In what ended up being a game of two halves the Barcelona Exhibition Regatta was won convincingly by newcomers Penny & Russ Clark (GBR). Second was ever present American Howie Hamlin sailing with Ian Mitchell (GBR) & third went to Malcom Higgins and Nick (Camel) Johnson from Australia.
On Day 1, in 15 -20 knots and choppy seas Higgins and Johnson (AUS) gave everyone a lesson in how to sail a 505 in windy conditions with 4 firsts and 1 second place.
Day 2 was somewhat lighter with 7-12 knots but the chop had, if anything, increased on top of a rolling swell which bounced back off the seawall of the Barcelona International Sailing Centre. In what can only be described as a clinical demolition, Penny and Russ Clark (GBR) dominated day two in conditions described by the highly experienced & successful multi class Australian Mal Higgins (AUS) as “the most difficult sailing conditions I have ever had to race in”.
In the end Penny & Russ won the event in convincing fashion with an impressive display of consistent boat speed and intelligent racing against some of the best dinghy & skiff sailors around. Penny, an Olympic medallist said ” Russ and I have raced 470s, fireballs, and many other dinghies and skiffs together but the 5o5 is the only one that really suits our weight. It’s also an awesome boat and great people to sail with. We were able to borrow the UK association boat to go to the Worlds in Fremantle which was an eaasy way to experience the class before we bought our own boat. Everyone has been so helpful with tips, logistics and resources we have been able to got to some great regattas and get up to speed quickly.
1st Penny Clark (GB) & Russ Clark (GB)
2nd Howie Hamlin (USA) & Ian Mitchell (GB)
3rd Mal Higgins (AUS) & Nick Johnson (AUS)
4th Ian Pinnell (GB) & Norman Byrd (GB)
5th Michael Quirk (AUS) & Reeve Dunn (USA)
The Barcelona International Sailing Centre was the perfect host for the event which, for the international teams, was the perfect end to a family holiday combined with great racing which started the week before with the Euro Cup event in Riva del Garda.
“An international event in Northern Spain will become an annual event for the 5o5 Class” said International President Michael Quirk. ” We are also looking for a suitable venue in Spain for our European Championship in 2021 & World Championship in 2022. There will be some great opportunities for racing in Spain and for Spanish sailors to try out what is generally considered as the best two person sailing boat on the planet.”