SAN FRANCISCO (September 2, 2001) Some 600 sailors in 122 boats celebrated Labor Day on San Francisco Bay in Sailing World1s NOOD (National Offshore One-Design) Regatta September 1-2, enjoying blustery breezes at times gusting to more than 20 knots and tight tacking close along the city shore to the delight of shore-side spectators, especially those on Pier 39.
At times the boats were so close to the pier by-standers could have reached out to touch the swiftly passing competitors. The spectacular regatta was presented by Farmers Insurance Group and Mount Gay Rum and hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club.
Honors in the 11 Metre Class national championship sailed during the regatta went to the boat that most skillfully averted wipe out. Skippers of the slender, light-weight, 34-foot boats with huge sail areas had their hands full, just keeping the boats uprightxa trick Ben Wells, of Mill Valley, CA, in HEADHUNTER.NET, had mastered well enough to unseat the defending champion, Tom Dinkle, of San Francisco, in HABANERO.
“Any time its windy in these boats it1s all about sail handling,” said Wells. “We didn1t wipe out and that was key. Those conditions definitely make racing interesting.”
The increasingly heavy airs nearly kept Farr 40 skipper Brack Duker, of Los Angles from claiming the West Coast Championship. With Peter Isler in the afterguard Duker sailed his REVOLUTION to an early lead in the championship with two bullets on Day One but barely held on with a six and a five on Day Two. REVOLUTION squeaked the win one point ahead of Robert Shaw, of Tiburon, in WAHOO.
The conditions were just what the doctor ordered for Scott Sellers, of San Francisco, in his Express 27 SWAMP DONKEY, which won the class. Sellers said he and his crew had sailed every one of the San Francisco NOOD regattas for the last seven years and had placed second or third in the regattas leading up to this year. “It1s nice to finally win,” said Sellers. “Now we can throw out the second and third place shirts.”
“Good boat handling” was Sellers analysis of the difference this year. “We were able to stretch away at the corners.”
Dave Ullman, of Newport Beach, CA, in his Melges 24 USA 3, won the competitive 21-boat Melges 24 class which is warming up for the Worlds, scheduled to take place in Ft. Lauderdale in November. Olympic silver medalist Peasie Glaser called tactics on USA 3. Ullman said that the breezy weekend was fun sailing. “The boat likes to plane in this breeze. The trick is to plane as fast as you can and as low as you can,” he said. Ullman wasnt happy with his starts, but said, “We felt fast all around the course. We stayed with the fleet and worked our way through. Peasie would yell at me if we took a flyer so we didnt do anything crazy.”
Jeff Littfin and Steve Pugh, of San Mateo, in WILD DANCE won the biggest class in the regatta, the J/105. Steve Medeira, of Menlo Park, in MISTER MAGOO, placed first in the J/120 class, a new fleet in the NOOD Regatta. Carl Smit, of Palo Alto, in J/24 BLUNDERBUSS, was class winner. Robert Bloom, of Green Brae, CA, in JARLEN, and John Wylie, of San Diego, in TABASCO, were the respective winners of the J/24 and One Design 35 classes.
Duker was awarded the Lewmar Boat-of-the-Day trophy for his REVOLUTIONs excellent performance on Day One. The Farmers Family Award, sponsored by Farmers Insurance Group, went to Dave Wilson, in J/105 GOOD TIMIN , for his family crews excellent performance in that competitive class during the regatta.
The San Francisco NOOD is the seventh stop on a nine-event national racing circuit organized by Sailing World Magazine. Support sponsors include Hall Spars & Rigging, High Sierra Sport Company, Lewmar, North Sails, Samuel Adams, and Sunsail.
The San Francisco NOOD kicked off three September regattas that conclude the 2001 NOOD series. After San Francisco, the NOOD regatta circuit moves to the Larchmont (New York) Yacht Club, September 7-9, and to the Houston (Texas) Yacht Club, September 21-23.
During the NOOD regattas, race coverage and fleet results are posted on the Sailing World website (www.sailingworld.com).
with reporting by Stu Streuli.
RESULTS (top 3 in each class)
(Skipper name, Hometown, Boat Name, Total Points)
11Metre (6 boats)
1. Ben Wells, Mill Valley, CA, Headhunter.net, 6 points
2. Tim Wells, Tiburon, CA, Red Bull, 8 points
3. Tom Dinkle, San Francisco, Habanero, 14 points
Farr 40 (13 boats)
1. Brack Duker, Los Angeles, CA, Revolution, 13 points
2. Robert Shaw, Tiburon, CA, Wahoo, 14 points
3. John Kilroy, El Segundo, CA, Samba Pa Ti, 17 points
J/105 (35 boats)
1. Jeff Littfin & Steve Pugh, San Mateo, CA, Wild Dance, 12 points
2. Dave Wilson, San Francisco, Good Timin1, 16 points
3. Tom Coates, San Francisco, Charade, 23 points
Melges 24 (21 boats)
1. Dave Ullman, Newport Beach, CA, USA 3, 9 points
2. Michael Stone & Charlie Ogletree, San Rafael, CA, Not the Family Buick, 14 points
3. Argyle Campbell, Newport Beach, CA, Rock N1Roll, 16 points
Express 27 (17 boats)
1. Scott Sellers, San Francisco, Swamp Donkey, 7 points
2. Brad Whitaker, San Francisco, Bessie Jay, 16 points
3. Ray Lotto, San Francisco, El Raton, 20 points
J/120 (6 boats)
1. Steve Madeira, Menlo Park, CA, Mister Magoo, 5 points
2. Doug Slakey, San Mateo, CA, Dayeuu, 10 points
3. Mark Bowman, Portola Valley, CA, Jolly Mon, 14 points
J/35 (8 boats)
1. Robert Bloom, Green Brae, CA, Jarlen, 9 points
2. Jim Hoey, Windsor, CA, Raptor, 11 points
3. Robert George, Orinda, CA, Kiri, 13 points
1D35 (7 boats)
1. John Wylie, San Diego, CA, Tabasco, 5 points
2. Stephen Howe, San Diego, Kaizen, 12 points
3. Bill Wright, Larkspur, CA, Zsa Zsa, 17 points
J/24 (9 boats)
1. Carl Smit, Palo Alto, CA, Blunderbuss, 6 points
2. Brian Mullen, San Francisco, Blue J, 10 points
3. David Wiard, Alameda, CA, Nixon Was Cool, 18 points.