by Sue Athmann
The heavy air excitement continued on Day Two of the 2008 505 North American Championship held at Cascade Locks, Oregon. Being sailed in the Columbia River Gorge, this year's competition is being held as part of the Gorge Games.
Hanging On A 505 At The Gorge
33 boats have entered, and more than a few have suffered some wounding in the extreme conditions of The Gorge.
On Friday, the Columbia Gorge Racing Association veteran race committee fired the starting gun on three races held in breezes ranging from the low teens to mid-twenties and the usual Gorge two-foot chop. Racing began early in the morning as the RC aimed to pull off more starts before the breeze kicked up to nuclear.
Courses were windward / leewards twice around and lasted roughly forty minutes apiece. Competitors were sent ashore following the third race at 1300 to wait for more manageable winds. However the thermal continued to develop and the RC had flags 'N' over 'A' flying by 1400. Racing was abandoned for the day.
The damage report for the day was a much shorter list than Thursday's: 1 broken mast, 1 damaged deck, and 1 torn mainsail.
Following racing, a raffle was held with gear donated from the regatta sponsoring companies, Zhik, West Marine, Fisheries Supply, and Kam Gear.
Competitors from the West Coast continue to dominate the standings. The top five after five races (including 1 throwout):
1. Nick Adamson / Stephen Bourdow
2. Mike Martin / Jeff Nelson
3. Mike Holt / Ben Benjamin
4. Howard Hamlin / Peter Alarie
5. Doug Hagan / Rob Woelfel