Friday, December 14, 2018
Text Size

Latest News

The annual Pip Pearson guide to the Worlds form

2018 SAP 5O5 Worlds – Gdynia

“Runners & Riders”   :   “Horses for Courses”   :    “Could Be’s & Wanna Be’s”

Pip’s “Crystal Ball” predictions for the 2018 Worlds Results. 

It’s time to place your bets !

Having picked 7 of the top 9 boats last year at Annapolis, I guess that makes me qualified to again make an “Educated Guess” as to possible results for this year!

( It was only my two “Aussie” selections that fell outside my top 9.picks last year.  

Rule number 1 – never favour your Mates ! )

As at time of writing, the Entry List is at 128 boats. 

I note that “Entry Number 80” is duplicated, so a quick calculation reduces the total to 127. A great fleet – again ! 

This is a significant increase on last year’s total of 87 actual starters.. 

A larger fleet will lean in favour of the more experienced “Big Fleet” competitors, but it also opens the door for bigger gains and losses in the daily results and more opportunity for “Surprise Results”. 

Gdynia is an unknown quantity as far a 5O5Worlds venue in concerned and none of the “favourites” will have previous local knowledge.

Scan through the list of entries and it’s quite easy to select 20 boats capable of winning at least 1 race, 

But winning a series requires a far greater talent - and focus - than just winning a heat and my “brief” is to select a “Top Ten”. 

Before commencing, I’ll insert a “disclaimer” here. 

There are at least 3 or 4 names who I deem to be potential World Champions, whose names do not appear on the Entry List.    

Well…as they say in the classics:-  “If you’re not in it, you can’t win it” !

This list is taken in order as they appear on the Entry List.

My 10 “potentials” are:-               ( N.B. - no liability accepted for any betting losses )

                     1. Nathan Batchelor  /  Sam Pascoe

These two are a formidable and very skilled team with heaps of High Performance dinghy racing experience and it’s time for them to carve their names into 5O5 records. 

Nathan was 9thin Annapolis last year and is back with his regular crew, Sam, this year. They’ve been waiting for a venue like this to demonstrate their real potential.

                       2. Stefan Bohm / Gerald Roos

A Champion Team in the waiting. They could of should of won the 2013 Worlds - but for a bad start in the final race. 7that Kiel Week this year and 2ndat the Euro Cup event in Riva. These two have now demonstrated their consistency in all conditions. Gdynia will suit them very well. It’s about time for them, watch out !  

                      3. Philippe Boite  / Mathieu Fountaine

Beware ! Philippe is back. After a lull in recent years Philippe is back on his game at the top of the fleet. 2nd in Kiel Week, 2ndat the British Nationals and 7that Riva in very tricky conditions, is a “Public Notice” the Champion Frenchman is in “Racing Mood”. 

A talent and experience not to be underestimated. The Gdynia venue will suit his skill level.

4          Howie Hamlin / Andy Zinn.

Arguably the most recognised name in 5O5 circles. Howie & Andy literally personify ‘Team America”. Howie’s 9 N.A’s to his name spanning 28 years from 1990 to 2017 includes a World Title in 1999. Always at the very top of competition in any Fleet in any conditions. Recently 3rdat the P.C.C’s at Bellingham in Gdynia like conditions. If you’re a betting person – your money is pretty safe on “Team Howie & Andy” for an each way bet or the “Trifecta”. 


                      5       “Sandy” Higgins  / Paul Marsh

Somewhere… someday there’s a major result emerging here with “Team Aussie”. 

With 6 Australian Titles, 3 x 1st’s in heats in the Worlds in ’07 & ’11 and 3 x 2nd’s at the Worlds in 2015, “Sandy & “Marshy” have clearly demonstrated they’re a force to be considered on the International race track. Australia is long overdue for a W.C. and “Sandy & Marshy’ might just be the team to break the long drought.   

     6.   Jan-Phillip Hoffman /  Felix Brockerhoff  

With the recent results of 5hin Kiel Week and 3rdat the Riva Euro Cup event and 2ndat the Cannes Euro Cup, these two have drawn the eyes of attention to their talent. Every year there’s a new star rising above the horizon and 2018 could see rising star reach unexpected heights. (I told you so ! ) 

                       7. Mike Holt / Rob Woelfel

Hmm…Hmm…This Team makes it difficult to write about without appearing to have a bias. 

3 times a World Champion & 3 times in 2ndplace tells a story. It gives a strong impression  that these guys know what it’s all about 

Mostly recognised as a heavy weather specialist, the 2017 win in Annapolis - with a day to spare in varying  Annapolis conditions with Carl Smit - cemented “Holtie’s” reputation for being able to master any & all conditions. Started 2018 with a win at the Aussie Nationals, then a win in France at the Cannes Euro Cup another win at the British Nationals and a 2ndat the recent P,C.C’s at Bellingham. 

Team “Mike & Rob” appear to be like a Steamroller running downhill. 

Difficult to stop and probably best just to stay out of the way !  

                       8.  Tyler Moore / Drew Buttner

Tyler is one of the USA’s most successful dinghy sailors. His impressive record includes 4 x North American 5O5 titles. His “Bio” is too extensive for this article, but his career has demonstrated he’s a complete champion on and off the water. Tyler & Drew have now teamed up for several events and a 4that Riva this year demonstrates their ability and tenacity to handle Gdynia type conditions. As boat speed & tactical specialists, this team will most likely be on the podium at the end of July.

                       9. Ian  Pinnell / Alex Davies

Ian Pinnell is the most successful dinghy sailor in Europe. Don’t argue! Just look at his total number of World, European & National Championship wins in various classes. 

It’s been 10 years since “Nelly” won the 2008 Worlds in Palermo. 

10 years is a long time between drinks, and he’s very thirsty !  

A 5thin the British Nationals at Whitstable is a strong indication he’s still “on the pace”.   .    

                     10. Mike Quirk / Reeve Dunn

“Quirky” is the recent winner of Kiel Week 2018 and has been on the Euro circuit all season. He got a 4thin the British nationals with “Big Tim” and he’s done more European 5O5 events than most Europeans. Also a 6 times Australian Champion. With a new boat Quirky is determined to make amends for last year’s Worlds result. Reeve brings skill, experience and youth to the boat and his previous events with Quirky builds on their already established teamwork. 

With his spirits high after Kiel and with Reeve back on the wire to keep the boat stable, this could be the year of a “Presidential” Championship win. 

                       11. Jan Saugmann /  Jacob Ernst    

With 2 World Titles to his name, Jan was World Champion in 2007 in Adelaide and 2012 in La Rochelle. He’s a  and a multiple Danish Champion in the 5O5. 

Started 2018 with a 2ndin the Aussie Championships ( behind Holtie & Rob) in a borrowed boat. Is very familiar with the waters of the Baltic and Gdynia could well see him holding up the trophy at the end of the event for the third time. 

12   Andy Smith  /  Tim Needham

Andy’s 3rdat Annapolis last year showed us all he is also a specialist in variable conditions. Teaming up again with Tim will renew the teamwork established prior to the Weymouth Worlds. (which we all thought he would win in 2016.) There’s no substitute for “desire & enthusiasm” and this could be the difference between team Andy & Tim and the rest of the fleet in 2018.


My brief for this article was to select my “Top Ten”. 

But I couldn’t exclude any of the above - hence the “Top Dozen”. 

So…Who’s my pick? 

No excuses for 1stchoice or explanation needed – recent results speak for themselves:-

1stChoice  –   Mike Holt & Rob Woelfel

2nd Place. Choose between:-, 

Jan & Jacob, Howie & Andy. Philippe & Mathieu, Stefan & Gerald

6thto 9th   Choose between:- 

  Nathan & Sam, Andy & Tim, Quirky & Reeve

10thto 12thChoose between:-

Tyler & Drew, Ian & Alex, “Sandy” & “Marshy”. 


Wow… that’s a difficult selection to have made and I’ll bet I’m not as accurate as last year!. 

What a lineup.

Can’t wait for July 29thto see how right (or wrong) I was.

See you in Gdynia, 

“Pip” Pearson

Member Login