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5o5 North Americans 2019: A USA Sweep Of Top 7

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  • 5o5 North Americans 2019: A USA Sweep Of Top 7

    Hosted by the Kingston Yacht Club located on the St Lawrence River mouth at Lake Ontario's north eastern shores in Ontario Canada,
    the 2019 5o5 North American's entertained 39 crews from primarily Canada and the USA. 10 races were held over 4 days and when all was
    said and done, the teams from the US commanded 7 of the top places with the usual suspects sitting upon the podium, Mike Martin and Adam Lowry
    continuing their dominant roll, taking the golden biscuit with a mere 19 points utilizing 4 bullets in the process. In 2nd Howie Hamlin with Russell Clark with 27 points
    and in 3rd, Mike Hold and Carl Smit with 30 points. The next major stop for the 5o5 will be the Worlds lin late July 2020, in Bastad located in southern Sweden.

    Here is the daily reports from the sailors and images from Geoff Webster

    Day 1 By Mike Holt

    Day 1 saw 40 boats from across North America and a token Australian entry who was clearly geographically challenged by being in the wrong hemisphere. The level of the fleet is as competitive as I have seen, with 6 of the boats having World Champions in and many more with North American Champions aboard. Kingston Yacht Club on Lake Ontario are this year’s hosts and so far, are doing a fantastic job, managing very tricky conditions without putting a foot wrong. Four races were held in conditions varying from 10-18 knots with the wind clocking left all day. It was a real day of snakes and ladders.

    From my position, deep in the fleet it was difficult to see what was going on, but Russ Clark and Howie Hamlin clearly got the first 2 races right, winning both of them. The 3rd and the 4th races were then won by Adam Lowrie and Mike Martin, leaving the event delicately poised, but this is just day one and 3 more days and plenty of races still to go. However, a dark shadow lurks for the top boats with a protest affecting the top 2 and the scribe here to be held later tonight!

    Conditions for tomorrow are looking lighter, but this is the sort of venue where anything can happen and probably will!

    Day 2 By Eric Anderson

    Day 2 started with blue skies and cotton-puff seabreeze clouds but with the wind confusingly coming out of the northeast instead of the west. A small taste of the westerly filled as the fleet left the docks, but soon it was back to the east. The Race Committee set the course and fired off the first race of the day, race five of the series. Every boat seemed to have a hero to zero moment or vice versa as the fleet battled through immense shifts and glassy spots up to the windward mark. Mike Holt and Carl Smit managed to hold on to their lead around the course, although there was some nail biting action on the last run when the water glassed off and stranded the front pack distressingly far from the last puff of the leg. Jackson McCoy and Alex Tong ripped in to take second in their Hamlin 5o5 (hull 7095) leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Hamlins still have plenty of life left in them.

    After a short postponement to let the seabreeze fill in, the fleet sailed two shifty races in a 7 knot westerly. Left was the place to be until the right filled for the second beat of race, which didn’t phase current world champions Mike Martin and Adam Lowry or stop them from adding another bullet to their scorecard. Race 7 of the series was claimed by Parker Shinn and Eric Anderson, which secured them the title of most improved boat of the day, having retired from Race 5 after destroying a spinnaker and getting stuck on the wrong side of a shift in Race 6.

    Back on shore sailors conducted the American Section AGM and enjoyed food and camaraderie at the Kingston Yacht Club bar. Tomorrow’s forecast is light and northerly, so everyone will be looking to make big moves in the unpredictable conditions.

    Day 3 By Reto Corfu
    The Canadian Perspective

    Day 3 ominously started much like day 1 – cloud cover and faint hope for a classic thermal. The fleet set out anyways in time for the 1130 start in a very shifty, very puffy easterly. It’s never like this here. After a few failed attempts at getting a race going, with 45 degree shifts wreaking havoc, the fleet managed to get racing, finishing two legs under conditions the race committee wisely deemed too fluky, so the race was abandoned at the first leeward mark.

    After a lengthy delay featuring continued light and shifty conditions the wind finally started to settle in a bit and we managed to get thee races off thanks to the heroic efforts of the race committee. The tricky tactical conditions mixed up the race winners a bit, and put a premium on getting good starts and latching into the first big shift, getting buried on the start often left no way out. Wiley veteran and local legend Jeff Boyd managed to figure out the conditions for his first bullet of the series in race one. Another Canadian dream team of Robert Tennant sailing with (honourary Canadian) Steve Bourdow won the second race handily by crossing the fleet soon after the start, before Mike and Adam got back to their winning ways in race 3 as the rabbit. By the third race the breeze was starting to get into the mid teens, and teams that were wire running in the “alternative” mode of having the crew high on the wire and crouched seemed to be able to make gains.

    Three decent races after a frustrating morning, a bit of shuffling in the middle of the pecking order, and one race left tomorrow!

    Day 4 By Russ Clark
    Congratulations to Mike Martin and Adam Lowry who have won the event after 10 races from Howard Hamlin and Russ Clark in second and Mike Holt and Carl Smit in third.
    After a postponement ashore today’s racing was abandoned as the sun beat down and the breeze faltered. The prize giving was held on the waterfront lead by event organiser Jeff Boyd with recognition given to the small army of volunteers who made this event a true success.
    The 40 boat fleet was challenged by mixed conditions and tight racing on the fresh water of Lake Ontario. With 4 of the current top 5 boats in the world competing, the battle for the podium places was always destined to be tough, however the whole fleet enjoyed tight racing with plenty of opportunity for place swapping and overtaking.
    “The standard is the highest we have seen at a North American’s” said 2019 World Champion Mike Martin who acknowledged the younger members of the fleet in recognition of the wide appeal of the 505 to the sailors across the age range.
    Based at Kingston Yacht Club the 505 fleet has been magnificently hosted by the locals with a relaxed and friendly social scene ashore and good quality race management afloat.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery