Wednesday, 30 March 2011

American Crew Hit the Surf at SAP 505 Worlds

Mike Martine and Geoff Ewenson get a big downhill ride! Image copyright Christophe Favreau.

by Di Pearson

American skipper Mike Martin and his crew Geoff Ewenson could not take the sitting around at the 2011 SAP 505 World Championship any longer; Martin, apart from being the 2009 world champion, is also a lover of heavy weather sailing.

Itchy feet and irresistible big seas got the better of the two when it became clear that this would be the third day in a row they would have to sit it out on the beach at Hamilton Island.

Racing was abandoned once again due to foul weather, so bad even the planes have been unable to land or take off.

Martin and Ewenson surf down a wave. Image copyright Christophe Favreau.

So down the sands to their boat the Americans went, and into the surf beating into Catseye Beach, while the rest of the 86 boat fleet and assorted others watched and waited...

As the saying goes: “Warning - do not try this at home – it is dangerous”

Mike Martin and Geoff Ewenson half hidden by waves. Image copyright Christophe Favreau.

But it was worth every minute of viewing. The surf was running - the waves and swell were big – just right for some serious action for the masters of big weather.

Event photographer Christophe Favreau decided the opportunity was too good to miss and events should be recorded. Former 505 world champion, Darren Nicholson, took Favreau aboard his rib and the two braved the conditions to record the sail – as is evidenced in these photos.

Mike Martin and Geoff Ewenson launch off a wave. Image copyright Christophe Favreau.

Watching the Americans’ enjoying themselves, a handful of other competitors were tempted onto the water too. It just wasn’t a day to safely run a race with 87 boats, but it was good for the pros who can handle themselves in big 25-33 knot winds that beset Catseye Bay.

Family and fans can follow racing live via the tracker with SAP analysis, video and more on the official site at: