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Interview with Grant Dumas, past St. Pete NOOD Regatta overall winner

by Sailing World on 16 Feb 2017
2016 NOOD Regatta in St. Pete Paul Todd/Outside Images
Grant Dumas, 46, is a six-year NOOD Regatta veteran, 2015 St. Pete NOOD overall winner, St. Petersburg Yacht Club Junior Activities Committee chairperson, and one of only two people to own a Tripp 38 sailboat. Dumas grew up in the Detroit area but has called St. Pete home for about 20 years.

The Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta Series makes its first stop of 2017 in St. Petersburg Feb. 17-19. The event, which is seeing record registration numbers with nearly 150 local, national and international teams in 11 classes, is hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club.

What is your history with the St. Petersburg NOOD Regatta?
I’ve been to every St. Pete NOOD Regatta here, so this is my sixth time around. When the NOOD Regatta first came to town, it was one-design only. It was a lot of fun to meet and sail against the folks who traveled in from out of town. The event brings in some real world-class talent, so it was very exciting to sail in the one design for the first couple of years. When the St. Pete NOOD was opened up to PHRF* boats, that was my opportunity to start taking out my own boat [a Tripp 38] and sailing with my regular crew.

I have been to one other NOOD Regatta, and that was the championship in the British Virgin Islands two years ago, after I won the overall trophy here in St. Petersburg. That was one of the highlights of my sailing career. It was such a fun experience. My wife and I are planning to charter a boat and participate in that event again this fall.

What do you like about St. Petersburg as sailing destination?

Coming from the Great Lakes, where the sailing season is compressed into five or six very intense months, what’s great about St. Pete is it’s now a year-round activity. It’s my favorite pastime; it’s what I like to do when I have a couple spare hours on the weekend, and now it’s something I can enjoy at my leisure any time of the year.

I also think the city planners have done a great job with the waterfront here. It’s almost like a small version of Chicago. Everything is walking distance—the hotels, the restaurants, the yacht club, the marina—everything is right down at the waterfront. It’s all laid out very nicely, so you don’t need a car. You can spend the weekend at the NOOD Regatta and get everything you need, even groceries, just by walking.

As a sailor, what makes the NOOD Regatta special to you?

There is something special about this regatta that happens every year. They only built two of the particular boat I own [a Tripp 38]. The other one is up in the Chesapeake in Virginia, and I’m in contact with that crew. Since this is the middle of their winter, they take this opportunity to come down and sail with me every year. Half of my regular crew will sail in the one design classes, so I take on the crew from Virginia for the weekend. It’s a group of old friends getting together every year to have some fun.

As a board member for the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, what makes the NOOD Regatta stand out among other events?

The St. Pete NOOD Regatta is one of the events that we hold down here that gives us the opportunity to showcase the club and our venue, and to show people how great it is. It’s very fun to play host to the out-of-town teams that come visit us for the weekend and make sure they have a good time—and hopefully provide some good racing for them too.

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