Sugar & Spencer racing the 505

Team Port Townsend 505 represented well September 18th and 19th at the Dale Jepsen Bellingham Bay One Design Regatta hosted by the Bellingham Yacht Club.  Port Townsend 505 sailors Sugar Flanagan, Spencer Snap, Sean Rankins, Charlie Dore and Erik Coburn (who drove for Whidbey Island’s Paul Von Grey) made up the team.

It was a fine event which was comprised of many Lasers (sailing their District Champs), Flying Scots, A-Cats, Tasars and 505s sailing on two courses.  Though the forecast called for rain both days, Saturday was warm and sunny with a light-but-steady four to six knot breeze.  Sunday began with a solid 20 knot Southerly (at times mid-20s gusting to 30) that whipped Bellingham Bay into a two to three foot chop.  Unfortunately, while the Lasers were able to race on their course, the other course was filled with a lot of upside down sailing, and racing was postponed.  Many of the 505s however stayed out to play around and tune up in the heavy air, providing some good upwind wave bashing practice followed by some thrilling three sail reaches.  A menacing western sky caused us to retreat to the marina.

Some members of the PT 505 fleet pose for a picture after a midwinter practice last year. The PT 505 fleet is always looking to recruit potential sailors. Strong swimming skills a must! Big beards are a plus.

The front passed bringing only rain and some gusts but nothing like what we had already seen.  We relaunched and went out to sail two more races in a dying breeze that featured some marginal trapezing early in the first race but softened as the racing progressed.

At the conclusion of the first day the Old Salt and Young Buck (Sugar and Spencer) were tied in points with myself and Paul Von Grey at third place, each posting one bullet out of the five races.  Saturday evening featured a couple of free kegs at the club, and dinner at a local brewery with the whole 505 fleet.  After racing started Sunday the Old Salt and Young Buck came out and snared another two bullets while yours truly choked with two fourths.  That bumped Old and Young into Gold and me and Paul out of the money and into fourth!

The beauty of all of this is that Sugar and Spencer proved that, even with Sugar’s 30+ year old boat, they are fast in the light stuff and even better, smart too, finding the breeze and managing the fleet and course perfectly.  They bested 10 other boats from Seattle and Canada, most of whom had newer/better-equipped boats.  Had we raced when the wind was up, I think they would have faired well too.  I can say this after having tuned with them in the blow.  These guys are fast (I think Sugar’s beard weight has something to do with it)!  Sean and Charlie took some lumps but did not have much experience sailing together and Sean is new to the boat.  Sean’s enthusiasm and dedication to the boat will surely pay dividends in the near future.  All in all, a good showing by Team Port Townsend.

-Erik Coburn