505 East Coast Championship

A fleet of twenty-six 505s convened in the picturesque coastal town of Little Compton, Rhode Island for the highly anticipated 2023 East Coast Championship, spanning from August 25th to the 27th. Set against the stunning backdrop of Sakonnet Point, this venue provided direct access to the ocean, offering participants breathtaking vistas and thrilling ocean rollers.

Competitors journeyed from far and wide to partake in this exciting event, with sailors arriving from as far away as Toronto, North Carolina, and even sunny California. Notably, a robust contingent of 11 teams made the journey from Canada.

Here’s a list of the participating Canadians, representing three fleets:

Toronto Fleet:

  • Robert Bartlewski and Andrew Gesing (Andrew hails from Ottawa)
  • Douglas Watson and Yunus Akcor
  • Bruce Clifford and Simon Van Wonderen
  • Marek Balinski, who teamed up with a young American sailor

Kingston Fleet:

  • Jeff Boyd and Martin ten Hove
  • Ali Meller and Russell Miller (Russell represents the US)

Ottawa Fleet:

  • Shona Moss and Steve Lovshin
  • Christian Voyer and Luke Stirckland
  • Paul Place and Alex Tong (Alex hails from the US)
  • David Mincoff and Phil Doucet, who sailed a Fleet 4 boat
  • Marie Gendron and David Browne

The regatta spanned three days, but the first day proved challenging due to strong winds ranging from 25 to 30 knots and sizable waves. While some teams ventured out, it was collectively decided that the conditions were too extreme for racing.

The second day brought a shift in the weather, with light southeast winds and lingering rolling waves and chop. Ted Heubner and Aiden Naughten from the USA got off to a strong start, securing two first-place finishes. Remarkably, this was Aiden’s first 505 racing experience. The Toronto/Ottawa duo of Robert Bartlewski and Adam Gesing were solidly in second with two third-place finishes. Craig Thompson and Adam Wolnikowski from the USA rounded out the top three with scores of 2 and 5, demonstrating excellent speed on the water. Jeff Boyd and Martin Ten Hove from Kingston were in fourth with a 7th and a second place, despite the difficult sailing conditions.

Consistency became paramount, a challenging feat given the shifting winds and pressure variations. Sunday ushered in a refreshing northeast breeze, characterized by shifts but initially full trapezing. Four races were completed, with the first three conducted under wire-run conditions and the last featuring slightly less wind. Thompson and Wolnikowski found their rhythm on Sunday, tallying scores of (18), 1, 4, 3, which, when added to their 2nd and 5th from Saturday, led to a net score of 15, catapulting them into the lead (with a throw-out provision).

Duane Delfosse and Mike Hull from the USA scored (14), 5, 6, 2 on Sunday, which, combined with their 5th and 6th-place finishes from Saturday, resulted in a score of 24, gaining them second place. Henry Amthor and Chris Pfrang, also from the USA, showcased consistent improvement over the two days, earning (14), 9, 12, 4, 2, 4, and ultimately claiming third place with 31 points. Impressively, five different teams notched victories in individual races.

Among the Canadian teams, Robert Bartlewski and Andrew Gesing placed highest, finishing in 7th place, followed by Jeff Boyd and Martin ten Hove in 8th. A special mention goes to Ali Meller and Russell Miller, who mounted a strong comeback on Sunday with 3rd and 1st-place finishes in races 4 and 5 but regrettably had to return to shore before the last race of the day following a collision with another boat (for which they were not at fault).

Kudos to Craig Thompson and Adam Wolnikowski from the USA for their outstanding performance in this championship, which served as an excellent warm-up for the upcoming Worlds. We extend our immense gratitude to John Ingalls for his meticulous organization of the regatta, PRO Cushing Anderson, and the numerous volunteers, especially the generous housing hosts. John’s efforts were instrumental in accommodating over 20 people, including most of the Canadian sailors, in homes in Little Compton, a remarkable achievement.

For detailed results, please visit this link.

Marie Gendron with a report from Duane Delfosse

About Marie Gendron

Marie is a past president of the Canadian 5O5 Class Association and works tirelessly to support the development of the fleet, particularly among young athletes.
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