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.”