One-design fleets come and go but the International 505 class has maintained its status as a top double-handed high-performance dinghy for over six decades. There are many reasons for the longevity of the 505 It has amazing performance characteristics in all conditions, it has timeless aesthetics, and the boat is amazingly fun and rewarding to sail. While the international fleet counts among its members Olympic medalists and numerous national and world champions from many classes, 505 sailors are noteworthy for keeping “no secrets” and adopting an open mentorship philosophy that has attracted not only the worlds top sailing talent but also regular nine-to-five weekend warriors as well. Consequently, regional, national and world level regatta participants enjoy a deep pool of talent with fantastic racing throughout the fleet, top to bottom.
The Pacific Northwest 505 scene is surging right now with the emergence of the Bellingham fleet. Much of the growth can be credited to the efforts of Paul VonGrey. Paul has been the key matchmaker in the fleet connecting crews with drivers and vice versa. He has sailed with and coached novice 505 sailors for over 20 years and deserves more recognition than the Dave Cahn Trophy implies. Not only is he a world-class crew, but his garage commonly holds three or more boats that he is re-rigging to meet current standards and to keep the locals up to speed. If you are ever in a jam at a regatta, you can always just go ask PVG and you will be offered the help you need with a smile. He is the Northwest fleet’s greatest asset and is the ultimate representation of the spirit of the 505 class!
The Bellingham Yacht Club, located in the amazingly scenic upper left corner of the USA, is gearing up for a very well attended, competitive and FUN event from June 1st to 5th 2016. Bellingham Bay is known to have dependable yet varying conditions in June that will make for a fantastic event. BYC has recently hosted both high school and collegiate single handed nationals on the large bay, right in view of the 10,400′ volcano, Mount Baker. Bellingham Bay is also located in the middle of PNW 505 universe and regularly hosts about twenty 505 at the annual Dale Jepsen One Design.
The ‘Hamsters (as citizens of the fair city are known) take their regatta hosting seriously. The 2016 North American 505 Championship will not only feature the obligatory schwag from many sponsors including local cordage stalwart Samson Rope but also first rate hospitality and social events such as world famous karaoke, succulent bbq (personally prepared by the regatta chairmen), and a trip on the Bellingham Tap Trail. Bellingham is home to no less than 7 breweries with more set to open their doors soon. While the sailors enjoy the local conditions, there is plenty for the supporting family to do. Bellingham is a vibrant and dynamic town with numerous parks, museums, and ample shopping and dining options. However, the city’s greatest resource is its natural setting that provides world-class hiking, biking, sailing and skiing. If you already own a 505, it is time to stop reading and start packing your bags! If you haven’t sailed a 505, it’s time to find out what you’ve been missing! BYC and the 505 fleet look forward to welcoming you on June 1st!