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St. Pete NOOD, Friday: Sticking the Landing

Mark roundings make or break the first day at the 2016 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in St. Petersburg. Plus, the best snaps from Paul Todd's camera of the action.

February 13, 2016
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PHRF Racing St. Petersburg NOOD Regatta
Farr 395 currently leads the PHRF 1 class. “The plan for tomorrow is to hope that our boat handling in heavy air out chines them,” says second-place PHRF skipper Ed German. Paul Todd/Outside Images

While the focus is normally on clean starts and extending leads, the key moments of the day boiled down to the leeward mark roundings for a number of classes at the NOOD Regatta in St. Petersburg. Even with an AP that delayed the start of racing past noon, each of the ten classes were able to get off three races.

In the PHRF 1 class, Madcow2 started the day under a genoa, but they quickly made the decision to switch to their blade when the breeze kicked up enough. It was that decision that led them into a strong mark rounding, putting them well ahead of the fleet. Skipper Ed German describes the moment:

“We were sailing downwind, really close to a few boats. We approached on starboard and had inside room at the mark. As we rounded, our takedown was better than the other boats, and we anticipated the current a little better. We popped out and started to head upwind, and we were about eight boat lengths ahead. We picked a lot up on them and never looked back. It was beautiful.”

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Madcow2 is currently in second place, behind the Farr 395 Wasabi. “The plan is to hope that our boat handling in heavy air out chines them,” says German about sailing against Wasabi tomorrow. “They’re much faster than us but our rating is much better. We should get a bit faster as the breeze increases, and our boat handling takes over from there. We hope they struggle with that, and we know in heavy air that boat handling wins the day.”

S2 7.9 Sailing PHRF Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta St Petersburg
The S2 7.9 fleet is mostly imports from northern climates. “Many of the skippers pull a variety of sailors from their home fleets and bring them here, so the competition is pretty tough,” says Tom Bryant, skipper aboard Matros. “The best of the best come down here. But, it’s not a class full of professionals so it still keeps it fun and fair for the rest of us, like my boat which is all family.” Paul Todd/Outside Images

In the same circle, a family boat from Holland, Michigan had a similar experience with their mark rounding, which co-skipper Roger Gamache says won them the third and final race of the day, securing their S2 7.9 Matros first place spot in the standings.

“We got into a puff with three other boats, which put us well ahead going into the mark,” says Gamache. “It was basically a jibe takedown, we got around the mark, got trimmed, looked back and we had four lengths on the next boat. If this were gymnastics, you’d say we stuck the landing.”

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Gamache’s co skipper, Tom Bryant, says that the team excels in heavier air and they look forward to the chance to keep their results consistent and remain at the top of the fleet.

Full results for the day are available here.

St. Petersburg NOOD Regatta
J/88 Wings, skippered by Mike Bruno, sits in third overall in the PHRF 1 class. “St. Pete is a good place to be this time of year,” says tactician Stuart Johnstone. “We’re looking forward to this weekend, it should be a great time.” Paul Todd/Outside Images
Helly Hansen St. Petersburg NOOD
“It was a great day on the Lightning course,” says Wendy Reuss (in yellow). “Two races with great breeze finished off a day of challenging racing. Overall, the Lightning Class is so fun to race in because everyone is very competitive but also so friendly.” Paul Todd/Outside Images
Helly Hansen St. Petersburg NOOD
Hannah Stodle and the rest of the British Sonar Team is in the middle of their campaign for the 2016 Paralympic Games. “We love the NOOD Regattas, its perfectly timed for us as we finish in Miami at the Olympic Classes Regatta,” says Stodle. The team finished fourth overall in the World Sailing Regatta two weeks ago. Paul Todd/Outside Images
Helly Hansen St. Petersburg NOOD
Will Welles and the J/70 Sea Bags Sailing Team currently lead the largest class in the regatta. Paul Todd/Outside Images
Helly Hansen St. Petersburg NOOD
“We spent today working the kinks out and adjusting our rig for the conditions,” says Tom McKenzie, a sailor aboard the Fareast 28R Eagle’s Eye. Paul Todd/Outside Images
Helly Hansen St. Petersburg NOOD
The St. Petersburg Yacht Club youth sailing team, who won the Sailing World Youth Trophy at Quantum Key West Race Week last month, is adjusting to their new PHRF class. “It’s tough to go from ORC to PHRF,” says Youth Sailing Director Todd Fedyszyn. “Our rating isn’t great, but the boat is fun and the kids love to sail it.” Paul Todd/Outside Images
Helly Hansen St. Petersburg NOOD
Bob Hodges takes flight in his A-Class Catamaran. The fleet, which is divided into a foiling and non foiling division, still sails in one start. The intention is to keep all of the A Class Catamarans sailing together, even as innovation continues to drive the development class. Paul Todd/Outside Images
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