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Thrilla in Cabrilla – Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club (4-29-06, 4-30-06)

Saturday: 12 to 18kts (4 races)

Sunday: 8 to 18kts (3 races) with 1 throw-out

Fixed line starts on Saturday. Gate starts on Sunday.

The Thrilla in Cabrilla lived up to its name as a real battle between the top west coast 505 teams. Finishing in the money were former World Champion, Howard Hamlin with North American Champion crew Geoff Nelson who got on pace after race 1 to score top three finishes in 7 races. Hamlin/Nelson were chased hard by the new team of former Olympians - Nick Adamson and Steve Bourdow, followed by Carrissa Harris-Adamson partnering with local Andy Zinn who had us all baffeled with his mastery of local conditions.

We had near ideal 505 conditions on the open ocean course with solid winds ranging from 12 to 18 knots with gusts to 20 and good surfing waves downwind. The course was a bit one-sided due to geographic conditions favoring the right for stronger wind, which put an emphasis on good starts and upwind speed. Lead changes occurred frequently but typically on the downwind legs through differences in straight-line speed, gybes and calling good laylines. 

The event attracted two teams from San Diego, 3 local teams, 2 mixed local/out of town teams, 3 Nor Cal teams and Hasso Plattner and Peter Alarie.

The event was a lot of fun and Don Zinn from CBYC ran an excellent event and is committed to keeping this as a mainstay on the schedule for future years. 


        Wind    12      14      16      18      8       12      18            
1       Howard Hamlin/ Geoff Nelson     6       1       1       3       2       2       2       11.0  
2       Nick Adamson/Steve Bourdow      3       6       2       1       5       1       1       13.0  
3       Carissa Harris-Adamson/ Andy Zinn       1       2       3       5       3       4       4       17.0  
4       Kevin Taugher/Jon Bell  2       ocs     6       2       4       3       6       23.0  
5       Mike Holt/Carl Smit     7       5       5       4       1       5       5       25    
6       Doug Hagan/ Rob Woelfel 4       3       4       7       6       6       3       26.0  
7       Hasso Plattner/ Peter Alarie    5       4       7       6       7       7       10      36    
8       Pierre Jearingard/ Paul Von Grey        8       7       8       8       10      8       7       46    
9       Hubert Guy/ Fred Courouble      9       8       11      9       8       10      8       52    
10      Gary Lee/Don Downing    10      9       9       10      9       9       9       55    
11      Channing Hamlet/Liebat  11      10      10      dnf     11      11      11      64    


Kevin Taugher, PMP


A Report from Channing

Seemed like every boat there that sails in windy venues (i.e everyone but those of us from San Diego) had a similar setup to adjust the guy and they sail with the pole about 2.5 feet off the headstay and move it back slightly as the breeze comes up. Its tough to adjust underway with out that (especially on our boat as the only way to do it was to move the knots)  Karl and I had a great time at the Thrilla and it was definitely a humbling experience.  It seemed like the San Diego boats were battling for the bottom position in the fleet once the breeze picked up.  We definitely have our work cut out for us to sail well at breezy venues…. but we did confirm that the 505 is an absolute blast planning upwind and wire running downwind.  The sail back after racing on Sunday was amazing.  We had gusts up to or over 20 and were able to crack off on a close reach …. wow.  The boat basically jumped out of the water with each gust.

 In the actual racing, Karl and I were fortunate enough to have a solid lock on last place (second regatta in a row) ...  but in the light breeze (first race on Sat and Sun) the San Diego contingent did very well.  In the first race on Saturday, Gary rounded the top mark in fourth right with the leaders and then Karl and I did the same on Sunday in even lighter breeze (but gave away our position after getting fouled in a close mark rounding).  In the heavier breeze, we watched the fleet sail away from us.  Also noticed that sailing downwind seems to be where the races are won and lost with the bigger kites.  Huge gains can be made with boathandling at the turns and with wire running in general.  We felt fast at times upwind and downwind at times but not consistently.  We did manage to keep the mast facing up both days and only had one boat issue running over the kite at a leeward rounding.

On Sunday we were graced by the presence of “Team Heavy” on Kitty … but they decided to sail with their light air sails (Am I the only one to note the paradox?).  After race 1 when the breeze picked up, they headed in to protect the sails and we enjoyed 15 knots with higher gusts for the final two races.  In general, it was great to meet the out of towners and see some of the newer technology.  There were two german rigged Rondars there which were amazing to look at and rigged very differently with mid-boom sheeting and complicated cb cap mounted controls to adjust everything.

Wrap up from Gary Lee

The Thrilla lived up to its name after all.  Howie won, but he had competition.  His boat is pretty tricked out.  Nothing too radical, except maybe his barber haulers that can pull the lead inboard as well as out.  Here is a photo:


Needless to say, the boat attracted a lot of attention:


I will share more photos when I have time.