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2017 SAP 5O5 World Championship at Annapolis, USA - Day 4

by Bryan Richardson on 29 Sep 20-29 September 2017

Organizers of the 2017 SAP 5O5 World Championship said from the outset that versatility would prove crucial to winning. That is because Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay figured to deliver a wide range of wind conditions over the course of a week.

Mike Holt and Carl Smit proved to be the best all-around team, which was a surprise even to them. Holt and Smit clinched the championship with one race to spare thaks to a dominant performance on the fourth day of the competition.

Heavy breeze came to the Chesapeake on Thursday and the Holt-Smit tandem sailed superbly – posting an impressive score line of 3-1-3. They were able to throw out a 15th absorbed in Race 3 and mathematically secured the title as a result.

"It's amazing, just amazing. We didn't really know for sure until we came ashore. We kept running the numbers and thinking we won, but we weren't positive until we actually looked at the scoreboard," Holt said. "It's fantastic, especially here in Annapolis. This is not a venue at which we thought we could possibly win."

This is the second SAP 5O5 World Championship for Holt and Smit, who captured their first together in 2015 off Port Elizabeth, South Africa. They have developed a reputation as heavy air specialists who did not perform well in light to moderate conditions.

"It does make us proud, because we've always been considered heavy air sailors. To come here to Annapolis and be able to win a world championship held in a range of conditions is just brilliant," said Holt, a Santa Cruz, California resident who owns a software integration firm.

Holt-Smit placed second in Race 1 in moderate wind (10-11 knots) on Sunday then won Race 2 in relatively lighter air (7-10 knots) on Tuesday. Holt was asked why the IO Integration team fared better in those types of conditions.

"I lost a bunch of weight," Holt said. "Carl was supposed to, but he failed on that mission so I did it all by myself. Actually, today Carl's weight was good. I certainly wasn't going to complain about it today."

Smit mentioned that he and Holt have worked to improve their performance in light to moderate air, traveling to Europe to compete against 505 teams that are strong in those conditions.

"We knew this was going to be a really tough venue because light air is generally not our favourite. That being said, we knew we had to get better in the light stuff to have any chance here," said Smit, a member of co-host Eastport Yacht Club. "We felt good going into today because we put some decent results on the board in the lighter conditions. It was tough sailing today as well because there were still some big shifts, some big puffs. We're just so psyched to win this championship. It's just a great feeling of accomplishment."

This is the third SAP 5O5 World Championship for Holt, who won in 2014 with Rob Woelfel as crew. Considering the caliber of competition in Annapolis, the British native never imagined clinching the regatta with one day of sailing remaining.

"That's just crazy, completely crazy. Our goal going into the week was to simply have a chance on the final day," Holt said. "Those last days are always scary, so to avoid having to worry about the last day is just fantastic."

All the heavy air specialists were thrilled to wake up on Thursday morning and hear the forecast for 15-20 knot winds. That proved accurate, although significant shifts and large holes tested the 87-boat fleet.

Defending world champions Mike Martin and Adam Lowry had their best day of the regatta with results of 2-6-1. Martin and Lowry showed off their heavy air chops with tremendous boat speed and almost flawless manoeuvrers.

"Super tough, super tricky conditions because there was sort of two breezes, one coming out of the river and one coming down the bay," Martin said. "It was up and down, back and forth – just really challenging. So we're pretty happy with our finishes today."

Martin and Lowry, who list Mill Valley, California as home port and are St. Francis Yacht Club members, used a perfect gybe set while rounding the first windward mark to take the lead in the opening race on Thursday. They led until the seventh and final leg, but fell into a hole and were passed by the German team comprised of Kai Bertallot and Jan Reifferscheidt.

"On the final run, the Germans gybed before us, caught a big puff and carried down," Martin said. "We were going well and suddenly the wind dropped out on us."

Martin and Lowry would not be denied in Race 7 – getting a great start and stretching out on every leg in winning by 150 meters.

"Adam did a really good job of looking for pressure. We started left because we thought there was pressure there and picked up a nice lefty," Martin said. "We stayed in pressure the whole time and that seemed to work."

Three terrific results jumped Martin-Lowry up to fifth in the overall standings. They struggled in the light stuff on Tuesday, suffering back-to-back results of 21 and 25.

"It's always fun sailing in breeze," Martin said. "It would just be nice to do well in all conditions. If we had sailed better on the lighter days we'd be in better position overall right now. A lot of stuff happened today. We'll look at our scores and figure out our plan for tomorrow."

Bertallot and Reifferscheidt, residents of Kiel, Germany, had a tremendous day on the water – tying Holt and Smit with seven points on the day. As previously mentioned, they passed Martin and Lowery on the final downwind leg to win Race 5 then passed Holt and Smit to place second in Race 7.

To be able to pass two world champions on the same day was pretty cool for us. Just very, very exciting," said Bertallot, the driver.

This is the third SAP 5O5 World Championship for the Germans, who finished 25th in Kiel (2014) and 24th in Weymouth, England (2016). They currently sit in seventh place and are hoping a good result in the eighth and final race on Friday will maintain or improve that position.

"Top 10 would be a really big jump for us," Bertallot said. "We are a bit heavier than many of the other crews so today was our type of conditions. We had very good speed both upwind and downwind and sort of figured out the shifty winds. Sometimes we were lucky to pick up some favourable shifts."

Andy Smith and Roger Gilbert led the regatta going into Thursday's action and were still right there after posting a fifth and a third to start off. However, a 15th in Race 7 proved costly and forced the British team to keep the 10th it took in Race 1.

"I think we just have to keep sailing the way we have been and hope for the best," Smith said when asked about securing runner-up status.

Principal race officer Sandy Grosvenor will hold just one race on Friday and there figures to be further shuffling of the standings since a second throwout will come into play with the completion of an eighth race.

Results after Day 4:

PosSail NoNoat NameHelm / CrewR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1  USA 9072IO IntegrationMike Holt / Carl Smit2115531315
2  GBR 9088Gill Race TeamAndy Smith / Roger Gilbert10362531529
3  USA 9091Its Big Its White Edward Conrads / Brian Haines9671420633
4  GBR 9190P and B Race TeamIan Pinnell / Dave Shelton44821107538
5  USA 9106Mike's BoatMike Martin / Adam Lowry82125626144
6  USA 9173Team RoosterTyler Moore / Rob Woelfel325271562859
7  GER 89298929Kai Bertallot / Jan Reifferscheidt159352914260
8  USA 9003Toxic AssetJesse Falsone / Chris Behm171638DNF161272
9  USA 9160Frozen BananaHoward Hamlin / Andy Zinn15441818DNF77
10  USA 8995blue boatKevin Taugher / Reeve Dunn520191011DNF1681
11  USA 8970BessyChristopher Segerblom / Eric Anderson2982325148785
12  GBR 9180Ovington BoatsNathan Batchelor / Norman Byrd23211427322087
13  FRA 9175505Philippe Boite / Florian Corbel111830713191987
14  USA 9102SUPDouglas Hagan / Shane Illidge679938273391
15  GER 9043Bikini AtollAngela Stenger / Skipper: Nikola Birkner191011420DNF2892
16  USA 9007License to KillMatthew Barry / Thomas Barrows221218192417492
17  USA 8715Pressure DropEthan Bixby / Parry Barclay18192223652793
18  USA 8681Park Miller LLCStuart Park / Ryan Cox7314127913996
19  GER 9169compensation‑partner.deTim Boeger / Finn Boeger1411385572511106
20  AUS 9167SoakedNigel Lott / Bob Franks24143117231023111
21  USA 8830NESSDrew Buttner / Mark Zagol2136473182613117
22  USA 9095Highway 95 RevisitedMacy Nelson / Russell Miller32622912152417129
23  GBR 9178bottle of red bottle of whitechris lewns / Jarrod Simpson3045402021914134
24  GER 9146Magic MarineJens Findel / Johannes Tellen464312DSQ171210140
25  AUS 9191Swear jarMalcolm Higgins / Marcus Cooper16242637312324144
26  USA 9005USA 9005Gordon Russell / Martin Goult44351318561126147
27  GBR 9179The MechanicTudor Owen / Thomas Bruton41275513302218151
28  USA 8913USA8913Dan Herlihy / Austin Powers12261731486222156
29  USA 909IBIYCYHIA.J. Conrads / Richard Mundell20284339163421158
30  AUS 9110OCCY 2Mark Stowell / Adam Brenz‑Verca28502416283134161
31  USA 8831Big Red DogKerry Poe / Paul VonGrey13423360123330163
32  AUS 9028Earle GreyEarle Alexander / Ian Gregg25223436252932167
33  IRL 8987LookadatlaPeter Scannell / John Dunlea33494524291429174
34  USA 8851USA 8851Ted Huebner / Mike Komar27472226353535180
35  FRA 9150KE ATAO IVHerve de Kergariou / Guillaume de Kergariou50172011465443187
36  AUS 9134Boaty McBoatfaceCurtis Hartmann / Michael Quirk393450DSQ261536200
37  CAN 7200More Desperate MeasuresJeff Boyd / Rachael Boyd60331430425138208
38  USA 904904Benton Amthor / Doug Amthor31DSQ1633523842212
39  USA 9041Bench MarkHenry Amthor / Dustin Romey26715240342141214
40  USA 9172TamakiPaul Scoffin / Brendan Heussler49443742223637218
41  USA 8631FB Incognito Tom Crawford / Pierre Jeangirard55157332324350227
42  USA 8814SojournerLin Robson / Matthew Gardiner5732544517246235
43  AUS 9115SailingBits.comDean Souter / Brad Clarke54132134DNFDNF31242
44  USA 8850Dr. CrashDoug Watson / Gabriel Watson644810385041DNC251
45  USA 8841SwagmanMichael Coe / Ali Meller3529283540DNFDNC256
46  AUS 8877LEE SailsAmy Lee / Justin Mulkearns65414249335349267
47  DEN 9079Little BluenoseJesper Bülow / Søren Asboe Jørgensen4740DNSDNC372840279
48  USA 9183No RetreatDylan Breton / Matthew Breton43724953197145280
49  USA 8883Jane's AddictionKelsey Averill / Michael Renda42576643434748280
50  USA 8616Miami Vicemike powell / Lee Laney53686145413944283
51  FIN 8768GiiamariPetri Ebeling / Antti Salonen405639664936DNC286
52  USA 7359HatoupCatherine Guiader / Christopher Brady48305328DNF7062291
53  GBR 9125Rock BeatRoger Deane / Nigel Deane73705763593025304
54  USA 9116The Great PumpkinKatherine Long / Dan Ginther38386758546858313
55  GER 8988LarissaGeorg Mittermayer / Dirk Barteldt82237479553747315
56  POL 9132White Wood Sailing TeamPrzemek Zagorski / Michal Olko34DSQ6947714252315
57  USA 8930BlondageDuane Delfosse / Sol Marini6252587139DSQ39321
58  USA 8952FIG JAMJake Spracher / Jay SmithSCP543648DNF4965323
59  GBR 9126SerendipityStuart Turnbull / Andy Forman56515673476954333
60  AUS 8968Devils Haircutmatt Hansen / Crazy John McLean81615968444857337
61  CAN 8600MysteryMarie Gendron / David Brown58763270626056338
62  USA 910SchnellerKaila Pfrang / Anna Patterson68597623736755345
63  USA 89378937Tim Murphy / Matt Merchant51677164614661350
64  BER 9176YabstaGary Taylor / Brett Wright59534659SCP6471351
65  USA 81948194Clark Hayes / Clayton James36756469656359356
66  USA 7606BattleshipBrendan Connell / Steve Lovshin5237DNF50DNF44DNC357
67  CAN 9138505Marek Balinski / Barney Harris756463655340DNF360
68  USA 8081Poly StyreneMichael Parramore / Marco Giraldi66584475685969364
69  USA 8439Yes Dear!Anne Fitzpatrick / Christian Pittack37DNE60774558DNF366
70  USA 8838Team TroubleSterling Spruill / Steve Taylor70747967634553372
71  FRA 9086FRA 9086Neidhart Elisabeth / David De Monteil45555146DNCDNCDNC375
72  AUS 9018EighteenBrett Bowden / Arielle Darrow69658054646163376
73  GBR 9131UltraviresJim McGillivray / Ian Wilson72636576695751377
74  AUS 9071Red BaronRichard Hyde / Lindsay Hyde63737274605060378
75  USA 8819Noch SchnellerChristopher Pfrang / Eric Schwab71467752DNF52DNF387
76  CAN 8260Red RocketShona Moss Lovshin / Devlin Lovshin7960546157DNFDNC400
77  CAN 8368Send it!Paul Place / Nicolas Tosi77697856706666404
78  USA 8919Safety WordBryan Richardson / Ashley LoveDNF394851DNFDNFDNF405
79  USA 8766The ShockerIan Conners / Jimmie Cockerill61796872DNF5572407
80  CAN 8755KryptoniteBrian Trainor / Mike Poulos78778181585668418
81  JPN 6999ApplesapShiro Noguchi / Takao Fijita7666DSQ6267DNF64424
82  USA 8822Wicked PissaDavid Burchfiel / Bob Williams84826280DNC6567440
83  GBR 8435505Patrick Mcgale / langdon junge74807057TLEDNFDNC445
84  USA 7197MatildaDavid Neal80818278TLEDNF73469
85  USA 8244HodorPaul Andron / Chris Drury86848484DNF7370481
86  AUS 8738A Salt WeaponJohn Macarthur‑King / Sarah Macarthur‑King8578758272DNFDNC481
87  USA 7148CovfefeEric Konieczynski / Kyra Tallon83838383DNCDNCDNC510

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