Olympic medalist (1976) and Head Sailing Coach 2000 Olympics

I had the opportunity to race a 5O5 in Europe last year (2019) after 43 years since I managed a 5th in the 1977 World 5O5 Championship in La Rochelle.  Here are a few thoughts from that experience.

  1. Be very, very nice to big talented 505 crews (95 to 110kgs and 6 to 6ft 5”) and if your lucky you might race with one!
  2. Remember, even though there is a high degree of adjustment complexity, in my opinion, a lot can be considered to make racing the 505 more comfortable and “reliable” to race well.
  3. What does reliable to race mean?It means both skipper and crew are fully engrossed maintaining easy speed, fleet and weather tactics and minimising possible distractions from what is optimum effort at any time.

  • I raced 4 regattas before realising the tiller length is unrestricted. My borrowed boat had the stainless steel mainsheet loop and a long tiller causing too small a distance for me to “comfortably” gybe through in heavy air while taking care of skipper gybing protocols. A shorter tiller means in very heavy air the extension angle when back of boat trying to survive is a less awkward angle. The loads on a 505 tiller are so small that tiller length is somewhat irrelevant, particularly if you steer with hand aft of body which gives a more powerful action for moderate to fresh conditions.
  • There are so many lines to adjust. I found a few of them that lead to the side decks were not used regularly on the windward legs, or even mark rounding, but got in the way of those that were regularly used in amongst the often log jams of rounding marks. I suggest some majors should not come outboard and left in top of the centre case with swivel pulley one hand width aft of the cleat, to be pulled through the cleat, or eased on the occasion used. (shock cord tail still so doesn’t disappear through the venturi)
  • There is a lot going on w