Racers Take To The Breeze on Second Day of Houston NOOD

Day 2 of the Lands' End Texas NOOD was lighter than Day 1, but not by much

Day 2 Texas NOOD 2006

Tony Bessinger

The atypical breezy conditions that racers experienced on Day 1 of the Lands' End Texas NOOD continued on Day 2, albeit with a little less velocity. But it was enough to lure some of the racers who'd decided that Friday was better spent at the dock out on the water. The only group that decided to spend a second day on land was the Star class, whose delicate rigs would have suffered on Galveston Bay's choppy waters. For most classes, it was a three-race day in glorious conditions, but there were some tired sailors at Lakewood YC this evening. "I'm so sore," said David Fuller, who's sailing on Stuart Lindow's J/24 Tropical Aggression. "It was howling out there again today. It's really nice to come inside and sit on a padded chair. I'm headed for a hot bath and bed." While Tropical Aggression is in fourth overall, 15 points behind the first place boat, Douglas Weakly's Red Stripe, they do have a shot at second. "We'll hit it again tomorrow," said Fuller. "It's a whole new day."Ken Horne and his wife, Bevin, who are sailing on Ken Horne's J/80 Whiskey Tango are enjoying sailing together for the first time since their baby was born. "It's been a year since we've sailed together," said Ken, who grew up sailing Lasers on the Texas youth circuit with Bevin. "It's been a great regatta. Usually this is a light-air event; it hasn't been this windy here in months. We've had some great surfing conditions; we saw a top speed of 15 knots today. It's been fun watching the Melges 24s. We round the top mark with them and weave our way through as they broach." Whiskey Tango is in second behind Bill Rose's Le KICKS, which has a perfect 1,1,1,1,1,1 scoreline. "We're just going to go out tomorrow, shoot for second place, and go away happy," said Ken. Steve Hammerman's J/80 Hammertime is having a tough regatta, and is in sixth overall, but crewmember Mark Landwer, who traveled from Chicago with his girlfriend Cherie Landry for the event isn't too disappointed. "We're not doing well, but we're having fun," said Landwer. "Screaming downwind at 14 knots on a 26-footer is fun." Hammertime may not be at the top of the rankings, but they can still give themselves a big pat on the back. They rescued one of the three sailors who went overboard during Friday's big breeze.John Novak's Corsair 28 Overdo, is in fourth by one point behind Rumline, skippered by Kevin Grice. "We're doing better than expected," said Novak. "We're sailing against a bunch of great sailors who we've never done this well against before. It's a huge deal for us. This is the heaviest stuff we've ever sailed in. Big breeze is a big equalizer, the guys with all the high-tech gear and light boats do better in light air." Novak seems to be reveling in the conditions. "Getting the spinnaker up and heading downwind is the best," he said. "Everything flattens out and we just scream." With one day of racing left, first place in a few of the 11 classes appears to be sewn up a few other classes as well. In the eight-boat J/105 class, Bill Zartler and his crew on Solaris sit comfortably in first with nine points, 15 points ahead of Vic Forsyth's Aftershock, in second. In the Level 70 class, Leading Edge, skippered by Tom Sutton, has a 10-point lead over Jeff Kitterman's Aftershock. Also holding a 10-point lead is, sailing in the 8-boat strong J/24 class. In the four-boat Catalina 22 class, Pete Harper's Hummingbird has a nine-point padding over Marilyn Boemer's Calypso. Terry Flynn's J/22 Tejas has a lead of 10 points over Brant Koepke's JurassicJ, but the J/22 fleet is the largest at this year's NOOD, with 12 boats, so Flynn, last year's overall champ, will have to stay out of double-digit territory on the final day of racing. In the other six classes sailing, the outcome isn't quite as clear. Robert Onsgard and his crew on the Corsair 28 Fifty-Fifty are working hard to overcome the OCS they suffered in the first race of the series. Marc Waters' Menage a Trois lies in first in the seven-boat class, but Fifty-Fifty is only two points out, and has scored a nearly perfect 1,1,1,2,1,1 series after the OCS. In the J/109 class, Steve Rhyne's Mojo ended the day with two first-place finishes, which puts them in first, but only by one point over Jon Halbert's Vitesse. In the Melges 24 class, Mark Bryan's Barking Fish (which has the coolest hull graphics in the regatta) is leading, two points ahead of Matt Mayo's trick monkey.A cold front is forecast to blow through Galveston Bay tonight, leaving in its wake a northerly breeze of 10 to 18 knots. The wind direction should smooth the short chop NOOD sailors have been contending with for the past two days. For complete results, see www.sailingworld.com