Hamlin wins 505 pre-worlds

Testing conditions throughout the week provide benchmark for worlds next week in Freemantle, Australia

Saturday December 7th 2002, Author: D Stowell, Location: Australasia
In the end, something like 21 boats finished the race. Some or most of them sailed an extra windward/leeward as the leeward finish line (many had not seen the course flag which was apparently hoisted late) was well to leeward of the leeward mark and you could not see much in the conditions. Since they could not see the finish line Howard Hamlin/Mike Martin, who were leading by this point, turned back upwind looking for a windward finish and most of the remaining fleet followed. Some teams ended up crossing the line as they sailed back to the club and noticed there was a finish line past the leeward mark!

Perhaps the best story of the race is that two local young women got around the course, sailed the proper course, pinched their way upwind and did not fly the kite downwind, but did not capsize. I believe the skipper is 16 or 17 and the crew 19. They finished 6th by not doing the extra lap!

My view is that it is not so much the wind that was a problem, but the shallow water and very steep chop made for very challenging conditions. In deeper water and ocean swells the sailing would have been easier and I think we would have had far fewer breakdowns and most probably fewer retirements.

I believe that between backup masts and new masts (the Australians had some and Ian Pinnell brought some) every team was able to replace the broken rigs. However Ian told me he only had two Ds and no Cumulus masts left

I asked the 505 world list for opinions on the Long Luff Spinnaker after using it for a year, shortly before I flew to Fremantle for the pre-worlds. I received 25-50 e-mails in response, only one of which expressed some concerns about the LLS, but was neither in favour of it or opposed to it. All other responses I received were in favour of it. In discussions here in the dinghy park I believe everyone I have spoken with is in favour of it, with many being very enthusiastic about it. While those who attend world championships are not representative of the club-and-local racers who do not, it is interesting to see how many people love the LLS, even after such an extreme day or racing with some many breakdowns.

Today is the measurement and registration day between the re-worlds and worlds. The German and US East Coast boats that were in containers not released until after the day of the first race, are being measurement checked. Competitors are enjoying Fremantle, and getting ready for the first day or Worlds racing tomorrow.

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