Rick Lyall’s J/109 Storm, the Sperry Top-Sider Larchmont NOOD Regatta overall winner.
Rick Lyall’s J/109 Storm, from Cedar Point YC (Conn.) has been a perennial participant at the Sperry Top-Sider Larchmont NOOD Regatta, but somehow every year the math used to determine the overall winner just hasn’t fallen in his team’s favor.
But the J/109 class is plenty competitive and this year it was real tight at the top, tight enough for Lyall’s squad to earn the overall title, awarded to the winner of the regatta’s most competitive fleet. The win, of course, earns Lyall and crew an invitation to the Sperry Top-Sider Caribbean NOOD championship in November where they’ll race against winners from the other eight NOOD regattas.
Storm entered the second day of racing on Long Island Sound 3 points behind Greg Ames and Steve Kenny’s Gossip, but on a day with brilliant sunshine and shifty 10-knot northerly Lyall’s team excelled, winning both races and setting themselves up on the better end of a 10-point tie-breaker.
Selecting Storm as the overall winner wasn’t easy though, as there were a number of standout performances in the regatta’s other classes, including that of John Hammel’s Beneteau 36.7 Elan. Hammel’s team won two races on the opening day, and with a third and second in what were often hair-pulling conditions, they managed to hold on for 3-point win over William Purdy’s Wirlwind. Purdy, relatively new to Beneteau 36.7 racing, has made a steady climb to the top of the standings at this event every year, and his dedication to learning the ins-and-outs of the 36.7 is obviously paying off.
In the J/105 class, my hosts on JoySea continued to keep my first-time perspective of the 20-year-old one-design entertaining. Try as we may to scratch the top, it was impossible to outsmart Joerg Esdorn’s Kinscem, which aced the day with a pair of bullets. Kinscem’s collision on the opening day, and subsequent retirement, was too much to make up, so the real battle went down between Damien Emery’s Eclipse and Brian Keane’s Savasana. Savasana, overall winner from the Annapolis NOOD, put in a solid effort match racing Eclipse and keeping the right amount of boats between them. No doubt they’ll be the team to beat at the class’s North Americans in November.
And in one final note, the runners up for the overall title didn’t walk away empty handed: Hammel and Andrew Skibo (winner of the J/122 class) each earned themselves Suunto Elementum watches.
For the lowdown on all the other classes, see the overall results. Watch this space next month for the final stop of the 2009 Sperry Top-Sider NOOD series: Texas, here we come.