Diane Chase (401-845-5117 / 401-965-4726)
Cynthia Goss (203-453-2731)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2002 — Racers who spend each Labor Day weekend competing at the Sailing World NOOD Regatta in San Francisco know the drill: be prepared for wind–some 20 knots and more –and fast sleigh rides downwind. But even in the wet and wild conditions expected for the NOOD, hosted August 31 to September 1 by St. Francis Yacht Club and presented by Mount Gay Rum, conservatism is the watchword for those racing for a big-fleet win.
For San Francisco racer Phil Perkins, the helmsman of last years J/105 season champion GOOD TIMIN, the best strategy will not be going for glory in every race: in a class that will number some 40 boats, the key is being conservative and knitting enough top-10 finishes together for a leading edge. “Our goal will simply be to stay in the hunt in each and every race,” said Perkins, “and not to let ourselves have a bad race, or even a bad leg.”
Perkins, who will race with co-owner Dave Wilson, knows he and his crew have a tough job ahead, for they face a fleet that has been better schooled this year in the art of sailboat racing. When a high number of protests last season started to detract from the fun of racing, the J/105 class took a proactive stance: they hosted a mandatory charm school for local owners that included two days of seminars on rules and tactics, with experts such as Dick Rose and Mark Reynolds.
“The seminar helped our fleet make a quantum leap in both behavior and understanding,” said class organizer Dave Tambellini. Classmates agree, vowing that victories this year have been won on the water and not in the protest room.
The J/105s, the largest class racing at the San Francisco NOOD, will be 1 of some 12 classes expected to compete at the seventh stop on the National Offshore One-Design (NOOD) racing circuit. The NOOD regattas, which conclude on Galveston Bay (Texas) in late September, are owned and organized by Sailing World magazine.
The J/35 class will host their North American championships at the NOOD. According to leading contender John Wimer (Half Moon Bay), the J/35s are seeing a resurgence on the Bay. Some 10 boats are expected.
The Farr 40 class will draw a strong lineup of leading class contenders with world-class players in their afterguards. The NOOD is the second-to-last event on the class West Coast Championship. Among the 20 boats expected for the NOOD will be John Kilroys SAMBA PA TI (El Segundo), who leads the season standings going into the NOOD, and Brack Dukers REVOLUTION (Los Angeles), who won the class at the 2001 NOOD.
Express 27s will draw 17 to 20 boats, including players from outside the Bay area who will join the class to gear up for the Express 27 Nationals, to be held later this season. San Francisco skippers Scott Sellers and Ray Lotto, who were first and third respectively at last years NOOD, are expected to return to defend their wins.
San Franciscos J/120 class joined the NOOD for the first time in 2001. The class will draw a larger fleet this year, with eight boats expected. According to class organizer Timo Bruck, the local class is in the early stage of building a critical mass for one-design racing. Winners share trade secrets with those struggling to reach the frontlines; crews are learning to better handle the boats; racing and non-competitive events are on the class calendar; and the guiding ethos, says Bruck, is to “come out, sail with us, and have a good time.”
In addition to the above-mentioned classes, the following fleets are expected on the starting line: 1D35, J/24, J/80, and Melges 24. A total of some 120 boats is expected.
Competition in all classes begins Saturday, August 31. The first warning signal is slated for 10:50 AM, weather permitting.
At the prize giving ceremony on Sunday evening at St. Francis Yacht Club, trophies will be awarded to the winners of each class. In addition, sponsor Hall Spars & Rigging will award the Hall Spars & Rigging Boat of the Day Award to the fleets top performer on opening day.
The San Francisco NOOD is presented by Mount Gay Rum and hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club. Support sponsors who join Sailing World magazine include: Boat U.S., Frederiksen, Hall Spars & Rigging, Marlow Ropes, Mount Gay Rum, North Sails, Raymarine, Ronstan, Samuel Adams and The Boston Beer Company, and Sunsail.