The 2019 505 Canadian championships took place August 17th-18th in Kingston, Ontario as part of the CORK OCR regatta. The regatta was essentially a pre-North Americans tune-up event. There were 23 teams participating with sailors from the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. The presence of several West coast teams, including the current world champions Mike Martin and Adam Lowry, at the event made it the largest and most competitive 505 Canadians in several years.
Day 1 of the regatta was overcast with light rain showers on and off through out the morning and early afternoon. A short opening ceremony was held Saturday morning featuring the famous Kingston town crier. The 12:00pm first gun gave teams plenty of teams that had arrived the day before to make final adjustments to their boats before the day of racing.
The sailors got out on the water to light wind from the S-E, not the typical Kingston S-W direction. It proved to be a tricky day of snakes and ladders sailing. Playing the wind shifts and avoiding wind holes proved to be key. The RC somehow managed to balance fair racing with the tricky conditions to get four races for all the fleets on the course (505, 49er, 49erFX and I14). Racing ranged from less than 5 knots in race 1 and 4 with the crew spending lots of time on the centreboard trunk, to marginal trapeze and wire running conditions in race 3 with about 8-10 knots.
Howard Hamlin and Russel Clark, sailing for the first time together, managed to be come out on top after the 1st day with a 1, 2, 3, 2. They were followed closely in the standings by Mike Martin and Adam Lowry who also had a good day, scoring 5, 1, 2, 1.
Day two was forecasted to be even lighter than the first day. There was reason to be optimistic when the sailors arrived to rig in the morning. The breeze was stronger than forecast. Racing got underway at noon with the wind around 5-7 knots. Conditions changed three quarters of the way up the first beat with a drop in pressure. Ethan Bixby and Chris Brady had spotted it coming. They made their way to the left side of the course towards Wolf Island and were able to catch the left shift and ride the new pressure to round the windward in first. They led for the rest of the race to finish first. They were followed closely by Mike Martin and Adam Lowry who finished in second and Howie Hamlin and Russell Clark in third.
Congratulations to Mike Martin and Adam Lowry who were the overall winners. Second place went to Howard Hamlin and Russell Clark. Third place went to Ethan Bixby and Chris Brady.
The top Canadians at the event and 2019 505 Canadian Champions were Robert Tennant and Steve Bourdow. The second place Canadian team was Brent Beninger and Martin Hicks. Third place went to Jeff Boyd and Martin Ten Hove. Full results can be found here.
Following the awards ceremony, Parker Shinn ran a California Team Tuesday style regatta de-brief with the top teams talking about what worked for them in the regatta and boat set-up for the conditions. This was a great opportunity for the rest of the fleet to learn from some of the best in the business.
A huge thanks to the CORK team, RC and volunteers for running a great regatta. Now, all focus has turned to the 505 North Americans which start Wednesday August 21st with measurement and practice racing. With 37 boats registered and possibly 2-3 more rumoured to be registering last minute (can we get to 40?), the event is shaping up to be spectacular.