This spring the Nepean Sailing Club (NSC) supported the Ottawa 505 Fleet in purchasing a 505 to promote fleet building and encourage participation in the class. The boat maintenance, sailors’ selection and mentorship were managed by a team of three 505 sailors: Paul Place, Shona Moss and Marie Gendron. Following are the program highlights:
The boat was sailed by over 15 individuals (several repeat users);
Used at four regattas and two training clinic’s.
Sailed at 7 Wednesday evening dinghy racing nights at NSC;
Several practice outings by users of the fleet boat throughout the summer.
One of the objectives at the start of the season was to see the boat sailed at both NSC regattas. We had two different teams sail both the Nepean One Design and Nepean FANFARE Regatta. Notably, the team that sailed at FANFARE had several strong finishes. The boat was also used at out-of-town events during the fleet’s annual clinic at the Kingston Yacht Club, the 505 Canadians at CORK and at the 505 East Coast Championships in Sakonnet, Rhode Island. One of the highlights was that the fleet boat provided an opportunity for two former NSC sailing school instructors to experience the 505 fleet throughout the summer. They decided to participate in the 505 East Coast Championships and were able to borrow the boat to sail at this event.
The Fleet boat was used at the annual 505 Espoir Camp held in late September. The Espoir Camp is an annual clinic organized by the fleet to provide an opportunity for new and young sailors to try the class. Participants are usually sailors from the local 420 and ILCA youth race teams. Boats are lent to the participants for the day by members of the fleet. This year the camp had 13 participants and 6 boats.
Structured and unstructured mentorship was provided to those using the boat at regattas by 505 fleet members. This was often done by pairing the new sailor with a more experienced crew or driver with strong experience in the 505 along with on land debriefing after races.
The team feels as though it has provided an opportunity that did not previously exist for experienced sailors to test the boat. It has generated more interest in the class mainly from youth sailors in the Britannia Yacht Club and NSC dinghy programs along with other dinghy sailors at NSC. The fleet remains the most active and competitive dinghy fleet at NSC. We had one new boat join the fleet this year and another one is set to join next year (currently 14 boats in the NSC dinghy yard). The fleet boat contributes to this activity and growth in the fleet.
The 505 Fleet Boat team is looking forward to continuing the program next year and building on the success from this year while taking stock of lessons learned.
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A fleet of twenty-six 505s convened in the picturesque coastal town of Little Compton, Rhode Island for the highly anticipated 2023 East Coast Championship, spanning from August 25th to the 27th. Set against the stunning backdrop of Sakonnet Point, this venue provided direct access to the ocean, offering participants breathtaking vistas and thrilling ocean rollers.
Competitors journeyed from far and wide to partake in this exciting event, with sailors arriving from as far away as Toronto, North Carolina, and even sunny California. Notably, a robust contingent of 11 teams made the journey from Canada.
Here’s a list of the participating Canadians, representing three fleets:
Robert Bartlewski and Andrew Gesing (Andrew hails from Ottawa)
Douglas Watson and Yunus Akcor
Bruce Clifford and Simon Van Wonderen
Marek Balinski, who teamed up with a young American sailor
Jeff Boyd and Martin ten Hove
Ali Meller and Russell Miller (Russell represents the US)
Shona Moss and Steve Lovshin
Christian Voyer and Luke Stirckland
Paul Place and Alex Tong (Alex hails from the US)
David Mincoff and Phil Doucet, who sailed a Fleet 4 boat
Marie Gendron and David Browne
The regatta spanned three days, but the first day proved challenging due to strong winds ranging from 25 to 30 knots and sizable waves. While some teams ventured out, it was collectively decided that the conditions were too extreme for racing.
The second day brought a shift in the weather, with light southeast winds and lingering rolling waves and chop. Ted Heubner and Aiden Naughten from the USA got off to a strong start, securing two first-place finishes. Remarkably, this was Aiden’s first 505 racing experience. The Toronto/Ottawa duo of Robert Bartlewski and Adam Gesing were solidly in second with two third-place finishes. Craig Thompson and Adam Wolnikowski from the USA rounded out the top three with scores of 2 and 5, demonstrating excellent speed on the water. Jeff Boyd and Martin Ten Hove from Kingston were in fourth with a 7th and a second place, despite the difficult sailing conditions.
Consistency became paramount, a challenging feat given the shifting winds and pressure variations. Sunday ushered in a refreshing northeast breeze, characterized by shifts but initially full trapezing. Four races were completed, with the first three conducted under wire-run conditions and the last featuring slightly less wind. Thompson and Wolnikowski found their rhythm on Sunday, tallying scores of (18), 1, 4, 3, which, when added to their 2nd and 5th from Saturday, led to a net score of 15, catapulting them into the lead (with a throw-out provision).
Duane Delfosse and Mike Hull from the USA scored (14), 5, 6, 2 on Sunday, which, combined with their 5th and 6th-place finishes from Saturday, resulted in a score of 24, gaining them second place. Henry Amthor and Chris Pfrang, also from the USA, showcased consistent improvement over the two days, earning (14), 9, 12, 4, 2, 4, and ultimately claiming third place with 31 points. Impressively, five different teams notched victories in individual races.
Among the Canadian teams, Robert Bartlewski and Andrew Gesing placed highest, finishing in 7th place, followed by Jeff Boyd and Martin ten Hove in 8th. A special mention goes to Ali Meller and Russell Miller, who mounted a strong comeback on Sunday with 3rd and 1st-place finishes in races 4 and 5 but regrettably had to return to shore before the last race of the day following a collision with another boat (for which they were not at fault).
Kudos to Craig Thompson and Adam Wolnikowski from the USA for their outstanding performance in this championship, which served as an excellent warm-up for the upcoming Worlds. We extend our immense gratitude to John Ingalls for his meticulous organization of the regatta, PRO Cushing Anderson, and the numerous volunteers, especially the generous housing hosts. John’s efforts were instrumental in accommodating over 20 people, including most of the Canadian sailors, in homes in Little Compton, a remarkable achievement.
Regatta report courtesy of Peter Scannell, emeritus chair of sailing instruction studies at 505 University.
The 2023 Canadian Championships was held on July 22-23rd as part of the CORK skiff week in Kingston, Ontario. Fourteen Canadian entries were joined by five visiting US boats, making a fine turnout of 19 boats. Forecast was uncertain, with light winds expected for both days.
Saturday started out with about 10kts from the NW with large gusts and lulls across the course. For race 1, logic suggested going left to avoid the shadow of the land, and for a while it worked, with Tom Kivney and Gordon Russell looking like early leaders. However it was the rabbit, Jeff Boyd and Martin ten Hove who continued right and found a large right hander with pressure to lead into the first mark.
Downwind, there was a mix of wiring and sitting. Peter Scannell and John Dunlea elected to gybe-set and were rewarded with good pressure to allow them to wire and gain about 8 places. The remainder of the race was all about finding the pressure, with lots of opportunities for big gains. Jeff and Martin held on for the win, with Tom/Gordon second and Peter/John crossing the line in third.
In Race 2, Scannell/Dunlea took control at the midway point and led the fleet home ahead of John Ingalls and stand-in helm Alex Bowdler, with Dave Kirkpatrick and Sol Marini in third and Jeff and Martin fourth. At this point, Scannell/Dunlea realized it would have paid to have read the sailing instructions, when they realized they had failed to finish correctly for both of the opening races. Going back around, they managed to salvage a 7th by refinishing race 2.
Bowdler/Ingalls were starting to gel and won race 3 from Kirkpatrick/Marini with Scannell/Dunlea in third.
Race 4 went to 2021 Canadian Champ Robert Bartlewski sailing with Andrew Gesing who succeeded in sniffing out shifts and pressure to hold on to win over Scannell/Dunlea with Shona Weldon and Michael Wonnacott in third.
Day 2’s forecast promised more wind with a typical SW Kingston breeze that would build if the sun stayed out.
Race 5 was light, with Scannell/Dunlea chasing Ingalls/Bowdler around the course before stealing the lead on the last run to finish ahead by a boatlength. Bartlewski/Gesing were third with Kirkpatrick/Marini in fourth.
Race 6 was in similar conditions with Scannell/Dunlea leading from the first mark to the finish. Behind them, 5 or 6 boats converged at the finish to all cross the line within seconds of each other. Ali Meller and Steve Lovshin grabbed the second spot with Duane Delfosse and Mike Hull in third.
The legendary Kingston thermal finally started to build by Race 7 and Kirkpatrick/Marini took the win in great wire-running conditions ahead of Ingalls/Bowdler with Kivney/Russell in third.
Race 8 was a carbon-copy for 1st and 2nd places, with Delfosse/Hull grabbing third place.
Overall, that left John Ingalls and newcomer Alex Bowdler in first place, one point ahead of Dave Kirkpatrick and Sol Marini. Peter Scannell and John Dunlea salvaged third place overall by sailing the last race without a tiller extension, having used up their discard with Saturdays finish-line antics.
Best placed Canadian boat was Jeff Boyd and Martin ten Hove in 4th place.
Special thanks to the local Kingston fleet who housed many of the visitors.
CAN notes: Second Canadian team and 5th overall were Robert Bartleski/Andrew Gesing (only 1pt behind Boyd/ten Hove) and 3rd Canadian and 8th overall Shona Moss Lovshin/David Mincoff who were sailing Marek’s boat. Special mention to Ali Meller/Steve Lovshin who lost their rake/tension system on Saturday. They spent the day onshore rebuilding the system. They got back on the water Sunday to finish 5th, 2nd, 8th, then RET due to another boat failure, this time to their spi pole system.
Thank you to all CORK volunteers for hosting the event. (–Marie Gendron)
The 2022 505 Canadian Championship was held at the Nepean Sailing Club as part of the club’s annual FANFARE multi-class event, September 10th and 11th. Several one design classes: Club 420s, Albacores, Fireballs and 505s, had separate starts, with the RC signalling which colour windward mark would be used by each class, but classes using the same start line, leeward mark, and finish line. 505 class competitors were mostly from the Ottawa area and nearby Quebec, Kingston, and Toronto, with one competitor from Maryland.
The breeze both Saturday and Sunday was light and shifty, though there were moments on Sunday were 505 crews were trapezing high on the twire. Apart from several course changes done by moving the windward marks to accommodate wind shifts, the RC had to move the entire race course each day due to 180 degree shifts. The pressure was so light at times that you couldn’t fill the spinnaker and it was hard to keep the boats moving. There were puffs, holes with no wind pressure, big shifts, and more, causing dramatic place changes around the race course; it was remarkably easy to go from 1st place to the back of the fleet by sailing into less pressure. At least one race finish featured much of the 505 fleet crossing the finish line overlapped. The Race Committee staff recording the finish order had to review phone video to determine the finishing order, and appear to have awarded equal finishes – a tie – for two 505s in one of those races.
Robert Bartlewski and 13-year-old daughter Sabina Bartlewski from the Outer Harbour Centreboard Club in Toronto managed to avoid finding light wind pressure spots late in a race, and counted all 1sts and 2nds (throwing out a 3rd place) on their way to winning the 2022 International 505 Canadian Championship. Robert also won the 505 Canadian Championship last year in Kingston with a different crew.
Jeff “Boyder” Boyd and Martin “Marty” tenHove from Kingston Yacht Club were 2nd, two points back, after throwing out their worst race score.
Evania Lovshin/Ali Meller (Britannia YC/Nepean SC and Annapolis Maryland respectively) were 3rd, Marie Gendron/David Browne from Nepean Sailing Club were 4th, Marg Hurley/Andrew Gesing (Nepean SC/Kingston YC ) were 5th.
Full results are at: https://nsc.ca/nsc_racing/fanfare/results/fanfare_2022_results.htm
505 competitors ranged in age from young teens to those in their 70s who have been racing 505s for 45-50 years.
On water photos courtesy of Shawn Batten
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After a 7 year hiatus, Ottawa is once again hosting the 505 Canadian Championships at the Nepean Sailing Club. The Notice of Race has been posted and the registration is now open https://nsc.ca/web2/fanfare/registration/
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Winners of NOD 2022 Kyber Lovshin and Christian Voyer, they are the youngest 505 team to ever win NOD. They showed very good sailing skills in the 4 race series in challenging conditions. Another young team, Paul Place and Jacob Livingstone placed 2nd. Marie Gendron and David Browne finished 3rd. The fleet only raced on Sunday as Saturday weather was out of control. Results are available on the NSC NOD website.
The training weekend is offer to 10 teams. Priority is given to Canadian teams but US teams are welcome to attend if places are available. Please confirm your intention to participate as soon as possible to Marie Gendron email@example.com.
Saturday dinner: not include in the training weekend fee. Tables have been reserved at KYC, the regular dinner menu will be offer.
A few words from Ali:
If I were you, I would blame Peter Wood.
He invited me to guest-drive Prairie Chicken, Parker 5o5 4645, for a Britannia Yacht Club evening race in 1974 or ’75. Steve “Igor” Potts, the usual crew, wanted to preserve the 505 from the recklessness of a cocky just-out-of-junior-sailing kid who had been racing an Albacore with his Dad for a few years; I was trying to win the race.
Igor succeeded, he and Prairie Chicken were fine; I did not quite succeed, we finished a close second to David Courthampton/Phil Tillman though we led for the first two legs.
A year or two later Igor Potts had a summer job away from Ottawa and Peter recruited me to crew for him. The result was mediocre results due to my being a terrible 505 crew; as an example, Marg Hurley/Howie Turner beat us in every regatta but one that season.
None-the-less I was “hooked” and when I realized I needed a boat of my own, I decided it would be a 505 rather than an Albacore, ordered a bare hull “kit 505” from Ballenger Boats in late 1977, and picked it up in early 1978. After much building and rebuilding, the result was a mediocre heavy 505, but the boat could occasionally win an evening race in breeze, primarily because of crew Roger Sutcliffe’s height and crewing skills. I bought the first plastic Waterat, ICGN Satisfaction, in 1983. It was a MUCH better 505, and won a few more club races and regattas (thanks to Fast Farnand for his crewing!). I then had the good fortune to crew for Ethan Bixby in my 505, at the 1985 Florida Midwinters. I learned more in three days from Ethan, than I had learned in the previous six years of 505 racing.
Many years, many 505s, many regattas, and many practice sessions later, I have won or placed well in some events, with two top ten results at 505 Worlds, (out of many attempts!) finished 2nd or 3rd in the 505 NAs a couple of times, won the 505 East Coast Championship multiple times, won the Florida Midwinters a few times, and more recently won (as a crew) the 505 Canadian Championship though this was mostly due to Robert Bartlewski, not me. I am not a tactical or strategic genius (though I have won my share of Laser frostbite races) but have always thought that in 505 racing one has to have speed and height comparable to the front of the fleet, and reliable fast boat handling to be in the game. Without the speed/height, or with slow maneuvers, you won’t be able to play a tactical game with the leaders. So I have always focused on speed first.
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The 2021 505 Canadian Championship was held as part of the September 18-19 CORK event, out of the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour in Kingston Ontario. 505s raced on the same course as 49ers, 49erFX and 29ers; various ILCA (Laser) fleets were on another course to the west. Holding events in September in Kingston is interesting. Kingston has a fairly reliable sea breeze in June through August, but the days are not as warm by September, and Lake Ontario water is as warm as it gets (not very warm!). In the US MidAtlantic September weather still follows summer patterns, but summer weather ends earlier in Ontario. Sure enough, we were racing in system breezes out of the NE quadrant, not the typical Kingston sea breeze, though the sea breeze made itself known each afternoon by fighting the system wind and killing it.
Twelve 505 teams raced the event with the COVID-19 pandemic and the near-conflict with the 505 North American Championship (starting shortly after the following weekend) limiting turnout. However, those twelve teams showed the 505 class to the would-be Olympians racing 49ers, 49erFX, 29er and Laser, to excellent effect. There were top teams with strong long-time records of racing at the top of the class (including past 505 Canadian champions), couples, teenagers, parent and child teams, and pick up teams, with participant ages ranging from 14 to late 60s. One hopes the Olympic wanabees noticed the range of people and skills racing 505s and keep the 505 class in mind for when they have real jobs and families, and are paying the costs of their racing.
There was enough breeze for most teams to rake for the first couple of races. Bartlewski/Meller were at 25’5” or 25”4” and even put their flattening reef in for the start of race 2. In these conditions Team Ireland (Peter Scannell/John Dunlea) easily sailed away from the fleet to apparently win the first race. The leading teams were all wire running downwind, though it lightened up for the second run. Three teams were fighting for second and were so far back they did not notice that team Ireland sailed to the wrong finish line! Scannell/Dunlea only figured out what was happening by watching where the other teams were finishing, and then sailed to the correct finish line but finished 10th!
The next three boats were close together on the run to the finish. Approaching the left (looking downwind) gate on starboard preparing to gybe and make the left turn to the finish line, it was Jeff Boyd/Martin tenHove slowly gaining and working for the inside overlap on Robert Bartlewski/Ali Meller. Shona Moss Lovshin/Evania Lovshin were a bit higher and gybed to port shortly before the other two teams reached the three boat length circle. After a brief discussion concerning whether Boyd/tenHove had an overlap (Evania is a witness!!) … Bartlewski/Meller gybed right at the mark with Boyd/tenHove just behind. But Lovshin/Lovshin had gybed earlier on to port, Evania was on the wire, the kite was full, they were going fast, and they were able to sail behind Boyd/tenHove and between them and the mark, as the latter gybed, and get across them into clear air on the short closer reach leg to the finish. Bartlewski/Meller crossed first, then Lovshin/Lovshin, then Boyd/tenHove. Christian Voyer/Bradley Sheppard were 4th, Marek Balinski/Simon van Wonderen 5th, Marie Gendron/Dave Brown 6th, Kyber Lovshin/Devlin Lovshin (Shona and Steve’s sons, and Evania’s brothers) 7th, with Doug Watson/Alex Taylor 8th.
Bartlewski/Meller assumed Scannell/Dunlea had won easily and were very pleased with their second place, and only found out later, to their surprise, that the latter had sailed to the wrong finish line and Bartlewski/Meller were the race winners.
Having learned the correct way to finish, Scannell/Dunlea powered away from the fleet and won race 2 easily, leading at every mark. It was a dominant performance! Bartlewski/Meller somehow managed to finish second, partly by following Scannell/Dunlea who were fast and seemed to be going the right way all the time. Marie Gendron/Dave Brown were 3rd, Boyd/tenHove 4th (there may have been some place changing between these two teams on the run as teams picked different sides to wire run towards), Balinski/van Wonderen 5th. Peter Hale/Mike Smits were 6th, Shona Weldon/Michael Wonnacott 7th, Moss Lovshin/Lovshin 8th, Watson/Taylor 9th, and Paul Place/Sean Wylie 10th.
The breeze was slightly lighter, with most teams back up to standard rake. Shona Moss Lovshin/Evania Lovshin had excellent speed and upwind height in the lighter breeze and took the race win. Suffering a little as the breeze lightened, Scannell/Dunlea were 2nd, while Bartlewski/Meller were 3rd. Just behind them a battle down most of the run and the short leg to the finish between Boyd/tenHove and Gendron/Brown ended with Gendron/Brown 4th and Boyd/tenHove 5th. Bartlewski/Meller enjoyed watching this battle as soon as they realized it was not directed at them, and they could protect conservatively while opening a bit of a gap. Close behind were Balinski/van Wonderen in 6th, Weldon/Wonnacott in 7th, and Doug Watson/Alex Taylor in 8th.
The breeze was lighter, and shiftier with bigger pressure differences. The first attempt at a start, with Bartlewski/Meller the rabbit, had to be abandoned when the wind shut off just as the rabbit started its run. A second attempt was more successful, but the breeze was lighter as a weak thermal was trying to overcome the system breeze. As rabbit, Bartlewski/Meller were furthest right as the gate closed, but they tacked quickly once released, and headed to the left. Left was the place to be, and Shona Moss Lovshin/Evania Lovshin and Scannell/Dunlea were there to take advantage. As Bartlewski/Meller converged with these two teams they were initially looking good, but the breeze was shifting left. Bartlewski/Meller tacked below the other two teams, but close to the layline. Teams that had not sailed hard left were further behind. But the next shift was the system wind getting the better of the thermal, by just a little, so a little port tack header. This allowed Bartlewski/Meller to squeeze around the mark ahead of the other two teams close behind, and close behind Gendron/Brown. The noticeable current was helping teams lay the weather mark! The RC signaled a course change at the first leeward mark, and laid a new windward mark significantly to the left of the old one. Gendron/Brown were slightly ahead of Bartlewski/Meller at the leeward gate, but both teams stumbled in figuring out what was going on (was it a course change or a shortened course?), taking spinnakers down late and then turning back upwind. This compressed the fleet as the teams a little behind could see what those in front of them were deciding to do. Bartlewski was demonstrating an amazing ability to find pressure and a lifted tack, and found something to both pass Gendron/Brown and stay ahead of a compressed pack just a few boat lengths behind, with places changing all the way up the second beat to the change mark. Bartlewski/Meller held on downwind and to the finish. This resulted in Bartlewski/Meller winning race 4 and putting them in the lead for the overall. Boyd/tenHove were 2nd, Watson/Taylor 3rd, Scannell/Dunlea 4th, Balinski/van Wonderen 5th, Gendron/Brown dropping to 6th after finding a hole on the second beat. Shona Moss Lovshin/Evania Lovshin were 7th, just ahead of Kyber Lovshin/Devlin Lovshin in 8th.
That was it for the day and the fleet sailed in. To their considerable surprise Bartlewski/Meller were leading the event, with scores of 1,2,3,1. Several other teams like Scannell/Dunlea and Shona Moss Lovshin/Evania Lovshin had some good races but had also had deep finishes (good throw outs) while Boyd/tenHove and Gendron/Brown had solid consistent finishes with no deep races, but no race wins.
After hanging out in the dinghy park and relaxing, 505 competitors headed over to past 505 racers Barb and Steve Yates home for a wonderful, relaxing and fun evening. I first met Barb and Steve racing 505s about 1977; it was wonderful to see them again. We were comparing notes on how many 505s the Yates have owned; they had nine and I am up to eight…
The breeze was shifted a bit right, perhaps more out of the East than North, as the fleet sailed out Sunday morning. It was clearly lighter than Saturday morning had been, and by the time the race started crews were sitting on the tank at best, and sitting to leeward at worst. A number of teams set up fairly far up the line to wait for the rabbit – the gate was only open for a total of one minute! — but Moss Lovshin/Lovshin, Scannell/Dunlea and Bartlewski/Meller gated at about the 30 second point, in that order. The next team to gate, just above Bartlewski/Meller, was Weldon/Wonnacott in 8610, may have been squeezed a bit by Bartlewski/Meller or somehow had less pressure. They and most of the teams gating above them seemed to be in less pressure, with less speed, and the first three teams to gate punched clear heading left.
Once again Bartlewski demonstrated his prowess at finding pressure and getting on the lifted tack. As Meller noted several times in conversations ashore, Bartlewski would call for a tack, they would tack, Meller would get the jib sheeted in and the boat flat-ish, would look around and check the compass and note that they were 10-20 degrees up and in pressure … Bartlewski/Meller led at the weather mark with Shona Moss Lovshin/Evania Lovshin close behind. With the left shift both teams could broad reach for the leeward gate. Lovshin/Lovshin were going low and fast, perhaps looking for angle to come back up to the gate on a closer reach, but Bartlewski/Meller covered the move by also sailing slightly below the rhumb line. Meanwhile Scannell/Dunlea and the bunch behind them saw a puff high and several teams went for it. This was looking a bit scary to the two leading teams who were low and in light pressure. They came up above the rhumb line, eventually finding enough pressure to keep moving, but then had to gybe for the leeward gate. The RC signaled a course change again, but this time everyone knew what to do and responded quickly. Bartlewski/Meller pulled away on the second beat and as they approached the weather mark heard two sound signals and saw an S flag. They crossed the line at the windward mark and checked with the finish line boat for instructions; “hang out at the RC boat.” Places were changing behind them with at least the next three or four teams crossing the line overlapped. Lovshin/Lovshin held on to 2nd, Boyd/tenHove pulled up to 3rd, Gendron/Brown got to 4th, Scannell/Dunlea 5th, Watson/Taylor 6th, Christian Voyer/Bradley Sheppard were 7th and Balinski/van Wonderen 8th.
These results put Bartlewski/Meller in a very strong position with all good finishes, throwing out a 3rd, while other teams had more mixed results. Bartlewski/Meller drifted down to the RC boat while doing arithmetic to determine what they needed to do in the next two races to hold on for the win.
The breeze was fitful as the thermal fought the system breeze. Boats sailed slowly, against the current, down to the RC boat, with some protecting the harbor side of the race course expecting the breeze to die. After waiting for some time, the RC gave in to what seemed inevitable, and sent the fleet in with the five races.
Ali Meller has been racing 505s since 1977 and has competed in the 505 Canadians as a driver many times, coming close but never winning (including leading going into the last race but faltering). After years of trying he finally won the 505 Canadians as a crew thanks to Robert’s abilities in finding puffs and shifts. It ended up being a dominant win on the score sheet, though it had not felt that way on the water with close finishes in all races. Finishes of 1,2,3,1,1, and throwing out a 3rd for five points gave them a seven point lead over a three-way tied for second between Lovshin/Lovshin, Scannell/Dunlea, and Boyd/tenHove who were all tied for second at twelve points. The tie was broken in favor of Lovshin/Lovshin, then Scannell/Dunlea.
If it had been lighter, Lovshin/Lovshin could easily have been dominant. If the breeze had stayed up Scannell/Dunlea would probably have won most of the races. If there had been any more chop, Bartlewski/Meller’s light weight and flat sails would have hampered them. On another weekend with slightly different conditions, Boyd/tenHove could have won the event.
The lure of the Yates party was so great that the group did not have a debrief after Saturday racing. This was an oversight; we should always have a debrief after each day of racing or practice. A debrief was held after the prize presentation on Sunday, but a number of teams had already left by that time. The discussion during the debrief was mostly focused on setup and tuning, though the puffs being in narrow channels, such that you could go too far in a puff and come out the other side into less pressure was mentioned.
Most teams were initially raked to depower Saturday morning, but stood their rigs up and put their centreboards to vertical as the breeze lightened. Bartlewski/Meller pulled their flattening reef on between Race 1 and Race 2, in case the breeze came up and they needed to rake some more. They eased off the flattening reef going downwind when the breeze lightened. The way flattening reefs are rigged they are hard to pull on (typically crew comes in off wire, vang is eased a lot, main is luffed, and crew pulls on the reefing line and cleats it), but easy to let go when the breeze lightens. So you can pull it on before a race, in case the breeze builds, and let it off if the breeze lightens during the race.
When raking to depower the centreboard should also be raised, perhaps one inch up on the centreboard for every two inches of rake. As the breeze goes lighter (crew sitting on the tank) top teams rake forward of 25’8” (or forward of 3’4” measured forward). Robert/Ali were at 25’ 10” in the lighter stuff, with the centreboard raked somewhat forward (blocks on CB handle jammed on centreboard cap). 25’9” would also have worked well. 8288 cannot rake the centreboard as far forward as some other boats. Moving the centreboard only – rather than raking and pulling down on the ram and then moving the centreboard — is a quick way of depowering, or powering up if the board was raised a bit. Shona Moss Lovshin was adjusting her centreboard quite a bit to depower in the puffs, as she and Evania were a light team with not much weight on the wire. If it is hard to move your centreboard put some McLube on the centreboard head. If the crew is on the wire kicking off the rail while the driver pulls on the CB control line will unload the centreboard for an instant, and make it easier to adjust.
Pulling the boom to weather was also very helpful and this works well even with the crew on the wire. 8288 can pull the boom as much as nine inches (guesstimate) to weather of centreline. Some of the other 505s cannot pull the boom as far to weather and are missing out on this opportunity. Pulling the boom to weather gives more power (for example, it may be enough to keep the crew on the wire without bending their knees) and helps point. Vang tension/reducing mainsail twist is also very important for power and pointing. And pre-bend for light air to flatten the entry of the main.
How tight is tight on the vang? The group discussed how tight the vang should be for light air flat water, and looking at the upper main leach telltale. Shona Moss Lovshin said 70-80% of the time with Meller agreeing. There was not much wave or chop either day, and the 505s were not being slowed by them as the breeze went light both days, so teams should be in point mode, and the boats go very well with that top telltale stalled most of the time.
Jib sheeting angle and sheet tension are super important! If you have a North jib, the sheet should line up with the upper trim line, more or less. If you pre-bent the mast and flattened the main, you can sheet the jib harder without closing off the upper slot. If you rake forward remember to move your jib leads up/aft to compensate. If it is light enough for one of the team to look under the boom, check what the slot looks like near the top (where the jib leech telltale is). If that telltale is stalled you are sheeting too tight, but you can sheet the jib hard if the main is flattened. I saw several jibs that I thought were tacked a little too high. I want the bottom of the jib touching the foredeck, without room for breeze to escape through under the jib. Basically, the foredeck should act as an endplate. Lowering the jib tack has the effect of RAISING the jib sheet (same as moving it aft). The very front of the jib foot will be clear of the deck, but something like half the foot should be touching the deck. If you lower the tack and don’t move the jib lead this will give you a flatter jib at the bottom and possibly a more twisted open upper leech, until you sheet very slightly harder. Jib sheet tension, which controls twist and slot size near the top of the jib, is critical. Get in the habit of easing a couple of centimeters in a lull and pulling that back in, in a puff. If your main has an upper window you can look through the window and judge the distance to the jib leech. You should have a jib leech telltale placed where it can be seen through that upper main window.
Sailing with Robert, I would sheet the jib in after tacking, trying to put the jib sheet mark in the same place as it was on the other side. I would then check how tight it looked at the upper leech, adjust if necessary, and ask Robert how the boat felt. Usually he was happy with where I had it, but occasionally he would ask for an adjustment.
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