Hayling Island SC hosted the latest round of the 5O5 Euro Cup on 28-30 September, with a variety of conditions testing all of the teams: “Snakes and Ladders” was the most common phrase heard in the dinghy park. The event was decided on the last run of the last race, with Howie Hamlin and Jon Bell (USA9153) just coming out on top, over Nathan Batchelor and Matt Alvarado (GBR9203), then Mike Holt and Carl Smit (USA9072), these three teams separated by just two points.
Michael Quirk, Class President of the 505 Association, together with Reeve Dunne, AUS, won the first race. Mike Holt/Carl Smit, USA, won the second. However, after two races it was Howie Hamlin/Jon Bell on top, scoring a second and a third, one point ahead of Holt/Smit in second place. 27 teams from seven nations entered to win the last Euro Cup event of the year.
The second day began with a surprise. Charlie Walters/Dougal Cram won the first race before Mike Holt/Carl Smit, which made the latter become new leaders. However, Howie Hamlin/Jon Bell fought back and by winning the two last races of the day they were back in the lead. 4 points ahead of Holt/Smit. Nathan Batchelor/Matt Alvarado scored two 2nd places and were now third overall. Day 3 would decide which team would be on the podium of the last 505 Euro Cup of the 2018 season.
The final day of the 505 Euro Cup in Hayling Islands was thrilling. Michael Quirk/Reeve Dunne, AUS, won the first race, before Nathan Bachelor/Matt Alvarado in second – the third second-place in a row for them. With Mike Holt/Carl Smit, USA, in the third place and Howie Hamlin/Jon Bell in sixth place, the top was now tighter than ever. Only three points difference between first and third place.
In the last race Robert Gilbert/Ben McGran, GBR, topped the fleet and Batchelor/Alvarado took another second-place, ahead of Ian Pinnell/Alex Davies in third. However, Hamlin/Bell did what they had to and grabbed fourth place before Holt/Smith finishing fifth. Thereby Hamlin/Bell won on 14 points, one point ahead of Batchelor/Alvarado in second place and 2 points ahead of Holt/Smit in third. Gilbert/McGran finished fourth, Quirk/Dunne fifth and Caroline and Philippe Jacot, SUI sixth, overall. That means teams from five nations in the top six – really nice.
Congratulations to all winners and sailors! With thanks to the race team, rescue crews and other volunteers who looked after the fleet so well, we look forward to the prospect of another Euro Cup event at Hayling next year.
The next big international 505 event is the Worlds in Fremantle, Australia, at the beginning of January.
Images courtesy of Peter Hickson and Simon Benson.
More images available here. Please request permission before using any images.