by Di Pearson
SAP 505 World Championship, March 26th to April 1st, Hamilton Island, Queensland.
At close quarters with the 505’s
Nearly all the crews from the 87 that entered in this year's edition enjoyed two days of downtime on tropical Hamilton Island ahead of the championship which starts today on the Island’s famous Catseye Bay.
Not all took in the delights the Island has to offer, such as snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, golf at the Island’s new course on Dent Island, helicopter rides, sight-seeing, or just relaxing by the pool, some chose training and last minute tweaking, hoping that bit extra might just give them the edge in this highly-competitive class.
As International 505 Class President Pip Pearson pointed out, 'You’ve got champions from a lot of different classes and countries here, people like the current world champion, Wolfgang Hunger from Germany, who also won the World’s in 2001 and 2003. He also represented at the ‘84, ’88 and ’92 Olympics in the 470 class.'
'Ian Pinnell has won 38 world, national and European titles and it still took him 15 goes to win the 505 Worlds (in 2008),' said Pearson of the British sailor who is here, along with Hunger, with dreams of another title to add to their growing lists.
The international jury too, were up earlier this morning, their fun is also over. At a World Championship of such magnitude, it is inevitable that there will be protests and the jury know that. 'Here we go again,' said experienced jury member Tim Went at breakfast this morning.
International Race Officer Kevin Wilson was gathering his race management crew together for a final briefing. They are ready, having had two day’s practice at the SAP Pre-Worlds.
So, can Australia, with its 48 entries, overcome challenges from the USA (14), Canada (Two), France (Three), Hong Kong (One), Germany (11), Sweden (One), Great Britain (Five) and Denmark (Two)?
By the end of the nine-race series on April First, that question will be answered.