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Racing Underway at the San Diego NOOD

Racers enjoy perfect conditions on the opening day.

March 15, 2003

Southern California sailors live for racing, especially when the sun is blazing and the winds are solid and consistent. The intensity among the top local and visiting teams is always high, especially when the racing is as close as it was today on the waters off San Diego where 16 one-design classes were spread across four racing circles, competing in the 2003 Sailing World San Diego NOOD Regatta.
One of those locals, Dennis Case, a 62-year-old real estate investor, has championed these same waters for many years as the man to be in the Shock 35 class, one of Southern Cal’s most competitive one-designs. After the first day of racing, he’s on a roll again, but this time in the J/105 class, the second largest fleet in the event with 24 teams sailing for the 105 title.

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| Jen Davies|

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| J/105s sail upwind off San Diego.* * *|

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For Case and his crew on Wings, the day was spectacular, a day with plenty of highs and lows. In the first race, after what he described as a perfect start, Wings led wire to wire. “With a start like that the crew gets so pumped,” says Case, “and that set the mood for the day.”
He was less successful in the start of the day’s second race, and wouldn’t enjoy such an easy lap around the racecourse. “It was simply a bad start and we had to live in a narrow lane and sail high and slow,” says Case. He made it to the top of the course in sixth, held his position downwind and then used his experience to climb back. “We thought there’d be more wind farther offshore, so we went left,” he said. Unfortunately there was more wind, but not enough to make him a hero. His crew encouraged him to cut his losses but he stuck to his guns. Case’s patience paid off and Wings found a shift and pulled into second to finish up the day on top.
The largest class in the event, the Etchells with 24, had local sailmakers and champions battling for opening-day bragging rights. After two races Brian Camet and Vince Brun share the lead with 3 points apiece. America’s Cup veteran Peter Isler stands third with six points after 3-3 finishes. Look for changes throughout the standings of this class tomorrow with a forecast for stronger winds and building seas.
While the bigger boats–Corsairs, 1D35s, J/120s, Solings, and Melges 24–were racing on the open Pacific, the regatta’s small boats were battling on San Diego Bay, dealing with shifty winds and currents. These are tough conditions, unless of course, you’re Zach Berkowitz, the reigning International 14 World Champion and king of small-boat, high-performance sailing. Berkowitz won two of four races in the 14-boat fleet, which earned him the Hall Spars and Rigging Boat of the Day Award, presented to the team with best overall performance for the day.
Other class leaders after Day 1 are: Jed Olenic (J/120), H.L. Enloe (Corsair 31), Joshua Ross (Martin 16), David Hammett (J/80), Chris Snow (J/24), Greg Hamm (Holder 20), Samuel Kahn (Melges 24), Steve Schmidt (Soling), Prussia & Medley (Corsair 24), Doug Ament (1D35), Christopher Nesbitt (Capri 22), John Andrew (Ultimate 20). For complete results, visit result links.

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