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Trouble in Paradise: Sailors and Spelunking

Published on April 23rd, 2013

By Kimball Livingston
Psst, if you stumble across a wayward container full of boats, marked 505 Worlds, please, please send it fastest way to Bridgetown, Barbados.

The, uh, California container is awol.

It could arrive on the 25th . . .
It could arrive on the 26th . . .

Let’s go ask that guy over there, the one with the fishing pole. His guess is as good as any.

As the hours ran down to the opening ceremonies of the 2013 SAP 505 World Championship, Northern California 505 stalwart Jeff Miller strolled into the Barbados Yacht Club after a day of prepping for the races the best way he could – by touring Harrison’s Cave, the massive, crystalized limestone innards of the Caribbean’s windward-most island. Others, people like past world champions Mike Martin and Howie Hamlin, have had their boats here since a practice session months ago, and it’s “only” their sails that are awol with the container.

No pressure.

Still other folks, like past world champion Ethan Bixby, with Mike Coe on the wire, were sailing in anticipation of Pre-Worlds race one on Wednesday. And if it’s any reassurance to you veterans, “It’s never like this.” The breeze is turned on, no worries, but there have been episodes of grayness aloft, rather than a blue sky dotted with puffy cumulus. But no complaints. The sunny episodes broke out soon after I arrived. The fleet of 76 (if that container comes in) kicks off the real thing on Saturday. 2012 champions Jan Saugman and Martin Gorge are on the scene along with the usual suspects of the extended, too-special-to-ever-be-reinvented 505 family, going strong since 1954, when Cadillacs were still growing tailfins.- Read on

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