Light Start Challenges Larchmont NOOD Sailors

A dying northerly warring with a weak seabreeze that never really kicked in--a scene familiar to anybody that’s spent time racing in Long Island Sound--were the conditions that greeted sailors for the first day of the Sailing World Larchmont NOOD regatta. "It’s hard to predict the future, especially today," said Jed Lee of Bellport, N.Y., tactician on the J/27 Amethyst. "You had to try and predict the current and breeze, and nothing seemed to work, but I have to say that it was a beautiful day and it certainly beat the hell out of being at work." Amethyst, which was class winner at this year’s Block Island Race Week ended the day with a 3, 3 in the five-boat class, ending third for the day, four points behind class leader, Ed Tillinghast’s Areopagus.

In the 11-boat Soverel 33 class, Whacko’s navigator, Patrick Jackson of Brooklyn, N.Y., enjoyed the challenging conditions. "It was light, but fun," he said. "It required people to think and assess all the conditions." Owner Norm Dean, agreed. "You have to be able to sail in all conditions," he said. "When it’s this light, it can be frustrating, especially because everybody in this class is so good, the level of competition is very high. In our first race we got a seventh, but it was a hard-fought seventh, we were a lot deeper than that and fought back hard to get there." After getting a second in the next race, Whacko ended the day in fourth, but is only four points behind class leader, Team Lake Norman.

Oddly enough, the crew with the least amount of experience in Long Island Sound, the Canadian team on the Farr 40 Honour, had one of the better scorelines in the fleet, two bullets. "We have a really good group of guys that were able to keep the boat going," said tactician Andy Horton, of Annapolis, Md. "They really concentrated well, which was the key to today. It’s harder for the skipper and the trimmers than it is for me, they’ve got to keep changing gears." Honour’s team has been put together to compete in the Farr 40 Worlds that will be held in the Bahamas in December, and next year’s Worlds in Sardinia. "We’re very excited," said skipper Alek Krstajic, of Toronto. "Andy’s doing a great job and we had great boat speed. I’m just disappointed that there aren’t more Farr 40s here." The regatta’s largest class, the 18-boat J/105 class is topped by Damien Emery’s Eclipse, who scored a steady 2, 1 for the day and is six points ahead of the second-place boat, Magic Hat. Geoffery Pierini, sailing his J/80 Bada Bing!, is first in his six boat class, which only sailed one race Friday.

Saturday promises to be a bit windier, with a seabreeze predicted to kick in at 10 to fifteen knots. Three groups that weren’t scheduled to race Friday, the J/44, Express 37, and Frers 33 classes, will begin racing Saturday.