Thompson and Curtin win 5O5 East Coast Champs

Published on August 23rd, 2015

Craig Thompson (Rye, NH) and Mike Curtin (Fairfield, CT) captured their first 505 class “Major” this weekend, the 5O5 East Coast Championship at Wianno Yacht Club in Osterville, MA. The three-day regatta (Aug. 21-23) attracted 19 boats for eight races in a variety of challenging sailing conditions. This event is the third of the class’ annual grand-slam of major events which include the Midwinters and Pacific Coast Championships and the upcoming North American Championship in September.

“This season we did a lot of things well but were never able to put it all together,” said Thompson, “but at this event we were finally able to avoid mistakes that would put us in the back. We finally put the whole package together.” Thompson has been a fixture in the class since 2004 and this is his third season with Curtin, with his wife’s eldest brother. They sailed well enough in the first seven races to clinch the event before the final race on Sunday.

The closest competition for the newly crowned champions came from Augie Diaz and Drew Buttner, both established threats in their own right, but sailing together for the first time. “The 505 is largely driven by the crew, and I‘ve been very fortunate that I get to sail with superstars like Drew Buttner, Rob Woelfel, Fritz Lanzinger,” said Diaz (Miami, FL). The pair put together a string of top-three finishes, dropped a six, and won the final race on Sunday to tie the leaders on points and grab the silver podium position.

Class veterans Tyler Moore and Rob Woelfel took third, and Ethan Bixby / Erik Boothe managed a fourth place finish in a 505 borrowed from Macy Nelson, beating the provider of their charter boat by one place in the overall standings.

Weeks of perfect August weather on Cape Cod gave way to low pressure that covered much of the eastern seaboard this past weekend, leading to unpredictable sailing conditions throughout. Friday far surpassed forecasted expectations with a sunny day, big swell, and wind at 10-15 knots with gusts even higher at times. This gave the ultimate winners an early lead with four points after three races. On Saturday, the Nantucket Sound had an even worse forecast than Friday, but again surprised the fleet with a solid northerly at 10-15 knots on flat water. The three races on this day turned out to deliver the least consistent score lines across the fleet, with all boats recording at least one finish outside the top five. Sunday was the lightest of the three, beginning the day with marginal breeze, but eventually filling in to 5-10 knots for the final two races.

With warm Atlantic water from the gulf, a variety of Cape Cod sailing conditions, daily debriefs under the WYC tent, and 38 close friends gathered together, this year’s East Coast Champs had something for everyone. Several of these competitors will be back on the East Coast in a month for the 2015 505 North American Championship, September 16-20. The event is co-hosted by Eastport Yacht Club and Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis, MD where the clubs will also host the 2016 East Coast Champs, and the 2017 World Championship.

Report by Chris Love.

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