Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Sails into San Diego

Warm Southern California weather draws large fleet, including 21 J/105s and 18 29ers.

SDNOODPreviewSt
Stuart Streuli

Later this week, the Sperry Top-Sider National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta sets sail to San Diego YC (SDYC) in Southern California. From March 15-18, competition in 14 one-design classes will take place in three venues: San Diego Bay, Coronado Roads and the Pacific Ocean under the supervision of Principal Race Officer Sue Reilly and the SDYC race committee. While many of the 146 boats registered to date are California based, a significant number represent 11 U.S. states and Bermuda. The overall winner in San Diego will receive a Sunsail charter during the 2007 Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta Championship, in the British Virgin Islands, where they will compete against the overall winners from each stop on the nine-regatta Sperry Top-Sider NOOD circuit. Although the Beneteau 36.7 class is relatively small with 10 entries, that doesn't mean there will not be challenging competition. "There will be several top contenders from around the country," said Chick Pyle, the Southern California fleet captain and the 2005 San Diego NOOD overall champion. "Since we started as a class here four years ago, we have always welcomed charterers because the guys back East have cabin fever from a long cruel winter and their boats are still on the hard under snow and ice. San Diego in March is an easy sell." Don Finkle (Lewiston, N.Y.), a two-time San Diego NOOD champion, is returning as is Chuck Bayer (Detroit, Mich.), who won his class in 2006 at both the Annapolis and Detroit NOODs. Pyle said that local Marty Burke (Redondo, Calif.), a past West Coast champion, also will put on a strong showing.With 21 boats set to compete, the J/105 class is the largest. Masquerade, owned by Tom Coates (San Francisco, Calif.) is the current J/105 Southern Circuit leader and will be one to watch in this competitive class. The Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta at San Diego has the distinction of being the only stop on the circuit for the Catalina 36 class. "Last year was the first year for the Catalinas and we had 5 boats on the line, so the interest from the Catalina 36 owners is growing," said Brad Poulos (San Marcos, Calif.), the fleet captain and third-place in 2006. "The International Catalina 36 Association has sanctioned this event as the Southern California championship. Last year Dave Flint, on Isle Run, won the first place in the regattas and earned the championship title with three first-place and two second-place finishes, out of seven races. Obviously Dave is the guy to watch. However three of the six skippers have just added new sails to their inventory and are definitely going to give Dave a run for it."The newest class to the San Diego NOOD is the Flying Tiger. With the class's first one-design regatta showing at the SDYC Midwinters, held last month, the winning duo of John Rickard and Scot Tempesta (Carlsbad, Calif.) will be the ones to watch in the eight-boat fleet.One of the smallest boats and quite possibly one of the most exciting to watch is the 29er. The two-person skiff is known for quick maneuverability and downwind speed. Eighteen entries will face stiff competition from recent 29er Midwinter champions Emily Dellenbaugh (Easton, Conn.) and crew Briana Provancha, and from runners-up at that regatta, Judge Ryan (Santee, Calif.) and Hans Henken. The 29erXX rig will be utilized by the female teams as it is one of the boats currently being evaluated by the International Sailing Foundation for inclusion in future Olympic Games.Additional one-designs competing include: the 505, Beneteau 40.7, Buccaneer 18, Flying Dutchman, International 14, J/109, J/120, J/24, J/80 and Ultimate 20 classes.