Day 1 of the final leg of the 505 Eurocup series at Hayling Island delivered classic big wave, big wind conditions for the high quality 505 fleet, enhanced by many international visitors. Westerly winds of 22kts gusting 27 at times produced a steep sea which took its toll with 4 masts consigned to the scrap heap after sailing.
For those fortunate to survive the day intact they were treated to a masterclass by visitors Mike Holt and Carl Smit from California, their upwind speed was unmatched and although pushed hard by current European and UK National Champions Roger Gilbert and Ben McGrane they scored 2 convincing bullets to lead overnight. Behind them the racing was close with positions swapping throughout the fleet.
After sailing the fleet rallied together to help those with gear failure make repairs or find replacements to get them on the water tomorrow. Continuing the inclusive nature the 505 class is promoting, the fleet held an open forum in the bar with 3 of the top teams sharing their secrets on boat set up and techniques to manage the challenging conditions, answering questions and providing ideas for all abilities.
Tomorrow the wind is expected to decrease and blow from the north giving difficult shifty and gusty conditions in the bay.