|SAP 2012 Worlds... Getting Close ! !||| Print ||
|Written by Malcolm "Pip" Pearson|
|Monday, 02 July 2012 22:47|
The SAP 5O5 World Championships commence in two weeks.
Hosted by Societe des Regates Rochelaises (La Rochelle Yacht Club) what an event it promises to be !
Who will be the 57th 5O5 World Champion in 2012 ?
Firstly a few historical statistics:-
This will be the biggest regatta in the history of the Class.
The entry list is now up to 190 !! Wow,,,.
The previous biggest was 170 entries celebrating our 50th Year in 2005 at Warnemunde, Germany.
The La Rochelle Yacht Club and the Organising Committee are doing a fantastic job in promoting the event. The Club in one of the biggest and best Yacht clubs in Europe and has tremendous experience in conducting major, high quality events. This will be no exception.
This is the 11th time France has been host to the 5O5 Worlds.
The last being 13 years ago in 1999 at Quiberon, when Howie Hamlin won his 1st Worlds with Mike Martin as crew.
The last French team to win a 5O5 Worlds was back in 1974 when the famous Pajot Brothers - Yves & Marc were the victors at Marstrand in Sweden.
The last French team to win a Worlds in French waters was B. Moret & R. Morch at La Baule in 1967 – 45 years ago ! !
So c’mon you “Froggies”, “Vive La France in 2012” – Which French team can win it for France this year?
Who are the contenders ? - Well… take your pick ! ! !
Wolfgang Hunger & Julien Kleiner would surely have the “shortest odds” if you are making a bet. Wolfgang will be chasing his 6th World title to make him the greatest ever.
At the moment he equals Krister (”God”) Bergstrom with 5 Worlds victories.
But the competition will be enormous.
Look at the list of past World Champions, all who have an equal chance to win in such a big fleet.
Wolfgang won last year & in 2010, Mike Martin in 2009, Ian Pinnell in 2008, Jan Saugmann in 2007.
Mike Holt who has developed the reputation of being the “second best 5O5 sailor in the world” - after being 2nd two years out of the last three Worlds - is just itching to get his hands on the main trophy. Of course with Howie Hamlin on the race course and having more experience than half the fleet put together, he will always be a threat in any fleet of 5O5 racing. Howie has 1 Worlds victory and an incredible 7 times 2nd place.
Local Knowledge can often play a major part in a venue and for that reason don’t overlook Phillipe Boite. This could be Phillipe’s year to fly the French Flag on top of the mast.
The extraordinary talent of Meike Schomaeker could well see her as the first female to win a Worlds. Having Holger Jess as crew with his amazing record and experience, this team is a real threat in any of the fleet of the world’s best sailors.
In addition to these better known names, there is also some emerging younger talent coming on the scene.
Who is my tip for the winners crown ?
I’ve given this a lot have thought and will announce my choice at 5:00pm on Friday 27th July.
What a great success for the Class to have such a huge entry.
Surely the Olympic sailing at Weymouth will be an anticlimax after the 57th 5O5 Worlds at La Rochelle.