1994 505 European Championships Medemblik, Holland 8/13-21

by Howard Hamlin
reprinted from Fall 1994 Tank Talk
Mike Martin and I were leading overall after three races, but suffered a setback when we had to retire at the start of the 5th race after fouling the gate vessel in heavy starting traffic. In a gate start, standard for the 505 class, any contact with gate boat results in a DSQ. Sitting out this medium air race, we had to watch all the top boats have a good race and improve their scores. Laying 5th overall going into the last race, we finished 3rd in the race, good enough to give us 3rd in the regatta.

The 1990 World Champions Jorgen Schonherr and Anders Kaempe of Denmark came on strong in the last few races to win the 1994 European Championships. Paul Towers and Dan Johnson of Great Britain finished second by consistent sailing in the widely varying conditions in spite of having to drop a DNF when they broke their centerboard in the heavy air fourth race.

1993 World Champions Ian Barker and Ian Mitchell of the U.K. were one of 3 boats that could win going into the last race, but a 10th in that race dropped them to 4th overall.

Four time World Champion Krister Bergstrom of Sweden, sailing with Thomas Moss, also had a chance at winning going into the last day, but they sailed their drop (16th) in the last race giving them 5th overall.

It is interesting how the popularity and competitiveness of the 505 class increases each year. It is not uncommon in Great Britain, Germany or France to have 100 boat regattas. With this popularity comes greater depth in the fleet. As Jorgen Schonherr said "each " year I learn more and get faster and yet, it does not get any easier to win". an example of " increased competitiveness is in high wind sailing. In what might be termed survival conditions for most classes, the 505's are having serious tactical racing. For example, in race 4 after two hours of high speed racing in 25 to 30 knots, the first 4 boats were overlapped at the finish.

Sailing in the Europeans, which are sailed only during the years when the World's are out of Europe, is just like a world championship except it takes only 1 week and there were no Australians or other American.

Holland is a beautiful, flat country of lush green farmland, dikes, windmills, tulips, dairy cows and pastures. One third of the country has been "reclaimed from the " sea" over the " last 400 years and is typically 3 to 5 meters below sea level.

Medemblik is a wonderful place to sail with the small harbor immediately adjacent to the boat course. The shallow water, 3 to 4 meters, makes for some short steep shop, and an easy place to break your mast I you put the tip in the mud. The village is a classic 400 plus year old sea port with leaning buildings, dikes, canals, locks, narrow streets, restaurants, cages, and with everything in walking distance. In short, it's a great place to sail.

Open European Championship, 8/13-21

          Helm        Crew     R1   R2   R3   R4   R5   R6  Pts.   Pos.
DEN 8433 Schonherr   Kaempe    6   (9)   2    3    1    1   20.4   1
GBR 8521 Towers      Johnson   8    4    4    DNF  3    2   38.7   2
USA 8266 Hamlin      Martin    2    2    13   6    RET  3   42.4   3
GBR 8510 Barker      Mitchell  4    12   1    DNF  2    10  45.0   4
SWE 8475 Bergstrom   Moss      3    13   6    1    5   (16) 46.4   5
SUI 8459 Betschen    Jacot     9   (23)  5    7    7    13  70.0   6
SWE 8232 Rosen       Wenrup    11   1    8   (22)  13   15  71.0   7
GBR 8242 Upton-Brown Vooght    1   (25)  17   8    8    17  74     8
GBR 8431 Pinnel      Butcher   10  (18)  3    18   17   7   81.7   9
GER 8550 Boeger      Jess      27  (34)  7    11   4    8   85.0   10