ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – On the second day of the Sperry Top-Sider National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta, skippers Brad and Spike Boston sailed past the competition. The Point Edward, Ontario, sailors again led the Ultimate 20 and S2 7.9 fleets, respectively, and are well on their way to setting a new NOOD regatta record in St. Petersburg.
Brad remains the leader the Ultimate 20 fleet after today’s races, as he and his boat Honour have a comfortable seven-point lead over his next closest competitors Pete Marriot and Bob McGrath (Charlotte, N.C.). Should Brad claim his fifth fleet title at tomorrow’s finals, he could set a new record for most fleet wins at St. Petersburg NOOD regatta.
Spike and his boat Frequent Flyer are also positioned well going into tomorrow’s S2 7.9 fleet finals, as he too has a seven-point lead over his next closest competitor Bob Fleck (Front Royal, Va.). He has captured four fleet wins at previous NOOD regattas in St. Petersburg, making Spike a contender for the same record that Brad is chasing.
In the regatta’s biggest class, the 49-boat Melges 24 division, the cream rose to the top today as Terry Hutchinson’s Quantum Racing/Rosebud had a first and a second, to go with an eleventh yesterday, to take over the lead with 14 points. Behind Hutchinson, the former tactician for Emirates Team New Zealand, is a trio of class stalwarts, all with 18 points. Brian Porter, Geoffrey Pierini, and John Podmajersky will each sail tomorrow with one eye on first place tomorrow and the other on their competition for second and third.
Like Hutchinson, J/105 skipper Damian Emery rebounded from a tough first race. Emery’s eclipse, finished 10th of 12 in Friday’s lone race. Today he won both and jumped into the lead. But Emery will be tested tomorrow. Two teams are tied for second with 13 points, while two more are tied for fourth with 14 points. In fact, the top seven boats are within 5 points of each other.
On Circle A, the Flying Tiger class enjoyed some very tight racing. At the first leeward mark, the first boat went around with a solid lead, but the next seven came in a pack of three, then a pack of four. Two road warriors will lead the class, which has done six races so far, into Sunday. Roger Pollack of Canton, Mich., and Scott Fox of Cumberland, Maine, are tied for first with 18 points. Charlie Reyonds of Southport, Conn., is just two points back.
The competition will be equally as intense in the 9-boat Hobie 33 class. Steve Attard’s Viva Las Vegas, Matthew Petrat’s Hot Stuff, and Christain Schaumloffel’s Mirage are deadlocked with 13 points.
The regatta will conclude tomorrow Sunday, Feb. 17 with the first race set to begin at 9:30 a.m. The race committee has amended the race instructions to allow for three races tomorrow. A solid southerly breeze is expected.
Following St. Petersburg, the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta series will sail on to San Diego, March 14-16, 2008. Additional venues for 2008 include Annapolis, Md., our newest site in Seattle, Detroit, Chicago, Marblehead, Mass., Larchmont, N.Y., and Houston, Texas.