Texas NOOD J105
Gremlins besieged several regatta leaders, while others faced potential catastrophes and survived. Finally, there were the lucky few who seemed to have the golden touch for the entire regatta. Star sailor Mac Kilpatrick saw his solid lead in the regatta evaporate on the starting line of the last race. “We thought we had a great start but they called us over early so we went back, then things went from bad to worse as we jibed to re-cross the line the mast inverted and the spreader broke,” said Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick had to take a DNS and dropped from first to third for the regatta. In the Etchells fleet, Marvin Beckman’s three firsts, three seconds and a third were overcome a by disastrous final race when he fell victim to his halyards. “First we broke the jib halyard and then we let the spin halyard fly, after that it was time to say congratulations to Ken Womack because we knew he had us,” said Beckman. In the Level 70 Fleet Predator, a Tripp 37, overcame a catastrophe when the spin halyard broke during a rounding. The chute went in the water and then hit the mark. The Predator crew struggled to get the spinnaker back in the boat, do a turn and then try to get back into the race. “For a few minutes, it felt like we were doing everything we could to lose the regatta,” said boat owner Fred Prelle. Prelle and co-helm Chuck Buckner managed to regroup and finish the race second and the regatta in first. Prelle drove downwind and Buckner took the upwind duties. “The starts were key for us, we focused on finding a clear alley because we don’t accelerate as fast as some of the boats in our class,” explained Prelle. “If we get tied up with those faster boats, we’re going to get spit out the back” Boats having great regatta included Terry Flynn in the J/22 Fleet with seven firsts and a second. Fred Lindsey in a J/27 dominated the Level 130 fleet and Marc Waters who led almost every leg of the regatta while earning six bullets in the Corsair 28 fleet. J/80 sailor Glenn Darden was awarded the trophy for top boat in the regatta and he and his crew won a week’s stay at Sunsail’s Colonna Resort in Antigua for the Caribbean NOOD championship, a fun event against all the other NOOD champions in January. Finishing second was 14-year-old Taylor Lutz who stepped out his pram and took the helm of his dad’s J/80. “The race committee set up pretty square lines so finding clean air was key to our starts,” said Taylor. “The big difference for me was not trying too drive the boat to high when going to weather but my dad is a great sailor and he helped me figure it out. I had to be more patient than when I’m in the pram where we tack 14 or 15 times a leg and you do everything yourself. In the Ensign, fleet favorite Dean Snider was took a second and a third but still won the class handily. Ben Miller’s boat was 20 years older than any other in the fleet but with lots of TLC and constantly improving finishes he managed to take regatta honors for the Star class. In the J/109 Fleet Steve Rhyne continued to show consistency by never finishing lower than second to win the class. Bill Zatrer’s Solaris won the J/105 fleet with four firsts and second. Zarter credited good crew that would switch gears quickly between the different conditions. “We also feel like we had good success passing boats on the downwind legs by aggressively coming down on the waves, using lots of main action, driving deep with lots of weight far to windward to let the boat carve deeper,” explained Zarter.