the middle of the pack, with most of the boats aiming for the right-hand gate, looking downwind.Stuart Streuli

While the first few boats crawled across the line fairly well separated, the breeze filled lightly from behind and the finishes came fast and furious in the middle of the pack, with most of the boats aiming for the right-hand gate, looking downwind.

While the first few boats crawled across the line fairly well separated, the breeze filled lightly from behind and the finishes came fast and furious in the middle of the pack, with most of the boats aiming for the right-hand gate, looking downwind.Stuart Streuli

While the first few boats crawled across the line fairly well separated, the breeze filled lightly from behind and the finishes came fast and furious in the middle of the pack, with most of the boats aiming for the right-hand gate, looking downwind.

While the first few boats crawled across the line fairly well separated, the breeze filled lightly from behind and the finishes came fast and furious in the middle of the pack, with most of the boats aiming for the right-hand gate, looking downwind.Stuart Streuli

While the first few boats crawled across the line fairly well separated, the breeze filled lightly from behind and the finishes came fast and furious in the middle of the pack, with most of the boats aiming for the right-hand gate, looking downwind.

While the first few boats crawled across the line fairly well separated, the breeze filled lightly from behind and the finishes came fast and furious in the middle of the pack, with most of the boats aiming for the right-hand gate, looking downwind.Stuart Streuli

Two J/105s almost going in opposite directions as they try to keep their spinnakers full as they approach the finish line.

Two J/105s almost going in opposite directions as they try to keep their spinnakers full as they approach the finish line.Stuart Streuli

Steve Olinger's J'Makin' Waves tries the low road while Kevin Grainger's Gumption 3 defends its wind against another boat hoping to make a last-second pass.

Steve Olinger's J'Makin' Waves tries the low road while Kevin Grainger's Gumption 3 defends its wind against another boat hoping to make a last-second pass.Stuart Streuli

The wind was so capricious that many J/24s, which started five minutes behind and are 10 feet shorter, were able to pass J/105s on the run.

The wind was so capricious that many J/24s, which started five minutes behind and are 10 feet shorter, were able to pass J/105s on the run.Stuart Streuli