Pinnell aims for 'grand slam' of 505 Championships in Durban
'The World Championships have taken place in light to medium winds over the last two years, which does not suit the Brits,' Pinnell told madforsailing, 'We sail with much heavier crews and our rigs are set up for more breeze than the Yanks. They have lower hounds on their masts which makes them more stable sideways, but not so good for a breeze.'
'Howard Hamlin’s crew Mike Martin is probably about 13 stone or just under, whereas my crew Nick weighs in at just under 15 stone,' said Pinnell, who sees his greatest competition coming from the other Brits, Ian Barker in particular. 'Barker is certainly going to be hard to beat, but hopefully an Olympic silver medal round his neck might slow him down a bit.'
But Barker, who won the 505 ‘grand slam’ of championships back in 1993 with Tim Hancock, is playing it low-key. 'I’m not expecting to win it - it’s more of a holiday for me. We’re going to get four days’ practice before the pre-Worlds begin, so I’d be happy if we made the top five.' Barker has teamed up again with Daniel Cripps, another 15-stoner, with whom he last sailed the 505 two years ago at the Worlds in America.
Barker said he was sad that his great 505 and 49er rival Chris Nicholson would not be coming from Australia. At one point, the three-time 49er World Champion was due to be returning with his brother Darren, to reclaim the 505 title which they won together in 1994, the last time the event was held in Durban.
Meanwhile, the 1999 World Champions from the US, Howard Hamlin and Mike Martin, will be competing in different boats this time around. Peter Alarie will crew for Hamlin, whilst Martin moves to the back to steer, with Steve Bourdow crewing him. But if the wind and waves arrive in true Durban fashion, the Brits could prove hard to beat.