Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Flynn’s J/22 Is Annapolis NOOD Overall Winner

J/70s sailing Annapolis NOOD J/Crews Endure Cold, Wet, Windy Regatta
(Annapolis, MD)- As usual, the weather forecasters were dead wrong, a tradition it seems for the annual spring rite of passage known as the Helly Hansen Annapolis NOD Regatta.  The 194 boats were treated to plenty of drizzle and light winds from the NNE on Friday; a cloudy, cold nor’easter on Saturday that died out completely; and lots of rain, drizzle, mist with a moderate southeast breeze dying off to practically nothing on Sunday.  Nevertheless, the awful weather did nothing to diminish the competitive instincts on the water and the camaraderie onshore.  The Annapolis YC did a wonderful job hosting all the social shoreside activities at the Annex and on the water, with help from volunteers at Eastport YC and Severn Sailing Association; the team provided great sailing despite the nasty conditions.

The popular event attracted teams from Chicago to Maine and upstate New York to Florida.  146 of them (75% of the total fleet!) were spread throughout eight classes- J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/30s, J/35s, J/105s, J/111s and also a number of PHRF teams (J/109s, J/42, J/110, J/29).

Terry Flynn, champion of the highly-competitive J/22 class, was declared overall winner of the regatta. The Quantum Sails pro received an all-expenses paid trip to the British Virginia Islands to compete in the Helly Hansen NOOD Regattas Championship.  "It feels great! We are very pleased," Flynn said after earning the overall victory at the Annapolis NOOD for the second time.

Flynn first won four years ago after winning the J/80 class, but could not make the trip to the BVI due to a conflict. The League City, Texas resident hopes to make it this time after winning two of six races to top the 25-boat J/22 class by seven points over Jeff Todd and the HOT TODDY team.

J/22 sailing Annapolis NOOD"We were fairly quick in the big breeze today," said Flynn, who posted finishes of second and third on Sunday.  Kevin Kenny trimmed the jib while Jesse Fullmer worked the bow for Flynn, who grew up in Eastport and graduated from Annapolis High in 1973.  "I'd have to say we got a little lucky. I was over early in the fourth race and we somehow managed to come back and get an eighth," he said.

Behind Flynn and Todd was Brad Julian’s USA 677 in third with 28 pts, just one pt out of second place!  The balance of the top five was Mike Marshall’s BAD NEWS in 4th and Chris Junge’s CORNER OF SANITY & MADNESS in 5th.

Arnold resident Geoff Becker led from start to finish in winning J/70 class, easily the largest of the regatta with 43 boats. Becker steered PAPA WHEELIE to first place finishes in races 1 and 2 then held off a strong charge by Brazilian skipper Mauricio Santa Cruz.  Both teams tied on points at 35 each, with Becker winning the tie-break based on most 1sts.  "It was important to pay close attention to the conditions, especially in the light air on Friday and Saturday," Becker said. "The current was fairly significant and switched around to different sides of the course quite a bit."

J/70s sailing Annapolis NOODBecker has enjoyed considerable success in J/70 class as tactician for longtime friend Tim Healy, but only recently began skippering his own entry. Parker Mitchell trimmed the jib and called tactics while Monica Morgan handled the foredeck. Josh Becker, 14, crewed for his father and gave him passing grades for driving the boat.  "He's a great skipper. He drives pretty straight most of the time," said Josh, an eighth grader at Magothy River Middle School. "Sometimes he focuses too much on what the crew is doing."

Third in the J/70s was Will Welles’ SCAMP from Newport, RI with 43 pts, fourth place was John Brim’s RIMETTE sailing with Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Steph Roble (note, they were winning the regatta going into the last day!), and fifth place was Henry Filter’s WILD CHILD sailing with the famous “Moose” McClintock as tactician (read the “Legend of Moose” in the community section below).

The J/70 Corinthians Division was won by Peter McChesney’s TROUBLE, followed by Robert Sweet’s VITESSE in second, Todd Hiller’s LEADING EDGE in third, Jenn & Ray Wulff’s JOINT CUSTODY fourth and Steiner/VIckers’ GNIXE in fifth.

J/80s sailing Annapolis NOODSeverna Park skipper John White put forth a dominant performance in J/80 class, which drew 22 boats. White won three races and placed second in two others in totaling 12 points, 15 better than runner-up David Andril aboard VAYU.  "I have great people on the boat and they make me look good," White said. "It was one of those regattas when everything seemed to be working well."  North Sails pro Jonathan Bartlett served as tactician while Debbie Gosselin trimmed the headsails. Kevin White worked the bow for his father.  The rest of the top five saw Chris & Liz Chadwick’s CHURCH KEY take the bronze, with Les Beckwith’s FKA fourth and Vince Kalish’s WHITE LIGHTNIN fifth.

Eastport Yacht Club member Pete Kassal won the J/24 class in the Annapolis NOOD for the first time after placing second several times. Allyson Nelson provided tactical advice aboard SPACEMAN SPIFF, which won two of three races to close the regatta to edge RUSH HOUR (Pat FitzGerald) by a point.  "We had really good crew work, so I was able to focus solely on steering the boat," said Kassal, who also sailed with Bill Smith (jib), Greg Singer (middle) and Duy Huynh. "We were able to get clear air and connect the dots. Overall, we sailed very consistently."

FitzGerald steered RUSH HOUR to victory in the first race on Sunday, pulling into a tie on points with Kassal. That set up a match race scenario in the regatta finale with SPACEMAN SPIFF covering RUSH HOUR from start to finish and getting the gun to clinch the regatta.  Behind this duel for the top of the podium was Peter Rich’s BUXTON in third place.

Another dominating Napolitan effort came in the venerable J/35 class, where co-owners James Sagerholm and Jerry Christofel led AUNT JEAN to its 12th victory at the Annapolis NOOD, winning 5 of 7 races! Deb Sagerholm and Joanne Christofel took care of the middle and pit for their husbands. Tim Mangus called tactics while Doug Smith and Mike Udell completed the crew.  "Our crew work is just fantastic. We put ourselves in a lot of spots when we needed," said Jim Sagerholm, who drives the boat. "We come out of the corners much faster than the competition."  The rest of the podium was involved in a pitched battle for the podium all weekend.  In the end, it was Bruce Artman’s T_BONE that took 2nd place by one pt over Chuck Kohlerman’s MEDICINE MAN.

Yet another local champion was Martin Roesch’s VELOCITY of Ellicott City in the J/111 class, collecting four bullets along the was to just eke out a one pt win over Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE team from San Diego, CA.  Taking third was David McCreight’s DARKHORSE by one pt over Doug Curtiss’ WICKED 2.0.  Completing the top five was Jim Connelly’s SLUSH FUND.

J/105s and J/111s sailing Annapolis NOOD regattaProving that local knowledge is beneficial on the Bay was another local, Jim Konigsberg’s INIGO of Fairfax, Virginia in the nineteen boat J/105 class, posting nearly all top five finishes to win class by five pts.  Past Annapolis NOOD winner, Scott & Carl Gitchell, sailed TENACIOUS to all top five finishes in the last three races to dramatically close the gap and secure second overall.  The Bermudian team on Jim Macdonald’s DISTANT PASSION sailed consistently to grab their first silverware ever in the event!  After peeling off a stunning 3-1-1 in the last three races, Don Santa’s SANTAS REIGN-DEAR leapt into fourth place while Hugh Bethell’s JESTER won the first race and coasted home fifth overall.

Continuing the “local knows best” theme, brothers-in-law Bob Rutsch and Mike Costello’s BEPOP of Chevy Chase took the win in the J/30 class.  An unfortunate OCS in the second race may have cost INFECTIOUS SMILE (Tristan & Sheila Keen) the class win, finishing just two pts back after seven races.  George Stewart’s CANNONBALL 2.0 snared the bronze, while Ron Anderson’s INSATIABLE took 4th and Charles Lutz’s POGO claimed 5th place.

In the five boat PHRF 50-75 division, it was the familiar team aboard the J/109 RUSH that eclipsed the fleet. Led by their skipper Bill Sweetser, they closed the regatta with three 1sts and three 2nds to win by the comfortable margin of 5 pts.  Another J/109, Rick Hanson’s ROSALITA took third in class.  Sailing photo credit- Paul Todd/ Outside Images.  For more Helly Hansen Annapolis NOOD Regatta sailing information