Slow Start to St. Pete's NOOD, David O'Reilly Leads

Slow Start to St. Pete's NOOD, David O'Reilly Leads ©2009 JOY | U.S. Melges 24 Class Association Related topics:

13 February 2009

The 2009 Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD got off to a very slow start. The 45-strong fleet went into postponement from the onset of the day. Shortly before 9:00 a.m. the race committee put all on alert that the 9:30 start of day one had been placed on hold due to lack of breeze. And so, the fleet waited for approximately four more hours before the on land postponement was cancelled and teams were ordered to race.

Another three hours later and approximately 5 miles off shore, the Melges 24 fleet took to racing a 1 mile, three leg race that proved challenging and surprising for some. Fleet newcomer David O'Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) on USA-700 Ardor along with his brother Russ, John Putnam, Emily Pulos and Nick Turney were among the lucky ones who selected the right side of the very light air course for the first upwind leg, putting him out front coming into the first weathermark. Following closely in second was Debbie Willits (Kemah, Tx.) on USA-657 Black Widow, Joe Blouin (Tampa, Fla.) on USA-719 Wicked Witch in third. O'Reilly held onto the lead and claimed the one and only top prize of the day. Willits maintained second, Dave Ullman (Newport Beach, Calif.) on USA-515 took third, Guy Mossman (Charleston, S.C.) on USA-786 was fourth and rounding out the top five was Jeff Duval (Sarasota, Fla.) on USA-348 Doc Holliday.

In the Corinthian category, nine teams of the total 45 made the cut to compete in this coveted Melges 24 division. Top player Rob Butler (Ontario, Canada) on CAN-177 Eager Beaver is currently seated in first Corinthian. Bob Kroetsch (Tampa, Fla.) on USA-457 Rogue is seated second, then George Haynie (Tampa, Fla.) on USA-687 Firewater in third.

It would be great to say that the weather forecast for tomorrow was calling for more breeze, but the fleet will be lucky to get the predicted 5-10 mph.

So what did the teams do all day in an effort to waste the time away? Check out the Official Blog of the International Melges 24 Class Association. A full record of the now famous Raft are featured online along with the afternoon's Melges 24 Playlist.

This event is the first of the very exciting, brand new 2009 SLAM USMCA National Championship Series.

A very special thanks to Melges Performance Sailboats as they have been here in St. Pete's helping teams along as well as delivering the famous Melges swag at the Melges 24 party held at Cha Cha Coconuts! Thank you Melges once again for supporting the fleet!

2009 SPerry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD Full Entry List

2009 Melges 24 Corinthian Crew List

TOP TEN RESULTS (After one race)

  1. David O'Reilly, Ardor
  2. Debbie Willits, Black Widow
  3. Dave Ullman, USA-515
  4. Guy Mossman, USA-786
  5. Jeff DuVal, Doc Holliday
  6. Peter Commette/Henry Colie, Babs
  7. Rob Butler, Eager Beaver
  8. Joe Blouin, Wicked Witch
  9. Alan Field, WTF
  10. Paul Hulsey, Hoodlum Racing

Full Results

Photo Gallery

Each day the USMCA will be offering all the latest news, photo galleries and video. Also be sure to check out the Blog ( and Melges 24 YouTube Channel ( We will be on the water and bringing you updates as it happens.

Also see the official event website