2016 Weymouth Worlds Predictions - repost from 505worlds2016.com
While those fortunate to be attending the event are making their final preparations, the rest of us can speculate how this Championship will go, who will win, and who will be up there at the end.
One of the interesting aspects of a 505 worlds is that it is normally the only opportunity each year to see how the top teams from each country go against each other. But this year the buildup to the worlds has included several of the favorites racing against each other at Europa Cup events. Some of the Australian and American teams are keeping 505s in Europe and are racing Kieler Woche as we write this report, and some raced earlier Europa Cup events.
Given these recent results, we have good indications of who is “on form” and who may not be.
So with tongue firmly in cheek, here are some predictions for who can win or place at the 2016 Worlds in Weymouth.
We look forward to seeing many of the same teams contesting the next 505 World Championship at Severn Sailing Association/Eastport Yacht Club, in Annapolis Maryland USA in September of 2017. More information on this event is available at: http://505worlds2017.com/. And you can sign up for an e-mail list to receive future updates on this event.
The 505 has a strong tradition of female helms and some all-women teams.
Past 505 North American champions Carol and Carl Buchan jumped into their 505 for the recent 505 NAs, and they were sailing very well for a team that has not been training hard, but they are not going to Weymouth. Another top female helm is Meike Schomaker sailing with Holger Jess, but they are not going to Weymouth either (Apparently Holger prefers cold water and air and thinks Weymouth’s southern exposure and North Atlantic drift influence is for wusses).
Three teams that will be in Weymouth fighting it out are:
Tina Plattner/Dave Shelton RSA – This team raced well in South Africa. Dave has years of experience in the front of a 505 and has done many worlds, so will be adept at putting them where they need to be. They are going to be faster in the breeze than their competition for top female helm with Dave’s uhh … substantial advantage in height and weight.
Nicola Birkner/Angela Stenger GER – This team also has years of experience and many solid finishes. Look for them to be very strong in lighter or mixed conditions . Their ability to adjust the rig for varying wind strengths will keep them in the hunt.
Fabiola Wonterghem/Michael Wonterghem DEN – Having first crewed then switched to helm a few years ago, Fabiola gets faster and faster, and recently came second overall in Onsala (Swedish 505 Cup).
Mike Holt/Carl Smit USA – Holtie has won the last two 505 World Championships, one with Rob Woelfel, the other with Carl Smit. While they were not showing top form at the recent North American Championship, they were on the pace when they won the Europa Cup in France. Recent surveillance has shown that Smit is taking his buildup seriously; he has been spotted cross training to increase fitness and lose some weight, getting closer to the fitness he has as a US Navy SEAL officer. While they were outside the top three at the NAs, they showed very impressive pace in the lighter conditions. You cannot bet against two time world champion Holtie racing with Carl Smit. They are fast in all conditions, and show few weaknesses. The Brits still consider Holtie to be one of them, and Holt/Woelfel/Smit have spent time working on setup and tuning with top British teams, but Holt/Smit will have USA on their P&B mainsail.
Dr. Wolfang Hunger/Julien Kleiner GER – In addition to being a three-time 505 World Champion already, Dr. Hunger is also a three time 470 World Champion. He is a consummate big fleet management style racer and almost never has bad races, always able to move forward in a fleet. This team will be one of the most consistent at the top, and it will take terrific pace, going the right way a lot, and some luck, to beat them. They just finished second at Kieler Woche (the final Europa Cup event).
Andy Smith/Tim Needham GBR – Perhaps the fastest of a strong British group, this team had brilliant pace at the French Europa Cup, winning several races though inconsistent, and just won Kieler Woche with a race to spare. They are not as consistent as Hunger/Kleiner or Ian Pinnell/Alex Davies, but clearly have the speed and ability to win multiple races at the World Championship, and with a little luck and consistency, could win it outright. A home court advantage could be just the little help they need.
Ian Pinnell/Alex Davies GBR – Excellent pace, a consistent team, and Ian is a 505 World Champion and has been at the top of the 505 fleet for longer than most others have been racing 505s. This team is showing excellent pace and consistency in the Europa Cup events and finished 3rd at Kieler Woche. Ian’s experience in the 505, knowledge of the rig – he is “the 505 guy” at Pinnell and Bax – and a home court advantage could put these guys on the top.
Mark Upton-Brown/Ian Mitchell – Past 505 World Champions, Upsidedown-Brown/Mitchell have been doing a serious buildup for this Championship after not being in a 505 for some time. Another team that has tremendous past experience and who may be peaking at just the right time. With a home court advantage, they could come out on top or in the top places.
Howard Hamlin/Andy Zinn USA – The ageless Howard Hamlin, racing again with Andy Zinn, continues to benefit from the “Team Tuesday” training program. This program is so strong that members were 1st and 2nd at the recent North American Championship in Bellingham Washington with Howard/Jeff Nelson finishing just behind training partners Riley Gibb/Reeve Dunne. Hamlin/Zinn won both the 2014 and 2015 NAs. Bet on Hamlin/Zinn to look dominant in the pre-worlds and then see if they can step it up like some other top teams for the Championship itself.
Mike Martin/Adam Lowry USA – the only person to have won a 505 World Championship as both a crew and a driver, Mike Martin knows better than almost everyone what it takes to win a 505 Worlds. Another member of the fabled southern California “Team Tuesday”, Martin/Lowry won several races at the recent 505 North American Championship, but were held out of the top positions overall by weaker finishes in some of the lighter air races. They may not have the consistency in mixed conditions, but if the breeze stays up these guys could win several races and stay in the top three in the rest, which is normally more than enough to win a 505 World Championship.
Jørgen Bojsen-Møller/Jacob Bojsen-Møller DEN – Olympic medalists in the FD Class with years and years of 505 experience, this ageless team continues to show excellent pace and consistency. The Bojsen-Møller/M2 rig has won multiple World Championships and completely dominates the German fleet in addition to being widely used in many other 505 countries. These guys know the rig better than anyone, as they developed it. Their tremendous experience tends to pay off the most in a Championship with mixed conditions. If Weymouth conditions turn “interesting” for a couple of races, look for these guys to show up at or very near the top of the scoreboard, and to be placing well even in more consistent conditions. They just finished 4th at Kieler Woche.
Stefan Bohm/Gerald Roos GER – que the Wagner music … another strong German team that has lots of training time and a number of very solid finishes in recent World Championships, though perhaps over shadowed by Hunger’s dominance until 2014. Bohm/Roos are particularly strong in breeze, so look for them to be fighting it out with Martin/Lowry at the front of the fleet if the breeze stays up and they can take advantage of their speed.
Jens Findel/Johannes Tellen GER – Yet another of the very strong German teams that are quite capable of winning a Championship. With Jens living in Texas they haven’t had much time to train, but they are always strong, particularly in breezier conditions.
Augie Diaz/Jeff Nelson USA – While this team does not have the time in the boat together of other top teams, and Diaz does not have an incredibly strong fleet to train with like Team Tuesday, or some of the German teams, Diaz is a world-class Star and Snipe and other class sailor who has been racing 505s for a while, while Nelson is a World Champion crew. When you look for sailors who can win World Championships in multiple International classes, like Diaz, you come up with a short list and it includes sailors like Poul Elvstrom. Diaz has sailed major 505 events with several of the top US crews. If you round the last leeward mark with these guys and they go the other way, do not ignore them!
Tyler Moore/Drew Buttner USA – Moore has been gearing up for the Championship racing several big events. Moore/Woelfel raced an excellent NAs, finishing 3rd despite challenges with a chartered boat. Both Moore and Buttner have years of experience at the front of the US 505 fleet with multiple World Championships experience as well. Moore/Buttner had a solid Kieler Woche. These guys don’t have a lot of time in the boat together, which may explain their two deeper race finishes, which took them just out of the top five. The rest of their finishes were very solid top placings that look like scores that could win them a World Championship, albeit Kieler Woche is a smaller fleet with less depth than a World Championship.
Jan Saugman/Jakob Karbo DEN – A two time world champion Saugman is either a very solid top ten or a World Championship winner. We’ll see how he is going this year, after a couple of races.
Christian Kellner/Martin Schohoeler GER – Yet another strong German team. They were winning the 2012 worlds until the last race, consistently at the top.
Michael Quirk/Rob Woelfel AUS – Quirkie has as much 505 Championship experience as anyone, with some very solid results over the years. This year he is teamed up with World Champion crew Woelfel. If Quirkie has the consistent speed and tactics of past years and Woelfel puts them where they need to be in the gate and first beat, these guys are going to be up there. Quirkie has spent a month away from home doing Europa Cup events and training; perhaps this is the year he finally does it.
Ebbe Rosen/Olle Wenrup SWE –Multi-time top three finishers (and Olle is a past World Champion) and two more ageless competitors who knows how to race a 505 very well at the front of a Championship fleet.
Philippe Boite/Florian Corbel FRA – A perennial strong finisher for France, Boite is never slow and rarely makes big mistakes. Particularly strong in mixed conditions, but looking a little off the pace of the top teams at Kieler Woche.
Terry Scutcher/Christian Diebitsch GBR – another multi-class racer – Terry is also a top Laser masters Worlds racer – who can put together a very solid series for a 505 Worlds.
Apart from seeing who is left at the top after the last race, we may have more useful data to compare the Superspars M2 and the Selden Cumulus and Alto? Are Bojsen-Møller sails on the M2 faster all round than Pinnell & Bax on a Cumulus? Are the Segelsport Jess moulded centerboards quicker than the Waterat HA480s? Are the Ovington/Selgelsport Jess 505s faster than the Rondars? Perhaps we’ll see.