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This Article Last Updated: Oct 14th, 2010 - 15:13:49 

2009 Off to a Good Start - from Bill Allen
By Bill Allen, ISCYRA President
Feb 9, 2009, 12:22

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Bill Allen, ISCYRA President.
Photo by Barbara Beigel Vosbury.
Only a month into the New Year, 2009 is off to a great start. The winter circuit in Miami has been a great kickoff in North America. Two weekend events and the Miami Olympic Classes regatta filled January, but it was the recently completed Zag Masters event (named after longtime Star icon Frank Zagarino) that really epitomized what the Star Class is about. 25 sailors competed, many of whom have been sailing stars for 30 tears or more. (48 for me - I started when I was 2!)

The competition was fierce, with several Olympians crewing, but the camaraderie was what had everyone talking on Sunday. The recovery of my aging body from 3 days of sailing in 15 to 18 knots is aided by the great feelings I have about the wonderful atmosphere at our regattas.

Don't get me wrong, the class is very proud of its Olympic heritage, and the fact that so many elite sailors choose the Star as their one-design of choice is great. But our class has so much to offer to sailors of any age and ability.

I hope you will all plan to attend one of our major events this year. Our Silver Star events in particular promise to be memorable regattas, combining top competition with wonderful friendship. The next one, our Western hemisphere Championship, is in Pass Christian, Mississippi, USA beginning March 31. The Gulf Coast is a great place to sail, and the class is looking forward to helping the Yacht Club in celebrating it's recovery from Hurricane Katrina. Hope to see you there!

Of course the World's Championship in Sweden will be a super event, in the tradition of all Star World's.

The Class had a great year in 2008. We successfully moved our office to Annapolis under the leadership of Executive Director Barbara Vosbury. She has done a great job and I am sure many of you have appreciated the very professional way our office has been managed. So please help out and send in your dues today!

We have a few personnel changes for 2009. Martin Ingold has agreed to serve on our Judiciary Board, which has the infrequent but very important function of interpreting class rules.

Melinda Berge, who has done such a great job as webmaster, including e-starlights, and LOG editor, has added the responsibility for our Starlights magazines as well. This will put all of our major communication in Melinda's capable hands. This year we will continue the main fall magazine, and will add a smaller one in June to review winter (summer in the southern hemisphere) activities and highlight activities for the remainder of the year. We are discontinuing the other printed newsletters, preferring to focus on the 2 main magazines and the LOG. Current news, information and results will be quickly available on the web page.

Otherwise our Class Management Committee and International Governing committee remain intact, and are looking forward to a great year. We are continuing to look for ways to promote the class and recruit new members. Any of the officers would welcome suggestions from around the world.

We have a couple of significant rule changes, approved in December. Of particular interest is the limiting of contact with coach boats on race days at major championships. This will cut down congestion on the course area, but most importantly, will help ensure fair competition.

All in all, 2009 is shaping up as another great year for the Star class. With a bit of a lull from the Olympic frenzy, it is a good chance for weekend warriors to enjoy the competition and camaraderie of the best class in the world.

Hope to see many of you on the course, or at apres sail.

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