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

Report from Nassau and the Western Hemnisphere Championship
By various
Apr 12, 2010, 11:17

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Wednesday, April 14: by Barbara Beigel Vosbury:
I cannot understand why there are not 50 boats here in Nassau. This is the most beautiful place, the water is clear and green, the breeze is always up and the people are very friendly, helpful and accommodating. If you're reading this from your desk, you are in the wrong place! You should be HERE!

George Szabo and Mark Strube, Harry Knowles Series.
Photo by Fried Elliott.
Yesterday was Harry Knowles Series. Harry was Sir Durward’s father. This was to be the last race in a Star for Sir Durward but unfortunately he was in a car wreck after driving his friend Paul Cayard to the airport. Sir Durward is getting better every day and expects to be out of the hospital by the end of this week. The breeze was up yesterday and Race one started in about 16 kts of breeze. We sailed Course 1, which is a triangle-windward-finish downwind. The course to the first mark was 090. The seas were 3-5 feet and the breeze was forecast to build. The reaches were really fun—I see why there is a growing trend to bring them back. Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn were the winners of Race 1.

The breeze was stronger for Race 2 and had shifted 10 degrees left. Reaching between races became a race with the porpoises. We are certainly in the tropics! By the time we got to the weather mark the breeze was probably 19 kts and building. WOO HOO what a ride! By the bottom mark the breeze was up to 22-23 kts. This old girl bailed at the bottom just after a rig went down. The rest of the fleet slugged up the weather leg and I understand there was a lot more reaching the dead down running on the run to the finish. Good for everyone who finished.

Race 3 was cancelled because the breeze was up. No sense in breaking anymore equipment. As it was there were little things broken or stretched out and a lot of work going on in the parking lot.

Today was to be the first race of the Western Hemisphere Championship, but alas, the breeze was already 18-20 kts at 0900 and forecast for up to 25 or more. At 1000 PRO John Rumsey postponed all races for the day. Tomorrow we will start on time and there is a Junkanoo scheduled for the evening. Ah, a taste of the islands, mon.


Sunday, April 11, 2010 by Paul Cayard:

I flew in to Nassau today largely to see one person - Sir Durward Knowles. The Star Western Hemisphere Spring Championship will take place here this week and 32 teams are here training. It means a lot to Durward to have the Stars here in his hometown. Durward is the Commodore of the International Star Class. He is a Gold Medalist, World Champion and a great man. He is a hero in the Bahamas and noted more for his charitable work than for his sporting accomplishments. Durward took me into his home in 1982 during the Spring Championship and hosted me and my crews many times since. He is a great friend and mentor.

Mark Reynolds, Sir Durward Knowles, Paul Cayard
I am unable to defend my title here this week due to other commitments, so I was planning to simply stop by for a visit but then had the unexpected pleasure of being asked to go for a sail. Andrew Campbell is out in Long Beach coaching the CISA clinic so his crew Brad Nichol asked me if I wanted to go out for a little tune up.

So I did. Nassau is my favorite place in the world to race. The wind the waves, the crystal clear water and warm temperatures all combine to make this an intensely exotic venue.

It was blowing 15 knots from the northeast today. The waves were moderate and the sea was warm as always. Surfing back toward the yacht club I was thinking back to my first sail here 30 years ago and how that downwind ride never changes. New construction never ceases on Paradise Island and the tourists have trampled through the hotels. But no one can change that beautiful sea and wind.

So, all in a day.... I spent time my good friend and felt my favorite wind and sea. I feel pretty lucky.


Text and photos by Barbara Beigel Vosbury:
The Star Class Western Hemisphere Championship returns to one of its favorite venues, The Nassau Yacht Club and the great winds of Montague Bay. The Star Class has held two World Championships and a many WHCs in Nassau, Bahamas. The consistent winds (20 knots plus!) and huge waves are a paradise for Star sailors. Surfing down 12-foot waves in big breeze is exhilarating!! Planing a Star for 200 meters and more is an experience Star sailors savor. Plus, the clear water offers visibility to depths of over 25 feet.

Social hour: Brad Nichol, Rick Burgess, Jim Buckingham
The Nassau Yacht Club is the home of Class Commodore Sir Durward Knowles. Elected Class Commodore in 1982, he is the longest serving Commodore in class history. He was Knighted by Queen Elisabeth II in 1996. He also won the Star World Championship in 1947 and then a Gold Medal in the Star during the 1964 Olympics. At 92 years old he is still an inspiration for all sailors, with his sailing and his humor. His generous support of many charities in the Bahamas is far reaching. The Star Class is honored to have him as Commodore.

Past winners in Nassau include: Paul Cayard, John MacCausland, Andrew Menkart, Mark Reynolds, and Sir Durward Knowles. This year's list of talented Star sailors include: Mark Reynolds, George Szabo, Richard Clarke, Andrew Campbell, Luca Modena, Mark Mendelblatt, and Hans Spitzauer. The Star Class looks forward to its return to Nassau, and the incredible hospitality of the members of the Nassau Yacht Club. Nassau is sure to be another great launch of the Star Class Centennial Celebration in 2011.

View of the pier at Nassau

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