Sunsail Continues Sponsorship of the Sailing World Regatta Series

Racing Team

The Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series, formerly known as the NOOD (National Offshore One Design) Regattas kicked off this past weekend with their first event of the year in St. Petersburg, Florida. Sailors from around the country came to compete in this highly competitive sailing event and enjoy the beautiful weather. Sunsail is a proud sponsor of this sailing series comprised of 6 events - the last of which is held annually in the British Virgin Islands and raced exclusively aboard a matched fleet of Sunsail charter yachts. At each event the winners from each class are entered into a drawing, the victor picked from a hat gets to race the championship event in the world-famous cruising grounds. This year the St. Petersburg champion was Ben Hall, the winner of the A Cat Classic Division. Ben is a legend in the A Cat class, defined by physically demanding, highly technical 18-foot catamarans which are a wonder to watch rip across the racecourse.

A Cat Upwind

Sunsail had a representative racing in this event as well, our very own Sunsail Marketing Manager Dominique Wright competed in the Lightning class with the only all-women race boat on the course. With her skipper Debbie Probst they finished 6th overall and took home a first-place trophy for the Mixed Plus Division for the entire event.

With 20 different race classes and a total of 253 vessels, Tampa Bay was teeming with sailboats creating a picture-perfect scene of colorful spinnakers and glittering sails dotting the water. The first day of the regatta Friday, February 18th brought some strange weather, locals noted they have never seen fog like that in the area before. Rolling fog banks delayed the racing for a few hours before they were able to get under way with several races in the afternoon breeze of 8 to 10 knots. The lighter winds brought close results for most fleets and set up the regatta for tight racing in the coming days.

J70 Sailing Downwind

On North Sails Saturday the race committees continued to run exceptional races on all courses. Competitors were joined by the long-distance divisions on this day known as the North Sails Rally Race. The 20-mile distance race around Tampa Bay began just off the New St. Petersburg Pier much to the delight of onlookers from shore who had the pleasure of watching the 3 divisions start their race. Sunday the final day of racing began with heavy winds that quickly died leaving lumpy waves in the bay as racers struggled to maintain boat speed during the last chances for glory.

L30s Race Start

In all, the event was a huge success and it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces out on the water once again. If St. Petersburg was any indication, the 2022 Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series will be one for the record books, and Sunsail looks forward to welcoming all of this year’s winners to the British Virgin Islands later this fall.

Author Name: 
Dominique Wright