Nobody goes to a regatta hoping to be rained out, but a day of torrential rains and no racing at the 2013 SAP 5O5 World Championship did at least bring the sailors together for a class meeting at the Barbados Yacht Club, while leaving ample time for replaying and (and replaying) the first four races as presented by SAP Analytics.
There is always something more to be discovered in speed, tactics, or the interplay of techniques.
How else would the young Americans, Ted Conrads and Brian Haines, identify a speed deficiency of .8 knot on one leg-and only one leg-as the factor that made the difference?
Click here to view highlights from the SAP 505 Worlds.
Sailors being sailors, there also was ample speculation based upon what we might call "anecdotal data." For example, 2012 winning crewman Martin Gorge of Denmark looked at the leaderboard and considered that the winner of the first two races, Stefan Boehm, was successful at least in part because, "He came here with no expectations, so he's fearless,"
Gorge said. "This is Stefan's first overseas Worlds. He's just so happy to be here, and he's having a great time."
Dr. Claas Lehmann, topping the leaderboard after four races, fits the same profile, cheerfully liberated at last from the northern European winter. But, Gorge said, "Stefan and Claas both will have a hard time staying at the top all the way to the end. We've seen that any of the top fifteen can win, and already Wolfgang Hunger is sneaking up in the standings. He's won the Worlds five times. And Mike Holt, the American, has been second twice at the Worlds. Even without winning races he's showing well here. It could be his time."
Lehmann, Boehm, Holt and Hunger lead the fleet in that order with five more races to go. Gorge and his skipper, Jan Saugman, are fifth.
There are 69 entries at the SAP 5O5 World Championship, including seven boats delayed in shipment from the West Coast of the USA and due to arrive Wednesday, the next race day.
The 505 dinghy, 5.05 meters long, was designed in 1954 and has become a classic on the high-performance competitive scene. The regatta opens with two races on Saturday 27 April and continues through with the eleventh and final race on Friday 3 May.