1993 World Championship, Kiel. Germany
Race Reports by Leading Skippers (from the 1994 Log)
The Norddeutscher Regatta Verein and the Kieler Yacht Club e.V. invited the World of the Stars to hold their 1993 World Championship in Kiel, Germany. The boats were berthed in Strande and the racing was on Course B between the lighthouses Bulk and Kiel. Ninety boats from eighteen nations and sixty-nine Fleets were registered and measured. The Boat Hall of the Kieler Yacht Club in Strande was decorated as the Star Hall with a Race Office, Star Desk, Jury Office, and where all social activities were planned.
In 1977, during the last World's in Kiel there was a splendid late summer, beautiful weather with sunshine and light winds, while this year a storm and rain caused us to not race for two days. However, six races were conducted in six days, with two races each on the last two days of the regatta.
The Star veterans wanted to see the kids racing. Paul Elvstrom, World Champion at Kiel in 1966, came down from Copenhagen with his cruising boat and attending the Opening Ceremony. Dr. Peter Hansohm, third at the World's in Kiel in 1939, watched the races each day with great interest. Ottomar Lampe, former Star sailor, gave a large party for the attending group in his home. Every day a large spectator boat fleet followed the races, with well-known sailors on board to provide all needed information.
Every night there was another party. It all started with the Welcoming Ceremony, when the President of the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, Uwe von Below, the President of the International Yacht Racing Union, Peter Talberg, and the President of the Star Class, Jack Rickard, addressed the competitors and many attendees.
Following three of the races there were localized parties held in the Star Hall, when the "Hamburg Party" had a fantastic video program with Labskaus, followed by a "Kiel Party" with a superior fish soup dish, and concluded by a "Bavarian Party" with beer and sausages prepared by Bavarian Star sailors.
The mid-week Prize Giving Party, without prizes being awarded, took place in the Schiffahrtsmuseum and the Banquet, with the final Prize Giving, took place at the clubhouse of the Kieler Yacht Club in Kiel. Most competitors were pleased with the challenging racing conditions. One even said, "I am glad to be in the cold, when I go home it is always so hot."
Many thanks to the Heinz Nixdorf Verein zur Forderung des Segelsports e.V., the major sponsor, to enable us to accept entries from youth skippers and from the Eastern Countries with out an entry fee, and to provide special prizes of sails and a mast for the winning youth skipper daily during the series.
THE FIRST RACE By Benny Anderson
The first race of the 1993 World's began in medium, northeasterly winds of 10 to 12 knots, increasing to 14 to 16 knots at the finish. A fleet of ninety Stars got off the starting line well for the first mark, with our boat starting about in the middle of the pack to, with the largest part of the fleet, tack early onto port.
We stayed on port until we were about one-fourth from the starboard layline, then tacked. During the initial tack it was my impression that the fleet was lifted by stronger winds coming from the windward side, and for sometime we looked to be in a rather poor position compared with the boats to windward. Then the wind shifted a bit to the right to allow us to tack across on starboard before most of the boats, except three. The Swedes Wallen / Lohse, the Americans Londrigan / Trinter, and the Italians Chieffi / Salani were slightly ahead of us and also trying the shifts to secure the lead. We played a number of wind shifts until reaching the first mark with success to round in first place. Because we were able to get away on the first reach and to increase our lead during each leg, we were never seriously threatened during the rest of the race, crossing first. In second were Wallen / Lohse, third, Reynolds / Schreiner, and in fourth, Londrigan / Trinter.
THE SECOND RACE By Torben Grael
The second race of the 1993 World's was sailed in increasing wind conditions, at 15 knots when the race started and with gusts up to 25 knots in a steady 20 plus knot wind at finishing.
With good surfing conditions on the reaches, each reach was an important time to gain positions as soon as possible as the wind was becoming stronger and the right side of the windward leg seemed favored. Reaches became critical, since it was difficult to pass many boats upwind. The start was, as always, important and with some boats over early, also as always, it was a battle to win from the beginning.
During the runs it was critical to keep moving well without filling the boat with water, or dipping the pole on the high or short waves. Catching his pole is possibly what cost Jose Doreste and Javier Hermida of Spain, their mast during their last upwind leg while we believe in clear second place. The race finished with a very clean victory for Joe Londrigan and Phil Trinter, while Steve Erickson and I were second, and Vincent Hoesch with Vincent Geysen crewing in third.
THE THIRD RACE By Vincent Brun
After Tuesday's race being cancelled because of too much wind and Wednesday's race lost because of no wind, the sailors were excited to find a nice, steady 4 to 6 Beaufort breeze blowing from the northeast for Thursday's third race of the 1993 International Star Class World Championship. The fleet went out early because the Race Committee announced that two Olympic Course races would be sailed.
After a general recall the fleet got off to a good start. Mike and I started one third the way down the fine from the committee boat with clear air and very good boat speed, which was not a simple achievement in a large field. We played the middle and right side on the first beat placed us third to Italians Paolo Semeraro and Massimo Procopio with a large lead, and American Mark Reynolds and Hugo Schreiner into the first mark.
On the cold, wet and wild reaches when a dipped pole could finish the series for any boat, Reynolds / Schreiner and our boat caught up with Semeraro / Procopio to now challenge for the lead. In the second beat, Hagen / Falkenthal, Kostecki / Maher, and Grael/Erickson played the right side of the course to round the mark ahead of us while we were on the left side.
The run was very exciting with huge waves and a solid wind to cause the lead to change several times among the leading five boats. Fortunately for us we had excellent downwind speed to round the leeward mark in second place behind John Kostecki and Marcus Maher. We continued to apply pressure, working the right side of the final beat to cross Kostecki / Maher and, then to cover them and the fleet to finish first. Second were Kostecki / Maher and in third were Hagen / Falkenthal.
THE FOURTH RACE by Hans Wallen
The fourth race of the 1993 World's was held in near 4 Beaufort conditions. The hardest thing to calculate in this race were the different current directions on the course. I judge that the current was in a circle around the course, with an upwind direction on the right side and heading left at the first mark, to then go downwind on the left side. On the first beat a group went left and looked very good at the beginning, while we were taking a middle course, working shifts and trying to go left. As the fleet approached the first mark a large group of boats on the left overstood the mark to pushing currents, with the right side boats rounding first, and our middle approach placing us roughly fourteenth.
On the next beat the position of the original mark was changed to the left to correct for the wind shift during the first beat. As we began the beat we were a bit confused over the situation, knowing the wind and current problems earlier on the left side. The wind was working left, so we played the shifts working left on the course also, which was very good and moved us from roughly tenth to a comfortable third at the mark. The group just behind us was very tight as we rounded with Londrigan / Trinter in the lead and MacCausland / Beckwith running second.
On the last beat the group played all of the shifts very hard. We had very good speed and after three-quarters of the beat we passed John MacCausland and tried to close on the leader. The race finished with us just a few boat lengths behind winners Joe Londrigan and Phil Trinter for second place with Alex Hagen and Kai Falkenthal placing third and John MacCausland and Eric Beckwith in fourth.
THE FIFTH RACE by Alexander Hagen
The fifth race of the 1993 World's began in a strong northwesterly, steep waves— Kiel at its very best! Only one general recall, then a black flag and off we go. It is amazing how easily the Race Committee manages to get ninety boats over the line every day. We believe that this was our best start in the series, covered from both sides and in the first line with clear air, hopefully not over early. We tacked as soon as we could cross Torben Grael and Steve Erickson, which was a good decision because we were on a long tack to the mark with room to play those little shifts. Jose Doreste, Torben Grael to our left and Albino Fravezzi and Sergio Mulazzi in front of us. These were the boats we had to play with.
Suddenly we looked back to see a rubber boat facing us. "No, God please not us!" I said more to myself, but Kai also looked very unhappy.
The rubber boat passed us and went straight to poor Albino Fravezzi— PMS! Oh, sailing can often be so cruel, the penalties are so hard, but we still cannot stay away from the sport. For certain a PMS in this race would have been a disaster for us after having had a crash in the second race, but we rounded first. On the reach the Brazilian and American teams took the lead to place us third.
We took chances on the second beat to get to the front again, but once more Benny Andersen and Mogens Just did it much smarter by sailing a little more in the middle than the others, who went to the left side. When he sailed to the mark, he crossed us about seventy meters ahead and never gave the lead away. We made a little mistake on the run to round in fourth, but had Jose Doreste again at the finish line. With one more breezy race to go, Benny Andersen and Mogens Just are only 6.8 points behind Londrigan and Trinter, and Grael and Erickson poised to finish the series well. A great competition!
THE SIXTH RACE by Joe Londrigan
Going into the final race of the 1993 World Championship there were five teams that had a mathematical chance to win. We were the low point leaders going into this race, just as we had been one year earlier in San Francisco just to finish in second place. This year we hoped our fate would be different.
Following race five, the Friday afternoon conditions were similar to the morning with 15 to 18 knot winds oscillating out of the northwest, with very steep waves. As in many of the previous races the pin end was favored. In order to avoid the congestion, confused air and fouling possibilities, we decided to start near the middle of the line and were the first boat to tack to port, just crossing Alex Hagen's bow by inches. On this tack we adjusted our sail trim to adapt to the steep chop and the boat responded well to enable us to edge out in front of the fleet. Similar to earlier races much of the beat was on port and if you were patient enough to wait for the wind to shift it allowed more of a tactical advantage at the end of the leg, as the majority of boats were piled up on the port layline sailing in dirty air. Again, this was exactly what happened to allow Res Bienz and Beat Stegmeier to ride a starboard tack lift across the fleet to round in first, followed by us, followed by John Kostecki and Marcus Maher.
Near the end of the first reach, the positions changed as both John Kostecki and I were able to surf the final wave into the mark, with John rounding first, we in a close second and Res third. At the leeward mark the positions were unchanged. In assessing our position we determined that Torben Grael was already too deep in the fleet to be a factor, however, Hans Wallen, Alex Hagen and Benny Andersen were each within striking distance to secure the lead. In going into the second weather leg the Race Committee made an excellent decision in moving the weather mark to the left because of the shifting winds. We were able to capitalize on the new mark placement and after rounding immediately tacked onto starboard, leading the fleet to the left side of the course. Hans Wallen was working the left side, Benny Andersen was working the right side, so we decided to stay in the middle of the course until it became more apparent which side would pay off. This worked well, as later in the leg there was some confusion about the placement of the new weather mark, with many sailing toward the old mark still in place. Meanwhile Hans Wallen Mark Reynolds and Mats Johansson worked left towards the new mark.
The marks were hard to see with steep waves and overcast sky, and between the two visible marks was an orange channel marker, which made matters worse. In previous races a mark boat had been on-station at the weather mark, but for this race, there was a boat at each mark. By staying in the middle, we were able to delay our decision to tack until the location of the new mark became more obvious. As it happened many boats overstood on the right layline and we rounded the mark in the lead, with Mats Johansson in second, John Kostecki in third.
The leading three places were unchanged for the remainder of the race. For Phil and me it was a fantastic way to finish the series, After the race, Steve Erickson mentioned that this was the first time in over fifty years that a team had come back to win the World's after having finished second the previous year. For us, for the many Star sailors, it was a superior regatta— our many thanks to all involved in Kiel.