Please select your home edition
Edition
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW LEADERBOARD

2021 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta St. Petersburg at St. Petersburg Yacht Club - Day 1

by Laura Muma / Sailing World 3 Apr 00:22 PDT 2-4 April, 2021
2021 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta St. Petersburg © Paul Todd / www.outsideimages.com

While a late-season cold front passed over Tampa Bay for an unexpectedly chilly start for the 120 teams competing on the first day of the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta St. Petersburg, the sailors racing in the national regatta series happily bundled up to tackle the brisk breeze and soak up the sunshine. Many of the smaller boat classes delayed racing until the strong 20-knot breeze settled down in the afternoon, but the Melges 24, J/70s and J/24s, and PHRF fleets charged ahead to start on time and capitalize on what proved to be ideal racing conditions.

Eamonn Delisser and his team on the J/24 Main Squeeze started off strong with four first-place finishes. This is Delisser's first time competing at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in the J/24 class (he's sailed many NOODs on a different boat), and he pragmatically summed up today's conditions as shifty. "The breeze would go left, but you could still get out of a right shift. It didn't matter where you went because it [the breeze] was going to come back," Delisser says. "While we don't normally have the boat speed, we certainly had it today so I can't argue."

Tomorrow, says Delisser, will be a different day, however. "Truth be told," he says, "as the day got lighter, our competition got faster....I was better in the heavy stuff; they were better in the lighter stuff."

For John Bauman and his team on the Lightning, Raging Bull, boatspeed and conservative tactics paid dividends. "I would rather sail conservatively than pull a high-risk move," Bauman says. "Given there are no throwouts for this event, I'm glad we played it the way we did because we ended the day with three second places. My crew [Fred Strammer and Monica Morgan], who are much better than me, wanted to be more aggressive, but I tried to hold them back a little bit.

"When it comes to sailing, I'm an idiot savant. Because I have such a great crew, it allows me to ignore everybody and just focus on the telltales and going fast. The more I can trust the crew and drive the boat, the better we are."

While many of the teams lamented about the light-wind spots that peppered the racecourses in between much larger puffs, one team quickly adapted to capitalize on the changeable conditions.

Paul Perry, who's calling tactics for Kevin Holmberg on board the Tampa-based Sonar Fawkes, says he noticed early on that every time there was a puff, there was a wind shift to the east. "We started scanning to see also where the holes [light spots] were that we could use strategically," Perry says. "Since we had more than enough power, we would find the lulls in the course and use them to get back across the fleet."

The strategy and execution is working, as the team leads PHRF 3 with three first-place finishes today. The duo have sailed together for two years and Perry says he and Kevin have established great communication between them. "Today we decided to sail our own race. Playing the fleet was secondary," Perry says. "The majority of our success was keeping our heads out of the boat, sailing fast and not missing shifts. And it seemed to work out OK for us."

For Gary Schwarting and his Obsession team, currently leading the Melges 24 fleet, today was about much more than racing sailboats, as he and fellow sailors paid tribute to their friend and fellow Melges 24 sailor, George Haynie, who passed away earlier this week.

"Many of the Davis Island [Florida] sailors gathered together on the water and organized a toast to George," Schwarting says. "George was one of my best friends and he's done more for the sport of sailing in this area than anyone I know. We sailed against each other and with each other for over 20 years in Melges 24s; he is already so missed."

Racing resumes for the fleets at 10 a.m. tomorrow, with the addition of the North Sails Doublehanded Distance Race and the Cruising World Rally fleets.

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

Full Results available here.

Related Articles

Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta St. Petersburg overall
Gary Schwarting's Melges 24 Obsession wins the overall title Long-time Melges 24 sailor Gary Schwarting believes he had some help from above this weekend to win the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta overall title today in St. Petersburg. Posted on 5 Apr
Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta St. Petersburg day 2
St. Petersburg delivers another stellar day of sailboat racing Between catamaran sailboats flying by the St. Pete Pier and doublehanded teams taking off around Tampa Bay for the North Sails Doublehanded Distance Race, St. Petersburg delivered another stellar day of sailboat racing. Posted on 4 Apr
National Sailing Series draws top racing teams
Two new dinghy racing fleets will debut at 33rd edition of Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta St. Petersburg Two new dinghy racing fleets will debut at this weekend's 33rd edition of the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta St. Petersburg: the new Melges 15 class and the established Thistle class, which has been active since the 1940s. Posted on 31 Mar
Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego overall
Argyle Campbell repeats as overall winner Etchells sailor Argyle Campbell won the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta overall title today in San Diego, winning his fleet by a narrow margin and being selected among the regatta's other class winners to represent San Diego at the NOOD Caribbean Championship Posted on 22 Mar
Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego day 2
Doublehanded racing and day two Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego The complete Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego roster took to the waters off San Diego today for a mix of fleet and distance racing, including the inaugural North Sails Doublehanded Distance Race. Posted on 21 Mar
Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego day 1
International 14s, Vipers, and 29er fleets buzz the bay The high-performance International 14s, Vipers, and 29er sailboat fleets buzzed around San Diego's South Bay today to officially kick off the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego, the opening event for North America's largest regatta series. Posted on 20 Mar
San Diego to start Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta 2021
Competitive sailors in the region can expect top-quality races on San Diego Bay For nearly three decades, the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta national series kicked off in St. Petersburg, Fla., in February, but a shift in the 2021 calendar will put Southern California sailing front and center with the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego. Posted on 5 Mar
2020 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Annapolis overall
Will Crump and his teammates repeat win aboard R80 in the J/80 fleet Even a self-described "punch in the nose" couldn't stop Will Crump and his teammates aboard R80 from winning the J/80 fleet at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Annapolis today. Posted on 31 Aug 2020
2020 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Annapolis day 2
Race strategies take shape as fleets head into final day Despite a shortened day of racing due to afternoon storm conditions on Saturday, fleet rivalries are stoked at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Annapolis. Posted on 30 Aug 2020
2020 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Annapolis day 1
Herculean effort to get dismasted J/35 Abientot to the startline In a Herculean effort to get his dismasted J/35 Abientot to the starting line of this weekend's Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Annapolis, Roger Lant went to extreme measures. Posted on 29 Aug 2020
Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 004 gif BottomRS Sailing 2021 - FOOTERCyclops 2020 - SmartlinkNano - FOOTER