Thursday, June 22, 2017

2017 North Americans Regatta Report - by Drew Buttner and Craig Thompson

The 2017 505 North American Championship was contested over four June days on the beautiful Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts. The event was hosted by the Community Boating Center in New Bedford, and all the competitors left with big smiles on their faces as the venue, the race management, the social schedule, and the bay delivered.

Historic Fort Taber
 25 teams made historic Fort Taber their home base for the long weekend, which meant a short 15 minute sail to the starting line. Situated on the lee side of a point at the base of the sea breeze, Fort Taber offered an ideal location to launch from. The New Bedford Whaling Museum hosted everyone Thursday night and gave everyone a look back into the 1900's whaling community. Racing during the event was spectacular with four very different days.

Fleet on the second reach leg of a Worlds Course, Day 1
Day 1 was champagne sailing with 12-15 knots and sunny skies.  A mixture of 505 worlds courses (W/L, Triangle, W/L) and double W/L courses were sailed throughout the regatta. Races were generally 50-70 minutes long allowing for sufficient time to pass and to be passed; many races were decided on the last downwind leg which provided adequate passing lanes. 3 races were held with Howie Hamlin and Andy Zinn asserting their early dominace on the fleet. Craig Thompson and Mike Curtin put together a solid first day to hold 2nd place going into day 2.

Hamlin and Zinn finish close in front of Thompson and Curtin in Race 3
Day 2 brought 20-25 knots and enormous waves launching many 505s into the air exposing both blades as they skipped over the waves upwind. Two races were held with the wind opposing the tide, until the breeze freshend further turing the sail back to the fort into a true test of seamanship. The volunteers and the CBC staff did a fantastic job on the water ensuring all boats, including those that had equipment damage, made it safely back to shore. Howie and Andy and Ted Conrads and Jeff Nelson both set themselves apart from the fleet in the big breeze, with finishes of 2-1 and a 1-3 respectively.

Conrads and Nelson proved fast and proficient in big breeze and big waves

Kivney and Russell getting some air time around the top mark

Barry and Barrowes had great speed on day 2

Hamlin and Zinn approaching the finish at speed
Day 3 was a light 5-7 knots, with two races held after a postponement on shore. Chris Behn and Jesse Falsone put together a solid day with two third place finishes putting them in striking distance of the top three going into the final day.

Day 3 was a much different condition, testing the sailor's all-around skills

Behm and Falsone proved to be quick in the light air
Day 4 saw 10-15 knots with heavy fog. two races were held in a tricky condition with large disparity between the puffs and the lulls. Limited visibiity also made for some interesting strategy in deciding which side of the course to favor. 505 newcomer Chris Segerblom and Eric Anderson won the day with finishes of 3-1 securing their 8th place overall and the "top young team" award of a brand new jib donated by North Sails. While the winners of the event had already been determined, the fight for second place came down to the last run of the regatta. Thompson and Curtin rounded the last top mark in 3rd place, but opted for a standard set onto starboard. Behm and Falsone gybe-set onto what proved to be the heavily favored side of the course downwind and had a great run to finish 4th in the race and secure 2nd place overall. Conrads and Nelson finished out 1 point back in third overall.

From left to right: Andy Herlihy (regatta chair), Andy Zinn, Howie Hamlin, Sam Vineyard (PRO)

Top young team Eric Anderson and Chris Segerblom

Third place team of Ted Conrads and Jeff Nelson

Second place team of Jesse Falsone and Chris Behm
The race management lead by Sam Vineyard handled the changing conditions perfectly. In the end, the team of Howie and Andy proved to be faster, smarter, and more consistent than the balance of the fleet and were crowned the 2017 505 North American Champions. Howie and Andy have won 3 of the last 4 North Americans and are certainly looking like strong contenders going into the Annapolis Worlds in September.

All photos courtesy of C A Hill Photo. Full gallery of photos can be found here.

Full Results:

Place, Skipper, Crew City, State, Country, Results, Total Points
1. Howard Hamlin, Andy Zinn , Long Beach, CA, USA, 1 -1 -2 -2 -1 -1 -4 -1 -[5] ; 13
2. Chris Behm, Jesse Falsone , Edgewater, MD, USA, 3 -5 -11 -5 -[14] -3 -3 -4 -4 ; 38
3. Ted Conrads, Jeff Nelson , Mill Valley, CA, USA, 5 -4 -12 -1 -3 -4 -1 -9 -[13] ; 39
4. Craig Thompson, Mike Curtin , Rye, NH, USA, 4 -2 -3 -6 -7 -2 -[10] -8 -8 ; 40
5. Tyler Moore , Rob Woelfel, Hampton, VA, USA, [26] -11 -4 -3 -8 -6 -2 -2 -6 ; 42
6. Michael Quirk, Curtis Hartmann , Kensington, MD, USA, [10] -3 -8 -4 -2 -5 -8 -7 -10 ; 47
7. Mark Zagol, Drew Buttner , Westwood, MA, USA, 7 -7 -1 -[16] -12 -8 -15 -5 -3 ; 58
8. Chris Segerblom, Eric Anderson , Mountain View, CA, USA, 9 -10 -[13] -11 -4 -9 -13 -3 -1 ; 60
9. Henry Amthor, Reeve Dunne , Hampton, VA, USA, [16] -13 -10 -8 -9 -7 -7 -6 -2 ; 62
10. Matthew Barry, Thomas Barrows , New York, NY, USA, 2 -6 -6 -10 -6 -10 -6 -17 -[18] ; 63
11. Macy Nelson, Russell Miller , Baltimore, MD, USA, 6 -9 -5 -15 -[26] -16 -5 -10 -9 ; 75
12. Thomas Kivney, Gordon Russell , .Williamstown, MA, USA, 8 -8 -9 -9 -5 -19 -[22] -12 -11 ; 81
13. Michael Komar, John Ingalls , Newport, RI, USA, 11 -17 -15 -7 -[26] -15 -9 -11 -12 ; 97
14. Lin Robson, Unknown , St. Petersburg Beach, FL, USA, 17 -12 -7 -17 -11 -18 -14 -[20] -19 ; 115
15. Barney Harris, Unknown , arlington, va, USA, 19 -14 -[20] -12 -10 -20 -16 -15 -17 ; 123
16. Duane Delfosse, Stuart Park , Windham, NH, USA, 12 -19 -14 -[26] -26 -12 -17 -14 -14 ; 128
17. Dan Herlihy, Jay Smith , Richmond, VA, USA, 13 -16 -[26] -26 -26 -13 -12 -16 -15 ; 137
18. Peter Scannell, Tom Hurwitch , Saratoga Springs, NY, USA, [26] -26 -26 -13 -13 -22 -19 -13 -7 ; 139
19. Catherine Guiader, Chris Brady , Annapolis, MD, USA, 18 -20 -18 -[26] -26 -11 -11 -18 -20 ; 142
20. Marek Balinski, Unknown , Toronto, Ont, CAN, 21 -21 -16 -14 -[26] -14 -21 -21 -21 ; 149
21. Doug Watson, Gabe Watson , Baltimore, MD, USA, 14 -18 -21 -[26] -26 -21 -20 -19 -16 ; 155
22. Marie Gendron, Unknown , St-Zotique, Quebec, CAN, 20 -22 -19 -[26] -26 -17 -18 -22 -26 ; 170
23. Michael Breton, Unknown , Charlestown, RI, USA, 15 -15 -17 -[26] -26 -26 -26 -26 -26 ; 177
24. Bill Platt, Unknown , Madison, CT, USA, [26] -26 -26 -26 -26 -26 -26 -26 -26 ; 208
25. Mike Martin, Adam Lowry , Mill Valley, CA, USA, [26] -26 -26 -26 -26 -26 -26 -26 -26 ; 208

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

2017 505 North American Championship - New Bedford, MA - June 14-18

The 2017 505 North American Championship will be held June 14-18 in New Bedford, MA at the Community Boating Center. Racing will take place on the famous Buzzards Bay. The NOR is posted and registration is live!

Logistics have been coming together nicely. The city of New Bedford has given us use of Fort Taber which will provide lots of space for the event as well as a leeward beach and a very short sail to the starting line. Races are scheduled to start at 1PM each day ...exactly when the 12-18 knot sea breeze is at its best.

The event team is in place with event chair Andy Herlihy, class rep Drew Buttner, and PRO Sam Vineyard.

Sam has raced 505s in the past and was a previous owner of USA 8762 "The Pump". He has a great track record as PRO having served in the role for J109 North Americans, Swan 42 Nationals, International Canoe NAs, Opti New Englands, as well as many other local events. Joining Sam on the water will be a race committee team of Chip Johns, Caroline Bolick, Sarah Mitchell, Joe Guard, and Mary Levinson.  Discussions are ongoing with a few others as well.  It will be an AWESOME team!

Local information, including accommodation recommendations and venue information, can be found at the event website:

Please reserve these dates on your calendar in permanent marker!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

2016 505 Canadian Championship Report - Evan Jennings

Have you ever wondered how much wind was enough? Yesterday at the Canadians, many if not all of the 11 boats present found out.

As this article in the Squamish Chief tries to convey to a non-sailing audience, there was a ton of breeze. The reliable thermal showed up hard.

 Canadian 5O5 fleet 1 thanks Phil Cragg, an early and constant supporter of the event, who provided his personal motor yacht to the race committee and drove it up from Vancouver to ensure that the regatta would be feasible. Without his drive and encouragement, this regatta wouldn’t have happened.

The race committee did a great job in very deep water and tons of breeze. RO Rob Woodbury, a Olympian in the Finn, and his team Bev Parslow of West Van YC, Mike Unger, Martin Peircy, Andy Hunt and Simeon Faehndrich were very professional and effective.

Fred Grimm took on the thankless task of running shore operations with grace and a smile and kept everyone fed.

Cynthia Des Brisay did the results and Charles Hansen and Brian Trainor did things too numerous to mention with thoughtfulness and generosity.

Kits Yacht Club hosted the event with support from WVYC and SYC.

There would not have been a Canadians if it weren't for the support of the American fleet, who came out in numbers on the Canada Day holiday. (I hope you guys are having a great Fourth!)

Phil Cragg and Reto Corfu leapt to a convincing lead and widened it during the first day, though Mats Elf and Brent Campbell got a foreshadowing bullet when the breeze continued to build at the end of the afternoon. Mats and Brent kept them coming and managed to just edge the Canadians out by the narrowest of margins after two races in 30 knots on Sunday. As Phil aptly put it, the trophy for top Canadian was bittersweet. Paul Von Grey and Miles Johannessen put in a consistently solid performance for 3rd.

What the results don't show, except perhaps by the number of DNS, RET and and DNFs, was that there were times when Squamish harbour looked like a giant nautical yard sale, with capsized boats scattered all over the bay. That said, there were tons of grins on peoples' faces when they got ashore. The speeds were unbelievable. And there were some stand out performances by all. A tip of the hat to Jon and Mike, who had moments of brilliance upwind going low and fast. Also Pierre and Tom - travelling the furthest and putting in a solid performance until an unfortunate strain injury took them out. Hope you come back next time. Tell the other Californians what they missed. Katherine and Josh had a super solid last race, placing 3rd in the strongest winds of the day.

The final rankings:

8823USAElf / Campbell(3)221111071
8192CANCragg / Corfu11132(6)1482
80USAJohannessen / Von Grey2(4)324217133
9116USALong / Dyck6(7)566333264
8755CANTrainor / Jennings7(8)457536285
8263USAKowalski / Ginther596(12 DNS)5441296
8866CANDes Brisay / Hansen839(12 DNS)312 RET47357
6991USAStarks / Flanagan9674(12 DNS)12 DNS50388
8631USAJeangirard / Crawford458(12 DNS)12 DNS12 DNS53419
8017USASeestrom / Poulos11(12 DNF)1012 RET12 RET12 DNS695710
7206USAFitzpatrick / Pittack10(12 RET)12 DNS12 DNS12 DNS12 DNS705811


2016 SSA Spring Series Report - Ian Connors

(Late posting, this event took place May 14-15, 2016

With the forecast saying everything from 0 to 30 for the weekend, no one quite knew what to expect until they showed up. Saturday saw 10 boats hit the water for two races in a pleasant 8-10kt southerly. A couple of puffs tempted teams to try wire running, but no one took the bait. An impending front began sucking wind out of the race area on the last leg and the fleet elected to wait it out and see if conditions improved. After 20 minutes a westerly filled in to get off the last scheduled race before building enough to provide sun, 12-15kts & the best sail in of the season. Timing was perfect as the front started dumping rain just as the last covers were being tied on.

Jesse convincingly won the first race with yet another "first time back in years" driver, while Henry & Russell made deadly use of motorcycle seating downwind to sail through the fleet on races 2 & 3. (Henry claims it's only so he can use his hoop as a backrest). Macy & Eric captured a bullet as well.

Teams woke up to 59° water, lower air temps, and a full-on westerly blow on Sunday. After a fleet safety discussion, 4 teams agreed to race under the condition that if one team went in our needed assistance racing would be over for the day. Drinks in hand, the rest of the fleet helped launch Henry & Russell, Ian & Eric, Sterge, and Macy & Eric into a steady low to mid 20's with some "forget laylines, I guess we aren't gybing for awhile" puffs. In a race of attrition, Sterge missed the start, Ian had a breakdown after one leg, and Macy missed the finish line- devastatingly dropping from first to second overall though he would have won the race & series. No one is immune from forgetting to check the course!

It was great to see so many new faces out on the water this weekend- especially Gretchen & Lauren making their first appearance in a new to them boat, and Paul with a new crew to the class & significantly more sorted out boat.

2016 Elvstrom Zellerbach Report - Parker Shinn

(Late Posting, this event took place on April 30 through May 1, 2016)

Last weekend St. Francis Yacht Club hosted the biggest Elvstrom/Zellerbach regatta since it’s conception and did so in spite of the fact that only five 5o5’s made it to the start line.  Apparently people thought France was the cool place to be…  Regardless, San Francisco certainly did not fail to deliver once again.  Both days saw great breeze ranging from 12 to 20 knots as well as plenty of devious currents to deal with.

In the first race the ebb was still in full affect making for short upwinds and long downwinds with Jeff Miller stringing together a series of puffs on the last downwind leg to pass Mike Martin and take the bullet.  From there on out though things got a bit trickier with the current.

The flood started to come in on shore with a distinct current line running just to port of the starting line.  If you ventured across it all of a sudden you were sitting in almost 2 knots of current.  While it was fairly clear what to do upwind, the downwind legs got complicated as you tried to weigh sailing toward shore to get into the flood vs. jibe setting into the pressure.  It didn’t seem to matter much for Mike Martin and Adam Lowry though.  They had a different gear from the rest of us once the breeze came up and finished the day with 2 bullets.

Day 2 started with a long postponement on shore and had some of us wondering if the breeze would fill in at all.  The wind was oscillating between North and East and the westerly wasn’t forecasted to fill in until 2pm.  Luckily though… the breeze filled in early and by the time we got on the water there was 15 knots on the course.

With the later start the current was already flooding hard on shore so most people wanted to start on port and get right as quickly as possible.  I thought we finally got lucky in the first race when a third of the way up the last beat Mike and Adam broke the primary line on their boom vang.  We pinched to get above them as they fiddled in the boat and didn’t think we’d see them again for the rest of the race.  We should’ve known better.  In the last 200 yards of the beat they hooked into a nice righty and made up a ton of distance.  Then on the downwind it was their turn to get a lucky break when our spinnaker pole popped off the mast twice.

In the last race it was Bob Tennant and Steve Bourdow who were able to get the boat ripping and challenge Mike’s speed.  They beat him to the top on both laps and only got passed on the downwinds… hey doesn’t that sound backwards?  Mike held him off at the finish, but not without exposing his mortality.

In the end it was a great regatta with plenty of breeze along with big shifts and current to navigate.  Despite the less than stellar turnout it seems like the rest of the fleet have had enough stinky cheese so Santa Cruz next weekend is going to be awesome.  Make sure you don’t miss it!

2016 Santa Cruz Spring 505 Regatta - Mike Holt

(Late Posting, this regatta was held on May 14-15, 2016)

Eleven boats turned up in Santa Cruz for the late Spring regatta, with many excuses made for non attendance…. For the eleven that did race, wow. Santa Cruz is one of those venues that when it is good, it is great, although it is not always that way. For me, Santa Cruz memories are made up of big rolling waves, cold water and strong breezes, conditions that in my mind John Westell designed the perfect weapon for. It would be hard to imagine sailing in those conditions in many other boats!

Well, this past weekend delivered the stuff of dreams! Saturday, sunny, fresh breeze and great rolling waves. Breeze was agreed to be around 18 knots for the most part and oddly for Santa Cruz the wind was strongest closest to the shore. With a tight and crowded line and a very competitive fleet, starting was not the easiest of maneuvers to complete, but as usual as soon as you did you were looking for your first opportunity to get onto port and head for the right hand corner. Race 1 for me was a bit of a blur and for the first time in a while, Rob and I managed to put the boat in a board up position right at the first leeward mark, giving the following boats a more difficult challenge to round it! We were off the pace Saturday and Andy and Howie were racing with Adam and Mike at the front with the rest of us engaged in a tight battle behind. Gybe set was the order of the day and any time you thought otherwise you were punished. Adam and Mike ended with three straight firsts, nice work!

Saturday was good, Sunday if you liked “epic” conditions was about as good as it gets. We were racing in wind and sea conditions that were getting pretty close to the top end, wind steady in the 20’s with gusts close to 30, seas that downwind had our boat equal part airplane and submarine. The course was set up well offshore, which certainly reduced the right hand component of the course, but all of us being pre conditioned to go right we saved a few tacks and apart from Steve and guest star Nick pulling off a successful visit to the “other” corner we all hit the right corner. Downwind though the right was the path of choice, more breeze offshore this time and less maneuvering made this the way we went. Over the course of the day’s three races almost everyone had at least one swim and boat handling was thoroughly examined. Race one of the day was won by Steve and Nick and as Rob said in our boat, “If I was them I would head in now and call it good!” Handily taking down some of the best heavy weather 5O5 sailors in the World, in their backyard. The rest of the day was a blur of spray and fun and Rob and I came out best with a 2,1,2 scoreline to close the point gap on the first two boats but not enough to change the standings overall.

  • Adam Lowry assisted by Mike Martin. Consistently fastest upwind, slower down 
  • Andy Zinn supported by Howie Hamlin. Fast up and down, need to keep the mast side up more
  • Rob Woelfel dragging Mike Holt around. Off the pace Saturday, better Sunday
  • Steve Bourdow, needed two drivers to get through the weekend, Mark Christensen Saturday, Nick Adamson Sunday. Either combo sailing fast and challenging the front hard.
  • Reeve Dunne managed by Parker Shinn. Steady day Saturday, followed by disappointing gear failure on Sunday. Warranty work for Mike?
  • Pat Diola assisted by Jeff Miller. Didn’t seem to have their usual wheels and “protected” the ship for the NA’s on Sunday
  • Rich Mundel handled by Bruce Edwards. Despite only sailing Sunday and Rich driving a minivan, they were right in the mix all day Sunday in the big breeze.
  • Rob Waterman Aaron Ross. Competitive upwind, need to work on downwind, another “protecting” the boat for bigger events, or was it bodies?
  • Matt Merchant supported by Tim Murphy. Maybe the 10k wasn’t a good idea after all Tim? Sailed well on Saturday, struggling on Sunday.
  • Segah Meer assisted by Steve Andreas. Another one day show, this time Saturday but getting around well.
  • Bobby Noyes supported by Terry Neff. A “new” boat on the water after a refit by Larry, looking very fast. Not the easiest weekend to start over but acquitted well and survived the conditions.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

2016 505 North American Championship Form Guide - Craig Thompson

Next week we begin the 2016 505 North American Championship, hosted by Bellingham Yacht Club. Learn more about what to watch for during the event below:
This regatta will be the largest 505 turnout on US waters since the 2009 pre-worlds in San Fransisco. With the US hosting the Worlds in 2017, it is great to see the growing numbers of sailors who are jointing the US 505 class. This year, 51 teams from across the continent are registered to compete next week, below is a preview of the notable entries that will likely be vying for the top spots:

Dalton Bergan / Fritz Lanzinger - Seattle, WA: Dalton and Frtiz have not sailed together at the NA's in a few years, but these two are always at the front of the fleet, regardless of the class they are competing in or who they are sailing with. Neither competitor has won this event in the past and these two will be hungry for the win.

Mike and Adam rounding a leeward mark at the 2014 NA's
Mike Martin / Adam Lowry - San Francisco, CA: After a kiteboarding accident prior to the 2015 NA's, Mike was unable to race. Mike and Adam narrowly missed the 2014 title in Santa Cruz, finishing 1 point back from winners Howie and Andy. If the breeze is up, they will definitely be setting the pace. But don't be surprised to see the in front across the wind range.

Carol Buchan / Carl Buchan - Seattle, WA: The Buchans, who have sailed 505's since the late 1970's, have not been very active in the class since the 2004 Worlds in Santa Cruz, where they had a very strong event in a mix of conditions. I guess it always helps to have an Olympic Gold Medalist in the front of the boat. This will be a particularly strong team in light to moderate breeze. Be sure to check out the simplicity of the rigging on their Rondar. I have seen few control lines on a Laser.

Mark Zagol / Drew Buttner - Westwood, MA / Stonnington, CT: Mark and Drew won the 2013 NA's in Kingston, ON and are eager to win another title. These guys are fresh off a dominant victory at the 2016 Florida Midwinters at the end of February. Drew has been doing double time this year, sailing with Tyler Moore in the international events and Mark in the US events. Look out for a strong performance from Mark and Drew.

Riley Gibbs / Reeve Dunne - Long Beach, CA / San Francisco, CA: Riley and Reeve stormed onto the scene last year at the NA's by finishing an amazing 5th place overall. Reeve has relocated to San Francisco, but that hasn't stopped them from putting the band back together for this event. After spending a few nights sailing with the guys in Long Beach, there is no mystery as to why Riley has been able to get up to form so quickly.

Riley and Andy Zinn put on a clinic at the recent "Thrilla at Cabrillo"
Howie Hamlin / Jeff Nelson - Long Beach, CA: Howie Hamlin will again the defending his North American Championship, this year with crew Jeff Nelson. They are one of the favorites to win this event; especially if there is a variety of conditions which we are expecting to see in Bellingham. Howie has been sailing his new Waterat and it is going quite nicely. Jeff has held the NA's trophy 4 times, but never when sailing with Howie.

Mike Holt / Carl Smit - (Soquel, CA / Annapolis, MD): Mike and Carl are the defending World Champions, and will be defending the world title later this summer in Weymouth. Mike has won the past 2 Worlds, winning in 2014 with Rob Woelfel, and Carl in 2015. These two recently won the 2016 Euro Cup in Hyeres. Not many people have been competitive at as many International Events as these guys have over the past decade. Mike and Carl will be contending for the Championship on Sunday.

Parker Shinn / Paul Von Grey- (San Fransisco, CA / Oak Harbor, WA): Class Vice President Paul Von Grey (or "PVG", has he is commonly referred to) has been the spark-plug that is driving the massive fleet growth in the Pacific Northwest. Parker is always competitive and these two have had some notable events together int he past few years. These two could be fighting for a top 5 finish.

Tyler and Rob rounding a leeward mark at the 2012 NA's.
Tyler Moore / Rob Woelfel - (Hampton, VA / Reno, NV): Tyler and Rob won the NA's together back in 2012. Rob has since won the 2014 Worlds crewing for Mike Holt in Germany. Tyler and Rob will be sailing a chartered boat, which may be a challenge. However, these guys don't make a lot of tactical mistakes, so if they have solid boat speed they will be a safe bet to finish in the top 3.

JB Turney / Tommy Fink - (San Francisco, CA): JB has been a strong contender in the class for over 10 years. JB and Tommy have been training with Mike/Adam on Tuesday nights on the City Front, so look for them to be sharp and ready to contend for the top slots. They will be particularly strong in a mix of conditions.

Notable scratches:

Ethan Bixby: After contending for the North American Title in 2015 and finishing a close second, Ethan will not be attending this year.
Augie Diaz: Augie recently won a Star World Title, but has had to miss the NA's two years running. He will surely be at the 2017 Worlds in Annapolis next year.
Keith Davids / Jesse Falsone: After a solid 4th place at last year's event, these two could not make it. Rumor has it that Jesse may be upgrading to a Hillary sticker for this year.
Thomas Barrows/Matt Barry: Thomas is in the middle of a 49er Olympic bid, and Matt Barry and his friends have been too busy sunbathing off the southern coast of St. Bart's with spider monkeys