Light Air and Fluky Conditions Mark Day 1 of the Lands' End Detroit NOOD

The skippers and crew who were able to keep their boats rolling through big windshifts and a dying northerly came out on top on the first day of the 2006 Detroit NOOD

Detroit NOOD 2006 Day 1

Bruce Hubbard

Detroit's Bayview Yacht Club is a great place to have a party, and not too bad a place to hold a regatta out of, either. At the end of racing on the first day of the Lands' End NOOD Regatta the crowd of racers were tired, a tad sunburned, ready to have a few pops, and taking great delight in the joys of spending a day on the water racing sailboats. The wind was light and fluky, as it often is on Detroit's Lake St. Clair, but the enthusiasm in the 189-boat fleet, both on the water and back at Bayview after racing, was through the roof. Most sailors were content to call it a day and motor in once racing was done, but a solitary Crescent class sloop, the last NOOD racers to hit the dock, wasn't quite ready to take its sails down, despite the dying wind. Class stalwart Stephen Hume and his crew on Manon sailed into the Detroit River with their bright pink spinnaker flying, and their outboard motor silent, unwilling for the day's sailing to end. We caught up with Hume once he'd put his boat away to see how he'd done for the day. "We're in second." Said Hume, "but we're going to win this thing. My brother, David is in first with three bullets, but my crew is all female, they're all pretty, and we have luck on our side. I'd rather be lucky than good." Hume has been a Crescent sailor since 1985, and has some ideas about what he'd like to do to his brother tomorrow. "We're going to terrorize him at the start," said Hume. "We're going to run him right into the committee boat." Brother David may have other ideas, but at least we've warned the race committee.In the 19-boat T-10 class, the co-skippers of Head Honcho, Skip Dieball and Scott Irwin, ended the day with a 1-4 scoreline, and are in first, two points ahead of the second-place team on Smelly Pirate Hooker. "Scott got us of the line really well today," said Dieball. "It was light and shifty, but we kept the bow down, the sheets eased, and were always in foot mode, not point mode. We brought four little boat sailors and a couple of T-10 regulars for the NOOD, so our crew work is excellent." According to sailors with experience racing on Lake St.Clair, current is a key ingredient to racing here, especially where the T-10s were racing in Racing Area B, which is 6 miles East of Bayview YC, but Dieball wasn't seeing much current today. "I'm a little-boat sailor, so I tend to look for buoys to show us current," he said. "I know there should be, because there's a lot of water trying to get down the river, but we weren't getting set as we were approaching marks, it was all about pressure today." Dieball knows that a good first day is great, but it doesn't guarantee an overall win. "You can lose the regatta in one race," he said, "but you can't win it in one." A few years ago, not many people would think that Irwin's T-10 would ever sail again, much less be winning a NOOD regatta. "We bought the boat after it was virtually destroyed in a fire," said Irwin. "Gary Disbrow, a boat builder in Vermillion, Ohio, helped us put it back together with a new deck, and a new interior from bow to stern." According to Dieball and Irwin, Disbrow is doing a great job of re-vitalizing the class by rebuilding at least 15 or 20 T-10s that would have otherwise ended up on the scrapheap." In the J/105 class, Michael Morin and Dwayne Rose, co-owners of Junto, were pleased with their two fourth-place finishes, which put them in second overall behind Richard Listwan's Tenacious. "It was all about making the boat go fast today," said Morin. "The jib always had to have pressure; if you sailed to sail too high, it was deadly. It was such a fluky day; sometimes you were lucky and on the right side of a shift, sometimes not. We just tried to keep our boatspeed up." Crew work was an important part of Junto's day, according to Morin. "The sail handling was perfect today," he said. "In one-design racing, when you don't make any mistakes, it really helps." Morin and Rose have reason to be proud of their crew; Rose has one son sailing aboard Junto, Morin has two. Junto may well have the most visible crew gear at the Detroit NOOD this year, bright yellow t-shirts with Junto in large lettering. Junto may be one of the more appropriate names we've ever heard of for a J Boat. "Junto is an Old English name for a group of people with a common purpose," said Morin. "Our thought was could we come up with a word that starts with a "J," and Junto seemed perfect."The largest class at this year's Detroit NOOD is the 29-boat strong Cal 25 class. After three races, Dale Marshall's Clytie is winning a tiebreaker with Paul and Ross Nuechterlein's Never Alone, and John Shumaker's Pirogue, in second and third, respectively. Knocking at the door with 20 points is Stuart Thompson's Target Practice. In the 24-boat Melges 24 class Tim O'Neill's Rapid Sequence is in first with 17 points, closely followed by Team Satisfaction, skippered by Michael Schulz, with 18. For complete results, see www.sailingworld.com