Photo Credit: Laurie Morrison for NOSA
Rod Woods has just a little experience with racing offshore: he reckons on average he raced his Olson 30 over 38 weekends a year for many years, and he has completed some 33 Newport to Ensenada races. So at age 79 he’s ready to throttle back just a little yet still be part of the race action in this year’s 73rd annual NOSA event.
“I suppose with this many miles raced already I don’t have to prove anything again by going overnight,” he said. “A nice cruise down the coast is more my speed now.”
So along with his step-daughter Tamara, Rod has been the first this year to enter the Newport to Dana Point Race (N2DP), the shortest of the three race options in the N2E event. Their entry is on their Hunter 33 Pillow Talk, which they plan to double-hand in the PHRF non-Spinnaker Class, a class they won last year in the same division.
“Its really just a relaxing sail down the coast,” he said. “Mostly its a comfortable headsail reach which is the perfect length. We all start together, and we watch those with spinnakers go off fast but then have to sag east towards the shore where there’s no wind, and we often watch them sit there and park until they give up and motor out. Our strategy is to stay away from the coast, about 5 miles out, and stay in the breeze, then turn in towards the finish. This has worked out well.”
Rod and Tamara hope to repeat their win from last year, and encourage others to enter too. Maybe even try, as they do, doing this casual race double-handed.
“This race is a great way to participate and have fun if you don’t have the time to race all the way to Ensenada. I recommend it highly.”
Thus far Rod and Tamara are one of only six Double-handed entries among the three races – N2E, N2SD and N2DP – but its expected more will come in the coming weeks when entries push past the 100 mark and beyond.