Luck of the Irish Smiles on San Diego NOOD

On highly competitive St. Patrick's Day, Rusty Nelson's /Wild Card/ found luck in the J/80, while Terry Smith kept /Rippin'/ in the Catalina 36.


Tony Bessinger

The luck of the Irish smiled down today upon the 160 boats competing in the Sperry Top-Sider National Offshore One Design (N.O.O.D.) Regatta in San Diego, Calif. With 10-12 knots of wind and a mostly clear sky above, 14 one-design classes competed – six began their series yesterday, while the additional eight took the day off. Three races were run on each of three race courses, two on the ocean and one on the Bay.On the near ocean course, Course A, the J/105 and J/80 classes joined the Beneteau 36.7 and Catalina 36 classes for the day. Rusty Nelson and his Wild Card set the pace for the J/80s by winning the first two races. With past J/80 world champion Kerry Klinger onboard, the team holds a slight lead over the 10-boat class. In second place Curt Johnson (Los Angeles, Calif.) on Avet. Johnson, the defending class champion, was feeling the pressure of a repeat victory. “We are trying to do it again,” he said. “It will be an uphill battle. At this point, I’d rather be ahead by a point than behind by a point.” Although he is a San Diego regular, Johnson was surprised by the current’s affect on the racing. “Usually in San Diego it’s not that big of an issue, but today it was…strange,” he said. “The first two races, the wind shifted left. It wasn’t a typical San Diego day, but the last race was. The wind filled in and we won the race.” With only two days of racing, every race counts. So tomorrow the Avet crew will change their plans slightly. “We will still hope for the best, but we’ll check on the current since we didn’t play it well today.” Paul Rendich (Babylon, N.Y.) on Clipper is in third place. On Course B, the far ocean course, Scot Tempesta (San Diego) and John Rickard continue to lead the Flying Tiger class on Anarchy, however Slip Kid, owned by John Folvig (Poplar Grove, Ill.), won all three of today’s races to move into second place overall, only three points behind first. Neil Senturia’s (La Jolla, Calif.) Occam’s Razor fell to third overall. The Flying Tiger was the only class on this course that raced yesterday. Today, three classes joined in the fun: the Beneteau 40.7, J/109 and J/120.On the Bay course area, the International 14, Flying Dutchman, 505 and Ultimate 20 classes continued adding scores from yesterday’s opening day, while the 29er and Buccaneer 18 classes joined for a first day of racing. All but the I-14 class sailed three races. The race committee sent the skiff boat class on two longer races where Paul Galvez and Archie Massey (Mission Viejo, Calif.) continued their winning ways, posting a 3-1 for 9 points total. Second and third places switched with Kris Bundy (Seattle, Wash.) in second and Brad Ruetenik (Encinitas, Calif.) in third.Tomorrow is the final day of racing where winners in all classes will be named along with the Boat of the Regatta, whose skipper will receive a Sunsail charter during the 2007 Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta Championship, in the British Virgin Islands, where they will compete against the overall winners from each stop on the nine-regatta Sperry Top-Sider NOOD circuit.


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