The largest national sailboat racing circuit in the United States, the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta series, is in St. Petersburg on its first stop of the season.
Hundreds of local and visiting sailors in eleven classes of sailboats are competing for individual trophies and the top prize — an invitation to race in the Helly Hansen NOOD Caribbean Championship Regatta, presented by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands in October.
The annual three-day event features one-design racing, where teams compete in races against identical boats. Points are accumulated based on finishing position in each race, and the team with the fewest total points at the conclusion of the regatta wins its class. For competitors in the regatta’s one handicap class (PHRF), time allowances are used to score a boats of varying sizes and designs.
Regatta organizers then calculate an overall winner based on the strongest individual finish in the most competitive class. The overall winner earns a berth in the championship regatta, held Oct. 22-29 in the British Virgin Islands. In addition to winners from each of the five NOOD events this year, interested sailors can charter and compete against the overall winners at the championship.
Last year’s St. Petersburg winning skipper, John Spierling from Shelby, Mich., will return with his teammates to defend the title aboard Rebel in the S2-7.9 division.
The Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta is a spectator-friendly event; races can be seen from private yachts on Tampa Bay. Start times are dependent on wind and weather, but racing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. each day.
For the third consecutive year, Helly Hansen—a global leader in technical sailing apparel with more than 135 years of experience protecting professionals on the water—continues as title sponsor for the elite sailing series.
Operating since 1988, Sailing World’s National Offshore One Design Regattas, known as the “NOODs,” are the longest-running and most popular sailboat racing series in North America. Every NOOD regatta attracts regional, national and international talent to compete against the local community on their home waters.
Other 2017 sponsors include North Sails, Mount Gay Rum, West Marine and Sunsail.
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