Dale Marshall's Cal 25 Clytie Wins the Lands' End Detroit NOOD

181 boats in 16 classes enjoyed bluebird sailing on the final day of the Lands' End Detroit NOOD.

What does it take to win a Lands' End NOOD Regatta on Detroit's Lake St. Clair? According to Frank Tenkel, skipper of Bravo, which won the 9-boat C&C 35 Class this year, it's simple: "Go right." Well, maybe it's not that simple. Tenkel, who also won his class in the first Detroit NOOD in 1992, admits there's a bit more to his winning formula. "We go right a lot, but we also sail hard, keep our fingers crossed, and most of my crew have been sailing with me since day one," he says. "It's a tough class. These boats have been around since 1971, and we have a great, well-maintained fleet." And winners sometimes don't sail like winners, even when they're bound for a podium finish. "Everybody has a bad day, and today wasn't our best," said Tenkle. "We had one of those senior moments on a mark rounding and lost three boats because of a minor chute entanglement. But we pulled it all back together, covered who we had to beat, and got a second in the race." No skipper would be able to win an event without competent crew like sewerman Mike Cowan, who sailed on Robert Amsler's Merlin, which won the 7-boat J/120 class. "We had a great tactician, Wally Cross, sailing with us," said Cowan, "and whatever maneuver the back of the boat wanted to do, we did. Wally put us in all the right places on the course, and every sail that came down went up again. We tore a half-ounce kite on a takedown, and on the short legs we were sailing it's a challenge to deal with something like that. Five lengths before the next weather mark rounding the sail went back on deck and got hooked up. It was exciting, but that's why we race boats." Cowan says the boat that finished second, Robert Kirkman's Hot Ticket, and the boat that finished third, Don Hudak's Capers weren't easy to beat. "They were both tough," he said. "Hot Ticket stayed within two points the whole regatta, and Capers was really hot downwind. They were both a threat the whole regatta."Top boat in the 16-boat Beneteau First 36.7 class was Chuck Bayer's Grizzly. Bayer has sailed in 10 NOODs, the past three years with his 36.7, and won the Lands' End Annapolis NOOD earlier this year. After a collision during Friday's racing, Grizzly was effectively out of the regatta. "All the Beneteau owners helped get my boat back together," said Bayer. "If it wasn't for them, and the camaraderie in the class, we wouldn't have been able to sail Saturday, and we wouldn't have been able to win. We needed a new pulpit, stem fitting, and a spinnaker pole. Guys lent us parts and tools, and the local Beneteau dealer took parts off a brand-new 36.7 so we could race. We may have won, but it was because of them." Now, Bayer is a little worried. "Now we have a double bulls-eye on our boat. Since we won this event and Annapolis, we'll be a target at the 36.7 national championship in Newport this July."As we wrote in yesterday's Detroit NOOD report, Marc Hollerbach and his team on the Melges 24 Fu were given average points for the first race of the series because of a mix-up about whether or not Fu re-crossed the starting line after an OCS. They ended up winning the "It's tough because you don't know what your average points will be until the regatta is over," said Hollerbach. "In the end, our worst finish was a sixth. We just played the numbers; we were never on the on the unfavored shifts, we had enormous speed to cover who we needed to cover, and to go where we needed to go." Hollerbach also gave credit to his crew. "My guys did an unbelievable job," he said. "They kept their eyes off the boat when they needed to, and in the boat when they needed to. They did a great job keeping us in the wind and on the shifts. They never made a mistake on mark roundings; the boat handling was perfect, which is always the most important thing."Taking the overall prize at the Lands' End NOOD was Dale Marshall and his crew on the Cal 25 Clytie. Marshall, who has owned his Cal for 28 years, is no stranger to the podium in Detroit, he won in 2002, 2003, and 2004. "The trick is to have patience and a good crew," said Marshall, who sails with his wife, Jennifer, son Nathan, who calls tactics, Fred Anderson, and David Dewitt. "They've all sailed with me for a while. My wife's been sailing with me since we got married 32 years ago. It's a family affair" Some might find it hard to sail with family, but not Marshall. "It's been a joy for me," he said. "The dynamics have been very good for us. We enjoy the competition and leave any difficulties behind on the boat at the end of the day." After nearly three decades on the Cal, Marshall and his crew know what works. "It has a lot to do with patience and making your boat go fast at all times," said Marshall. "It was difficult between the conditions and the 28 other boats on the line. In the first race of the regatta we were over early and had to go back. Patience allowed us to get back in the game and finish 14th." Marshall and his crew didn't let the first race faze them. "We were really psyched," he said. "We all said 'let's be positive. It's a long event.' The only race we won was the next race. It helped us get our heads screwed on right." By winning the Detroit NOOD overall, the Clytie crew have won a spot at the Lands' End NOOD Championship, which will be held in the British Virgin Islands, and sailed on Oceanis 393s from Sunsail's charter base in Tortola.For complete results, see www.sailingworld.com