Sullivan Takes Overall Win at Lands’ End Annapolis NOOD

A brisk northwesterly cleared out the wet weather on the final day of the 2005 Lands' End Annapolis NOOD, but the change did little to affect the sailing of Neil Sullivan's team on his Melges 24 M-Phatic. They were rarely out of the top-five in a 39-boat fleet in a variety of conditions and won both the class's national championship and the Overall Championship of the regatta.

Annapolis NOOD Sunday

Stuart Streuli

ANNAPOLIS, Md.-“First things first,” said Neil Sullivan, with a smile, “I’m not a dentist. I’m an oral surgeon.” As of 5:30 p.m. this afternoon, Sullivan was also the Overall Champion of the 2005 Lands’ End Annapolis NOOD. Sailing with long-time helmsman Morgan Reeser, local sailmaker Max Skelley, and keelboat veteran Karl Anderson, Sullivan’s M-Phatic blitzed the 39-boat Melges 24 fleet assembled to contest the class’s National Championship. With no finish worse than a sixth, Sullivan finished with less than half the points of Brian Porter’s Full Throttle, the second-place boat. For being named the Overall Champion of the regatta, Sullivan earns himself a free week’s stay in a villa at Sunsail’s Club Colonna for the NOOD Caribbean Rendezvous in January. “It’s going to be awesome,” said Sullivan. “It’s so great.” After two days of rain, drizzle, fog, and mushy breezes, the weather did a 180 for the final day of the regatta, a brisk northwesterly clearing out the clouds and humidity and providing picture-perfect conditions. While the change did affect a few teams competing in the Melges division, it didn’t phase Sullivan and his crew a bit. Reeser, a two-time Olympian and now three-time Melges 24 national champion, attributed the team’s success to two things. “We got here on Tuesday night and sailed all day Wednesday and Thursday,” said Reeser. “We’d never practiced before. Dave Ullman flew down and we did some sail testing. And we used a jib we’d never used before.” He also credited Skelley’s local knowledge of the current, which varied greatly across the course for all four divisions. “In one of our races on Saturday there was a 1-knot difference between the weather end and the leeward end of the line,” said Reeser. “The whole race was decided one minute before the start. The people on the leeward end were ruined.” Though Sullivan and his team were never really threatened during the latter half of the regatta-only one other boat was able to put together a score line of single-digit finishes-they did have some anxious moments, especially with their spinnaker work. “We ran over the spinnaker twice yesterday,” said Reeser. “Today we ripped it and didn’t know that it was a big rip and set it again and it shredded. We had to put up our light-air spinnaker and fortunately it held together.” They lost approximately 200 yards of distance while changing spinnakers, but just one boat. “At the end of the race there was so much positive energy,” said Sullivan. “Having a comeback like that really gets your adrenaline pumping.” This was Sullivan’s second national championship in the Melges 24, the first he won in Charleston, S.C., in 2000, “The class has elevated since then. This was way more meaningful for me,” he said. “It’s home. The best thing was we came home, put the boat in its slip and didn’t have to break it down.” Like Sullivan, Jim Richardson has been on the top of the podium before. He’s a two-time world champion in the Farr 40 class. But this was his first regatta in the Mumm 30. “I hear everything on the boat,” he said, when asked how much smaller the 30-footer felt, “where as in the 40 I don’t hear the people up front. From where I’m driving, people get in my way a little bit more.” Richardson also noted the transition from the wheel he uses in the 40 to the tiller on the Mumm 30.” Richardson and his Barking Mad team were tuning up for the 2005 Mumm 30 Worlds in France. They started the regatta a little slowly, with a fifth and a third, but quickly became accustomed to the boat and finished the regatta with four firsts and a second. “I think I got a lot better as the event went on,” said Richardson, “but I still have a long way to go.” Today, he added, he felt like he finally got into a groove. “We did a good job of getting off the starting line,” he said of his two wire-to-wire wins. “Particularly in the second race, maybe 30 seconds after the start we were able to roll over the boats to leeward and come up to the boats to windward,” he said. “Terry [Hutchinson] said to me, ‘whatever you’re doing, take a picture. It’s perfect.'” With the shifting winds, difficult currents, and competitive fleets, perfection on the race course across the regatta was tough to find. The closest was John Edwards’ Rhumb Punch team in the J/29 class. They won the first five races, took second in the sixth, and was winning the final race by a good margin when they stopped racing to help a sailor who fell overboard in another class. The crossed the line in fifth, but were awarded first in a redress hearing and finished with just eight points in seven races. Winning five of seven races were Charles Currier’s Alberg 30 Infinity, David Fleshsig’s S2 7.9 Rooster Tail, and Bob Wilson’s C&C 99 Tam. Finally, getting a big hand at the awards ceremony was local hero Gary Jobson, who won the Etchells class in impressive fashion with a pair of firsts, seconds, and thirds, and one sixth. Jobson, a Sailing World editor at large, along with middle man Jud Smith and co-owner Gary Gilbert won by 15 points over Ched Proctor. Final Results of the 2005 Lands’ End Annapolis NOOD Class Race 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 Total Points City/State J/22 1. Peter McChesney 8,7,1,10,3,3,1 33 Annapolis, MD 2. Henry Filter 1,11,2,2,4,23,4 47 Stevensville, MD 3. Ray Wulff 3,4,10,9,5,19,2 52 Riva, MD J/24 1. Datch/Hobsen, Michael 4,2,8,7,1,4,3 29 Annapolis, MD 2. Robby Brown 10,1,1,5,3,10, 1 31 St. Petersburg, FL 3. Fraito Lugo 5,6,4,1,2,15, 5 38 Ponce, PR Alberg 30 1. Charles Currier 1,3,1,1,1,1,2 10 Annapolis, MD 2. Rolph Townsend 3,2,5,2,3,2,1 18 Severna Park, MD 3. Tim Williams 2,4,2,5,4,4,3 25 Annapolis, MD Catalina 27 1. James Urban 1,4,2,1,2,5,2 17 Annapolis, MD 2. John Anderson 2,1,1,2,1,7,4 18 Pasadena, MD 3. Tom Walsh 5,2,3,3,3,3,1 20 Pasadena, MD S27.9 1. David Flechsig 2,1,1,1,9,1,1 16 Port Charlotte, FL 2. John Spierling 5,2,2,3,1,2,4 19 Shelby Township, MI 3. Michael Elliott 6,3,3,6,7,4,2 31 Linden, MI Etchells 1. Gary Jobson 2,1,2,3,6,1,3 18 Annapolis, MD 2. Chad Proctor 8,4,1,5,4,5,6 33 Southport, CT 3. Wade Edwards 3,2,8,4,5,8,4 34 Concord, MA J/30 1. Bob Rutsch 1,1,3,2,1,1,1 10 Chevy Chase, MD 2. Bob Putnam 2/MAN,2,1,1,2,2,2 12 Annapolis, MD 3. Larry Christy 5,6,2,6,6,3,4 32 Annapolis, MD J/80 2. John Storck Jr. 2,2,3,1,3,1,2 14 Huntington, NY 1. Jahn Tihansky 1,1,1,2,2,5,3 15 Annapolis, MD 3. Keith Davids 6,3,2,5,5,2,1 24 Annapolis, MD Tripp 26 1. Tim Dickson 2,1,1,1,1,4,2 12 Alexandria, VA 2. Stephen R. Smith 1,2,5,2,2,2,1 15 Annapolis, MD 3. Michele & Don Zinn 4,3,2,3,4,1,3 20 Annapolis, MD Beneteau 36.7 1. Wes Siegner 3,1,2,2,1 9 Chevy Chase, MD 2. Garth Hichens 2,6,1,3,3 15 Annapolis, MD 3. Cal Huge 5,2,4,1,6 18 Summerville, SC J/105 1. Hugh Bethell 9,3,5,1,9, 27 Baltimore, MD 2. Marty Hublitz 4,7,3,11,4 29 McLean, VA 3. Salvesen/Lewis 13,1,6,13,6 39 Annapolis, MD J/35 1. James Sagerholm 3,2,1,2,1,1,2 12 Annapolis, MD 2. Kevin McNeil 2,1,4,4,2,2,3 18 Annapolis, MD 3. Peter Scheidt 6,5,2,1,3,3,1 21 Highland, MD J/29 1. John Edwards 1,1,1,1,1,2,RDG/1 8 California, MD 2. John / Tony Esposito 3,2,2,2,3,1,1 14 Mohegan Lake, NY 3. Case Whittenmore 2,3,3,3,5,3,2 21 Richmond, VA Melges 24 1. Neil Sullivan 2,1,3,6,2,2,1 17 Annapolis, MD 2. Brian Porter 6,8,4,3,6,7,3 37 Winnetka, IL 3. John Pollard 1,14,1,15,12,3,2 48 Torquay Devon, UK Mumm 30 1. James B. Richardson 3,5,1,1,2,1,1 14 Boston, MA 2. Bodo & Nick v. d. Wense 5,1,5,5,11,2,2 31 Wayne, PA 3. Nelson Stephenson 4,2,3,6,1,9,11 36 Southport, CT Cal 25 1. Leo T. Surla, Jr. 3,2,5,2,2,1,1 16 Washington, D.C. 1. Bill Natter 1,1,3,6,1,3,3 18 Annapolis, MD 3. Timothy Bloomfield 4,4,2,5,4,2,5 26 Sherwood Forest, MD C&C 99 1. Bob Wilson 1,1,1,1,3,2,1 10 Whitby, ON Canada 2. Ken Karsten 2,2,3,3,4,4,2 20 Annapolis, MD 2. Mikie Titgemeyer 4,3,2,2,1,1,8/DNC 21 Annapolis, MD


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