TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands-For the 2008 Caribbean NOOD, the team led by San Diego Etchells sailors Will Stout and Artie Means made sure to pack key essentials including an extra winch handle, kiteboarding gear, a 12-volt blender, 5 pounds of bacon, and a pair of inflatable rafts from Wal-Mart.
It’s hardly an ordinary regatta prep list. But then the Caribbean NOOD is anything but an ordinary regatta. The participants are invited based upon their superior performances at the nine stops of the 2008 Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta series. At each regatta, an overall winner is selected from the class champions and invited to spend 5 days racing and cruising the British Virgin Islands courtesy of Sunsail. The boats are identical Sunsail 39s, but the racing is jib-and-main, the mood is laid back, and the focus is as much on having a good time as it is winning.
The San Diego team nailed it in both respects. The three couples-Will and Maria Stout, Artie and Nicole Means, and Bill and Lisa Carey-packed about as much fun into five days as possible. When the gun sounded they were serious enough to win two of five Sunsail 39 races and finish second in three others, in addition to winning the Laser racing at the Bitter End YC, which accounted for 10 percent of the overall score. When the racing was over, however, they were the first team to throw the inflatable raft over the side, fire up the blender, mix up a few adult beverages, and start laughing.
The San Diego started the regatta with a win on the first of two buoy races in Sir Francis Drake Channel and their position at the top of the rankings was never seriously threatened. When it came to enjoying the event, however, it was much more difficult to pick an individual winner.
Each of the seven teams-the Houston stop on the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD circuit was cancelled due to damage from Hurricane Ike and the Annapolis champion was unable to make the trip-took full advantage of the schedule and the fabulous cruising grounds in the British Virgin Islands.
Among the watering holes visited during the trip were the Bitter End YC, Foxy’s on Jost Van Dyke, and the infamous Willy T’s in the Bight on Norman Island.
The race schedule included two buoy races on Day 1, a doubleheader on Day 2 including an 11-mile distance race and four Laser races at the Bitter End YC, and distance races on Days 3 and 4. The final awards ceremony took place at the Pirate’s Bight Bar and Restaurant on Norman Island.
Final Results: 1. Will Stout and Artie Means (San Diego NOOD Champion, Etchells class) 9.9 points; 2. Stephen Orsini (Seattle, Santana 20) 15.3; 3. Justin Scott (Marblehead, Viper 640) 23; 4. Christain Schaumloffel (St. Petersburg, Hobie 33) 27; 5. Robert and Dr. Cornelia Zerban (Chicago, J/109) 33.9; 6. Collamore Crocker and Kurt Weisenfluh (Larchmont, Shields) 35.1; 7. Sue Grassley (Detroit, Beneteau 36.7) 39.3
The Sperry Top-Sider National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta Series serves as North America’s proving ground for the best racing sailors in nine cities across the continent. Now, for the fourth year in a row, the best sailors from these events will meet in the British Virgin Islands to sail aboard Sunsail 39s, November 8-11, 2008, to determine the top crew in North America in the 2008 Caribbean NOOD Regatta.
“The Sperry Top-Sider NOOD is already the premier regatta series in the country, but we wanted to find a way to make it even better,” said George Brengle _Sailing World’s _Director of Marketing and Executive Director of the NOOD Regattas. “Now the best competitive sailors in the United States have the opportunity to compete against each other while enjoying an exciting four days of racing in the British Virgin Islands aboard Sunsail 39’s provided by Sunsail. It’s a sailor’s dream come true.”
Crews competing in the Caribbean NOOD Regatta hail from six U.S. states. Two crews are captained by residents from the West Coast. They are Will Stout and Stephen Orsini, who won the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regattas in San Diego and Seattle, respectively. Other winners are: Christian Schaumloffel from Virginia Beach, who won the St. Petersburg, FL event, Sue Grassley of Monroe, MI who won the Detroit event, Robert and Dr. Cornelia Zerban of Kenosha, WI winners in Chicago and co-skippers Com Crocker and Kurt Weisenfluh, of New Rochelle and Larchmont, New York, will represent the Larchmont event.
The event format will feature four days of round-the-buoy and port-to-port racing, November 8-11. Crews will be using Sunsail 39s from Sunsail’s fleet based out of Tortola. Spectators can contact Sunsail at 800-345-5616 to charter yachts for the event.
Created in 1988, the NOODs attract close to 2,000 boats and more than 30,000 competitors and spectators annually. Each event in the series features sailboat racing for one-design models from 20 to 70 feet in length. Sperry Top-Sider is the title sponsor of the NOOD Regatta series. It is presented by Mount Gay Rum and Sailing World magazine. Sunsail is hosting the NOOD Caribbean Regatta from its charter base in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.