Many of the Scandinavians
were disappointed that Varberg didn't give us more wind. One record that
will be hard to beat is the eleven general recalls before the second race.
The line was long, the skippers anxious, and one end totally favored.
Everyone was determined to start there: indeed, there was nowhere else
to start, and a great jam developed there every time. Someone mentioned
current; but boats were over and luffing two minutes before the gun. The
line was shifted several times, and the wind went around with it. After
two hours of this everybody gave up and spread out somehow, and the race
The trophy presentation
featured wonderful prizes presented by local Varberg merchants to the
first 20 finishers. Duplin won a rowboat, Timir Pinegin chose enough epoxy
paint to cover twenty Stars, and Lowell
North couldn't resist the tandem bicycle. Ulf Schroder deserves a
decoration for his flawless arrangements, that got the boats first to
Varberg and thence to Kiel.
The skippers' meeting
on Monday was routine but for the announcement of one innovation: there
would be a middle marker on the starting line. With the aid of this and
the extremely long lines, there was not a single general recall during
the week and very few individual recalls. But the real reason for the
excellent starting conditions was the superbly set lines, precisely square
to the wind direction.
Joe Duplin went directly inshore, hit a starboard tack header, and in one tack led at the weather mark with Paul Elvstrom close behind. Scandale passed Goldstar on the reach. As Joe said later, "I thought, if he can do it, let him go ahead. Was I surprised!" The second time up the inshore tack was again favored; Elvstrom took it, stayed ahead, and won the race, with Duplin, Peter Tallberg and Dick Stearns following in that order. A local favorite, Bruno Splieth, with a brand new boat, tried a straight downwind approach to the finish that proved disastrous; he lost the mast over the bow in what by now was a force 7 breeze (about 35 statute miles per hour, or more than 30 knots). The toll was a stiff one: 9 out with some kind of rigging trouble or breakdown, one withdrawal, 67 finishers. Worse was in store.
Other favorites from the European Championship, Pinegin and North, were 6th and 8th. North, with Finn silver medalist Peter Barrett as crew, spent the rest of the afternoon and evening laminating a batten on the forward side of their compression-cracked mast.
The evening's festivities, hosted by Paul Fischer's crew, Mr. Ottomar Lampe of Kiel, proved to be a highlight of the social week. As they entered the party a familiar sight greeted the crews: a boat full of water- but with some added features in the form of ice and full bottles of every description.
Ding Schoonmaker, sailing on a port run to the finish line, caught a puff from the lee and with the vang still on heeled the boat into a trough. The bow and rail went under, and so did the boat. Ding and crew John Beyer suffered little but for the cold. The boat was recovered and after some minor repairs finished a very good series despite the mishap. 25 boats failed to finish the race. Lowell North's comment was, "I've never sailed in anything like this, not even in Portugal".
Joe Duplin was used to this kind of weather but his boom wasn't and it broke on the first reach. He tied things together and sailed the rest of the race, breaking a Barney post, and still managed to finish 16th. Dick Stearns' second in this race put Glider into a strong second place in the series standings to date.
On Wednesday, many skippers were still busy making repairs when the third race was postponed and finally declared off for the day, in the same sort of conditions. No one was sorry.
At the mid-series trophy presentation that night Paul Elvstrom, leading by two points, was given a warm welcome to the Star 1966 World's.
Paul Elvstrom, four times Olympic Gold medalist, current 5.5 World's Champion, culminated a record year by winning the most coveted Star World's Championship.
Elvstrom is no stranger to Stars. He first appeared as crew with Albert Debarge in both the European and World's Championships in 1957. They were runners-up in both events. He has raced in several Kiel Week regattas. His diamond Star rig is well known. During the series he continually made adjustments; when it was all over he had changed the mast position 13 times. Among other things, during the week he installed jib sheet outhaulers. He sailed the Star like a dinghy, and even the crew had the typical tail-in-the-sea style, as John can ruefully testify. Paul's constant plea, when Albrechtson wanted to rest, was, "Hike out; I can't see the waves". If he couldn't see the waves, he said, it was like sailing blind. Paul's superb downwind sailing is something to envy: he keeps the boat very flat with the skipper and crew amidships and maneuvers into each wave always trying to maintain a downhill position, easier said than done as the accompanying photographs testify.
The perfect combination of boat mastery, the right winds, good crew, fine starts, and, one must admit, "A little bit o' luck", have always been the determining factors in the winning of a Star World's, and 1966 was no different.
Bruno Splieth had more than his share of bad luck, In the last race he was on starboard, a port tack boat tacked too close, and hooked the top of Bruno's mast, bringing his second mast of the series clattering down. The other boat was not damaged.... Eckart Wagner sailed a good series but for one race. I'm sure he is still wondering how he managed to misjudge the start of the first race when he sailed below the flag and had to cross on port tack. He finished 36th.... The misfortune that befell Lynn Williams can serve as a warning to all. Tying a bowline while picking up a tow after the last race he caught his index finger in the knot, severing it at the first joint.... On the way to the Yacht Club for the trophy presentation the new World's Champion lost the trailer and Scandale went on a solo ride that ended at a brick wall: no damage.
The Kieler Yacht Club,
with a final display of their outstanding organizational ability, staged
an exceptional dinner. President Frank
Gordon was the master of ceremonies and the presentations were made
by Otto Schlenzka, whose efforts were among those primarily responsible
for the success of this great event.