Even a self-described “punch in the nose” couldn’t stop Will Crump and his teammates aboard R80 from winning the J/80 fleet at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Annapolis today. The feat also earned them an invitation to the British Virgin Islands—as the regatta’s overall winner—to represent Annapolis at the Helly Hansen Caribbean NOOD Championship, scheduled for 2021.
“John [White – friend and rival on board J/80 USA 1162] must have heard me say I was going after him in the starting sequence today,” Crump said jokingly. “Well, he won that round in race one today when he came after us right away, ‘punched us in the nose,’ and we finished fifth.
“Then we traded, and I got him in the next race,” Crump said. “It was another really fun day, very challenging and shifty. The fleet continues to be super competitive so winning is very rewarding.”
The final of three days of racing treated sailors across 78 teams to cooler temperatures, sun and moderate (but signature Annapolis shifty) winds for the final two to three races among the two divisions and 10 fleets.
In the largest fleet of the event, 16 J/105s battled it out with co-owners Cedric Lewis and Frederik Salvesen winning the class by 24 points with their family and friends aboard Mirage.
Lewis and Slavesen met during high school sailing and have sailed together for 35 years. “It was nice to have a bit of normalcy in this age of Coronavirus and get out racing,” said Lewis. “Our team has been dealing with adversity so sailing together was great.”
He credits flawless crew work as a major key to their success. “Today we finished up strong with a 2-1-1,” he said. “The breeze was all over the place and we saw pretty hefty shifts. We would start with a plan and stick to it. No freaking out if we fell behind.”
On the small but talent-laden Etchells course, Matt Lalumiere’s Marge earned top billing in the four-boat fleet. It’s Lalumiere’s fourth consecutive year winning the Etchells fleet at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Annapolis, and this year in particular, he’s particularly happy to be out sailing.
“We were just really pumped to be out there; this has been our first regatta since last fall given everything going on and have just had a blast,” said Lalumiere.
He’s sailed Etchells since 2008, and recently had his boat refitted to work toward competing at Etchells Worlds in Miami in three years’ time. “Although it’s an older class, there’s a lot going on in the Etchells – in my opinion it’s the top level of amateur racing. There’s always development to keep it challenging.”
First-time Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Annapolis competitor John Heaton on his Chicago-based Empeiria adapted quickly to Annapolis’ tricky sailing conditions, winning the 11-boat J/70 fleet by 17 points over Cate Muller-Terhune on Murder Hornet.
“Hats off to Annapolis; wow, what a challenging place. You can see why sailors here are very good tactically; it’s just so shifty,” said Heaton. “It’s a great venue and we’re thrilled with how much racing we got in. It was fun to sail against other, new boats here.”
According to Heaton, Sunday was a day of transitions, with special attention paid to crew movement as the wind strength went up and down. “Our first race today started a bit slow; I think we rounded the top mark in 8th, but we just focused on sailing the boat well and grinding boats down,” he said. “We ended up second, holding off two boats right at the end. A really fun, super competitive race and I was really proud of us to keep our heads up and sail hard.”
With just three days practice under their belts, the J/22 U.S. Naval Academy entry won the J/22 fleet, breaking yesterday’s tiebreaker with J/22 veteran Jeffrey Todd on Hot Toddy.
USNA Skipper Jeffrey Petersen, from Santa Ana, Calif., is a plebe in his first two weeks at the U.S. Naval Academy, but he has raced internationally as a youth match-racing sailor. That experience helped today as he said the unstable and shifty wind created opportunities for them to do more maneuvers. Otherwise, Petersen said, “In a straight line, Mr. Todd’s speed was incredible. My team did an incredible job putting the boat in the right spot,” he said. “I really do owe it to them, especially as I shift out of my match-racing hat and into fleet racing.”
Annapolis NOOD Overall Winner Crump, selected from among individual class winners, summed up the weekend, saying “I’m really grateful for winning, and very grateful that we were even able to have an event this year. This is the only event we are doing all year,” he said. “It felt great to get out and sail and sort of pretend the world is the way it’s supposed to be, even for a short amount of time.
“We’re definitely looking forward to going to the Caribbean. Our team was lucky enough to get down there in 2011, and now that we know what it’s like we can’t wait to go back.”
Final Results from the 2020 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Annapolis