Mike Martin and Adam Lowry got out front early and stayed there through eleven races over four days of competition at the 505 North American Championship at St. Francis Yacht Club August 9-12, 2018. With a picket fence after two discards, Martin and Lowry of St. Francis Yacht Club are the North American Champions.
“We couldn’t be happier,” said Martin of the win. “We sailed well across the full spectrum of conditions. Taking an early lead certainly took the pressure off. With such a diversity of conditions, we knew we didn’t have to take as many chances.”
The battle for second place was much tighter, with just eight points separating second from fifth, ultimately shaking out in favor of Howard Hamlin and Andy Zinn (ABYC/NHYC).
“It’s never felt better to finish second,” said Hamlin. “These guys are the best and no one was even near them.”
Ted Conrads and Jeff Nelson, of Donner Lake, had a strong final day and finished third overall. Jesse Kirkland and Reeve Dunn (RBYC) were holding strong at second over three days of races, but slipped to fourth. The top three teams all had World Champions aboard, with the event boasting a total of seven.
“Everyone that beat us was either a World Champion or a former Olympian, so it’s the best fifth place I’ve ever gotten,” said Parker Shinn, who sailed with Eric Anderson (StFYC/YCYC).
Strong winds challenged the middle two days, with 25 knots sustained wind closing down racing early on day two. A heavy flood tide on day three made for long upwind battles and more than a little carnage.
“Current was a big factor,” said Lowry, who cited a slight homefield advantage. “It’s true of all of us who are part of the St. Francis team that when the current gets crazy you’re engrained and know how to figure it into your tactics.”
The ocean’s an equal opportunity opponent, punishing both locals and visitors with potentially game-ending breakages, ultimately working in favor of StFYC’s Blaine Pedlow and David Meleney, who won a new jib from Glaser Sails for snapping two rudders but sailing through the end of the regatta.
Other prizes included Yeti Coolers for the top five teams, and two perpetual trophies: the Dennis Surtees Service Award, which went to Pip Pearson, and the Dave Cahn Sportsmanship Award, earned by Carl Smit.