Marblehead (Mass.) July 26, 2001 -- Weather for the opening races of the Sailing World NOOD at Marblehead Race Week, a four-day sailing regatta that began today off Marblehead, promised only excitement. Rain, angry white caps, and a stiff northeasterly wind blew across Massachusetts Bay as racers rigged their boats. But by days end, this front proved to be a disappointment--with a lot less bite and a maddening mix of personality traits.
During the days racing, the strong morning breeze waned to nothing, shifted as much as 40 degrees, and played havoc with sailors minds and hopes for a win in this venerable regatta. This evening, sailors came home under their own steam: the lucky ones got a motorboat tow; the unlucky ones paddled in; but all agreed that the crazy conditions are part of a long tradition in this 112-year-old event. As Timmy Dittrich, an IOD skipper from Swampscott, said of the conditions: "Thats Race Week!"
Seven classes were slated to race today, and six classes were able to complete races.
Conditions gave birth to an unfortunate beginning for some racers. A large percentage of the fleet did not finish their races within the prescribed time limit, or did not sail the proper course. These boats have already earned a costly high-point score after the first day of racing, and they will have to fight even harder to gain a place at the front of their class. (At series end, the boats with the lowest points scores will take class prizes.)
In the 42-boat Rhodes 19 class, the largest class in the event and the only class where all competitors finished a race within the time limit, Bill and Steve Dalton of Manchester (Mass.) have captured an early lead. Kim and Christina Pandapas of Marblehead, one of several husband-and-wife teams racing a Rhodes 19, are in second place.
Varied Conditions Reign at Sailng World NOOD at Marblehead Race Week/page two
Five more classes join the regatta on Friday, July 27, and the balance of the fleet join the regatta on Saturday. Racing concludes Sunday, July 29 in all classes. Final awards will be presented at Marbleheads Corinthian Yacht Club on Sunday evening.
The first Marblehead Race Week was held in 1889. This regatta joined with the family of NOOD (National Offshore One-Design) events, a nine-regatta national circuit organized by Sailing World magazine (Newport, R.I.), in 1998. Marblehead Race Week is hosted by the Boston, Eastern, and Corinthian Yacht Clubs. Support sponsors of the event include: Hall Spars & Rigging, High Sierra Sport Company, Lewmar, Mount Gay Rum, North Sails, Samuel Adams, and Sunsail.
Race watchers can find daily race reports and results at the Sailing World website (www.sailingworld.com).
RESULTS (top 3 in each class)
[Skipper, Hometown, Sail #, Boat Name, Total Points]
Etchells (26 boats/after 1 race)
1) Patricia A. Stadel, Marblehead, MA, USA 1061,(none given), 1
2) Tim Lynch, La Jolla, CA, USA 703, Poodelyn, 2
3) Charles Quigley, Marblehead, MA, USA 63, Valkyrie, 3