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

Thursday, April 14, 2016

2016 Hampton Trapeze Reports - Drew Buttner

Day 1:

The opening event of the spring Region 2 schedule got underway in Hampton on Sat. This report will not do justice for level of awesomeness displayed by the fleet as the forecasted big breeze arrived as predicted. Saturday was planned as a training day with drills and advice from a few past North American Champions. However, the 25 knots (gusts up over 30) forced an adjustment to the plan.  After getting the mast up, the group huddled around the Hampton YC bar and created a new plan ... SURVIVAL!


Although there was some fear and a lot of jitters, every single boat launched. The goal was to sail out of the harbor, try to bomb around for a bit, and then come in when necessary.

The launch was timed in between gales, trying to find a tame window to get going. Inside the harbor was actually manageable. Gave everyone some confidence. With everyone ready we started the parade out of the harbor with coaches Amthor and Darrow keeping a close eye from the support boat.

Let's just say that SailFlow had the forecast correct.  As soon as the fleet pass the lee of the shore ... BAM!!  A good ride, a tack, another good ride, a few boats upside down, both sails ragging just trying to keep the boat going forward to keep steering. Everyone kept things together and got back to the safety of the harbor in one piece. A bunch of ROCK STARS!

Sunday is race day. The fleet is ready!


Day 2:

What a difference a day makes!  Perfect conditions for Day 2 with a 9-12 knot northerly greating competitors upon arrival. A staggered starting sequence based off of Saturday's performances was used. In short, everyone was seeded into a position and then lined up bow to stern and rounded the leeward mark.  The race started as soon as you rounded. Windward, leeward, finish by rounding the leeward mark and completing a tack.

8 races were completed with everyone feeling like a hero ... and a zero.  A tight course made for lots of action testing team's boat handling and rewarding teams with starboard advantage.

Back on shore, everyone endulged in a tasty sandwich at the Hampton YC bar. Mmm, mmm, good!

Many thanks to the Moore family for hosting everyone for pizza Saturday night, to Tyler for running the event, to Amthor and Darrow for coaching on Saturday, and to all the competitors that attended and enjoyed typical Hampton hospitality!

Next up is the West River spring event, followed by an event at SSA.  Only 17 months until the first race at worlds in Annapolis. RAMP IT UP!! 



2016 St. Francis YC Spring Dinghy Reports - Eric Coburn and Jeff Miller

For the 2016 Spring Dinghy, we have dual reports: one from the back half and one from the winners. Of course, both had much more fun than those who didn't make it.

All photos copyright and courtesy of Chris Ray (http://www.crayivp.com/)





Eric Coburn Report:

It was a GREAT TIME!  My first Spring Dinghy and I hadn't sailed at St. Francis since college too many years ago.  Aaron Ross needed a crew because his regular guy Rob Waterman had some foot surgery to deal with.  Since my weight loss program hasn't been working so well lately, weighing in at 180 just barely qualified me for the Crew's Union for the weekend.  I have crewed for Aaron once before but he reminded me it was 14 years ago at the NAs in Long Beach.  It was great sailing with Aaron.  We both bought 505s right out of college and it was fun sharing some wild rides and good laughs this weekend.

Saturday was mostly sunny and warm and a westerly filled in ranging from 12-16 knots.  But there was a fairly raging 3 knot ebb.  The game was to get out to the right away from the club to get better wind and positive current.  Everybody played the starting line well enough to not get swept over early.  Downwind most chose to wire out and the trick was to find the balance between better wind but not bucking too much current, though many seemed to go pretty far out.

First race was a one lapper and then two two lappers.  Lasagna and beer at the club went down well.

Sunday had varying forecasts, but most put the wind at SSW.  So the start line was down by Alcatraz really close to the leeward mark.  The variability in the forecast was in the strength.  As it turns out, we spent a fair amount of time sailing downwind in light to moderate and shifty winds just to stay up current of the start line.  RC started an F18 race but held everyone else.

Finally it filled in stronger than the day before and out of the SW.  Fronts came through bringing some nice gusts maybe around 20.  With our 330# on board we were raked to -6 at times, but still just could not hang with the bigger teams (also they were just better teams as well!)  The fleet really spread out on this day due to the conditions and the long windward leg.  The RC has to set the mark out of the shipping channel and so it was pretty far away up by the club.

There were definitely some rivers to ride and I'm sure the top guys were playing that and the wind a bit, but we were mostly hanging on, trying to keep the boat flat as possible and minimize mistakes, which we did a good job of.  No capsizes for us the whole weekend and we sailed away from every gybe.  Plenty of people pitched it though over the weekend and we had some crazy near misses, and abandoned one attempt to get boat speed up before trying again.

There was a little bit of commercial traffic to deal with but not too bad.  We did actually have to douse the chute once and sail astern of a huge container ship that we just did not want to mess with.  Probably a good call.

The downwind rides on day two were AWESOME!!!  To get to the mark you had to sail through this crazy cabbage patch of churning water with some big waves.  For us, at that point in the race on the second lap we were safely ahead of the guys behind us and the guys ahead of us were long gone so we just played it very conservatively.  Also probably a good call because one boat got tangled in the leeward mark and dragged it upwind, down current.  Getting around that mark was tricky.  We actually pulled a 5 and a 7 on Sunday, the windier day.

Only two races Sunday due to the postponements but everyone was totally worked by then.

Jeff Miller with his 40+ years of 505 experience got 3 bullets the first day and sailed well enough the second day to win.  He even sailed to the wrong weather mark the first race Sunday (it was a little bit confusing) and still did well enough to win.  I can't tell you what else was happening in the front because honestly, we weren't close enough to see.  PVG and Parker did pretty well pulling a 5th overall.

All in all, the competition was top notch but the racing was great throughout the fleet.  After some beers and Mexican food at the club a number of us headed back to the airport for the trip home.  I ran into Katherine Long, Mike Powell, and Josh Dyck at the airport for some celebratory libations and food before we boarded our respective flights.  I had a blast crewing and have about fifty bruises to show for my flailing around the boat.  It might not have been the prettiest crew work but - hey - we didn't pitch it.

Even though I was crewing and I normally drive, I feel like I gained some good experience.  Even though the best teams were so far ahead of us I still feel there is some benefit to sailing against the toughest teams you can.  Bottom line though is it was FUN!

Jeff Miller Report:

StFYC delivered another fine event, with weather fronts complicating the normal sea breeze pattern and strong currents throwing another layer of complexity into the mix.  Saturday started off with a postponement while we wondered if the wind would fill.  But this is the City Front and the sea breeze would not be denied.  We got going in a comfy 10 knots on a race course set fairly close to shore, with a strong ebb dictating we head out to the middle of the bay.  Pat and I were doing fine upwind until I messed up the layline and had to jibe around behind the pack at the weather mark.  But look!

The whole fleet jibe set out to the middle to catch more breeze, while we stayed inshore for the current relief.  Well, heading outside despite the current was the winning tactic in last year’s Fall Regatta, but not today.  We sneaked down the shore and in front at the bottom mark, just ahead of Brian Haines/Evan Diola (Pat’s brother) and JB/Skip, and with a short beat to the finish we tucked away our first bullet in a long time.

With the breeze building we set off on a two lap course with everybody heading out to catch the ebb. We managed a decent top mark rounding and headed for current relief inshore.  While others were still looking for the breeze outside, we played a nice zone between the shore relief and the wind outside to get to the bottom mark in front with Howie/Reeve and Harrison/Jackson behind.  We held those guys off for another lap and ended up with another bullet.  The strategy for the day seemed to be all on downwind moves; upwind was nothing more than a drag race out to the ebb.

The third race looked to be a replay of the first two, but this time we started poorly and got pinned heading to the shore, while Howie/Reeve started on port below the pack, hit the ebb first and were launched.  We rounded the top mark deep, followed the pack down the shore, and then rounded the bottom mark outside a pair of boats.  We tried footing out to the ebb, which did not pay, but at the top mark we noticed something; a fog line under the bridge.  Parker/PVG noticed it first and jibe-set.  We followed, as did JB/Skip, and sure enough there was good pressure.  Parker/PVG went a little too far, and as JB/Skip tried to roll us, we jibed to stay in the pressure.  The pack in front on the shore looked slow, so we worked the middle and--- I’ll be damned--- we rounded the bottom mark in front, with JB/Skip and Parker/PVG behind.  Three bullets in one day; a rare feat for team Jeff/Pat!

The weather front moved in on Sunday, with a southerly breeze competing with the westerly.  The RC set up the course ready for the southerly, with the starting line way out past Alcatraz.  But then the westerly took over.  The catamarans started in front of us in the westerly, but our start was quickly postponed as strong southerly puffs disrupted the plans.  When things got going again, we didn’t realize a new weather mark had been set, and four boats set off with us heading for the old weather mark that the cats were still using.  The rest of the fleet laid the new weather mark on starboard (due to strong ebb), and by the time we realized what was going on we were half a mile behind.  Due to the wild 20+ knot puffs there was some carnage in front of us and so we managed a sixth.  I have no idea what happened in front of us, but the results show JB/Skip winning with the newly reunited Ted/Brian next.

The fifth and final race got underway in a strong southerly, 15-25+ knots.  We were caught on the outside of the first shift off the line, and never really recovered.  The southerly at StFYC means lots of tricky shifts near the top mark, causing lots of place changes.  Ted/Brian showed their world-class form by taking the final gun, with JB/Skip almost stealing the event with a second.  We managed a fifth place which was good enough to tie JB/Skip on points but win on the tie-breaker.

It was an exciting event beginning to end, with StFYC handling things well despite the challenging conditions on Sunday.  For several visitors from the Northwest, it was their first taste of the City Front, but given the 505-worthy conditions, I think it won’t be their last.  Overall, I think everybody agreed that the event was an extremely fair test of sailing skill and ability. ;-)

Results: http://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_regatta_results.php?regatta_id=12160&show_crew=1

Photos: http://www.crayivp.com/StFYC-Regattas-2016/SpringDinghy16/

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

2016 Florida Midwinters Report - Craig Thompson

Mark Zagol (Left) and Drew Buttner (right); 2016 Midwinter Champions. Dave Ellis (center) was the PRO.
The 2016 Midwinters were hosted by Clearwater Community Sailing Center; who most recently hosted the combined World Championships for the 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17. This was a new venue to the 505 Class, and it did not disappoint. The facility, launch, sailing conditions, and the organization were all first rate. Ethan Bixby did a great job organizing and PRO Dave Ellis along with the Sailing Center Staff and volunteers all did an awesome job running races.

The only negative I have to report is the lackluster turnout. 12 boats was a very disappointing considering we had close to 30 boats back in 2008-2009 era at Fort De Soto State Park. However, the racing was close and competitive (for positions 2-12). We need to try to get more boats to make the trip down in 2017. The great venue and the fact that we will be hosting an East Coast Worlds should be good reasons for a solid turnout next year.

Mark and Drew had a dangerous combination of boat speed, smarts, and ability to stay in phase on the shifts. Ethan/Ted and Augie/Scott were the only other teams to win a race in the series. Henry/Dustin and Tyler/Jesse also had many appearances inside the top 3, but neither team could stay ahead of Mark and Drew. Conditions on Friday/Saturday were 10-14 knots with primarily wire running downwind. Sunday the breeze was 5 knots and dying as we barely completed the 10th race of the series before the breeze shut off completely.

Full Results:


Pos
Sail
Skipper/Crew
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Total
1
8830
Mark Zagol/Drew Buttner
[4]
1
3
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
11
2
8715
Ethan Bixby/Ted Huebner
3
[5]
1
3
5
2
2
2
3
3
24
3
8808
Augie Diaz/Scott Ewing
1
2
4
6
2
3
5
3
7
[8]
33
4
9138
Tyler Moore/Jesse Falsone
2
6
5
2
4
5
3
4
4
[10]
35
5
9041
Henry Amthor/Dustin Romey
7
4
2
5
[8]
6
7
6
2
2
41
6
9095
Macy Nelson/Eric Anderson
6
3
8
8
3
4
6
5
[11]
9
52
7
8854
Craig Thompson/Mike Curtin
5
11
6
4
7
8
[13/DNF]
13/DNS
5
5
64
8
8814
Lin Robson/Unknown
[10]
8
7
9
9
7
4
7
10
4
65
9
8722
Kelsey Avril/Brendan Heussler
9
7
[10]
10
6
9
8
9
8
6
72
10
7346
Zachary Marks/Carl Smit
8
[10]
9
7
10
10
10
8
6
7
75
11
8829
Krysia Pohl/Bryan Richardson
11
9
11
[13/DNS]
11
11
9
10
9
12
93
12
8593
Nathaniel Plant/Unknown
12
[13/DNS]
13/DNS
13/DNS
12
12
11
13/DNF
12
11
109

Sunday, January 24, 2016

2016 North American's Update - Mike Poulos

Greetings and happy sailing.

I just wanted to let you know we are working hard to make the 2016 North American Champs stellar, both on and off the water.  In addition to great racing, we are planning to fill your stomachs with fine food and local beer.  We will have a Karaoke party of epic proportions Thursday night, and a cabana beach party on Friday.  We have some great sponsorship this year, so we should have a fair amount of schwag to distribute.

If you are on the fence, please consider coming to our fair city.  It's a beautiful place, and June is a great time of year to come.  We have a very active group of 5O5 sailors in the PNW, and we are looking forward to rubbing elbows (not hulls) with you!  If there is anything I can do to help getting you here a reality, please don't hesitate to contact me at 360-676-4263, or email to byclaserfleet@yahoo.com

Here is a link to the Regatta Web Site, where you can link to info about the city, and , more importantly, register!

http://sailfleet.byc.org/505-na/

 See you on the Water.

Mike Poulos, Chair


Remembering Phil Tillman

Contributed by Graham Alexander:

Below is Phil Tillman's Obituary.  He was a great friend.  I would compare him Ali Meller in terms of passion for 505s except Phil was earlier. I first met him at Hampton NAs in about 1970. He was crewing for David, they took second to Dennis Surtees.  It was close though. I can't remember who was crewing for Surtees then.

I think it was around 63 or 64 that Phil and another Canadian thought they ought to try 505's.  Phil was a brit expat working for Nortel (Canada's Bell labs).  They ordered two 505s from Parker. Realizing how much shipping was going to be they decided to order a container, so they needed to sell 4 boats before they were shipped.  They sold 6.  Oh well, better order another container.  that one got overbooked before the boats were made, so they ordered another container.  It was hard to get boats back then.  Although he got out of 505s when sailboards got good, he always helped the fleet in Ottawa mentoring new members, crewing for beginners, making parts etc.  He often showed up at CORK and other Kingston regattas to see how the class was doing.


Obituary:

Our dad passed peacefully December 20, 2015, 66 years to the day he began dating our mum, his gorgeous wife Maureen. 

My sisters and I are incredibly sad but at the same time relieved that he is no longer in pain. Phil crossed his final finish line. An incredible cyclist, sailor and windsurfer my dad did everything 100 % and with absolutely no regrets. He lived life to the fullest and made sure everyone around him did as well. 

The most amazing thing we learned this week was how many lives and careers he mentored. There was a constant stream of visitors, many we didn't even know, who shared 
the stories of Phil and the influence he had on them. 

December 24, 2015 will mark the seventeenth anniversary of the liver transplant he received. A gift my dad treasured and respected. He had taken medication from a young age to control Colitis which destroyed the liver. He was a prime candidate for a transplant in that he was both physically and emotionally in great shape. We often called him the poster boy for organ transplant.

A celebration of life ceremony is being planned for January 6, 2016 at 2 pm at Britannia Yacht Club.  

Thank you ALL for the notes, prayers and hugs. You have no idea how much they meant to us all. As my dad always said "you choose your friends, they are family".  We've attached an amazing picture (actually an article from the Ottawa Citizen June 1975). It captures everything our Dad was, fit, competitive, funny and someone who loved life!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016 North Americans Website, Bellingham WA

The website an online registration for the 2016 North Americans in Bellingham, WA are now live. Please visit the website and make plans to be there. How can you not enjoy racing 505's with snow capped mountains in view from the race course? The event is scheduled for June 2-5 2016.


Photo courtesy of Jan’s Marine Photography