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Sweet success at Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in St. Petersburg

by Jennifer Mitchell 18 Feb 2019 03:10 PST 15-17 February 2019

It was another beautiful day for the final races of the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta St. Petersburg. Once the sea breeze filled in this morning, racing got under way and most classes completed two races for a regatta total of eight to nine races.

At each Helly Hansen NOOD regatta, organizers select one challenger from among its class winners to challenge the 2018 Caribbean NOOD Championship winner. Today in St. Petersburg, J/70 class winner, Travis Odenbach, skipper of Honeybadger, and his crew were selected to represent, earning a berth in the Helly Hansen NOOD Caribbean Championship regatta, hosted by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands in October.

This was a particularly sweet win for the Pittsford, New York, native and his team, who won their class by 15-points. Odenbach was the regatta's overall winner previously and was unable to attend the Caribbean Championship due to a conflict with the J/24 North Americans.

"I have been doing the NOOD since then trying to redeem myself and my crew doesn't want to sail with me if I skip it again," says Odenbach. "We tried pretty hard to win and this is a gift. We are all really excited and we are not going to skip this year."

"With 75 degree temperatures and 10 to 12 knots of breeze, it's been one of the best years that I have been in the NOOD here," says Odenbach. Odenbach, a successful J/24 racer, is relatively new to the J/70 and attributes his success to his crew who is enjoying the boat and also some lessons on the water this weekend.

"One of the things I learned was driving through waves and understanding that the boat doesn't go any faster or slower if you go really low through the waves, so we powered up crashed on through and it seemed to really work out going upwind," he says. Good starts, getting off the line clean and letting the crew do the rest, he says, was their recipe to success. Crew members on Honeybadger included Ian Coleman, Patrick Wilson and Brendan Feeney.

Another solid regatta finish came from Vixen, on the Melges 24 circle, where skipper Alex Shafer and his team continued their winning streak. They only had three finishes in the regatta that were not firsts.

"The breeze came up and we had really good sailing today," Shafer says. "The boat was moving well and we went to cover the people we needed to cover, but the boats behind us started to cover each other and race for second place, so that kind of let us walk away with it."

"We went out there to sail clean and we were able to do that," he says. "We got a little beat up at a mark rounding literally, one crew member got a black eye and I got a scrape on my scalp someone said the wrong thing at the wrong time and heads came up in the middle of a jibe, but we came out of it alright. It was one of the best NOODs yet."

Top marks in the J/88 fleet went to Iris Vogel and the crew of Deviation, who struggled with shifty conditions and battled through a four-way tie for second place on the first day of racing. The team found its groove over the next two days and focused on boatspeed.

"In this fleet we had to be just fast," says Vogel. "Everyone is so close and so good. One mistake and you go from first to fifth. Our goal is to get a good start and go as fast as we can and hold on to it."

Fast was also the focus for Bruce Mahoney, who won the A Class Foiling fleet with almost straight bullets. He has sailed a few world championships in the boat and has a lot of experience in foiling craft. The A Class fleet will hold its North Americans in St. Petersburg for the next two years and also the Worlds in 2020, where there will be a big turn out of 150 to 200 boats.

"I have spent quite a bit of time on getting the settings right on the boat and that really helps out," says Mahoney. "In these marginal conditions, you really have to finesse it to get it up on the foils it's one of my strengths being able to get the boat out of the water when other people can't it's something I have spent a lot of time practicing to get right."

Although an experienced crew won in the Flying Tiger class, Hogfish Racing, coached by Andrew Kerr, it was by 1 point. Kerr along with skipper Kerry Poe, Nigel Brownett and Paul Molenda found the racing to be a real battle.

"Patience paid this weekend, waiting for the wind to fill on the course," says Kerr. "We had great practice leading up to the weekend those two days helped the team get up to speed together and the base of the pyramid is critical, being able to execute around the racecourse. I attribute our win to that, to boathandling."

John Spierling and his crew in the S2 7.9, Rebel, had a tough first race today, where he found the conditions challenging, but the team turned things around for the last race to finish with a 7-point lead over second place.

"I figured if we stayed close to the second-place guy we would be OK, so we played it safe in the last race to maintain our lead and we finished the race in second and held onto our spot," Spierling says.

A contingent of sailors from Chicago made the trip south to escape winter and enjoy warm weather sailing. Andy Camarda, who has been sailing NOOD regattas for the last 20 years, made the trip with his Chicago crew and won the PHRF 3 fleet by nine points.

"We were having fun out there and it was perfect sailing this weekend," Camarda says. "The first race was shifty and frustrating, but the second race was great. Everyone in the fleet was really fun to sail with and against."

Local St. Petersburg area sailors came out on top of their classes this weekend. Grant Dumas and his crew on Warrior won the PHRF 1 fleet and Tony Barrett and crew on Back Off won the PHRF 2 fleet.

Overall Results: (top three in each class)

Flying Tiger (One Design - 9 Boats)

  1. Hogfish Racing, Flying Tiger 7.5 24.93, Nigel Brownett - 6 -1 -4 -2 -5 -1 -3 -3 -4; 29
  2. Business, Flying Tiger 7.5 24.93, Team Rod Favela - 1 -4 -7 -3 -3 -8 -1 -1 -2; 30
  3. Team Torch, Flying Tiger 7.5 24.93, Bill Wagner - 2 -3 -3 -7 -9 -3 -2 -2 -3; 34
J 24 (One Design - 8 Boats)
  1. YouRegatta, J 24 24, Carter White, Portland, ME, USA - 1 -2 -3 -2 -2 -1 -3 -1 -2; 17
  2. Buckaroo, J 24 24, David Ogden, Toronto, Ont, CAN - 4 -4 -2 -3 -1 -2 -1 -2 -1; 20
  3. Ice Cube, J 24 24, Michael Quaid, Williston, VT, USA - 2 -6 -1 -4 -3 -3 -2 -4 -3; 28
Lightning (One Design - 19 Boats)
  1. Veggie Sub, Lightning 19, Ched Proctor, Southport, CT, USA - 12 -1 -4 -1 -7 -1 -2 -3 -1; 32
  2. Hard Asset, Lightning 19, Josh Goldman, Westport, CT, USA - 2 -11 -1 -2 -10 -4 -4 -11 -4; 49
  3. 9, Lightning 19, Thomas Allen, Buffalo, NY, USA - 5 -12 -13 -8 -1 -2 -5 -4 -6; 56
Sonar (One Design - 5 Boats)
  1. Valiant, Sonar 24, Rick Doerr, Clifton, NJ, USA - 1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1; 9
  2. SPYC, Sonar 23, Kevin holmberg, Tampa, FL, USA - 2 -2 -2 -3 -3 -2 -2 -3 -2; 21
  3. Shamrock, Sonar 23, John Twomey, Cork, Cork, IRL - 3 -3 -3 -2 -4 -4 -3 -4 -4; 30
A Cats Classics (One Design - 14 Boats)
  1. USA 165, A Cat 18, Bob Webbon, Seabrook, TX, USA - 1 -1 -1 -3 -5 -2 -1 -4 -2; 20
  2. Cowbell, A Cat 18, Woody Cope, Tampa, FL, USA - 2 -7 -2 -1 -3 -3 -2 -1 -1; 22
  3. Black and Blue, A Cat 18, Ben Hall, Bokeelia, FL, USA - 3 -3 -3 -6 -1 -1 -3 -2 -3; 25
A Class Foiling (One Design - 24 Boats)
  1. USA 311, A Cat 18, Bruce Mahoney, La Porte, TX, USA - 1 -1 -3 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1; 11
  2. Bas Clas, A Cat 18, Bob Hodges, Covington, LA, USA - 6 -4 -2 -2 -4 -2 -2 -2 -6; 30
  3. Lupe Tortilla, A Cat 18, John Tomko, Canyon Lake, TX, USA - 14 -6 -1 -4 -2 -3 -7 -3 -9; 49
Melges 24 (One Design - 12 Boats)
  1. VIXEN, Melges 24 24, Alex Shafer, Clermont, Fl, USA - 6 -1 -8 -2 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1; 22
  2. Obsession, Melges 24 24, Gary Schwarting, Naples, FL, USA - 8 -4 -3 -1 -4 -2 -3 -2 -5; 32
  3. Rogue, Melges 24 24, Bob Kroetsch, Tampa, FL, USA - 3 -6 -1 -3 -2 -4 -4 -4 -7; 34
J 88 (One Design - 6 Boats)
  1. Deviation, J 88 29, Iris Vogel, New Rochelle, NY, USA - 3 -3 -4 -2 -1 -1 -3 -1 -3; 21
  2. Dutch, J 88 29, John & Jordan Leahey, Denver, CO, USA - 2 -5 -5 -1 -2 -2 -4 -5 -2; 28
  3. Whirlwind, J 88 29, William Purdy, New York, NY, USA - 4 -4 -1 -3 -3 -5 -2 -3 -4; 29
J 70 (One Design - 14 Boats)
  1. Honeybadger, J 70 22.75, Travis Odenbach, Pittsford, NY, USA - 3 -2 -3 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1; 14
  2. USA 88, J 70 22.75, Maddy Ploch, Pelham, NY, USA - 4 -3 -4 -2 -5 -2 -3 -2 -4; 29
  3. Tea Dance Snake, J 70 22.75, Peter Bowe, Baltimore, MD, USA - 2 -1 -1 -6 -2 -6 -4 -6 -2; 30
J 111 (One Design - 5 Boats)
  1. Spaceman Spiff, J 111 36.5, Rob Ruhlman, Cleveland, OH, USA - 2 -3 -1 -1 -3 -1 -1 -2 -4; 18
  2. Shamrock, J 111 36.5, Jeffrey Davis, Cleveland, OH, USA - 4 -1 -2 -3 -1 -4 -2 -1 -3; 21
  3. Sitella, J 111 36.5, Ian Hill, Chesapeake, VA, USA - 1 -2 -3 -2 -2 -3 -3 -3 -2; 21
PHRF 1 (PHRF - 11 Boats)
  1. Warrior, Tripp 38 38, Grant Dumas, Gulfport, FL, USA - 6 -3 -3 -3 -2 -4 -2 -2; 25
  2. Wasabi, Farr 395 39.5, Eric Lopez, Palm Harbor, FL, USA - 4 -1 -1 -5 -3 -2 -5 -7; 28
  3. My Sharona, C&C 30 30, George Gamble, Pensacola, FL, USA - 1 -4 -2 -2 -6 -5 -4 -4; 28
PHRF 2 (PHRF - 8 Boats)
  1. Back Off, Soverel 33 33, Tony Barrett, St. Petersburg, FL, USA - 1 -1 -1 -4 -1 -1 -3; 12
  2. Semper Fi, J 29 29, Raymond Mannix, Largo, Fl., USA - 3 -3 -4 -1 -2 -3 -1; 17
  3. Fire & Ice, J 105 34.5, George Cussins, Apollo Beach, FL, USA - 2 -4 -2 -2 -4 -2 -2; 18
PHRF 3 (PHRF - 5 Boats)
  1. Polished Off, Soverel 26 26, Andy and Carrie Camarda, Chicago, IL, USA - 1 -2 -3 -1 -1 -1 -2; 11
  2. Bill the Cat, wavelength 24, William Quinn, Loganville, GA, USA - 2 -3 -5 -2 -3 -2 -3; 20
  3. Lunaly, Beneteau 345 34.5, John Schellenbach, Chicago, IL, USA - 4 -4 -1 -3 -2 -6 -1; 21
S2 7.9 (One Design - 12 Boats)
  1. Rebel, S2 7.9 25'11, John Spierling, Shelby Twp, MI, USA - 1 -1 -2 -2 -2 -6 -2; 16
  2. Matros, S2 7.9 26, Tom Bryant, Holland, MI, USA - 3 -4 -1 -4 -1 -9 -1; 23
  3. Just One More, S2 7.9 26, Jeff Mootz Michael Doyle, Le Sueur, MN, USA - 2 -2 -7 -3 -4 -1 -6; 25
For race results each day, visit www.yachtscoring.com

For more information on the NOOD events, visit sailingworld.com/nood-regattas

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