Two-time 505 world champions, Americans Mike Holt and Rob Woelfel, proved they were a force to be reckoned in the W.E.S.S Australian 505 Championship at the Brighton and Seacliff Yacht Club this week after a resounding win in the invitation race yesterday.
Holt and Woelfel, sailing on USA9072 IO Integration, had a close battle with the Canberra-based team of Daniel Keys and Daryl Roos on Intergalactic throughout the entire race with hometown hopefuls Sandy Higgins and Paul Marsh on Hawaii Five-O not far behind them.
However a misunderstanding of the course — and perhaps some invitation race superstition as well — saw Keys and Higgins dip the finish line.
Holt started the race as the pathfinder in the traditional 505 gate start, heading out to the right side of the fleet early, however they quickly came back to the left to consolidate on the rest of the fleet.
Australian 505 stalwarts Michael Quirke (sailing with Reeve Dunne on Stealth) and Malcolm Higgins (sailing with Tony Gold on Groove Train) were around the leaders as well and after a few boats avoided the finish line finished second and third respectively.
There was great competition right throughout the 33-boat fleet with a shifty 10-12 knot race track challenging a lot of the competitors.
Invitation races are interesting, sometimes they give you a great idea of how the regatta will play out, whereas sometimes it’s still very hard to pre-empt the form of some of the competitors.
A proud 505 club, the Brighton and Seacliff Yacht Club then hosted the welcome evening on the top deck, which was a fantastic night to welcome all sailors to the club.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHRISTOPHE FAVREAU