Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resources 2022 - LEADERBOARD

2021 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Annapolis - Day 2: Race-Packed Saturday

by Tony Veneziano 1 May 2021 22:16 PDT April 30 - May 2, 2021
Strong winds tested crews across the 153-boat Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Annapolis fleet and boat and sail handling practice before the regatta proved to be critical for many teams © Paul Todd / Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta

"Challenging, puffy conditions" is how J/111 skipper Peter Wagner (Atherton, California) described conditions on the second day of the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Annapolis. "We had to keep our eyes out of the boat and change gears frequently, but it was really good racing."

With three races in winds that started near 20 knots and faded and shifted through the day, Wagner and his crew on Skeleton Key, emerged as the top boat in the seven-boat J/111 fleet, winning the first two races and finishing fourth in the third. The outcome, he says, was better than he expected having not raced the boat since August 2019.

"It's been a long time," Wagner says. "We got out to do some boathandling work in San Francisco before we brought the boat here, but no racing, it was just putting ourselves through our paces and making sure the boat was still functional."

For the day's first two races, Wagner says, they were able to get off the starting line clean and control their own race, sailing the course as efficiently as possible. "That was pretty important because things were changing quickly and we had to be able to react to the changes as they happened. In the third race, we ended up on the wrong side of one windshift and the result showed, but that will happen sometimes. In that race, you had to be on the right [side of the course]. We got stuck a little too far left and couldn't quite find a shift to come back. We almost did, but our friends on [Rob Ruhlman's] Spaceman Spiff faceplanted us at a critical moment, bouncing us back left and sealing our doom. That was a good move by them."

Wagner says his team did a great job settling into their roles after a long absence and their boathandling and speedwork were as good as could be expected. For tomorrow, the third and final day of racing, Wagner's goal is to continue sailing well and not worry about the rest of the fleet, which are not far behind on the scoreboard. "It's about incremental improvements," he says, "and for me, I guess the one area to improve getting back in sync with my mainsail trimmer, so we'll continue to focus on that."

While Wagner and the regatta's 10 other classes were doing laps around buoys on three individual racecourses, the North Sails Doublehanded Distance Race fleet—nine boats with two-person crews—were laying tracks around Chesapeake Bay in one fast and physical test of teamwork. Race winners Mike Beasely and Chris Coleman, in their lightweight 26-footer, had their hands full, but made quick work of the 20-mile course.

"We knew we had to make our gains downwind so we pushed pretty hard," Beasley says. "We had two jibes into the bottom mark and there was a bit of indecision on my part on what sails to use on the reach down the Eastern Shore, but we eventually got it all sorted and played the windshifts aggressively on the beat back toward Thomas Point Light. We knew the 40-footers were coming at us pretty hard but were able to get the right sail combination up for the reach. Full credit to Chris, my bowman."

Beasely had never raced the boat doublehanded in strong breeze—he normally races with five or six crew—so the experience was useful for future shorthanded races he plans to do. It was a day of learning, he says. "We had some systems sorted out," he says, "but this is a new level of sailing the boat. Today, it was about the old saying—to finish first, first we have to finish—so that was the primary goal."

The North Sails Doublehanded Distance Race course started with a downwind leg that required carefully orchestrated jibes, and then on the next leg Beasely "put up every sail that we own." They started with only a furling jib set on the end of the sprit, which Beasley says wasn't enough sail area, so they put up the bigger spinnaker.

"We had a bit on at times, and I'm sure everyone did as well, but it was fun," Beasley says.

The most challenging part of the day? The two jibes: "I've got the tiller between my legs and Chris is on the spinnaker sheets. We basically pre-set the main with the traveler in the middle. With this boat we have to put the runners on, so we don't pull the sheet on until the runners are made. The spinnaker is just flagging for a portion of the jibe, but once the runners are made and the main is across, we can get back to planing."

There was plenty of planing in the early races of the morning for the regatta's J/70 sailors, using the event as warm up for their upcoming North American Championship, and these conditions suited the day's overall leader, Travis Odenbach and his crew on Honeybadger. Odenbach and crew won the first two races, finished fourth in the next and now sit atop the standings with a 2-point lead.

"The course today was right favored, but then left toward the top of the beat," Odenbach says. "We said we had to get on port as soon as possible. In the first race, we had a terrible start, ducked a few boats right away and popped out. No one tacked on us so we were pretty much clear up the rest of the course."

That was kind of the story for the second race as well; but this time we actually got a good start and were able to tack 3 minutes after the start on the port. Those two first races were kind of easier for us because it was windy enough we could just plane. Toward the end of the second race it started to be more about switching between modes. We were leading the third race, but at the bottom of the course it got light and we got passed by three boats that did a great job getting downwind. It got tricky in the end."

Odenbach and his team— Orrin Star, Ian Coleman, Andy Horton—have raced plenty this winter in Miami, but the waters off Annapolis are far trickier. Odenbach says that played a factor in his starts today. "It was me getting used to starting in current again. I struggle with that sometimes, being a lake sailor, and that's why the first start was not great, the second was OK and the third was good, so I guess I got used to it."

With racing cancelled on Friday because of strong winds, the three-day regatta has been compressed into two race-packed days, so the regatta's race committee were keen to get maximum races today across all circles. Races will start early again on Sunday, after which one overall winner will be selected to compete in the Helly Hansen NOOD Caribbean Championship in October.

Strong winds tested crews across the 153-boat NOOD Regatta fleet and boat and sail handling practice before the regatta proved to be critical for many teams.

For comprehensive results, visit www.yachtscoring.com.

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

Related Articles

Patience rewards competitors in Annapolis
At the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series over the weekend Jeffrey Todd and his teammates on the J/22 Hot Toddy have finished second in their class at the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series in Annapolis more times than they can, or care, to remember, but this weekend they finally broke the curse with a win Posted on 16 May
Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series preview
Opening the Chesapeake sailing season Maryland's colonial state capital city is surrounded by vast waterways that stretch deep from interior into greater Chesapeake Bay, which is why Annapolis is hailed as a sailor's playground and residents call it "The Sailing Capital" of the United States Posted on 12 May
Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta overall
Finishing just as it started - with brilliant sunshine and a building sea breeze The Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series San Diego finished just as it started—with brilliant sunshine and a building sea breeze, conditions that local sailors expect this time of year. Posted on 28 Mar
San Diego set to host second event
Of the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series The waters off San Diego will be filled with racing sailboats this weekend, as the second event of the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series opens the Southern California racing season with three days of competition, March 25-27. Posted on 23 Mar
Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta overall
A Class Cat legend wins his Caribbean Challenge Berth Singlehanded A-Class Catamaran sailor Ben Hall will have his hands full in the British Virgin Islands this fall once he recruits fellow A-cat skippers to help him compete in the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series Championship. Posted on 21 Feb
Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta day 2
Sun-sational sailing in St. Petersburg More than 200 sailboats competed in the 2nd day of the three-day Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series in St. Petersburg in 8- to 14- knots of breeze, helping some teams to solidify their leads, and others to capitalize as they head into final day. Posted on 20 Feb
Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta underway
The first day of sailing in St. Petersburg delayed by early fog After an onshore delay due to fog, the first day of the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta St. Petersburg kicked off with two beautiful afternoon races for the 214 teams competing in the largest turnout yet in the regatta's 34-year history. Posted on 19 Feb
St. Petersburg Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta
Two thousand sailors race this weekend in St. Petersburg in the nation's largest regatta series With 215 sailboats registered and more than 2,000 sailors from Florida and around the country, the national Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series opens this weekend in St. Petersburg with the largest fleet yet in the regatta's 34-year history. Posted on 17 Feb
Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series
Formerly called the National Offshore One-Design (NOOD) Regatta With the 2022 racing season now under way, Bonnier Events continues to build on the rich tradition of the iconic brand of Sailing World magazine and its long-running racing series by introducing the rebranded Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series. Posted on 2 Feb
Helly Hansen re-ups as sponsor of NOOD Regattas
2022 National Offshore One Design Regattas schedule announced Helly Hansen is thrilled to announce its continuation as the name and title sponsor of the National Offshore One Design Regattas (NOOD) in 2022. Posted on 19 Nov 2021
Cyclops 2022 May FOOTERC-Tech 2021 America's Cup 728x90 BOTTOMSea Sure 2021 - RED - FOOTER