Sunday, August 30, 2015

North American's Article Spinsheet Magazine

A preview of the 505 NA's is featured on page 84 of the September 2015 issue of Spinsheet Magazine. See below or follow THIS LINK to read the full issue.



Monday, August 24, 2015

2015 East Coast Championship - Chris Love Reports

First Win for Thompson/Curtin Comes at Rooster Sailing and Rondar Raceboats US 505 East Coast Champs

Craig Thompson (Rye, NH) and Mike Curtin (Fairfield, CT) captured their first 505 class “Major” this weekend, the 2015 East Coast Championship at Wianno Yacht Club in Osterville, MA. The three-day regatta attracted 19 boats for eight races in a variety of challenging sailing conditions. This event is the third of the class’ annual grand-slam of major events which include the Midwinters and Pacific Coast Championships and the upcoming North American Championship in September.

The top 5 finishers plus PRO Neal Fowler. Awards and pinnies provided by Rooster Sailing.

“This season we did a lot of things well but were never able to put it all together,” said Thompson, “but at this event we were finally able to avoid mistakes that would put us in the back. We finally put the whole package together.” Thompson has been a fixture in the class since 2004 and this is his third season with Curtin, with his wife’s eldest brother. They sailed well enough in the first seven races to clinch the event before the final race on Sunday.

The closest competition for the newly crowned champions came from Augie Diaz and Drew Buttner, both established threats in their own right, but sailing together for the first time. “The 505 is largely driven by the crew, and I‘ve been very fortunate that I get to sail with superstars like Drew Buttner, Rob Woelfel, Fritz Lanzinger,” said Diaz (Miami, FL). The pair put together a string of top-three finishes, dropped a six, and won the final race on Sunday to tie the leaders on points and grab the silver podium position.

Class veterans Tyler Moore and Rob Woelfel took third, and Ethan Bixby / Erik Boothe managed a fourth place finish in a 505 borrowed from Macy Nelson, beating the provider of their charter boat by one place in the overall standings.

Weeks of perfect August weather on Cape Cod gave way to low pressure that covered much of the eastern seaboard this past weekend, leading to unpredictable sailing conditions throughout. Friday far surpassed forecasted expectations with a sunny day, big swell, and wind at 10-15 knots with gusts even higher at times. This gave the ultimate winners an early lead with four points after three races. On Saturday, the Nantucket Sound had an even worse forecast than Friday, but again surprised the fleet with a solid northerly at 10-15 knots on flat water. The three races on this day turned out to deliver the least consistent score lines across the fleet, with all boats recording at least one finish outside the top five. Sunday was the lightest of the three, beginning the day with marginal breeze, but eventually filling in to 5-10 knots for the final two races.

With warm Atlantic water from the gulf, a variety of Cape Cod sailing conditions, daily debriefs under the WYC tent, and 38 close friends gathered together, this year’s East Coast Champs had something for everyone. Several of these competitors will be back on the East Coast in a month for the 2015 505 North American Championship, September 16-20. The event is co-hosted by Eastport Yacht Club and Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis, MD where the clubs will also host the 2016 East Coast Champs, and the 2017 World Championship.

Top ten:
1 Craig Thompson, Mike Curtin, 2, 1, 1, 6, 1, 3, 2, 14*, 16
2 Augie Diaz, Drew Buttner, 3, 2, 2, 3, 6*, 2, 3, 1, 16
3 Tyler Moore, Rob Woelfel, 1, 3, 3, 4, 4, 8, 9*, 2, 25
4 Ethan Bixby, Erik Boothe, 4, 5, 4, 2, 5, 13*, 5, 3, 28
5 Macy Nelson, Zack Marks, 6, 4, 5, 7, 8, 4, 1, 9*, 35
6 Henry Amthor, Dustin Romey, 7, 7, 6, 11*, 7, 1, 10, 10, 48
7 Tom Kivney, Gordon Russell, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 7, 13*, 12, 58
8 Ben Greenfield, Matt Gowell, 8, 8, 7, 13, 15*, 11, 14, 4, 65
9 Tom Sitzman, Jesse Falsone, 20*, 20, 20, 1, 3, 6, 12, 5, 67
10 Mike Komar, Ervin Grove, 20*, 9, 20, 12, 2, 12, 6, 7, 68

Full Results: http://www.usa505.org/home/2015ecc
Media Contact: Chris Love, 774-217-3394, http://chrisloveproductions.com/

Rob Woelfel (on wire) and Tyler Moore (helm) take the stern of the gate start boat on Friday

Craig Thompson (helm) and Mike Curtin (crew) take a wave going upwind against steep chop on Friday.

Headcam view from Rob Woelfel and he and Tyler Moore win Race 1 of the regatta on Friday.

The fleet blasts downwind in flat water on Saturday. Photo by Jerry Woelfel.

Andrew Jones (helm) and Arielle Darrow (crew) are all smiles upwind on Saturday. Photo by Jerry Woelfel.

Craig Thompson (helm) and Mike Curtin (crew) douse the chute ahead of the fleet. Photo by Jerry Woelfel.

The 2015 East Coast Champions, Craig Thompson (helm) and Mike Curtin (crew.) Photo by Jerry Woelfel.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

2015 Buzzards Bay Regatta Report - Drew Buttner

All regatta photos courtesy of Fran Grenon at Spectrum Photo.

If you grew up racing sailboats in New England, then you probably spent many summers attending the Buzzards Bay Regatta. As one of the biggest events in the United States, BBR brings youth, adult, dinghy, keelboat, serious, and recreational likes to THE best waters in the country.

A tight pack heading upwind shortly after a start.
Photo credit: Spectrum Photo
2015 did not disappoint, with over 300 boats (11 505s), big wind, warm waters, and lively parties. The racing was held over three days and challenged everyone both on (physical sailing, long days) and off (lots of people and not a lot of parking) the water. Of special note this year was the Harbor Master which positioned themselves at the mouth of the harbor to control the chaos. They decided that the 505s and F18s were not following the speed restrictions and warned us all to slow down over the loud speaker.  This made for some good laughs in the parking lot.

Mike Komar and Ted Huebner sailed a great series. The were especially strong downwind.
Photo credit: Spectrum Photo
North winds dominated all three days which is very unusual given that the seabreeze in Buzzards Bay is second only to San Fran in terms of reliability. Back to back low pressure systems passed just to the east and brought strong fall northerlies that challenged the tacticians and put a premium on finding the best pressure. Nelson/Anderson dominated Friday posting a 2-1-1 and put the pressure on the rest of the fleet. They made very few mistakes and were the only boat to be fast/smart both upwind and downwind. Friday also marked the return of Andy Herlihy to the 505 after a 9 year absence. Hopefully this was more than just a one event cameo at his home club. Sailing with his brother Dan Herlihy, the two switched on and off driving the boat and were reminded how 505 sailing puts a huge smiles on your face ... and how sore you can be after a long day on the water.

This regatta featured 0% sit-running. Isn't life better that way?
Photo credit: Spectrum Photo
Saturday's winds were a repeat of Friday, with a 10-12 knot northerly and manageable changes in direction and velocity. The race committee challenged the fleet with five awesome races. Komar/Huebner couldn't decide which part of the fleet they liked best ... front, back or middle. Each race they tried something different posting a 1-5-10-2-7. Like everyone, they felt frustrated by the chop and shifting breeze, but also felt like rock stars when they got the boat dialed in correctly. Just about everyone had their moment in the sun (and also stuck in the mud). Zagol/Buttner won the day by showing some uncharacteristic downwind speed. Three times they found themselves outside the top 5 but managed to make the slow/low mode work downwind. Combined with a few key shifts, they clawed their way back each time, often making the final pass less than a boat length from the finish. Moore/current-world-champ-Smit started to figure things out by the end of the day and won two of the last three races. The scores were tight at the top with three teams ready to battle on Sunday.

The final day dawned like groundhog day with a forecast that was the same as the previous days. However, things changed quickly as the second storm that was supposed to track out to sea stayed close to shore. In the parking lot, the wind didn't seem that different and other than a little drizzle everyone rigged up as normal. Just before launching the RC came over and said that a small craft advisory had been issued for the day. This caught a few of us off guard, while the rest of us just didn't believe it. We launched and headed out the harbor. By the time we got to the race course we all believed the RC. Winds were 15-18 and building. Rigs were raked back, reefs were put in, and trap rings were lowered. By the start of the first race the breeze was up to 18-20 with a few higher gusts. The only issue was that the rabbit was no where to be found. Thompson/Curtin pulled the most impressive feat of the day, ripping their spinnaker during warm-ups, racing back into the harbor for a change, then blasting back to round the pin right on time. And they kept on blasting all the way around the course. Only Moore/current-world-champion-Smit were able to match them. Moore/Smit found the breeze more to their liking and won both races of the day. Zagol/Buttner were able to score a 3-2, while Nelson/Anderson struggled to a 5-6.

Thompson/Curtin heading upwind.
Photo credit: Spectrum Photo
After 10 solid races, Zagol/Buttner had earned the overall prize and coveted title of BBR Champion. Note that they did have a bit of a hometown advantage having competed in the event in 1992 when they finished 7th in the club 420 class with Buttner driving and Zagol on the wire. The winner that year ... Andy Herlihy.

Team Kokatat, circa 1993. Drew at the helm and Mark in front.
FULL RESULTS: http://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_regatta_results.php?regatta_id=9973
FULL IMAGE GALLERY: http://spectrumphotofg.ifp3.com/#/gallery/bbr15blue/bbr15blue-7465-ifp3/

Thursday, August 6, 2015

2015 Columbia Gorge Dinghy Invite - Kevin Taugher

Gorge Dinghy Invitational, July 24-26, 2015: (photos courtesy Sean True and Erika Winner)

More photos over on the CGRA Facebook Page

While a few west coast 505ers were trying their luck in the UK, nine hearty teams ventured to the Gorge and were rewarded handsomely with great times and three days of excellent and varied sailing.  This was also the I-14 North Americans (18 boats), and RS Aero NA’s (22 boats).    There is some renewed 505 interest in the northwest and great to see some fresh faces and a lot of excitement for 505 racing.  The NW guys are looking forward to hosting the NA’s in Bellingham, WA next year and it should be a great event.


As a Gorge virgin I was eager to finally get to this famous sailing venue I had heard so much about.  I heard more than once “what you’ve never been here before?”  Yes life got in the way.   The 505s sailed here for the 2008 North Americans and were back again in 2013 and 2014.  I was fortunate to team up with Blaine Pedlow when his regular driver had a late conflict.   The fly-in, fly-out program was perfect for me.   Blaine recently acquired a VanMunster from Pegasus and this was a weekend of firsts - first time for Blaine racing this boat, brand new Alto mast and two guys that have never met.  But it worked out exceedingly well. Both of us had similar temperaments, had fun and sailed well together.   Ryan Nelson (505 sailor from SF) and owner of Rogue Rigging drove our boats, made daily breakfast for us on his camp stove and did a beautiful job rigging Blaine’s new Alto mast.  Ryan styled us pretty good.

Fortunately Blaine has numerous Gorge trips under his belt and knew the ropes.  After some wrangling with the camp host, we camped on-site in the overflow area, along with about half of the 505 fleet.  Fortunately for us, the Thunder Island Brewery is located literally 50 yards from our tents.  It became the de facto hang-out for 505 teams.  The beer, food and views are excellent and it was sure convenient to walk back to tent city.
  

I guess if there is one certainty about the Gorge is that it’s never certain. Each day and each race saw different weather and different optimal tracks.  I never spent so much time looking backwards for the next puff.  The biggest gains (and loses) were had downwind in staying in pressure and executing fast gybes.  The puffs didn’t seem to last long so there was no guaranteed best track.  Mike and Adam seemed to manage these conditions best.  The pack was usually pretty tight at the weather mark, but even if Mike and Adam got back a few places they could put a hundred yards or more on the fleet by the leeward mark.  By the second lap they were never challenged.  The rest of us had really excellent tight racing all the way through with frequent position changes.

Friday sailing conditions were the best of the weekend with sun and wind all day. While it looked like it could hit 30 it seemed to top out around 22 and most teams raked to 0.  In race 1, Mike and Adam jumped into an early lead followed closely by Mats Elf and Eric.  Blaine and I chased hard but Mats and Eric didn’t give an inch.  Mats has been sailing 505s regularly in the Seattle area. He teamed up with Eric who is a student at Yale, working a summer internship in Seattle and hopes to land a job in the bay area and continue west coast 505 sailing.   Eric and Mats had some insane speed and were always pushing.


Race 2 and 3 saw more of the same set-up but with building breeze to 18-20.  Class veterans Aaron Ross and Rob Waterman showed some serious wheels and were challenging at the top for a while.  The fastest movers downwind seemed to be Katherine Long and Pat Diola who sailed a little underweight but made it work.  Katherine has a newer Rondar that is beautifully rigged.    By this time Dave Chatham and Ben Glass made it out and pushed hard for races 3 and 4.  It was a Van Munster smack-down with Blaine, Mats and Dave all racing VM’s.  I haven’t seen this many VM’s in one place in a long time.   The I-14s were on the same track and we had to keep our eyes peeled as they had quite a few turtles splattered around the race course.   Friday night we had great 70 degree weather and sat out until 10pm at the Brewery feeling very fortunate for a great day of racing at such an awesome venue – with great beer.

 Saturday (races 5-8) was a complete opposite of Friday with misty rain all day but the wind came up so we had 4 great races.  Race 8 was probably the windiest of the weekend hitting 25knts or so.   By day 2 our fleet grew in numbers as a couple additional Seattle teams showed including Erik Coburn and Gabe Hill (sailor from Western Washington University) sailing Aaron Ross’ older  Hamlin and Colin Dunphy and Alex Simanis (Alex owns Ballard Sails which were used by Colin and Mats) sailing Blaine’s older restored Hamlin.   Race 5 was one of only two races where we tank-ran downwind.  While most of us hugged the shoreline for current relief, Colin and Alex showed the way sailing the rhumbline for pressure and jumped from 4th to 1st and looked to be untouchable.  Also looking strong on day two was Lee Laney and Josh Dyck from Bellingham who finished 3 and 2 in races 5 and 6.  Josh is an avid kite-boarder and has only been sailing 505s for 5 months but you wouldn’t know it by how well they sailed.   Pretty cool.  Saturday evening it was back to the brewery, then over to the camp area where CGRA laid out a great catered dinner.   The I-14s kept us entertained taking cracks at a beaver piƱata.  You can imagine the jokes.


Sunday (races 9-11) was the trickiest day.  The wind shifts seemed larger and bigger lulls in between gusts.  The clouds hung low and threatened rain all day.   Downwind was especially challenging.  After race 9 the wind completely died, shifted to the north then back to the normal direction and built again to 12-18 for two more great races.  Mats and Eric put together a solid day to narrow the gap on me and Blaine.  Aaron and Rob picked some great puffs and moved from 6th to 1st on just one downwind leg.  Katherine and Pat were consistently very quick and strung together some great races especially races 10 and 11 finishing 2, 4.   Eric and Gabe also strung together a fine day and once in front were impossible to pass.
 
All in all a great trip.  As we spoke more about it, sounds like this needs to remain an annual 505 fixture.

Full Results:


Pos
Sail
Skipper
Crew

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Total
1
9106
Mike Martin
Adam
Lowry

[1]
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

10
2
8782
Kevin Taugher
Blaine Pedlow

3
2
2
3
2
[6]
2
2
4
6
2

28
3
8823
Mats Elf
Eric

2
3
5
[DNS]
6
4
3
4
2
3
3

35
4
8084
Aaron Ross
Rob Waterman

4
4
4
5
7
[9]
5
5
6
4
7

51
5
8824
David Chatham
Ben Glass

[DNS]
DNS
3
2
5
3
4
3
5
RET
RET

55
6
9116
Katherine Long
Pat Diola

5
5
6
[DNS]
8
5
6
8
7
2
4

56
7
8616
Lee Laney
Josh Dyck

[DNS]
DNS
7
4
3
2
DNF
6
9
7
5

63
8
7156
Erik Coburn
Gabe Hill

[DNS]
DNS
DNS
DNS
9
8
7
7
3
5
6

75
9
7153
Colin Dunphy
Alex Simanis

[DNS]
DNS
DNS
DNS
4
7
8
9
8
8
8

82

2015 Newport Regatta - Sol Marini

10 teams came to the Annual Newport Regatta.  Marie Gendron traveled from Canada and Peter Scannell represented Ireland to add to the international flavor of the regatta. Also making guest crewing appearances were Peter Alarie and Eric Boothe.

Saturday started hot with a bit of the northerley still working as the fleet sailed out to Potters Cove. After a bit of a delay with some time for swim practice and visiting with the other fleets on our course, the southerly did fill in and the RC was able to get one race off before the breeze shifted and they moved to the east side of the bay.  Thompson and Curtin took the first race with Zagol and Buttner in second and Ben Greenfield sailing with 49er crew Trevor Burd took 3rd.    A second race closed out the day before the fleet returned to the beach and retired to the tent for the provided dinner. Zagol/Buttner took the scond race followed by Tom Kivney sailing with guest crew Peter Alarie, and Mike Komar and Russell Miller in third.


Sunday saw three more races in mixed conditions, with Komar/Miller taking the first race followed by Zagol/Buttner, and Delfosse/Marini who were able to hold onto 3rd despite Sol's unplanned departure from the boat during the last run (Don't forget to check the trap rings...).  In the end Zagol and Buttner finished first overall followed by Komar/Miller and Thompson/Curtin.

Full results: http://www.sailnewport.org/_literature_226121/2015_Newport_Regatta_Results_Div_2

Santa Cruz Training Weekend Report - Mike Holt

Twelve 5O5’s rolled up for the latest event this past weekend in Santa Cruz. The format was a race/train set up, with short courses and debriefing after the racing Saturday evening.


Saturday we managed to get something like 7 races off, in very light conditions, the marine layer never clearing the beach. We had an approximately 1/2 mile beat, run back to the leeward mark with a short beat to the finish. Even in the light winds the races were taking something like 17 minutes. Evan Diola, PRO for the weekend did a fantastic job of turning around races, with barely time for a gulp of water before we were back in the 3 minute sequence. In the light conditions racing was very tight, with no one dominating and everyone having their “moment”.


The debrief after racing was, as ever, insightful and gave us all something to think about. Primarily a good clean start and sail where the wind was!

Sunday was a completely different day, fog cleared, breeze came on and we had a classic Santa Cruz day. Again we had the same short course racing on the same course with races taking 12-13 minutes. Getting a good clean start and a good(or not) first cross was everything. Nine, yes nine races, were run by Evan and his crew on the rib. With Adam and Mike doing the most winning for the day, but Pat and Jeff being the most  consistent over the day and the weekend. However racing was the tightest I have ever seen, Rob and I were involved in at least 2 dead heats on the line and I know there were many others. The short format really made it exciting and we had a ton of practice at starting, mark rounding and finishing.


Over the course of the 2 days, Adam and Mike won a bunch or races, so did Rob and I, Jeff and Howie had a bunch of 2’s and 3’s and I am sure won races, as did; Pat and Jeff, Dave(now known as Caitlyn) and Bruce and Rob and Eb. But more importantly everyone was going better and better and pushing the front of the fleet. It was really good to see Antoine and Pierre going really well, especially upwind, Brendan and Eb sailing much better. It was also good to see Nick Adamson back in a boat, steering Rich around, still to hear if they kept the rig dry or not.. It was also good to see how Chris and Ian’s hard work is now paying off and they are now really mixing it up and competing with the whole fleet. Rob and Aarron were also consistently in the mix and causing trouble wherever they went and we had the company of Mark and Mark in the Asso rigged boat. Sunday we were also joined by newcomers, Segah and Gordon in the new to them “Faster in Fog”.


A fantastic weekend of sailing, not sure I have ever done 16 races in a weekend before, brilliantly run by Evan with zero down time between races absolutely maximizing the fun. Thanks to Bruce and his co-owners for the use of the Rib as committee boat, which proved how easy it is to run good racing, 3 marks, one rib and a competent PRO!

Thanks to all for being there, next event is the Gorge Dinghy, July 24-26, followed by St Francis on August 8/9.