June 2006

Stories In The NOOD

NOODPhoto by Erika Parker

GO NOOD -- With the Coronado Bridge and the San Diego skyline in the
background, sailors plied their courses in San Diego Bay earlier this spring
at the NOOD Regatta. A record 167 boats entered, and although not confirmed,
this year is believed to have been the first trophy placement by the Arizona
Yacht Club.

By Wade McDaniel

For the first time in the history of the NOOD (National Offshore One Design) regatta, the Buccaneer fleet was given a start on C course in South Bay, San Diego, along with the rest of the dinghies that included I-14s, Flying Dutchman's, 29ers, & 505s.

The Buccaneer 18 stood out in this crowd as the only non-trapeze boat. The weekend sailing conditions were a rather abrupt departure from the normal mild San Diego winter weather, and the fleets faced stormy conditions both days, with wind ranging from 13-25 knots.

Adding to the fun was a 2-4 foot chop that made the Bucc spinnaker snout an excellent water launcher inside the boat.

The Buccaneer fleet showed up with eight boats six from Phoenix and two from Northern California. The most commonly used phrase on the water by other boat crew was, "So that's what that thing is!" followed by "Nice swords!"

Bottoms Up

There were many bottoms of boats to be seen in the mid-March race, as 29ers and I-14s wiped out backwards, upside-down, and pitch-poled. But, not one Bucc bottom was showing the entire regatta.

Several 505s and Flying Dutchman's suffered demasting and trolled the bottom of South Bay in the mud.

Navy Yacht Club, Coronado YC, and San Diego YC hosted the event with the drinks, food, and band located at San Diego YC. The opening party on Friday night was greeted by rain and sharp winds that foretold of potential doom-and-gloom weather for the weekend, but were thankfully unrealized.

Prior to the regatta, the fun started in Phoenix with Bucc owners Tony Chapman and Pat Blumm having a boat-stacking party, followed promptly by Wade McDaniel leaving his rudder at the house and remembering almost halfway across the desert.

That was then followed by one owner who shall remain nameless running out of gas (but he has a British accent), followed by another blowing up his trailer wheel before arriving in San Diego. (On the bright side, getting all that out of our system boded well for race day!

Race Days Cool And Windy

Race days greeted the Bucc sailors with 45-degree temperatures and 25-knot winds. Fortunately, things warmed up and the wind tempered.

Race 1 was a WLW as were all the races for the Buccs. The starting line was plenty long enough to afford everyone clear air at the start, and it then became a game of how high a boat could point in that wind without wiping out.

At the weather mark after close roundings, the chutes were popped, and the surfing began. Races 2 and 3 went much like the first, leaving the team of Dave Spira and Tony Chapman with 4 points for the day, Wade McDaniel and Tim Batcher with 5 points, and the team of Dave Rawstrom and Pat Blumm with 11 points.

First-time Bucc skipper Greg Jackson on a chartered boat from Emory Heisler performed well, and that continued throughout the regatta, as he ended up in fourth place.

On Day 2, the Bucc sailors were again greeted with temps in the 40s, with the winds a bit stronger than the day before. Everyone was looking at each other and asking if we were really in San Diego.

Race 4 started on a more southerly course indicating a strong storm wind all day, which was confirmed by several wipeouts at the start. This separated the fleet on the first windward course, and the positions remained much the same through the finish, with McDaniel, first; Rawstrom, second; Jackson, third, and Spira, fourth.

It All Came Down To #5

So it all came down to Race 5. All boats got a clean start, and the top three boats were going at each other. Positions shifted back and forth until the final weather leg, which put Spira/Chapman over the line first, followed by McDaniel/Batcher and Rawstrom/Blumm.

On Day 2 there was a spectator sailboat, temporarily christened Good Ship Chardonnay. Many thanks to Karen Batcher and her parents for taking some of the wives out to watch the races. Wives from Screw Cap, Lazy Bones, and Rainie's Day all were snapping pictures, cheering the men on, and getting rather windblown themselves.

Final Results

Screw Cap, Wade McDaniel, 8 points

Lazy Bones, David Spira, 9 points

Red Fish Blue Fish, Dave Rawstrom, 16 points

Erin Morgan II, Greg Jackson, 20 points

Rainie's Day, Mike Parker, 23 points

Wind Me Up, Carole Vaillancourt, 34 points

Hailey's Comet, Rob Gibbs, 36 points

Swiss Kiss, Pierre Chatelain, 38 points

Thanks To The Sailors

After the final race, the boats sped to the dock for restacking, packing, drying out, draining out, and refreshments. The trophy presentation party did not disappoint, as the SD NOOD had a record 167 boats entered, and plenty of daily trophies and top three class prizes to go around.

Although the records are hard to find, we believe that this is the first trophy placement by AYC in the NOOD. Or at least, that's our story, and we're sticking by it!

There was a tremendous amount of camaraderie within the group, evidenced by everyone freely helping everyone else. Parts and tools were borrowed, spinnakers were loaned, trailers were fixed.

A huge thank-you to all the Bucc NOOD sailors, for traveling over and competing in one of the most prestigious races in the country. Next year let's double the boats and have another great time!