Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego: Words

Reports and insight from the racecourse


San Diego, Calif., (March 16, 2015) –The final day of racing at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in San Diego wrapped up with John Laun, Commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club, and his crew aboard the J/120 caper, winning its 10-boat fleet, as well as the regatta’s overall title, which earns his team a berth at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Championship, hosted by Sunsail, in the British Virgin Islands in October.

Laun, whose core crew has sailed together for 10 years, says the key to their success is they don’t take themselves too seriously. That, and a keen familiarity with the weather conditions experienced off Point Loma this time of year.


“There were two weather systems that were fighting for a bit on Saturday, and ultimately calmed down on Sunday,” said Laun. “The race committee had to postpone the first race today, but eventually hit it off great in 15 to 18 knots.

“The starts were exciting and the first weather mark always had crowds,” added Laun, “but our tactician, Bill Campbell, is magic. He’s good at the overall view of where we want to be on the course. We were starting at different places on the line in this regatta, and were lucky to get off the start line clean in all of them.”

Laun also attributed caper’s good starts to his longtime bowman, Sam Peterson. “He’s always good at keeping me from being over early, and once we were off and clean the trimmers worked their tails off to accelerate when we needed to. The mantra here in San Diego is to go right, but this time we went left a few times and it worked.”


Chick Pyle’s Beneteau 36.7 Kea was recognized on Saturday as the North Sails Local Boat of the Day, following an outstanding performance in its eight-boat fleet. Pyle’s crew went on to win its class with 11 points, followed in the standings by Jerry Twomey’s Kodachrome with 13 points and Thomas Shepherd’s Kraken in third with 16 points.

The three-boat Beneteau First 40.7 class concluded two days of racing with Mark Stratton’s Lugano as the top finisher. The seven-boat J/105 class had Dennis Case and his crew on Wings in first place, topping Gary Mozer’s Current Obsession, by a single point.

The North Rally Race, a new feature to the regatta series that encourages local competitors to participate in a long-distance race on Saturday, had nine boats enjoying a beautiful day on the bay. Thomas Taylor’s Garbo won the rally with Kokopelli2 second and Rush Hour third.


Mark Allen’s Junta led the Ultimate 20 fleet from Day One to win its series, while John Harrop and his team on Justice won the four-boat, Flying Tiger class. The 14-boat Viper 640 class saw seven races over three days with Alex Steele’s Last Call ultimately winning by 15 points. Andrew Picel’s USA 101, a Flying Tiger 7.5, won the three-boat Fast 20 class.

The regatta’s biggest fleet, the J/70s, featured 17 boats. The highly competitive class, which was packed with professional sailors, enjoyed seven races on San Diego’s South Bay. Vince Brun’s Bliss won on the final day after scoring two second-places finishes. Scott Deardorff’s Cake followed in the standings with 32 points. Jeff Janov’s Minor Threat led the regatta after the first day, but ultimately finishing third with 32 points. Aboard Minor Threat were Janov’s two young sons, competed in their very first NOOD regatta.

Of the regatta’s high-performance dinghy classes, the International 14 fleet featured seven entries: Kris Henderson’s Courageous was the top I-14, followed in the standings by Brad Ruetenik’s Astralgus and Paul Galvez’s Guillo Goes Sailing, second and third, respectively. Matt Davis’ Wonder was the top Buccaneer 18.



San Diego, Calif., (March 15, 2015) – Favorable conditions continued at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in San Diego, giving nearly 700 competitors a full day of racing, with winds peaking into the high teens. Saturday’s races featured 12 one-design classes with the regattas larger keelboats—J/105s, J/120s, and Beneteau 36.7s and 40.7s—raced on the ocean course off Point Loma. The regatta’s smaller sportboat and dinghy fleets continued their respective series on San Diego’s South Bay.

“We got two good races in today,” says Mark Allen, whose Ultimate 20 Junta leads its series. “Both races were pretty challenging, especially when the breeze went really light. The first one was a bit of a lottery, and we just barely ghosted across the finish line.”

Junta scored second-place finishes in both races, giving them a 7-point cushion going into Sunday’s final races. “The key was patience,” says Allen. “If you reacted to everything, you went backwards. For us it was about looking upwind at the other fleets, connecting the puffs, and staying in pressure.”

Images of Saturday’s racing from the 2015 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in San Diego. Paul Todd/Outside Images

The eight-boat Beneteau First 36.7 started its two-day series with Ted Butterfield’s Adventure, of Coronado, Calif., assuming the early lead with 1-5-1 finishes. Butterfield naturally put the team’s success to its crew.

“The wind from inland and ocean breezes fought with each other, and everyone struggled with that a bit,” said Butterfield. “The team worked well together and did their jobs. There were a couple of a little mistakes, like the spinnaker not going all the way up initially on one run, but all-in-all it was a good day.”

Meanwhile on the ocean course, Gary Mozer’s J/105, Current Obsession, returned to defend its class win (which also earned them the regatta’s overall title in 2014). They were right back into the groove, winning the first two races and finishing third in the day’s final race.

“This was a strange forecast that had the breeze maxing out at 8 knots so we had our rig set up for the light stuff,” says Mozer. “The headstay was wrong so when the breeze came on we had to rally bone the rig, double-block the backstay, and find any way to open the leech.”

Mozer says despite the team not racing together since last year, their maneuvers were good and they got around the racecourse without incident. “Everyone’s back: same crew, and it was all good,” he says. “We came back to support the event and defend what could be our last year with the boat. We want to go to the Caribbean again.”

NOOD Premier Sponsor, North Sails, presented awards to its Rally Race winner, as well as the best performing local boat. A new feature the regatta series, the North Sails rally encourages local competitors to a participate in a low-key day of racing for one day only, with a long distance race within the Bay. Thomas Taylor’s Beneteau First 47.7 led the rally fleet to victory while Chick Pyle’s Beneteau 36.7 Kea got the nod as the best local-team performance.

Tomorrow’s final day of the action is scheduled to begin at approximately 11:30 a.m., dependent on wind and weather conditions. Spectators can see the races can be seen aboard private boats both in South Bay and on the Ocean courses.

The overall winner of the San Diego NOOD will join Grant Dumas, of St. Petersburg, Fla., and the crew of the Tripp 38 Warrior, along with other victors, in the British Virgin Islands in the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Championship hosted by Sunsail.


The largest national sailboat racing circuit in the United States, the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta series, kicked off its second stop of the season in San Diego, Calif., today with roughly 700 sailors competing on the San Diego Bay. Vying for individual class trophies, teams are ultimately competing for the regatta’s overall prize—a trip to the British Virgin Islands in the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Championship, hosted by Sunsail.

Five one-design classes raced on San Diego’s South San Diego Bay on Friday, with competitors enjoying a full day’s races [one-design means the boats are identical]. Beautiful weather accompanied the inaugural race day with winds starting out at five knots, and topping out at 17 knots, making for what local sailors said were perfect conditions.

Winds, however, were fickle earlier in the day, which lead to a challenging for race for current J/70 class leaders, Jeff Janov and his team on Minor Threat.

“The starting lines were pretty square most of the day but we were starting near for the [race committee] boat because we wanted the right side of the racecourse, for a bit of current advantage, and the wind was coming from that way,” said Janov. “They were first around in the first race, jibed, and seemed ready to escape clean, but the wind died momentarily, allowing trailing boats to close the gap and sneak past.

“We kept telling each other to relax. It was one of those situations where you just had to wait and see how it played out,” said Janov. “We won that race, but we were sailing alongside Dave Ullman most of the downwind leg, so that was exciting to be doing that. He passed us pretty easy, but we stayed focused, tried hard and got back into it.”

Janov later said, “I would have been happy to be in the top eight given the talent in this fleet, but there is no mincing words, Willem [Van Way] and Victor [Diaz de Leon], the way they do tactics and strategy is impressive. They bounce ideas off each other and I just drive.”

The International 14 fleet consisted of seven boats. Kris Henderson’s Courageous sits in first place with two of three race wins. In the nine-boat Ultimate 20 class, Junta, belonging to Mark Allen, holds the lead by 2 points.

With the lead in the 14-boat Viper 640 class is Alex Steele’s Last Call, of Costa Mesa, Calif. Winning two of three races and up by 4 points, Steele said it was an extremely competitive fleet.

“Race one was super weird and we weren’t sure which side to come in. We did a hard left, looked good and had one tack on the second beat ultimately pulling it out,” said Steele. “The second race we had a bad first beat, but was then good. We did three ducks in the first five minutes – like a chain effect – and had good pressure. Race three we just sailed and were in the groove.”

The San Diego NOOD regatta is a spectator-friendly event and the races can be seen aboard private boats both in South Bay and on the Ocean courses. Race start times are dependent on wind and weather, but are scheduled to begin at approximately 11:30 a.m. each day.

To recognize exceptional individual performances in each boat class, NOOD Premiere Sponsor, North Sails, will present daily awards for the top three daily crews in each class. Additionally, on each Saturday of the season, North Sails will present the best performing local boat with an award for that day’s best racing. The final awards will be presented on Sunday, March 15, at the culmination of the event.

The overall winner of the San Diego NOOD will join Grant Dumas, of St. Petersburg, Fla., and the crew of the Tripp 38 “Warrior,” along with other victors, in the British Virgin Islands in the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Championship hosted by Sunsail.

Along with new title sponsor Helly Hansen, we welcome back renewing sponsors including: Mount Gay Rum, North Sails, Sunsail and West Marine.

For more information on the 2015 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta series visit: For more information, visit and

Daily images from the 2015 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in San Diego. Paul Todd/Outside Images