Apr 21, 2011, 4:00 PM
Post #1 of 2
The International 505 fleet held its Annual General Meeting during the SAP 505 Worlds 2011 last month on Hamilton Island in Australia. Mike Martin, 2009 World Champion and recently appointed Chief Umpire of the Americaís Cup 34, made some comments prior to the regatta on the possibility of the fleet converting to a sprit as reported here: (http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/11/0316/). Following the AGM, Martin provided some feedback on what went down at the meeting:
REVISITING A SPRIT FOR THE 505
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ďJust to get a feeling of the classís interests we took a show of hands to see who was in favor of going to a sprit - it wasnít an official vote - just a show of hands to see who was generally in support of it and who generally wasnít. Iíd say it was 60% in favor and 40% were against but then again, that was people at the Worlds who are generally more progressive than the people who donít go to the Worlds. In order for it to pass itís a vote by the majority of the entire membership so itís still pretty on the fence.
My general pitch is that itís going to make the boat easier to sail - the hardest part about sailing 505s is that itís really hard to find a crew. Itís a very difficult job up front and itís very busy so itíll make finding crew easier, itís probably going to make the boat more tactical because its easier to jibe and itís going to make the boat cheaper because right now we have this twin spinnaker pole system with two topping lifts and two guys, two sheets, pole back systems and retractors - itís going to take about 40 fittings off the boat to go to a asymmetric kite so thatís my pitch.
What we determined at the meeting was if there was consensus on whether thatís something worth experimenting with or are we wasting our time if the class isnít behind it. I think itís 50-50 - weíll probably play around with it and come back with more information next year with some pictures and some dimensions and some costs and see what they have to say.Ē
Martin said the AGM covered future venues, such as 2013 when the Worlds will be in Barbados. ďThereíd been some issues in the past with that site but I think we have them all hammered out,Ē Martin said. People are excited about Barbados.Ē
The 505 Worlds 2012 will be held in La Rochelle, France.
This yearís Worlds at Hamilton Island was noted for its unusually difficult conditions which saw racing canceled on several days of the event. While Martin did take to the water on one of the super windy days, he agreed that at times conditions would have only been raceable for the top of the fleet. However, he said there were also times when racing was canceled when he thought it would have been workable for 60-70% of the fleet.
ďIt was the PROís decision based on safety issues and thatís another thing that was discussed at the AGM - how to provide an incentive for people NOT to go out like the guy in the back of the fleet who is not comfortable in those conditions. Thereís so much pressure on PROs now - we need to do something to take some of that pressure off them.Ē
Martin, racing with Geoff Ewenson finished 10th overall. -- Report by Michelle Slade, SailBlast