Thursday, September 10, 2015

2015 505 North American Championship Preview - Craig Thompson

Less than one week remains before the start of the 2015 505 North American Championship, hosted by Severn Sailing Association and Eastport Yacht Club. Learn more about what to watch for during the event.


The fleet after a start at the 2007 NA's hosted by SSA.
This regatta is a dress rehearsal for the World Championship which will be hosted by the same clubs at the same time in 2017. 40 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:

Jeff Boyd / Gordy Carruthers - Kingston, ON: Jeff has been infrequent at events in recent years, but he is usually steering the top Canadian entry at the NA's. Jeff is a former America's Cup Tactician that literally wrote the book on the 1983 America's Cup. A great sailor and a great guy, count on Jeff and Gordy to put together some solid finishes.

Ethan Bixby / Chris Brady - St. Petersburg, FL / Annapolis, MD: Ethan won the NA's in 2007 sailing with Erik Boothe the last time the event was sailing in Annapolis. The most seasoned veteran in the competition, Ethan has sailed 505's for over 45 years and is always in the hunt. Chris and Ethan have some recent experience together at the 2013 Worlds in Barbados.

Craig Thompson / Carson Turowski - Rye, NH / Newport, RI: Craig is fresh off a win at the 2015 ECC's in August sailing with Mike Curtin. Mike just started graduate school and was unable to attend, but Carson Turowski is stepping in as guest crew. Craig and Carson finished 5th at the ECC's last year in Annapolis. Look for this team to do well if the breeze is up.

Mark Zagol / Drew Buttner - Westwood, MA / Stonnington, CT: Mark and Drew won the 2013 NA's in Kingston, ON. These guys have extremely versatile skills and will be at the top of the fleet regardless of the wind conditions. Dont be surprised if you see an orange boat rounding a lot of marks in 1st place.

Mark and Drew holding the hardware in 2013
Macy Nelson / Eric Anderson - Baltimore, MD / Seattle, WA: Macy is another crafty 505 vet that is usually at the top of the fleet. Macy has stepped up his game in recent years, running a 3 boat 505 program and sailing more events than most of us could dream of. Macy and Eric had a solid showing at the Buzzards Bay Regatta in August, dominating the first day of racing. Macy is hungry for another North American crown to go with his other three ('83, '93, '94).

Howie Hamlin / Andy Zinn - Long Beach, CA: Howie and Andy are the defending North American and Pacific Coast Champions. They are one of the favorites to win this event; especially if there is a variety of conditions. Howie has been sailing with several other crews in Europe this summer, finishing 2nd at the UK Nationals with Jeff Nelson in Weymouth. Howie and Andy are the real deal.

Howie and Andy are a safe bet to be in the top 3
Mike Holt / Carl Smit - (Soquel, CA / Annapolis, MD): Mike and Carl are the defending World Champions. Mike has won the past 2 Worlds, winning in 2014 with Rob Woelfel. If the breeze is up, this is the boat to beat; even more so because Mike Martin and Adam Lowry will be missing the event due to an injury. Mike and Carl will be contending for the Championship on Sunday.

Mike and Carl cant think of a better venue than Annapolis
Keith Davids / Jesse Falsone - (Annapolis, MD): Keith Davids is a badass. Jesse is one of those guys who can crew for anyone and make the boat competitive. Jesse is the regatta chairman, but that wont keep these two from being in the hunt. Local knowledge along with pure athleticism and optimal weight for the Annapolis venue all add up to a winning recipie for Davids and Falsone.

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 are always contenders and this event should be no exception. And if you plan on going to Lake Tahoe this winter for a weekend bender, make sure you keep Rob's number handy.

Ryan Cox / Stuart Park - (Moraga, CA): Ryan Cox is as talented a sailor as you will find in the fleet. Stuart Park continues to defy the laws of aging by being one of the oldest forward hands in this year's competition. Don't let his age fool you though, this guy is one of the best crews on the course, especially when the wind is up and he can stretch his legs.

Speaking of Tyler Moore and Ryan Cox, I think I count 8 sailors on this list who are regular or were regular 505 sailors. It would be great to see some young college studs get into the 505 for a campaign leading up to the 2017 Worlds. Anyone remember who won the last East Coast US Worlds?

Notable scratches:

Mike Martin: Kitesurfing accident causing injury. We wish him a speedy recovery but the timing sounds suspicious considering Annapolis as a venue.
Augie Diaz: Sailing the Snipe worlds. Must be nice to sail a dinghy where you can tack standing up and not hit your head.
Thomas Barrows/Matt Barry: Still developing their next generation gasket rubber that wont be ready until 2016.
JB Turney: Blew his entire Stimulus Package on house renovations in San Fran. Will save up for next year.
Newport, RI Fleet: Still thinking of a good excuse for not being there.
Tom Hurwitch: Currently holds the record for the most number of 505 events registered for and not sailed in. Will this be the year the streak is broken? No.

1 comment:

  1. You can always find this place packed on a weekend night and sometimes they host parties that you can't get into, but other than that happening every once in a while this is the place to be. The Chicago event space have nice upstairs and down stairs area.

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