Marblehead NOOD, Day Four
Marblehead, MA – At some regattas, the winner receives a trophy, a T-shirt, and a hearty handshake. At the Lands’ End NOOD Regatta at Marblehead Race Week, the overall champion wins a trip to the British Virgin Islands to compete for the 2006 Land’s End NOOD Championship.Maybe that’s why Marblehead’s Rob Gorman had such a big smile on his face Sunday evening. After winning in the Viper 640 class with seven first place finishes, Gorman was chosen as the regatta’s overall champion for his exceptional performance.”This is a total surprise,” said Gorman, who never expected to sail his way to a Caribbean vacation. “This is the first time we’ve raced the new boat, and we put a lot of work into it getting it ready to go. But it’s the crew work-the crew work made me look good.”Gorman couldn’t speak highly enough about his crew, a rotating cast of his daughter, Kelly, his son, Bob, Jr., and his longtime wingman, Wayne Huntley.”It’s all about feedback from the crew,” said Gorman. “They’re feeding me information all the time so I can concentrate on sailing the boat and making the decisions. They tell me what’s going on with the wind and with other boats, where the puffs are coming from, and what they see going on with the other classes further up the course.”Like most Viper sailors, Gorman likes it windy, but it was his ability to change gears that set him apart from the other 12 boats in his division. “Anybody that sails a Viper will tell you that a windy day is what we call a Viper day,” said Gorman. “It was blowing pretty good when we went out today, but as the day went on it slowed down, so we had to adjust the sails and get the crew in the boat and forward.”Gorman’s victory at the Marblehead NOOD also makes him the Viper North American Champion, which means he had another cumbersome trophy to lug home following Sunday’s awards ceremony. Luckily, Gorman travels with extra crew. Racing ended today for all classes. The next NOOD regatta takes place in Larchmont, New York in September.