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Mike Martin and Adam Lowry Win 5O5 Pre-Worlds

The 5O5 Pre-Worlds, held this past weekend, were just a warm-up for the big show: the 5O5 Worlds, which start tomorrow on San Francisco Bay. But that doesn’t mean that the preceding regatta was any less competitive. At stake was the new Howard Hamlin Perpetual Trophy, as well as the North American Championship trophy. The St. Francis YC race team ran six races over this past weekend for the Pre-World regatta to get the teams warmed up for the big show.

At the end of the Pre-Worlds it looks like the 2019 Worlds, with Mike Martin and Adam Lowry being the team to beat.

5O5 Pre-Worlds
We love crowded-mark-rounding photos. We can’t imagine how we’d survive such a moment ourselves.
© 2023 Bryan McDonald

On Saturday, the 5O5s raced west of Alcatraz Island, with Martin and Lowry leading the pack of 60 teams with a 2-2-1 score line. Racing was very tight, with boats up and down the fleet gravitating toward each other at the marks. The leading duo favored the south side of the course for most of the day.

5O5 Pre-Worlds
Getting out to watch is great fun, but stay out of the way — it’s a world championship on the line!
© 2023 Bryan McDonald

On Sunday, the 5O5s sailed west of Treasure Island with a mild crosscurrent and more champagne conditions for San Francisco Bay. Three races were completed on windward-leeward courses, with the final race finishing to windward to help the sailors return to the harbor at St. Francis Yacht Club.

5O5 Worlds
The wininng form of Mike Martin and Adam Lowry in the 5O5 Pre-Worlds
© 2023 Bryan McDonald
5O5 Pre-Worlds
The 5O5s are one-design boats and they all look very similar, but it’s the small things that add up to a big difference.
© 2023 Bryan McDonald

Martin and Lowry continued their lead, finishing first and winning both of the aforementioned trophies. Nic Baird and Eric Anderson scored two bullets on the final day, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Martin and Lowry’s lead. Third place for the Pre-Worlds went to the British team of Nathan Batchelor and Sam Pascoe, and the third-place North American team was Howard Hamlin and Jeff Nelson.

5O5 Pre-Worlds
It’s always impressive looking at 5O5s reaching in close formation with spinnaker set and crew on the wire. Wow. Just … wow.
© 2023 Bryan McDonald
5O5 Pre-Worlds Starting Line
If you think your starting line is crowded, try starting with 60 boats on the line.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The 5O5 Pre-Worlds and Worlds have drawn a diverse field of competitive teams from the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and Poland, including several past world champions: Howard Hamlin (1999) and Jeff Nelson (2009); Mike Holt (2014, 2015, 2017) and Carl Smit (2015, 2017); Mike Martin (1999, 2009, 2016, 2019) and Adam Lowry (2016, 2019); and Ian Pinnell (2008). California has long held a very strong position in the class, with Morgan Larson and Trevor Baylis also being world champions in 2004, racing as team Waterat. Larry Tuttle, who finished sixth in the 1981 Worlds (shown below), is owner of Waterat in Santa Cruz, the go-to shop for fast foils in 5O5 racing.

1981 5O5 Worlds
We were looking back at the history of the 5O5 Worlds and found a Latitude story on the 1981 Worlds held on the Bay. There were some impressive names in the winner’s list of the 83-boat fleet, including 1999 World Champion Howie Hamlin, who placed fifth in this past weekend’s Pre-Worlds. Photo of Bixby and Lewis by Louis Kruk.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Latitude 38

On Sunday evening, trophies were awarded at St. Francis Yacht Club, and race organizers officially opened the 5O5 World Championships. Racing begins on Tuesday, September 26, with first warning at 12 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. The 5O5 Worlds will run from September 26 through October 1, with five days of racing and one lay day.

You can see complete results and information here.

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