Travis Odenbach dominates at St. Pete NOOD Regatta; Florida’s Peter Bream takes J/24 Midwinters
The 2012 National Offshore One-Design (NOOD) Regatta Series began on February 17 with the St. Petersburg Regatta hosted by the St Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida. The message in 2012: Race to Win! Win a NOOD Regatta for the chance to participate in the 2012 NOOD Caribbean Regatta sponsored by Sunsail to determine who is the overall Champion.
Last year, a local Tampa Bay J/24 crew, consisting of Doug Weakley, Genoa Fedyszyn, Eric Bardes, and Steph Karidasaboard, aboard Spoony Tactics skippered by Todd Fedyszyn, of Davis Island Yacht Club, won both the St Pete NOOD Regatta and the Caribbean NOOD Championship.
The warm weather and great sailing conditions on Tampa Bay attracted many out-of-state sailors, who made up about fifty percent of the fleet. This year the regatta had sailors from 17 US states and as far away as Argentina and Canada.
After racing was cancelled on Saturday due to fog and light winds, the “Breezin’ Band” kept sailors entertained at the evenings dinner party. I joined my friends and fellow sailors from the Tampa Bay area for some drinks and to share stories and discuss strategies for Sunday’s races. I also met Ken Johnson, from Argentina, who traveled the farthest to race and enjoys coming to Florida every couple of years to charter a J/24 and battle it out in the most competitive class of most NOOD regattas.
On Sunday the wind finally decided to cooperate and gave the sailors a chance to redeem themselves and show who’s who in heavier air. Gusts reached into the 20s with choppy conditions.
The San Juan 21 class held its 2012 Midwinter Championship at the St. Petersburg NOOD with Fisk Hayden from Lake Monroe Sailing Association crowned their new Champion.
Travis Odenbach’s J/24 Honey Badger, from the Rochester Yacht Club in NY, took advantage of the conditions and dominated the class with three bullets in Sunday’s stiff breeze, to win both the J/24 class and the overall honors.
Meanwhile, the Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa was the host for the 2012 J/24 Midwinter Championships in February. fleet of 28 boats competed for the chance to qualify for the 2013 J/24 Worlds hosted by the Howth Yacht Club in Howth, Ireland.
On the first day of racing Peter Bream, of Jacksonville, Florida took an early lead with four top three finishes after four races in idyllic 10-12 knot conditions and sunny skies. Mike Ingham of Rochester, New York finished second, 13 points behind Bream, and John Mollicone of Newport, Rhode Island, ended in third.
Aftert racing, sailors enjoyed a chili and chowder bar with kegs provided by Quantum Sailing/Tim Healy. It was the perfect way to warm up as the wind chill was in the 30s all day during racing.
Day three started with a brief postponement in the morning, followed by a nice sea breeze which filled up as expected and allowed three races to be completed in ideal sailing conditions with 10-15 knots southeast winds, sunny skies and warm temperatures.
Travis Odenbach of Rochester, New York took the first race with John Mollicone finishing second. Mollicone then won the second race and Peter Bream, snuck past Rochester’s Kris Werner to take the third race.
Peter Bream and his Team Tarheel led the regatta through the final day of the nine-race series to repeat as winners of this year’s event. Bream’s consistent top-five finishes allowed him to cruise to victory, finishing with a nine point lead over John Mollicone in second overall and Tony Parker taking third.
Racing ended and another cold keg, provided by Quantum Sailing, was tapped to enjoy during the Awards Ceremony while Kat Robinson-Malone, DIYC’s Commodore, handed out the awards. In the end, no one went home empty handed thanks to DIYC and their generous sponsors.
The J/24 Midwinter Championship will return to DIYC in February, 2013. For final results please go to regattatech.com/events/DIYC/J24Midwinters12.