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505 World Championships two weeks away

by Jordan Spencer 21 Jul 2022 21:33 PDT 3-13 August 2022
International 505 World Championships © Christophe Favreau

There are just two weeks until the start of the 65th International 505 World Championships. Held every year since 1956, this is the first event since the 2019 Freemantle World Championships and 505 sailors are keen to compete again.

The World Championships are being hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club. A club that has been in existence for 302 years. This will be the fourth time the World Championships have been hosted in Cork and the first time in 40 years, (1959, 1964 and 1982). Based in Crosshaven, Cork, on the South coast of Ireland, competitors can expect any range of conditions. The racing will be held offshore in the Atlantic to ensure fair courses. Given the expected cool temperatures, competitors should anticipate gradient breezes, so shifty conditions and lots of pressure changes. Onshore they can expect the full gamut of Irish hospitality, including daily prize-giving and social events in a picturesque and beautiful location.

The International 505 is an iconic class. A boat that generates fierce loyalty from all those that sail one. Famously, Paul Evstrom said - "The 5O5 is really my favourite class because it is so lively and responsive in all types of wind and sea conditions....after having sailed all types of dinghy and all types of keelboat I would like to tell you that no other boat is able to give one so much pleasure as this one."

Designed by Britain's John Westall in 1954, the 505 is a perfect combination of tactical, technical and speed sailing. There are faster boats than a 505, but none feel as fast and it can be sailed fast in all conditions. Mastery takes many years as there is no end of controls you can adjust, allowing 505 sailors to develop very deep technical sailing knowledge. Also, little ground is lost when tacking or gybing a 505, meaning every tactical opportunity can be pursued.

The joy of sailing 505's attracts all types of sailors, Olympians, Pro's and club sailors alike.

Despite reduced numbers because of the Covid affect, the fleet is packed with talent. Some highlights include:

From Australia, Luke Payne will be coming straight from his duties on the Danish SailGP team to sail with Peter Nicholas, together they have had a 4th and 2nd before, is this their year? Olympic bronze medallist Ian Brown sailing with Tom Olsen (US) 2xStar WC and 1xEtchells WC. From the US, Stuart McNay 4xOlympian sailing with Caleb Paine - bronze medal 2020 Olympics in the Finn class. Mike Martin and Adam Lowry, defending champions, 2019 US sailors of the year. Plus, Mike is the only person to win the 505 WC as both a sailor and crew. From Germany 3xOlympian 7xWC, (5 in 505's) and the King of Kiel Week, (23 wins) Wolfgang Hunger pairing up with his original 505 crew Holger Jess 3xWC. Perennial threats Stefan Boehm and Gerald Roos are racing as is Johannes Tellen this time pairing with champion sailor Lena Stuckl. From the UK, (pay attention here) 2006 WC Mark Upton-Brown and Ian Mitchell and 2008 WC Ian Pinnell, (who won with Carl Gibbon but this time is sailing with 2015 and 2017 WC Carl Smit - from the US) are competing. Carl normally sails with 3XWC Mike Holt an Englishman who lives and races for the US. Holty is sailing with Rob Woelfel who he won his first WC with in 2014 and these two are the form boat coming into this WC.

There are though, a great many more boats in this fleet with a real chance of winning. There are just too many to mention.

The Racing: 10 races are scheduled for the Worlds, 6 for the pre-Worlds. There is a maximum of 3 races each day. Racing for the pre-Worlds is the 5th and 6th of August and 8-13 August for the Worlds.

Starting races in the 505 class is unique, in that they utilise a gate start. A pathfinder boat will sail close hauled from the pin on port and the fleet must pass behind her on starboard. The advantage is that it is very rare for a race to have to be restarted, or for competitors to infringe the line. It does however put a premium on boatspeed and the ability to hold a lane if you want a competitive start.

The other interesting element in 505 racing is that they sail with symmetrical spinnakers, but race like they are asymmetrical. The moment crews are on trapeze, it is faster to sail downwind by high-speed reaching and sailing the longer distance. This leads to some very tactical and fast racing.

The events team will be producing daily reports including interviews, a daily race highlights video, photographs from Christophe Favreau and the occasional Facebook or Youtube live stream.

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