2012 Sailing World NOODS

Day 1

The third weekend in March is the Annual NOOD event in San Diego, and what a great way to greet spring. Each year this event has been a development event for the Buccaneer18. Until just three years ago the Buccs were sailing out of South Bay, over the Bridge in lovely Coronado. Coronado Yacht Club is a great club, and a nice location, with outgoing club members. They are doing more race management and have invited the Buccs to attend additional events. The change of classes of boats and attendance levels contributed to the decision to move the Buccs to Mission Bay, (home of the 2009 BNAC). This move was not difficult to swallow as wherever
you are from on the West Coast, Mission Bay YC is like a second home. Their facilities, people, camaraderie, and sailing options make it a top place to sail.

Attending this years event were many of the usual west coast suspects; from California, Carole Vallaincort, Gary Geisler and Dennis Martinelli, while the Arizona contingency included, Matt and Mike Davis, Rob Gibbs, and Rainie and Mike Parker. Missing were the Colorado gang. While work kept Cindy Pilote and Emory Heisler from sailing this event, some guy named David Rawstrom moved to the East Coast. We miss him, yet we wish him all the best. We were fortunate to have a long distance ringer come in from Maryland. Jeffery Moore flew in to sail with Carole. It was good to have Jeff make the trip out, I just wish we could have had more normal
conditions for him to enjoy. Thank you, Jeff, for making the trip. Carole is the epitome of great boat owners. She has had more top notch sailors helm her boat than the rest of the Buccaneer Class put together and she has a great time with all of them, learning along the way. Maybe that is what makes her so good. She has these hot shots come into town wherever she is sailing, taking responsibility for preparing and getting her boat to the regatta’s, while maintaining the crew position like a pro.

We look forward to this event, but for whatever reason, it has had inclement weather conditions for the past few years. Somehow the weather over the third weekend in March could be much kinder to sailors in San Diego. I can’t remember when we last got two good days of sailing during this event. Competitors are mixing up ideas for another set of days, would one week earlier or one week later make a difference?

Friday’s racing had our course set for the Ocean Course. There would be one other class sailing on the same course that day, the Soling Class. The other classes at this event, Weta and F18’s choose to sail only on Saturday and Sunday. Sailing with me at this event is Rob Gibbs. Rob is really good to sail with, as he has probably helmed the Bucc as much as he has crewed. In addition, he knows the boat, has good humor, and keeps me concentrating with my head out of the boat. After a relaxing set up in near perfect conditions, we took in the skippers meeting put on by PRO Stan Betts. (Stan is one of the best PROs around. He is top notch and as old school
as his red pants and cigar. He sets good courses, starts appropriately, and keeps the racing and processes black and white. Thanks Stan.) Neil Laundry was present and made a very pleasing presentation to Stan for the Buccaneer Class and his home town club in Brockport. Well done Neil! Thank you.

Rob and I launched the boat and headed for the channel. We were making good time as we approached the channel with calculated time to spare prior to the first race. Sure enough, the wind died. Fortunately for us, good friend, Peter Howson was on his way on to the race course in his beautiful Rib, and offered a tow. How could we resist? Peter took us out the channel chop and slop past the breakwater and set us free. Rob and I are thinking we would reach over to the RC Boat, which in normal conditions would take 7-9 minutes… Of course Mother Nature decided to turn the wind off, again. Rob and got as comfortable as possible to wait it out. After about 15 minutes, enter Peter to the rescue asking, “Did any of you boys see an aircraft carrier?” We gladly accepted a second tow from Peter and headed to the start-finish RC area. A precious small amount of wind was in the air, and possibly building, (please). We cruised around the start finish line and caught up with Mike Parker and his lovely daughter/crew (Rainie). She looked precious, resting her head on the deck and taking a nap. We would find out in a short time, that unfortunately the rollers took their toll, more than a nap, some seasickness was developing.

We were trying to keep an eye for Carole Vaillancourt and Rock Star Jeff Moore as well as the other boats. It seemed that there was something amiss in Carole’s boat as they appeared to be working on something continually.

With the wind finally filling in enough, the RC got things underway with the Solings leading the way. With the lumpiness and light air, keeping the boat going was going to be the key. Despite getting out to a good lead, we found some holes (lack of driver skill) and The Davis came on strong and took the lead before the Windward mark. We tried to battle back and even had better speed downwind with Rob’s good kite trim, which got us within striking distance at the leeward mark. Matt and Mike were going to have none of that and covered us well to the finish and took the race. Carole and Jeff were back a little and caused some concern. We found out later they
were having rigging issues.

Between races we discussed the usual and came to conclusion that keeping the boat moving was to be essential with the presented conditions. Rob assured that his voice volume would increase if pinching took place (guess it beats lashings). Race two and three were very similar, where we sailed much better upwind and it paid dividends. Rob had to provide speed reminders, as I was
trying to sail to high several times. Your telltales can deceive you as they are going back and it feels ok, but what happens is you are gradually slowing down. “When in doubt, let it out”. We got the second race comfortably. The third race we were in the lead until just before the finish, but Matt and Mike were sailing fast. Just before the finish, Matt and Mike came across on Starboard and we had to go behind. Next thing I know they tack back and fall off onto us. Going at the Mach 2 speeds we rubbed rails barely. It caught us off guard to say the least and apparently there was confusion on the other boat as well. We squeaked out that one to take the race.

On the way in we were joined by Gary Geisler and crew, and another Buccaneer that was new to the area. Apparently, they had an enjoyable day sailing in the bay. Upon getting to the parking lot to retrieve the trailer, I noticed Mike Parker’s boat/trailer were not to be found. Mike knows the weather pretty well and made an excellent decision in packing it (see below) and enjoying the weekend with family doing other things. Carole and Jeff made it back and we discovered a block gave way and their mast was noodle-ish. They tried to jerry-rig the tension the best they could for the day. Now they were headed to West Marine for some parts.

A wonderful Mexican dinner was had by a group at in Old Town and the weather was definitely changing. The temperature dropped and the wind was now approaching the area where the Bucc excels. Unfortunately the forecast had this front bringing in much more wind and possibly even rain.

Day 2

Breeze on! The Races for the day were cancelled at the other venues, and the high winds were closely approaching the Mission Bay venue too. Shortly, sailing in the Ocean was cancelled, leaving the Bay as the last option. We did some rigging and preparations. Carole and Jeff were able to get their boat dialed in, but thought it best with the current conditions and forecast that they would stay in. Hint? A short PRO meeting announced the move into the bay, and with the southerly they would be able to use the longest stretch of the bay for the course. Next was the question if anyone was going out? We knew the answer for the Weta Trimarans and the F18’s as they were still all wrapped up in the parking lot. The Soling were going out, and the Buccaneers were going out. The Davis’ had unfinished business from the previous day and Gibbs/ Martinelli were forced to defend. The other boats were smarter and stayed warm on shore.

Getting off the dock can be an issue with southerlies. If you can’t get your bow across the wind, it is slammed back into the dock.  There were two MBYC members assisting in getting boats off the dock, including stalwart, Dr. Brian Anderson. Brian must have noticed some trepidation on my part as he said matter of factly, “You don’t have to go out”. Previously, in similar circumstances, I said I would not go out, but on this day, out we went. It is not competitive sailing for what the boat is designed for, but we got out there because the conditions challenge us. It is part adrenaline in you that test yourself and the boat. We went out, but were never really into it, being very conservative and not pushing the boat or ourselves to the maximum. While I might say we did not push to the maximum, in no way should indicate we were not working hard, it means we saved enough to make sure we could manage in the puffs and be able to depower, which can be very difficult at times. Rob and I did manage a good time. Rob owes me for the work out I gave him. I think he worked harder than some days he puts in at the gym. I am surprised he didn’t pull a muscle or two from playing the Jib all day. In fact, a first for me to witness was that the Jib sheet cover actually tore aware from the core. Rob somehow was able to manage finishing the race with the jib sheet using half the sheet with core only. Note that the core was so thin it would not cleat.

Thanks to the Sailing World for putting on this event, Sperry for being a major sponsor and all the other sponsors. We can’t say enough about Mission Bay Yacht Club, their facilities and most important is their people. The people there great hosts and make our beloved sport most enjoyable. They have another great event in August. It is their One Design regatta that should not be missed. Jeff, I wish you could come back for it to see really good San Diego sailing, which it normally has for us sailors.

Note about Peter Howson: Peter is a great guy who gave us tows to the start line who happens to be a great Photographer by trade. You will see sailing photo’s of the top races by Peter from the West Coast, Nationally and Internationally. His website is:  www.saillog.net Check it out.

Results:   http://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_regatta_results.php?regatta_id=4699