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Everything you need to know about sailing a 5O5

by Michael Quirk 23 Apr 2020 12:26 BST
505 World Championship 2020 in Sweden cancelled © Christophe Favreau /

With the time we have available before we can get back to sail boat racing, sailors the world over have the perfect opportunity to make sure our boats are configured correctly and we have learnt what we can about setting them up and tuning for the conditions.

To help, the International 5O5 Class is building an extensive resource for sailors.

A start has been made but your help is needed.

The objective is to collect together, in the one place, an Almanac of all things sailing that a 5O5 or other sailor can access to understand how their boat should be set up, how to tune it, how to sail it faster and how to race better. All searchable and accessible in the one place.

The 5O5 Class has had many of the world's best sailors competing over a period of more than 50 years. Due to the astonishing success of a boat that was designed in 1955 and still remains at the forefront of dinghy racing globally, there is an unparalleled collection of knowledge and experience in the collective minds of those that have learnt and honed their craft and passion for racing sailboats in the 5O5. Given the enthusiasm the best 5O5 sailors have always had to share what they have learnt, the Class is perfectly placed to tap into and document all this knowledge.

So don't get frustrated because we cant go racing. Use the time to ensure our boats are properly set up and we have a better idea of how to sail them faster.

Check out what information is already available on the International 5O5 Website. If what you wish to know isn't there, then send your question using the form available and we will get the answers from the best. If you need to know something, many others will also.

The question and the answers will be published so we continue building the knowledge base.

See full post on class website here

Message from the International 5O5 Class President - The World's Ok'st Sailor

I have had the good fortune in the last three years to travel and race in most of the Countries where 5O5s are sailed.

In my first major regatta, the Australian Championship in 1983, I believe I finished LAST.

Since then I have learnt a lot from everyone. I have come to realise, for example, that racing a sailboat well is actually more about getting some fundamental things right than it is about getting new equipment or sails and trying to understand all the, sometimes 'gobbly gook' that I have read and heard over the years.

This 'Almanac', for want of a better name, is an attempt to document the wisdom of all the truly great sailors that sail in or have passed through the 5O5 Class. As a good friend and well known sailing legend Jordan Spencer said "If you learn how to race a 5O5 you will have learnt pretty much everything you need to know about racing sail boats of any kind" (Of course there weren't so many foiling boats around when he said that).

I hope it helps. Let me leave you with this most important of all the things I have learned.

You cannot sail or enjoy a boat that isn't set up right!

I am constantly amazed when I go to the various regattas how many boats are racing that are not configured correctly. NO ONE, not even a World Champion, could sail them properly. Do your self a favour, if you haven't already done so check that you have the right controls on your boat, that they can be moved through the correct range, that the rig is configured correctly for the sails you are using.

If nothing else, check your mast is bending to suit the mainsail you are using.

We have some time now. Don't emerge from Coronavirus lock-down with a boat or equipment that even the best teams cant sail.

Take care and we will all see each other soon.

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