Solid Wind Kick-Starts San Diego NOOD

Winds in the 12- to 17-knot range sparked exciting racing on Day 1 of the 2007 Sperry Top-Sider San Diego NOOD.

SDNOODDay1St
Tony Bessinger

­ The opening day of the Sperry Top-Sider National Offshore One Design (N.O.O.D.) Regatta in San Diego, Calif. got off to a foggy start. Although the coast was blanketed, Principal Race Officer Sue Reilly and the San Diego Yacht Club¹s race committee were able to complete three races on each of the two race courses ­ one "outside" on the ocean and one "inside" on the bay ­ where it was sunny with steady 12-17 knot wind. The San Diego NOOD regatta ­ which runs March 16-18 and is number two in the nine-venue national circuit ­ is hosting 160 boats in 14one-design classes, with six of the classes competing all three days and the rest opting for two days.Making its debut at the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta is the Flying Tiger 10 Meter class, a nomination in Sailing World's 2007 Boat of the Year Awards. The eight-boat class joined the Catalina 36 and Beneteau 36.7 classes on the Ocean course, while on the South Bay Area course the International 14, Flying Dutchman, 505 and Ultimate 20 classes competed.With a 2-1-1 scoreline, Scot Tempesta (San Diego) and John Rickard lead the Flying Tiger class with their Anarchy. "We had speed and we were smart, so of course tomorrow that means we¹ll be slow and stupid," laughed Tempesta, who has been sailing in this area for over 20 years. "Eric Shampain is doingour tactics and I have known him since he was 10. He's a great young sailor and made life really easy for us."Although Anarchy leads its class after three races, Tempesta has his eye on Occams Razor, owned by Neil Senturia (La Jolla, Calif.) with professional sailor and San Diego native Bill Hardesty on-board. "Primarily it's us and them and Slip Kid, with Keith Lorence aboard, he said. "In the first race, we had a really bad start and could never catch Bill. They were right behind us in second race. The boat's got great potential and we're stoked aboutracing. We feel like we've spent a long time getting this boat set-up well. Our expectation is if we get off the line in good shape, then we have the ability to set the pace. What you have to worry about is if you get behindit's hard to get ahead."In Beneteau 36.7 class Chick Pyle¹s (San Diego) Kea leads with two wins and a second-place finish. Pyle's affection for superstition came in handy today when the boat was fouled by a fowl. "If you believe in that old saying maybe that's what happened, to make us win," Pyle joked. "A Kea is a New Zealand bird and we had it all dripping down from the boat's name to the waterline. It was ugly."Are there other superstitions that he follows? "When you get lucky the first day, it's hard to keep your head in the game," he said. "I have a bad omen when we¹re leading the first day; we have to keep the crew focused.Everything comes down to every detail. Today, we just did everything right."Boats he is watching include Bella Vita, owned by Marty Burke (Redondo Beach, Calif.), the past boat of the week winner at Long Beach Race Week, in second place. Grizzly, owned by Charles Bayer (Grosse Pointe Farm, Mich.), is in third place.For Brad Poulos, the competition in the Catalina 36 class is exciting because his boat isn¹t necessarily known as a racing boat. "It's not a hot shot Beneteau," he said. "The guys who are on Catalinas are your average cruising sailors who are trying to race it as best they can.²"Although they aren't found racing very often, the class is competitive. "We thought Dave Flint on Isle Run would dominate after he won the first race," said Poulos. "But he got spanked in race two and three and that ended it. What was exciting was the closeness of the racing. In the second two races, the top three boats were within two boatlengths of each other."The last race of the day Poulos found himself dueling for the win against Terry Smith's (Del Mar, Calif.) Rippin'. "We both took off at the start and stayed way ahead in the lead," he said. "It was a horse race between the twoof us and at every mark we were within a half boat length. The entire time it was who could get a puff. Our boats were evenly matched. It was all skill, with a little luck. It was really fun." Rippin' leads the six-boat class, while Isle Run is in second and Poulos's Cherimarie is in third place.On the Bay course, the International 14 class is led by Paul Galvez and Archie Massey (Mission Viejo, Calif.) who lead the 18 boat class. The Ultimate 20 class is led by Michael Ellis (Irvine, Calif.) on Red Viking,while Tacyon, owned by Paul Scoffin (Orange Park, Calif.) leads the Flying Dutchman class and Gary Lee (San Diego) and his Team Oat top the board in the 10-boat 505 class.Tomorrow, action in six additional classes begins with the 29er, Buccaneer 18, J/109, J/120, J/24 and J/80 classes.