Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NOOD Regatta returns to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Coming off a medal-winning performance last summer in Weymouth, England, Jen French is looking at this weekend's NOOD Regatta off St. Petersburg as a chance to blow off a little steam.

"This is going to be a lot of fun," said French, who has abandoned the double-handed SKUD 18 to race with friends in the four-person Sonar. "We are getting the band back together for this one."

While the U.S. sailing team didn't win any medals at the 2012 London Olympics, St. Petersburg sailors French, a quadriplegic, and JP Creignou, who is blind, brought home a silver from the Paralympic Games held a few weeks later at the same venue.

"The pressure was intense," said French, 41, of St. Petersburg. "I really learned a lot about myself … how to clear my head and focus.

"The NOOD is also very competitive," she added. "We want to win, but it will also be a great chance to just get out and sail with some friends."

Joining French will be Geoff Sherman, 33, Christy Day, 40, and Ralf Steitz, 50, in the Sonar class, which also will be holding its Midwinter Regatta during the three days of the National Offshore One-Design Regatta.

The sailboat races, held off the Pier in downtown St. Petersburg, are expected to attract more than 1,000 sailors from across the United States and abroad. The regatta series, part of a multicity tour, comes just a few weeks after Key West's race week, which, next to the America's Cup, sees the most hotly contested battles in the sport.

The term one-design is used to describe boats with identical measurements and specifications, the same style of racing that French and teammate Creignou participated in at the Paralympic Games.

But unlike the Paralympics, where French competed against other sailors with disabilities, she will be racing with the able-bodied fleet.

"Once I am in the boat, nobody knows that I use a wheelchair," said French, who was injured in a snowboard accident 15 years ago. "It is great to be treated like just another sailor."

In addition to the Sonar, the NOOD usually features at least 10 other classes. The overall winner of the event is picked on both fewest number of points accumulated (in sailing, the lower the number, the higher the rank) and the overall competitiveness of the class.

The winner of the St. Petersburg event, now in its 26th year and the opener of a six-city tour, will get a chance to travel to the British Virgin Islands to compete in the NOOD Championship Regatta.

St. Petersburg's Todd Fedyszyn, the coach of the local yacht club's junior sailing team, won both the 2011 event and the season finale.

In addition to the on-water sailing, U.S. Olympic team members and Clearwater siblings Paige and Zach Railey will conduct an onshore sailing clinic for junior sailors at the St. Pete Yacht Club immediately after today's racing.

. Fast facts

NOOD Regatta

What: Regatta featuring sailors from the United States, Europe and South America. Sunday's overall winner is invited to the 2013 NOOD Championship.

When/where: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today through Sunday; St. Petersburg Yacht Club

Best viewing: The Pier in downtown. Racing on three courses.

Information: sailingworld.com/nood-regattas

NOOD Regatta returns to St. Petersburg 02/14/13 [Last modified: Thursday, February 14, 2013 10:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs suspended RB Doug Martin breaks his silence and says his drug problem is 'definitely behind me.'

    Blogs

    He would not talk about the drug he abused. He didn’t identify the rehab facility he entered last January or how long he was there.

    Doug Martin was contrite but optimistic about returning to the form he demonstrated as the NFL's second leading rusher two years ago.
  2. Kickoff times announced for Florida-Michigan, FSU-Alabama

    Blogs

    College football's blockbuster Sept. 2 season openers finally have kickoff times.

  3. Why not Kaepernick?: Ryan Fitzpatrick could be ‘Earl Morrall to Jameis Winston’s Bob Griese’

    Blogs

    As the football world continues to question the Bucs’ motives for signing Ryan Fitzpatrick over Colin Kaepernick as Jameis Winston’s backup, veteran NFL writer Rick Gosselin weighs in with this post titled “The Bucs are playing a mind …

    The Bucs want Ryan Fitzpatrick to mentor Jameis Winston.
  4. This tweet from the Bucs, mocking the Falcons' 28-3 lead they lost in the Super Bowl against the Falcons, prompted a public apology from head coach Dirk Koetter, who called it "unprofessional and not smart."
  5. For starters: Rays looking to get even with Angels, with no TV

    Blogs

    The Rays are looking for a split in the four-game series with the Angels in today's 1:10 matinee, a game that is not on TV in the Tampa Bay market.

    RHP Matt Andriese will start for the Rays, seeking to go deeper than his last start, when he was ejected after hitting New York's Aaron Judge with his first pitch …

    Matt Andriese will start for the Rays.