The race is the first of nine events in the NOOD circuit, which includes stops at Annapolis, Md.; Chicago; Detroit; Houston; Larchmont, N.Y.; Marblehead, Mass.; and Seattle.
At least one sailor from the Ocean Beach area, Robert "Bo" Kopianiasz, will compete in his third straight NOOD event. Kopianiasz is the skipper of the Sorcerer, a vessel from the Beneteau 36.7 class.
"I have been sailing for over 20 years and racing for the last four years," said Kopianiasz.
The Beneteau class is a combination racer-cruiser. It is the type of boat you might use to go to Catalina Island with and was designed by America's Cup. There are about 20 of them in Southern California, but only half are used for racing; the other half are used for cruising."
There are seven to eight Beneteau 36.7 boats expected to compete in this weekend's NOOD with a weight limit of 1,500 pounds.
"Because of the weight limit we generally have a minimum crew of 7 or 8 to 10, but to keep it safe 7 or 8 is generally a good number. Another reason for having the minimum crew is if the winds are not very strong you don't want too much weight on the boat," Kopianiasz said.
Capt. Chick Pyle, who founded the fleet class in 2004, also intends to be competitive.
"The Beneteau boats are constructed at the Beneteau factory in South Carolina, not in France," said Pyle, who skippers the boat Kea. "The NOOD Regatta is a one-design race, which means that all the boats are identical that way "” there are no golf handicap.
"A typical race will be four laps of one to one-and-a-half miles," he said.. "The starting point is upwind on the lap then you come back downwind and repeat it three times," he said.
Following the San Diego competition, the next stop in the circuit will be in Annapolis from April 25-27. The overall winner of the San Diego race will gain an automatic berth and go on to face the winners of the other races in the 2008 NOOD Regatta Championships in the British Virgin Islands. There will be 18 separate races this weekend, each representing a different class of boat. The classes are Beneteau 36.7, Beneteau 40.7, Buccaneer 18, Catalina 36, Catalina 38, Corsair 28, Etchells, Flying Tiger, Holder 20 One Design, I-14, J/24, J/80, J/105, J/109, J/120, PC, Ultimate 20 and Viper 640.
Two other local skippers are looking to repeat as champions in this weekend's regatta. John Laun won the J120 Boat Class with his vessel, Caper in 2007. Another victory by Laun will set a record for most J120 fleet class wins and most consecutive fleet wins for the J120 class.
Meanwhile, John Rickard was the overall winner in 2007 with his vessel, Anarchy, in the Flying Tiger class. Laun and Rickard will be among over 1,000 sailors and 150 ships competing in this weekend's three-day event. The regatta includes one-design boats from 20 to 70 feet in length.
Besides Sperry Top-Sider, the other sponsors for the San Diego NOOD are Gill, Sunsail, North Sails, ClearPoint High Definition, Weather, Active.com, Furuno and Lewmar. For more information, call (866) 436-2460, or visit www.sdyc.org.