The 5o5 East Coast Championship was held August 2-4 as part of the Buzzards Bay Regatta. BBR is sponsored by New Bedford YC and Beverly YC offering a beautiful venue for sailing 5o5s usually with trapeze conditions and fun waves. Being an exceptionally lightweight dinghy, 5o5s will plane upwind in 12 knots and “wire run” downwind.
Teams arrived on Thursday from Boston, New York, Newport, Annapolis, Ottawa, and Toronto. Friday began with light winds generally SW with shifts overlaid on a gradual swing to the right. Sailing was fair and tactical with 6-10 knots and 3 good races. Barney Harris and RJ Bay won the day with 5 points followed closely by Peter Scannell/John Dunlea and Matt Barry/Eric Anderson both with 7.
Saturday brought conditions more typical for Buzzards Bay with a 12 to 18 knot sea breeze, clear blue skies and plenty of smiles. The RC ran four races, two being somewhat longer, followed by two a bit shorter, all W/L twice around. With enough breeze for “wire running”, the fleet had great fun catching waves and approaching the leeward gate at high rates of speed. (Happily no collisions to report.) The leader board shifted with Scannell/Dunlea scoring 1,1,1,2 for the day resulting in a tie with Matt Barry and Eric Anderson who scored a solid (7),2,2,1. Counting a (3) as their throw out, Scannell and Dunlea looked to have a slight edge, but it could go either way. Barney Harris and RJ Bay fell slightly on the day scoring 3,(5),5,5, but still maintained a strong enough score to remain in contention. Finishes in the middle part of the fleet on Saturday were quite tight and often overlapped as teams tried to find the best angle to cross a short finish line on a full plane.
After two days of racing, and with the three leaders separating from the pack, Scannell/Dunlea and Barry/Anderson sat tied counting 12 points. Late Sunday morning a 5 to 7 knot breeze came up, so a course was set near shore and two races held. With big shifts and shore effects, it was a bit of a crapshoot, but Matt Barry and Eric Anderson impressed with two bullets to take the regatta. Scannell and Dunlea ended up tossing a ninth but were able to hold off Harris/Bay who scored a strong 3,2 to take third.
It is worth noting that in recent years the focus at BBR has shifted away from the huge youth 420 event of the past to a more adult-focused dinghy, multihull, and keelboat event. There was even a foiling kite class, one of the few venues for that on the east coast. Parking was sufficient if not plentiful (on-site), and the tent and Reggae band were outstanding. New Bedford YC provided a housing coordinator and the RC professionalism was readily apparent. Thank you BBR for an excellent event!