2020 505 Not North Americans
Published on September 27th, 2020
The 2020 505 North American Championship, to be held September 24-27 before COVID-19 restrictions cancelled the event, was reborn as the Not North Americans for ten teams on September 25-27 in Long Beach, CA.
With the wind never exceeding 8 knots, past World Champion Howie Hamlin and Andy Zinn dominated the three days of racing with ten first places in 13 races, choosing to use their discard and not to sail the last race.
In the small but high-quality fleet, Kevin Taugher and Garrett Brown finished second with nine finishes in the top three while four-time and current World Champion Mike Martin and Adam Lowry were third and three-time World Champion Mike Holt and Don Smith in fourth.
Helping to limit race committee personnel, it is customary for the 505 class to use a rabbit start. A pathfinder is selected, usually the fourth-place boat from the previous race and at the start signal, they round the port end start mark and sail a port close-hauled course. The rest of the fleet starts on starboard tack by ducking the pathfinder’s transom, and after 20 seconds the pathfinder is released with a sound signal and can tack to starboard or continue on port.
Each day after racing, the 505 sailors all sat on the patio (appropriately distanced) and discussed the days racing, providing tips to each other as to how they could improve. Multi-time World Champion Pete Melvin was out watching and shared his observations on what the leaders were doing that the other boats should try.
The 505 sailors are all willing to share their go-fast secrets to improve the performance of others. The philosophy is that everyone improves when the fleet is more competitive, which helps to explain the number of World Champions competing… a lesson from which other fleets could learn.
Source: PRO Mark Townsend