SAP 505 World Championship, Annapolis, USA

Written by: Thomas
Category: Blog
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SAP and the International 5O5 Class are proud to announce their partnership for the 2017 SAP 5O5 World Championship


Severn Sailing Association (SSA) and Eastport Yacht Club (EYC) will jointly host the 2017 SAP 5O5 World Championship from September 20-29 in Annapolis, Maryland USA. More than 100 boats representing a dozen nations are expected to compete in the 62nd running of one of sailing’s premier events. SSA and EYC have partnered for the previous two seasons, running major 5O5 events in preparation for 2017.

In a joint statement, Commodore Kim Couranz (SSA) and Commodore Heather Ersts (EYC) said “As with our past partnerships hosting Volvo Ocean Race stopover events, EYC and SSA are excited to team again for SAP 5O5 Worlds in Annapolis. Club members have dedicated significant time and expertise to ensuring that the 2017 SAP 5O5 World Championship will be an outstanding event. We look forward to welcoming all sailors, guests, and our SAP partners to Annapolis this fall.”

The SAP 5O5 World Championships enter its ninth year with a continued commitment to providing the highest level of innovative sailing solutions that enhance the regatta experience for sailors, fans, organizers, and media.

“SAP is delighted to continue our long-standing partnership with the 5O5 class and we are excited to assist the organizers in Annapolis in hosting this prestigious sailing championship. Like the surrounding cities of Baltimore and Washington DC, Annapolis is a town that embraces technologies that make things run better and enhance life experiences. SAP technology will help sailors improve their performance, make it easier for fans to track and understand the race, streamline operations for regatta organizers and deliver real-time insights to broadcasters,” says Dr. Stefan Lacher, Head of Sponsorship Innovations at SAP.

“The 5O5 Class and SAP are a natural fit” says Regatta Chairman Jesse Falsone. “We share a common culture of collaboration and enthusiasm, and like SAP, 5O5 sailors are performance-minded and innovative. We are always looking for ways to make our boats run better. Without question, SAP has elevated our game by providing new insights into sailing strategy through their groundbreaking SAP Sailing Analytics.”

American teams have won the last three consecutive world titles, owing some of this success to the heavy air prowess developed by teams on the West Coast. While the early fall season in Annapolis can provide strong cold fronts that bring high winds, this championship is expected to see a range of conditions that reward versatility and careful risk management. “You cannot be a one trick pony and expect to win in Annapolis”, Falsone comments. “The series will be won by the team that can change gears quickly and adapt to a dynamic environment.”

Off the water, sailors and guests can expect outstanding social events in the best traditions of the 5O5 Class and the SAP World Championships. Additionally, Annapolis is a town steeped in a rich sailing heritage that provides the perfect backdrop to events of this magnitude. From bars, restaurants and museums to chandleries, riggers, and sail lofts, Annapolis has it all within walking distance from the venue. Further entertainment is available through an abundance of local parks, recreational services, and tours. Site seeing day trips to Washington DC and Baltimore, MD are also available.

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505 Nationals 2017 - Race Report

Written by: Thomas
Category: Blog
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Pic courtesy of Sophie Thompson

 Text by Myles White

Friday was day 1 of the regatta – the support fleet put to sea with the 2 Flying Fifteens. The heavy chop in the harbour was evidence of the rather fresh wind, but as always when the wind comes to us from the South Coast, Vetch’s is deceivingly sheltered. The beach was full of rigged boats eager to hit the water, but Jimmy kept them on shore as the wind direction shifted continuously, and the velocity hovered near the top end of the acceptable range. Refeloa “Waterboy” Zelilo made an early call on prudency and returned home on the Classic FF, while we encountered a visiting Dart fending his bows off North Pier, unable to tack. After some time the wind eased enough and a course was laid, and the boats were given authority to launch. The first casualty was Wayne Smith – his stay wire parted just as he reached the race course, and he was towed back to the beach, where he was later to play an important role in co-ordinating the safe return of boats and competitors.
All safety boats were then called to “sweep” behind the start line – and a busy time was had -Cartwheeling Hobies became the order of the day as the wind started freshening again once the start sequence got under way. The 505s set off first, followed by the Darts, Hobies, and then the Open class.  Jean-Marc George and I stood by a capsized Hobie whose mast had filled up, making righting and staying upright a very difficult task. During the 40 or so minutes it took to assist, and eventually drop the sail and tow the boat back to the start area, we had drifted probably a mile downstream. It was evident that the wind strength had increased further, with numerous boats heading home without finishing. A Dart that had lost its mast plus a waterlogged 505 were tethered to Husky’s stern, awaiting a tow back to Vetch’s.  All safety boats had had their hands full assisting all over the course, and finally we could co-ordinate the return to shore with the damaged boats.
The waterlogged 505 had in the mean-time decided to sail back to shore under jib alone – an impossible feat. It was clear that the damage was terminal, but the crew were determined to make it home, even alone. While under tow the boat repeatedly capsized uncontrollably, despite the tow speed being only around 1 knot. Darkness fell and we were still over a mile from shore, and when she capsized again when a train squall arrived, we ordered the crew to abandon ship and board Oppie Duck, so we could get them to dry land. We learned that a Hobie 14 had also had to be abandoned, while The King had another wounded Hobie under tow. Not counting the number of dropped masts, 2 boats had to be abandoned, but all sailors were returned to shore safely. Whilst terms such as “mayhem” and “chaos” would be too strong, it was very challenging conditions for competitors and support crew alike, and I believe that the PYC team is to be commended on their performance that day.
The Hobie was recovered at La Lucia on Saturday afternoon, while the 505 made landfall at Umhlanga Rocks, where it unfortunately was rendered a write-off. Racing on Saturday was abandoned as the wind strength was way over the top, but the support fleet went to sea to recover the course marks which had been left in place due to the late return the previous day.
Sunday was the best day of the regatta, with 3 races being completed. The wind strength again increased, but only during the third race, after which everyone was sent home. Monday however, dawned sunny with little wind, but Windguru was suggesting more of what we had been experiencing. The fleet came out and racing got underway as the wind settled in the upper teens – champagne racing! But before the race was over we were back into the mid and upper twenties and yet again all racing was abandoned.  Capsizes were the order of the day and yet again the support boats had their hands full assisting to right the cats, and towing others home.
Even today the South Wester has still been howling – making great passage for the arriving Cape visitors participating in the Vasco race, but these same winds sadly led to the cancellation of the Inhaca race.
But as they say, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and we can congratulate our members Peter Hall for winning the Hobie 14 Regionals, as well as Siya Vato and Lucky Phakathi for winning the Open class on a Flying Fifteen. I mentioned the Funke brothers winning the 505s, and even though the club name Aeolians appeared on the score sheet, we know that Thomas is really a PYC man at heart. Ben Mienie from the Vaal took the honours in the Dart class.

SAS Autum Grand Slam - Pretoria SC

Written by: Thomas
Category: Blog
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5 Five Os competed in the first SAS Autum Grand Slam event at Pretoria SC on the weekend of 30th April. The wind conditions were excellent and racing tight. Exciting racing saw Albrecht Holm and Jean du Preez win the regatta followed by Warwick Ham and Jonothan Viljoen. Jonothan Ham and his variety of crew finished in third place. The Grand Slam series is definitely turning out to be a winner for South African sailors with enthusiasm around these events being at all time highs. A big thank you to Pretoria SC for putting on an excellent event and to all the brave sailors for taking part. The next Northvaal Grand Slam event and 505 Provincials are taking place at Aeolians on the 17th and 18th of September 2016. So don't miss out and keep an eye on the calendar for further race information.