Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Botin Fast40
Product Feature
Technical Marine Supplies - EZi Launcher Self Launching Twin Spinnaker Pole System
Technical Marine Supplies - EZi Launcher Self Launching Twin Spinnaker Pole System

SAP 505 World Championships at Barbados Yacht Club Overall

by Kimball Livingston 4 May 2013 06:47 BST 27 April - 3 May 2013

Dodging turtles, dodging bullets to become World Champions

Claas Lehmann and Leon Oehme lived the longest day of their sporting lives on Friday - and came away champions. With Lehmann steering and Oehme out on the trapeze wire, they went to the line of race nine of the 2013 SAP 5O5 World Championship as one of three teams with a chance at the title, all of them German, all of them veteran, one of them a five-time champion who would have been the house bet to win.

No one else in the 69-boat fleet could crack the top three, no matter what. Tensions ran high, ratcheted higher by a delayed start, and then—

"Both my opponents got poor starts," said Lehmann, in his other life a surgeon from Hamburg. "Right away we knew we had a shot, but it's a long race. So much can happen. We wanted to be safe in every move, and then-"

And then they touched a mark while rounding, and that's a foul. The penalty is to execute a 360-degree turn. In reality, Lehmann and Oehme had enough in the bank to take their penalty many times over, but the higher reality is that, when you've dedicated yourself for years and decades to racing one kind of boat with one tribe of people, who become your people, and you're finally on the threshold of winning the big one, it comes down, Lehmann said, to being "just too nervous."

No bother. The pre-race leaders, Cologne attorney Stefan Boehm and crewman Gerald Roos, were fighting in the pack for clear air. Five-time champion Wolfgang Hunger, a physician from Kiel, was doing better but not by a lot. Lehmann and Roos had been early race leaders, but it did not matter one whit that two boats had passed them. This wasn't about race nine. It was about the 2013 World Championship. Oehme told his skipper, "Just settle down and sail." On the last leg of the race, even knowing that the left side had been heavily favored most of the time, Boehm and Roos headed to the right, just to roll the dice. "We would have done the same thing," Lehmann said, but instead of applying a tight cover, he worked back toward the middle of the course and called it good enough. American Mike Holt and crewman Carl Smit dashed out with a big lead to take first for the race, and Australian Sandy Higgins was out of touch in second, and they were welcome to it, and then—

Right in the middle of the celebration came word that Boehme and Roos believed they had been prejudiced at the start by a marker boat moving at an unsteady speed. Boehm was requesting redress. Suddenly, Claas Lehman and Leon Oehme might as well have been back on the racecourse, looking over their shoulders, and then-

It was over. The regatta's international jury took a full hour to consider the request but declined to overturn the results on the water. Lehmann and Oehme, who'd had a few instances of turtle dodging during the week—Barbados is an important breeding ground for hawksbills—had dodged their last bullet.

Boehm, who dropped out of race nine when he determined that the outcome of the race was already settled, came second in the final standings. Hunger was third, completing the all-German top three.

As usual at a regatta featuring SAP Analytics applied to racecourse data, the biggest rush to the computers in the SAP Sailors' Lounge, to try to sort out the why's, leg by leg and tack by tack, came from the less-consistent finishers in the middle of the pack. It's one thing to think you know something, quite another to see it through the data.

The fleet of 62 boats that raced on Friday was bolstered by one new arrival, a 5O5 shipped from California for locals Jason Tindale and Robert Povey, so that Barbados would have an entry. Their only practice in an unfamiliar boat consisted of leaving the beach an hour ahead of the pack, so their 51st place finish honorably represented host Barbados Yacht Club.

Full overall race results can be found here.

Related Articles

505 UK Nationals at Lymington overall
Mostly sailed in brilliant sunny conditions This year's UK Championship was sailed out of the Royal Lymington Yacht Club in Lymington, UK on 9-12 May 2019. Conditions varied greatly as did the direction and strength of the wind. Posted on 15 May
Stay Cosy with Huge Savings on Warm Jackets
We might be well into Spring but the forecast says otherwise! We might be well into Spring but the forecast says otherwise! Keep yourself warm and protected whilst out on the water or exploring on shore with a jacket from your favourite clothing brands, now at discounted prices. Posted on 11 May
505 UK Nationals at Lymington day 1
A cracking first day's sailing in the Western Solent Royal Lymington YC are hosting the 505 Nationals 9-12th May, and served the fleet a cracking first day's sailing, with plenty of wind to keep the sailors entertained. Posted on 10 May
P&B Sails
Constructed by hand using top materials and the latest technology With over 50 years of sail-making experience at its disposal, the P&B Sail Loft team have built a reputation for producing some of the best sails available on the market. Posted on 26 Apr
505 Euro Cup Cannes overall
Quirk and Needham take the title Sailed at Yacht Club de Cannes, the final day of the Euro Cup Cannes was cancelled due to too much breeze, but the participants enjoyed some really tight competition throughout the regatta. Posted on 21 Apr
505 Euro Cup Cannes day 2
Ian Pinnell and Russ Clark holding third place With the wind increasing the PRO sent the fleet to shore after the first scheduled race as winds built to 30knots and sea conditions became too challenging even for the notoriously versatile 5o5. Posted on 20 Apr
505 Euro Cup Cannes day 1
Quirk and Needham lead 30 boat fleet The team of Michael Quirk and Tim Needham currently sit atop the leaderboard as day one of the 2019 505 Euro Cup kick off at Yacht Club de Cannes. After a postponement to allow the gusty 20-30 knot wind to moderate, three races were run. Posted on 19 Apr
2019 505 Euro Cup kicks off in Cannes
More than 30 boats are expected to compete The first leg of the 2019 505 Euro Cup commences this Friday at Yacht Club de Cannes and more than 30 boats are expected to compete. Posted on 18 Apr
Selden US team visit the RYA Dinghy Show
Mark Jardine talks to Jonas Berg and Diego Carvajal Mark Jardine, Managing Editor of Sail-World.com and YachtsandYachting.com, reclines in the RS21 keelboat with two representatives of Selden Mast from the USA: Jonas Berg and Diego Carvajal during the RYA Dinghy Show 2019. Posted on 15 Mar
Interview with Harken UK's Ben McGrane
Talking through the systems on his new 505 Mark Jardine, Managing Editor of Sail-World.com and YachtsandYachting.com, spoke to Harken's Ben McGrane at the RYA Dinghy Show 2019. Posted on 14 Mar