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2017 Pacific Coast Championships

Mike Martin and Adam Lowry dominate a talented fleet

The 2017 running of the 5O5 Pacific Coast Championship was run from the Santa Cruz Yacht Club on the Monterey Bay between August 25th and 27th. Twenty-two boats were entered, with a huge depth to it, 4 teams had World Champions or multiple World Champions onboard and many more had North American Champions. Unfortunately, though, in practice the day before the event, Bruce Edwards and Dave Shelton hit a submerged object, most likely a whale and did extensive damage to the transom of his boat, reducing the fleet by one. This also made him 3 for 3 over the summer, having his other two boats damaged in different events this year, although I am sure he will be quick to point out, not by him. His upcoming trip to cruise his big boat in the Northwest has been replaced by a camping trip in the mountains.

After a lengthy discussion at the briefing it was decided that we would have a change to the SI’s and add a throw out to the scores, which, as it turned out made only a few changes to the scores, the biggest losers being Eric Anderson and Parker Shin who would have been third not fourth. Almost everyone else stayed the same.

And so, to the racing, Friday saw us racing four double windward/leeward races, in picture postcard Santa Cruz conditions, 15 knots at the bottom of the course up into the 20’s at the top. The racing was not typical Santa Cruz though, with the windward mark set further North than we were used to “banging” the right was not the way to go and picking the best path up the beat and avoiding or at least managing the kelp situation was the name of the game, that and keeping an eye out for inquisitive whales… At the end of the day and despite always being pushed hard by different teams Adam and Mike ended the day with a perfect score, Jeff and Ted managed to get three seconds and Rob and Mike had a2,3,4 swim… Other notable performance came from Reeve and Kevin with three threes and Kea and Paul get a 4th in race one, Kea’s first race in a 5Oh.

Saturday was a very different day, with the fog not clearing the beach and the wind mostly in the low teens. Visibility was also something of an issue and mark spotting was as critical as breeze and shift spotting. Rob and Mike had the best of the day with a 1,3,1 ruining team Lowry/Martin’s perfect score. However, they still had a 2,1,2 to stay firmly in control. Behind these two teams everyone was having a mixed bag with Jon and Howie picking up the other 2nd on offer.

Going into the last day it wasn’t exactly all to play for, more maybe something different might happen. Adam and Mike held a 7 point lead from Rob and Mike with Jeff and Ted a further 10 points back in 3rd. The fog had cleared and the breeze was in, somewhere between 12 and 16 for the most part, three lovely races were held. Adam and Mike resumed their dominance from day 1, clearly upset by Holtie claiming the day on Saturday and put the hammer down to win all 3. Behind them everyone had their moments with Stu and Ryan having a good day as did Blaine and AJ particularly impressing in a very tight fleet.

A fantastic three days of racing, great to see a big PNW fleet come down and amazing race management from Mike Gross and his team at SCYC. Ten races, no recalls, perfect beats, can’t blame his team for the kelp or the whales.

22. Dave Shelton/Bruce Edwards USO 1 Boat 0. Could have been in the running, Dave will tell us the winners were lucky.
21. Mackenzie Cook/Paul Tara. DNF, DNS, DNS, DNS, 19, DNS, DNS, 19, 17, DNS 187 points. Mackenzie’s first go in a 5O5 regatta, hopefully not his last, definitely not Paul’s first!
20. Will Lowe/Ryan Nelson. DNC, DNC, DNC, DNC, 20, 20, 19, 21, 19,18 183 points. First time in the new boat, lots of potential still to come.
19. Ian O’leary/Steve Anderes 18,18,17,16,21,19,20,20, DNS, DNS 171 points. Ian survived on the wire, Steve survived Ian on the wire!
18. Sugar Flanagan/ Cody Kowalski 16,17,15,14,17,18,15,13,14,16 137 points Sugar and Cody defied the boats 40 years with some impressive results.
17. Rob Waterman/Aaron Ross 14,14,13,DNS, 18,14,13,18,16,17 137 points How the mighty fall, winner last time out…
16. Matt Merchant/Tim Murphy 17,19,16,13,16,16,14,17,15,10 134 points Matt and Tim are really starting to up their game and get in amongst it, great last race with a 10.
15. Mike Powell/Lee Laney 15,15,12,17,14,11,16,15,18,11 126 points. Right in amongst the tightly packed middle of the fleet, 2 weeks of sailing at the Worlds will see them move up.
14. Tom Crawford Pierre Jeangirard 12,16, RTD, 12, 15, 12, 12,14, 13,14 120 points. A former PCC Champion who will benefit from his time in Annapolis
13. Blaine Pedlow/A.J Conrads DNC, 13, DNS, DNS, 10,10,6,7,9,5 104 points. Would have been top ten without the alphabet scores, great last day
12. Brent Campbell/Mats Elf 13,8,8,10,12,13,17,16,7,15 102 points. So close to breaking through to the front, you feel it is just a matter of time.
11. Kea Ho/Paul Allen 4,12,9,11,13,17,18,12,11,13 102 points. Hard to believe Kea had not trapezed before Thursday and good to see Paul back in a 5Oh.
10. Paul VonGrey/Kerry Poe 11,11,10,7,5,15,11,9,12,19 91 points. Another team that you feel is close to a breakthrough, a Worlds will be good for this team
9. Tommy Fink/JB Turney 10,9,7,8,8,6,9,10,10,9 76 points. Always going well, not quite closing
8. Pat Diola/Jeff Miller 9,10,11,9,6,4,3,11,3,12 66 points. Good run in the middle of the regatta, let down by some bigger scores
7. Reeve Dunne/Kevin Taugher 3,4,3,3,7,9,10,6,RTD, 8 53 points. Wheels came off a bit after a flying start, looking for this team to step it up in Annapolis
6. Stuart Park/Ryan Cox 7,6,14,6,3,7,7,4,8,2 50 points. Second outing this year for this team and getting better with every race.
5. Jon Bell/Howie Hamlin 6,7,5,5,9,2,4,8,2,6 45 points. It shows how deep the fleet was that the NA’s champ could only come 5th. Good to see Jon out too.
4. Eric Anderson/Parker Shinn 5,5,6,4,4,8,5,5,5,4 43 points. Robbed of 3rd by the discard, Eric and Parker were flying.
3. Jeff Nelson/Ted Conrads 8,2,2,2,11,5,8,2,6,7 42 points. A fantastic first day then a tour around the fleet but ultimately a podium spot for this talented team.
2. Rob Woelfel/Mike Holt 2,3,4,15,1,3,1,3,4,3 24 points. Fast but not fast enough. Rob’s diet now started in earnest. Sorry Tyler, Mike M made him eat all the pies.
1. Adam Lowry/Mike Martin 1,1,1,1,2,1,2,1,1,1 10 points. The World Champions prevail, in the hottest fleet in the 5O5 World at present.

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