Hutchinson Clinches 2008 Melges 24 Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Title

From the USMCA - St. Petersburg, Fla. - In a record breaking fleet 49 strong, Terry Hutchinson at the helm for Scott Holmgren on 'USA-631 Quantum Racing/Rosebud' seized the title of the 2008 Melges 24 Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta in sunny, warm St. Peterburg, Florida. Also onboard with Hutchinson was Scott Nixon, Brian Janney and Phoebe Patterson. "The key point of the regatta for us was the first race on day one. We passed about twenty boats on the only downwind run, it was a difficult thing to do. It was a really good comeback. We rounded the top mark in the thirties and battled our way up to finish eleventh."

Hutchinson continued, "It just got better from there. Scott got comfortable on the boat. Every day and every regatta that I sail this boat it gets better and better. This is probably the first regatta I have actually been able to do more tactics and help with boat speed. I have to give credit to the 'Full Throttle' guys as they sailed really, well. This was a regatta where it was about who struggled less."

Going into today, the results were tight with Hutchinson leading the overalls by four points. A three-way tie of Brian Porter on 'USA-649 Full Throttle', Doug Clark helming for Geoffery Pierini on 'USA-551 Gazoo' and John Podmajersky USA-511' in second entertained spectators and in fifth was Corinthian Alex Shafer on 'USA-677 Sweaty Betty'. On the bay winds were light around five knots as the race committee set the course bearing at 130 degrees. The nerves kicked in for the first start as the fleet tried to settle down for the last day of intense racing. A general recall was sounded with the Z flag penalty in effect. The second start was clean for most and at the first mark rounding Hutchinson was hot in first, Clark in a frantic chase right behind him. The wind shifted as the fleet rounded adding tactical challenge to the already tough, light air conditions. Hutchinson held the lead but soon taken away by Peter Lane on 'USA-539 Brick House' just getting the win at the finish. Porter made up substantial ground on the left challenging Clark for the finish. Porter slides in from the left and ends up hitting the finish line mark. Porter's efforts were futile as his penalty turn was costly leaving him to finish in fifth. Hutchinson who was several spots back suddenly got back in the game as he came across the line ahead of second place overall Porter to finish fourth. Porter wasn't the only one that experienced this misfortune, Podmajersky copied Porter's actions resulting in a disappointing 12th place finish.

The second race start produced another general recall prompting the race committee to crack the whip on the fleet again with another Z flag penalty in effect. This prompted the fleet to settle in and get a nice clean start. A shake-up was in order for those that did well, especially Alan Field from Long Beach, California on 'USA-587 WTF'. Field took the lead at the first weathermark and carried through to the finish. Porter did well once again, but it wasn't enough for the win. Shafer had a phenonemal race taking third overall.

1.) Terry Hutchinson/Scott Holmgren, Quantum Racing/Rosebud
2.) Brian Porter, Full Throttle
3.) Alex Shafer, Sweaty Betty
4.) Geoffery Pierini, Gazoo
5.) Marc Hollerbach, Fu
6.) John Podmajersky, USA-511
7.) Peter Lane, Brick House
8.) Billy Gooderham/Richard Reid, Zingara
9.) Henry Colie, Babs
10.) Paul Hulsey, Hoodlum


A very special thanks goes out to the race committee and the Sailing World NOOD Regatta organization for another great regatta!

Alex Shafer and his crew of Justin Hood, Laura Muma, Libby Tomlinson and Bill Wiggins are the 2008 Melges 24 Corinthian Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta! Another outstanding performance put Shafer and his 'USA-677 Sweaty Betty' crew not only as the top amatuer crew but catapulted them in to the third overall position! Marc Hollerbach from Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan had a profitable third day moving him up to the second overall Corinthian spot. Billy Gooderham was third, early regatta leader Hulsey finished in fourth and Justin Chambers from Marietta, Georgia in fifth.

1.) Alex Shafer, Sweaty Betty
2.) Marc Hollerbach, Fu
3.) Billy Gooderham/Richard Reid, Zingara
4.) Paul Hulsey, Hoodlum Racing
5.) Justin Chambers, Liberty 5
6.) Kelly Gough/Shawn Grisham, Bulls Eye
7.) George Haynie, Firewater
8.) Joe Blouin, Wicked Witch
9.) August Hernandez, High Voltage
10.) Gary Schwarting, Obsession
11.) Charlie Clifton, John's Boat
12.) Jack Kern, Devil Dog
13.) J. A. Booker, Carmelita
14.) Richard Mallinson, Speedemon
15.) Tom Single, Juggling Act
16.) Steve Jones/Eric Andrews, Sick Puppy
17.) Jim Gunderson, BIG SKY
18.) Tom Wyman, Hot Seat
19.) James Whatmore, Goux Get Moma
20.) Tony Stanley, Hermes
21.) Scott Baste, Room 444 Improvement
20.) Tom Carter, Trust Me
22.) Sean O'Conner, Just Add Water
24.) Jerry Creasman, Aiemef
25.) Chris Franszek, Chappy