Embracing the Boat and the Benefits
Published on April 30th, 2017
One design class championships are as much competition as they are a convention to exchange ideas and reignite friendships. This will be on display when the 2017 SAP 5O5 World Championship come to the USA on September 20-29 in Annapolis, Maryland.
More than 100 boats representing a dozen nations are expected to compete in the 62nd edition, with Angela Stenger from Germany to be among the fleet with her teammate Nicola Birkner.
“My first time participating was the Pre-Worlds in 1997 in Gilleleje, Denmark,” said Stenger. “I guess that was the event where I got kind of addicted to 505 World Championships and since then I have competed in all of them besides San Francisco. In 2000, I helped with the race management and in 2012 I served on the International Jury.”
As Stenger is the only female team in the fleet that travels to Worlds in a regular manner, the attraction isn’t so much about final results as much as fighting the elements and every once in a while scare the rest of the fleet with top five placements. “We do like heavy conditions. It’s an honor when World Champion crews come to us after racing saying, ‘Girls, I don’t know how you managed this; I’m really tired and worn out!’”
Stenger sees the benefits of one design class racing extends beyond the race course. “The best moments come when you arrive at Worlds and you have a chance to meet all your friends from all over the world. I´m blessed to have so many friends in many countries such as South Africa, United States, United Kingdom, Finland, Australia and so many other countries. It is wonderful to have the chance not only to meet while racing, but also for skiing and hanging out together at other times during the year.”
How did you get into 505 sailing and how many years have you been involved now?
My parents got me on a sailboat for the first time when I was six weeks old, so I guess there was no other chance than to go sailing. I did Optimist and keelboats to learn racing. After I was sailing 470s for a while, my good friend got me into the class in the late 1980s. I have not stopped sailing the 505 since.
What do you love about the 505 as a racing dinghy and the class as a whole?
It’s challenging in many ways. There is always a good development of new features, we can go around the world to great places to sail, and it’s quite competitive. Just a great boat to sail.
What are your thoughts about women racing with and against men?
I can say nothing but the best about our male competitors. Usually they are very helpful and supportive, only sometimes a bit angry when we beat them. We would wish we had a bit more female competition!
Source: Bill Wagner, 5O5 class