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You have been to numerous World Championships over the past two decades. Where is the most challenging place that you have raced the 505?

By far, the most challenging 505 World Championship for me was San Francisco in 2009. The physical challenge alone makes this venue worthy of this distinction, but there were tactical challenges too. It wasn’t always a “bang the right” situation. Physically, San Francisco presents an ominous combination of unrelenting strong winds, steep chop, and cold water. While we did have a few races in more moderate conditions, each race day eventually turned out some big wind. Add onto this a very long sail back to St. Francis YC from the Berkley Circle after a long day racing, and the regatta wore you down over time. My hands were completely shredded and bleeding after two days and had to be taped before sailing. The best teams were mostly local and were exceptionally well-prepared. My teammate (Keith Davids, who is a highly skilled sailor and athlete) and I had little time together in those conditions and that made it even more difficult despite the fact that we were both very fit physically speaking. Now the most challenging day of sailing I’ve ever had was the Durban Pre-Worlds race in 2000, but that was all about survival, especially on the sail in from racing where we had peak gusts over 40 knots.

Jesse Falsone, Region II
505 sailor for 20 years
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You are are known for making long road trips to race your 505. Where is the furthest place you have driven from your home in Hampton, VA?

Our longest drive for a 505 Regatta was the Corpus Christy North Americans in 1999: 8 States and 1600 miles. I drove three boats down including USA 7346 when Latny Montague owned it, Team Spot Swim Team (Jesse & Barney) and USA 8012. I made the drive with my crew at the time Robert Montague straight through and it took about 30 hrs. each way. I have fond memories of Corpus as it was WINDY every day and Robert is north of 6’-7” and we were on fire up hill. I think the true Road Warrior in North America are Jeff Boyd who frequently drives boats from Eastern Ontario to the West coast. Also Dustin Romey and Doug Hagen who fly to many events from San Juan and Hawaii.

Henry Amthor, Region II
505 sailor for 32 years

Photo Credit: Erik Boothe
The 505 Class holds regattas in some of the best venues in the world. Where is your favorite 505 venue in the US?

I know I should be a little biased in my response, but it is actually a tie. The 505 class is so much about the sailors, families and friends because they make a regatta memorable. Thinking back I don’t always remember who won the regatta, but I can always recall who won the party. My favorite venue for wind and waves is by far Santa Cruz, California because it is never too windy to hoist the spinnaker! East side it is without a doubt those winter windy days on Tampa Bay when Ethan and I just forget how far we have sailed from the dock. Ripping under spinnaker miles from the harbor, we are usually very late getting back. I am sure next time I answer this question I will be raving about another venue because sailing the boats is just so much fun!

Erik Boothe, Region II
North American Champion 2007
505 sailor for 12 years
You have served as Class Measurer and rigged numbers boats from the ground up. Where did you go for information on rigging a boat?    

I showed up at my first big 5O5 event with a terribly old boat. A few of the class rock stars came over and looked in the boat. Instead of ripping my boat to shreds with criticism, they gave me advise. They showed me why my boat was not rigged well and then encouraged me to come back again and see how well it would sail with the improvements. That got me started. I was a sponge! I went to every regatta possible to see what was new and to talk with the guys who had put it together. I started to think just how I could improve their rigging to suit my sailing style. Rigging solutions such as the Buchan loop or the Martin twing handles are so simple and make the boat easier to sail. I want my systems to do the same.

Paul Von Grey, Region VI
505 sailor for 19 years

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You have sailed 505s all over the world. Where is your favorite place to race 505s?

For me a venue for 505 sailing needs a high probability of decent breeze, good launching and shore side facilities and preferably no sand, do not like sand! I think ideally some sort of good thermal breeze seems best although maybe does not give the best tactical racing.

I have sailed all over the place and very few places I have gone to have not been fun at some level. All venues have areas where they excel and others where they fall down. A good day at the Gorge is hard to beat for sailing, but for racing it is less perfect and ashore facilities are a bit slim, similarly Garda is an excellent sailing experience, nearly perfect off of the water but again the race track is very one sided. Then San Francisco, out in the circle, great racing, fantastic breeze but cold, cold water!

So, all that being said, I would have to say three venues that if someone asked me to race in, Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Riva del Garda would be the three at the  top of my list, but on their day there are many others that are also truly fantastic. Kingston, The Gorge, Quiberon in France, Adelaide, Mounts Bay in England, Bandol in France the list goes on! But a good fleet of 505's, some breeze and a beer after with friends and fellow sailors and any where is good!

Mike Holt, Region V
World Champion, 2014, 2015
505 sailor for 29 years