1991 Western Hemisphere Championship, New Orleans, Louisiana (results)
By Andrew Menkart
The Western Hemisphere Spring Championship returned this year to the Southern Yacht Club, New Orleans, Louisiana, for the twenty-first time. The first spring Silver Star was held in New Orleans in 1939 and the most recent was in 1985. The SYC has a long and successful tradition of Star Class racing. The regatta program, a bulletin board of historic photos, and the numerous historic Star trophies and memorabilia throughout the Club were enjoyable items of interest for competitors and visitors. Undoubtedly one of the most impressive displays in the Club are the Olympic Gold Medals of Gilbert Gray and Andrew Libano, Jr. from the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The medals are mounted on a wall in the bar together with photos from the event and a star hull half-model.
It became obvious from the moment that the competitors arrived that the Regatta Chairman Al Grevemberg and his volunteers from the SYC and New Orleans Gulf Star Fleet were well organized and prepared for a first class championship. Welcome banners on the clubhouse, assigned dry stall parking places, three hoists, ample parking, and lots of southern hospitality all combined to se the stage for an efficient and enjoyable regatta.
The names on the entry list indicated that the competition would be strong. In addition to most of the top Americans, there were teams present from Canada, Sweden, Brazil, New Zealand, Germany, Argentina and the Virgin Islands.
The Championship was preceded on Saturday and Sunday by three race Commodore Ernest Lee Jahncke Series. The defending Western Hemisphere Spring Champions Mats Johansson and Stephen Hemlin showed that they were still in top form by winning the medium wind series with first, fourth and third placings. Second in the series was Vince Brun and Hugo Schreiner, followed by Andrew Menkart and Chris Rogers in third place.
Monday, the opening day of Spring’s dawned cool and windy, with a shifty 12 to 20 knot breeze out of the south. Race Committee Chairman Stewart R. “Tootie” Barnett showed the fleet that he meant business by setting the line well offshore into the choppy waters of Lake Ponchatrain and hoisting code flag O to signify a full Olympic course for the first race of the initial, tow race day. Johansson and Hemelin set the pace early by winning the first race, followed by Ed Adams who was sailing with 1987 World Champion crew Tom Olsen. The second race was taken by Brun and Schreiner, followed by Canadians Ross Macdonald and Bruce Macdonald. Johansson and Hemelin were disqualified for a premature start.
The wind on Tuesday was still in the 16-18 knot range, but had shifted somewhat more to the west with the heading to the first mark being 205 degrees. Thunderstorms threatened throughout the day, particularly on the last beat when a dark storm cell loomed on the left side of the course and lured most of the fleet towards it in the hope of increased winds. Adams and Olsen lead the fleet across the finish followed by Olympic Silver Medalists Mark Reynolds and Hal Haenel. Brun and Schreiner climbed to third from about tenth at the last mark disregarding the dark clouds and playing the shifts on the middle right side of the last leg.
Wednesday brought a cool east wind that read 20-24 knots of the clubhouse anemometer, with forecasts for possible thundershowers. The Race Committee hoisted the postponement flag on the impressive, front lawn flagpole prior to the first boat leaving the harbor. As the breeze moderated, the AP flag was lowered at 10:30 a.m. signifying a 12:30 p.m. start for the first of the two scheduled races for the day. The wind was only about 15 knots by the start of the course “1” race. The east wind followed a persistent veer to the right on the first leg, allowing boats that got slightly to the right side immediately after the start to tack back to starboard and lay the mark while others floundered on the left side or over stood from too far right. John A. MacCausland and Tod Raynor lead at the top mark and hung onto the lead despite a second reach thunderstorm and a downpour that almost killed the wind. Reynolds and Haenel moved into second place ahead of Joe Londrigan and Mark Busch on the tricky second beat. The three teams carried those positions down the run to the finish. Adams and Olsen pulled themselves up from a troublesome first leg to finish fourth and to add another keeper to their scores of two-six-one. Within minutes of the fleet finishing the wind died completely. Boats that had carelessly sailed away to rest and recuperate for the next race were now struggling to get back to the Race Committee boat in time for the starting signals of the second race. Sensing the unpredictable nature of the day, “Tootie” Barnett hoisted the cancellation flags and fired three guns to abandon racing for the remainder of the day. Just as some boats were lowering sails and making up to two-boats the wind filled in from the east-northeast and built to over 20 knots to provide one of the fastest reaches of the week for those left sailing. The view from the Club’s bar got particularly exciting as the fleet charged through the breakwater past the club on a wild ride home. The top performance was undoubtedly made by Larry Whipple and Garth Olson who spun into a wild death roll and jibe as the eyestrap holding the mainsheet block onto the rear deck pulled out and almost caused them to be unannounced guests at the end boathouse!
The Race Committee posted a notice announcing their intentions to run races five and six on Thursday in winds forecast to be southeast at 17-25 knots. The leaders going into the final day were Reynolds and Haenel with 19.7 points, followed by Adams and Olsen, Londrigan and Busch and Brun and Schreiner. The first mark for the full Olympic course first race was set at 105 degrees. The wind was oscillating for this race, but continually seemed to favor the right side of the windward legs with slightly more velocity and veers that would last some-what longer than backs. Reynolds and Haenel strengthened their hold on the series lead by winning race five. Second was Londrigan and Busch, followed by Adams and Olsen, and the Swedish team of Hans Wallen and Patrick Erlandsson.
The last race presented Reynolds and Haenel with only one task in order to win the Championship: prevent Adams and Olsen from winning the race. Adams and Olsen in turn would finish second in the Championship as long as Londrigan and Busch did not finish either first or second in the last race. Indeed, the stage was set of ran exciting finale. Reynolds and Haenel were the aggressors in a pre-start match racing encounter with Adams and Olsen. Both teams got off the line together at the pin end, with Reynolds and Haenel in a controlling position that allowed them to prevent their opponents from tacking back to port to join the fleet on the apparently favored right side. The separation grew until Adams and Olsen inched forward enough to be able to tack back across the course. Unfortunately for them they were by then positioned in the high teens with little chance of reaching the front group. The Londrigan and Busch team were doing just what they had to by gaining a substantial lead on the fleet at the first mark. Behind them were the Swedish team of Bengt Hellsten and Mats Hansson, followed by Menkart and Rogers. By the end of the reaches Menkart and Rogers had passed Hellsten and Hansson, as the 1990 North American Champions Gastao Brun and Andre Lekszycki had passed both teams to move into second place. The Londrigan and Busch lead had dwindled on the second beat to the degree that the run started as a dead heat between the now three leading boats. Brun and Lekszycki displayed some trademark Brazilian downwind speed to lead at the windward mar, followed by Londrigan and Busch, then Menkart and Rogers. The leading three teams battled up the last leg in a tight group, when the Brun boat broke one of the control wires that holds the jib car inboard to cause them to be somewhat slowed on one tack. A tacking duel ensued. The three boats each tacked about twenty times in the last quarter of the beat in a contest that saw Brun and Lekszycki the victors over Menkart and Rogers, who beat out Londrigan and Busch for second in the race and vanquished their hopes for a second in the series. Hellsten and Hansson held off the race winner’s brother, Vince Brun, to finish fourth in the race, but a fifth place was good enough for Brun and Schreiner to clinch a fourth in the series. MacCausland and Raynor climbed to sixth in the race to secure a fifth in the series.
The Friday night banquet was a gala affair that followed a day of packing-up boats and recuperating from a demanding six days of racing. The speeches and presentations were warm and lighthearted, with a particularly humorous story being told by Chief Judge and longtime ISCYRA Member Philip Botsolas. Barton W.B. Jahncke presided over the awarding of a magnificent collection of a perpetual and keeper trophies for the series and for daily winners. Much well deserved praise was heaped upon the many dedicated volunteers that made the Championship possible. A Star half-model was presented to Commodore G. Arthur Seaver, III by ISCYRA President Jack T. Rickerd on behalf of the Star Class in appreciation for the outstanding job done by the members of the Southern Yacht Club and the New Orleans Gulf Fleet. The participants were clearly happy to have been back to SYC for the Spring Championship, and resoundingly welcomed the invitation to return to SYC for the Spring Championship in 1995.
1993 Western Hemisphere Championship (results)
Nassau, Bahamas, by Steve Erickson
Stan Ogilvy wrote of Nassau in 1986, “Although the island has developed as a tourist resort, it is still one of the world’s finest sailing areas – many think the finest for Stars.” Once again the Bahamian hospitality, generosity, and world class regatta management has shone through! Seldom these days can one show up at a venue, have the boat sitting within meters of the hoist, be presented with personal accommodations second to none, and then, have some of the best weather and racing in the entire world— only in Nassau.
Oddly enough, some funny weather went through Nassau the first few days of our visit, forcing the Knowles Memorial Series to be raced as the first three races of the Spring Championship’s. John Kostecki teamed with Tom Olsen and sailed to win the Knowles with 14.7 points, 1-2-6 placings.
Olympic Gold Medalist Mark Reynolds and World Champion crew Hugo Schreiner teamed for second place in the Knowles at 16.7 points, 2-2-4, with Joe Londrigan and Phil Trinter placing third, 3-2-7, with 21.7 points.
As the Spring Championship unfolded, the competitors were treated to a very diverse set of conditions to test their abilities. Two of the six races were contested with crews in the bilge, tow races were hard-fought in moderate conditions of 7 to 12 knots, and a double-header day of 15-20 knot winds left many sailors a bit quite in the clubhouse that day after racing.
Prior to the last day’s contest, numerous teams had a shot at the “Silver” Star. Reynolds and Schreiner, Kostecki and Olsen were able to slingshot themselves well ahead of the rest of the fleet. Ast he last beat unfolded, Reynolds and Schreiner were ahead of Kostecki and Olsen, yet needed to get a boat between them. The problem was that the next boat was easily in excess of 200 meters behind. Three-quarters of the way up the beat, Reynolds and Schreiner made a move to sail on Kostecki’s wind to the point where Londrigan and Trinter, who had banged the left corner, were within striking distance of getting second place!
As the three boats approached the finish line, Reynolds and Schreiner were able to force Kostecki and Olsen about one last time, while Londrigan and Trinter took their stern. In what became a photo finish of the century, Kostecki and Olsen tacked into leeward of Londrigan and Trinter and finished with both boats luffing. There wasn’t a Star team of the water who missed that one. What a finish! The 1993 Champions, John Kostecki and Tom Olsen narrowly won over Mark Reynolds and Hugo Schreiner.
As the fleet packed up, there was talk of the series, the finish, the hospitality, and even a question of when the next World’s would return to this paradise of a venue. If you’ve never been to Nassau, New Providence Island of the Bahamas and the World’s is not there in the near future, take in a Spring Championship. Nassau, once again, hats off to you from the Star Class.
1997 Western Hemisphere Championship, New Orleans, Louisiana (results)
By Mark Reynolds
The Spring Championship of the Western Hemisphere returned to New Orleans for the first time since 1991. The Southern Yacht Club put on a great regatta with great food, sailing right off the Southern YC and great stories and friendship. Even the high river which cause a bit of flooding when we arrived couldn’t put a dent in this classic regatta. We feasted on Crawfish, Jambalaya and Catfish while entertained by Cajun music and jokes and stories from Barton Jahncke, Kyle Smith and others.
Race 1- The series started off in a moderate but decreasing wind that was fairly shifty with a gold cup course. Ben Mitchell/ Rick Peters lead around the first triangle but were passed by Joe Londrigan/ Chris Higgs at the end of the 2nd beat. Ben got Joe back on the run to the finish.
Race 2- By the start of te 2nd race of the day the wind was dying. We started in a light wind that got lighter as we sailed up the 1t beat. Rob Maine/ Andrew Higgs and Mark Reynolds/ Magnus Liljedahl were passed coming into the windward mark by a group led by Londrigan and Vince Brun/ Rodrigo Meirelles. The wind got very light and shifted about 100 degrees. Rob took the lead on the run but couldn’t find the newly positioned windward mark near the causeway and gave up the lead to Vince who widened the gap on the run to the finish.
Race 3- Good winds started off the second day on another double header. Brun lead at the first mark followed closely by Reynolds. John MacCausland/ Phil Trinter got ahead on the first reach when the leaders sailed too low but Londrigan took the lead on the 2nd beat and kept it to the finish.
Race 4- a 15 degree left shift soon after the start gave the boats on the left a big jump. Reynolds got stuck under the fleet on the right side but when the wind shifted back, Reynolds rounded the fist mark with a nice lead holding off MacCausland all the way around who finished 2nd.
Race 5- Good morning wind decreased until the start and the fleet progressed up the first beat in very light air. At the windward mark two of the leaders, Mitchell and Maine, were notified that they were PMS. Eric Doyle/ Brian Terhaar, Brun and Reynolds rounded the 1st mark in the same order that they finished. The consistent MacCausland pulled up from back in the pack to finish 5th but went into the last race 1 point behind Reynolds.
Race 6- The last day brought the best wind, about 16 knots. At the half hour gun Reynolds’ upper back stay let loose breaking the lower backstay wire at the spreader bracket. The mast laid over the bow but didn’t break. The upper was fixed (pin came out) and the piece of 1/8” spectra around the leeward spreader and back down to the backstay tackle replaced the lower backstay. Back in action Reynolds match raced MacCausland, the only boat that had a chance of beating him. MacCausland, trapped on the port end of the line, followed Reynolds across the line a bit late. With about 5 to 10 degrees shifts Reynolds covered MacCausland and still ended up first at the windward mark leading for the full Olympic course. John was 4th in the last race and finished 2nd overall. Vince was 3rd and Doyle beat Londrigan in a tie breaker for 4th. Note: Make sure to tape all your ring a dings!
1998 Western Hemisphere Championship, Nassau, Bahamas (results)
By Carlo Rolandi
Twenty Stars, from five countries, were at the start of the 1998 Western Hemisphere Spring Championship hosted by Nassau Yacht Club in the Bahamian waters of New Providence Island. There could be no better weather conditions: sunny days, easterly medium-strong winds from 12 to 18 knots, sometimes up to 23 – 25 knots, choppy sea, in an enchanting view of palm trees.
At the end of the first day of races, it was already clear that the fight for the championship title was restricted to John MacCausland and Mark Reynolds, who won respectively the first and second race of that day, and Eric Doyle, who finished third and second in these races. Due to the sea conditions, very choppy, and to the wind force during the fourth race, two masts went down to the finishing line.
One more mast was broken by Eric Doyle during the fifth race. If the “odd man out”, Eric Doyle, had not broken a mast, the sixth and last race would have been a big fight between three boats separated by only one point from each other.
There was no work at all for the International Jury: not one protest was lodged during all the series; Star competitors are too fair?! At the end of the Series, there was a tie and, according to STCR 34.6, the honors went to John MacCausland-Phil Trinter, who were 1-3-2-1-2-1 in the final score. Second place went to Mark Reynolds-Magnus Liljedahl, who finished 2-1-1-3-1-2. Third place went to Eric Doyle- Brian Terhaar 3-2-6-2-DNF-3 in the score.
2000 Western Hemisphere Championship (results) March 29- April 2, San Francisco, California, USA
By Vince Brun
Eric Doyle, together with his “super star” crew, Tom Olsen, put on a near flawless display of sailing in difficult conditions to win the 2000 Western Hemisphere in San Francisco. With the proximity of the USA Olympic trials and the Sydney Olympics, this year’s Springs attracted some of the top names of the Star Class. Without any particular order we had: Colin Beashel, Eric Doyle, Mark Reynolds, Ross Macdonald, Paul Cayard, John MacCausland, Ian Walker, Bill Buchan, Joe Londrigan, Peter Vessella and Gavin Brady—just to name a few.
To make life easier on the sailors, San Francis Yacht Club used a new launching area at Treasure Island. “TI” as the locals call it, is a vacated Naval Base area positioned right in the middle of the Bay Bridge (between Oakland and the city of San Francisco.) It was the perfect location because of its proximity to the proximity to the Berkeley Circle course. At past World Championships and other events in San Francisco, we had to sail back to St. Francis Yacht Club, which could be very hard and cold after a couple of windy races.
This year’s “Springs” was a clear demonstration of the high level of racing we have at Star events throughout the World. San Francisco’s normal early fog and fresh afternoon breeze, didn’t come to fruition, and the races were sailed with winds from a very unusual direction, making it very challenging for any team to have perfect scores.
On the first day, we sailed with an unusually hot 12 to 18 knows northeast breeze. This, combined with a strong ebb current going directly against the wind, created steep and short waves on the way out to the course. When we arrived at the starting area near the end of the Berkeley Pier (old wood pier), the winds calmed down to almost nothing—but quickly bounced back to 12 knots for great close racing.
Race 1: Colin Beashel, showing great speed, won the race with Gavin Brady in second and Jeremy Davidson in third.
Race 2: Mark Reynolds won the race with Eric Doyle in second and Ross Macdonald in third.
The second day started as the first, with a strong northeast breeze early in the day, getting lighter as the day went on—to almost a drifter by the finish of the fourth race.
Race 3: Eric Doyle won the race with Peter Vessella in second and Mark Reynolds in third.
Race 4: Eric Doyle lead almost the whole race, being closely chased by Ian Walker. Ian passed Eric on the last beat, and during the downwind they did exchange the lead a couple of times. However, Ian played the final shift well and got the gun. Ian Walker won the race, with Eric Doyle in second and Benny Mitchell in third.
After four races and the one throwout:
Eric Doyle 5
Mark Reynolds 10
Ian Walker 13
Peter Vessella 15
Colin Beashel 16
Gavin Brady 16
Race 5: This race day started just like the previous two days, but at the end of the first run, the wind shifted from the north-east to westerly, with the race committee quickly responding to the shift and placing the next weather mark between Alcatraz and Angel Island. Needless to say, current was a major play when picking up sides, and even the local boys seemed to be a little confused. Ian Walker, showing great wind and current knowledge, worked a nice lead early on, stretching to a huge lead by the second weather mark.
At the weather mark, the fleet arrived at different times but with the run being almost exactly against the current, all boats compressed against each other, almost as if we were on the starting sequence once again. Ian Walker’s great lead evaporated quickly, with new leades coming from what seamed like the back of the fleet, but in no particular order.
Joe Londrigan displayed his great experience in this type of wind. He got a special puff of wind and quickly opened a huge lead, winning the race by a large margin.
Second was Will Baylis, with John MacCausland third.
Eric Doyle ended up 8th—enough to clinch the series without having to sail the last race.
Race 6: At last we had a great day with the typical San Francisco sailing with 14 to 20 westerly breeze. Ross Macdonald won the rae with Mark Reynolds making a great comeback from mid-fleet and finishing second, with Ian Walker in third.
Eric Doyle 1st
Mark Reynolds 2nd
Ross Macdonald 3rd
Ian Walker 4th
John MacCausland 5th
Kudos to ST. Francis Yacht Club race committee for an excellent job under such difficult and unusual conditions. It is also hard to forget the early evening view we had from the SFYC club house (bar), with the windsurfers dashing around and beautiful sunset with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. I hope we are soon sailing Stars in San Francisco once more.
I love this place!!!!!
2001 Eastern Hemisphere Championship (results)
By Magnus Liljedahl
Wind Strength: 9-13 knots
Wind Direction: 100 Degrees
Course: #1 (W-R-R-W-L)
The first start ended up with the general recall flag. The second attempt was aided by the one-minute rule, as the fleet was good. Mark and I started to leeward with Bromby/ Pritchard and Lowe/ Higgs on our lee bow. Since there was no room to tack, Mark decided to bear off to leeward of these boats. As Mark bore off, I looked back and saw the fleet sailing a course of about 90 degrees higher than ours. The fleet was lifted and had more velocity. Bromby/ Higgs bailed out of the left a lot earlier than us. We prayed for a lefty but it never happened as we ended up on the port layline. The race belonged to the rookies from Sweden. Loof/ Finnsgard had started 5-6 boats down from the committee boat. Since this was their first regatta in the Star Class and they had only tuned with other boats for a few days skipper Fredrik Loof (the three-time Finn Gold Cup winner), wanted to be able to tack away if needed. They played the middle right and got to the weather mark in first, followed by Szabo/ Gochberg and Brun/ Peters.
The Race Committee must have expected more breeze than what we actually had during the race. The triangle course is great during planning/ surfing conditions or when it is real shifty, but when you are fourth from last, like we were, and want some opportunities to catch up, reaching is not a good thing. Loof/ Finnsgard extended their lead on the first reach as Brun/ Peters sailed high, trying to pass Szabo/ Gochberg.
During my career of sailboat racing, I have noticed that the over all winners is usually the one boat that can figure out the local conditions from early on. Brun/Peters did just that in this series. At the beginning of the second beat they made a short hitch to the left and then came back on port and lifted off Szabo/ Gochberg. Mark and I struggled Throughout the race and finished 12th.
Wind Strength: 10-15 knots
Wind Direction: 90 Degrees
Course: #4 (W-L-W-L)
There had to have been a pretty big lefty during the last couple of minutes of the starting sequence, because at the gun, the pin end was heavily favored. Mark and I only had a few boats to leeward of us. Our problem was that we were late to the line. Bromby/ Pritchard flipped to port right away and so did Lowe/ Higgs. We had to wait some but then followed on their hip. Virtue/ Terhaar had a nice start, ¾ down the line. Mark took us up the left middle. We got out of phase a couple of times, but so did most teams. Bromby/ Pritchard and Lowe/ Higgs were to the right of us. MacCausland/ Delaney crossed behind us by a fair margin, going left. We got to the weather mark in first, followed by MacCausland/ Delaney and Bromby/ Pritchard. The first run we sailed 99% on a starboard gybe. When two boats sail down on the run, it is a lot easier to sail fast for the boat that is behind. They can play the waves and wind to an optimum. The leading boat has a lot tougher time. Sometimes they have to head up and cover a passing attempt when the wave and wind conditions actually should have them bear off.
Somehow, we managed to keep the two Mader boats behind us. MacCausland/ Delaney gybed first, then after about two-three minutes we got a little shift and gybed. Bromby/ Pritchard held out to the port lay-line. We made a big gain on Bromby/ Pritchard and we also gained some on MacCausland/ Delaney. The second beat had a lot of tacks as we covered MacCausland/ Delaney. At one point they made a fake tack and we split for a while. Mark told me that they were going the wrong way, and they were. All the tacking, combined with Bromby/ Pritchard’s smarts, had brought them very close to us as they got around the weather mark, four to five boat lengths behind us, in second.
The last run to the finish was very exciting. Myles Pritchard would later say, “the main difference with the boats in the top of the fleet is that they work a lot harder than the boats at the other end of the fleet.” I can only speak for myself, but Mark and I certainly gave it 100%. At first we pulled away, but towards the end it was very close. We gybed first. If they hadn’t dipped their pole and nearly lost their mast, they would probably have won the race. However, Mark and I got the gun by the smallest of margins.
Third and Fourth Races
The third and fourth races were sailed in about 10-14 knots of breeze out of 80 degrees. Although I raced, my records of this day are incomplete due to a bout with the 24-hour flu. Brun/ Peters had an excellent day, winning both races. Cayard/ Haenel had a chance of wining the third race but on the last nrun, shortly before the finish, Paul fell out of the boat as they healed to windward, surfing down a wave. They had to settle for a second and third for the day. Bromby/ Pritchard was not able to start the second race of the day as their intermediate broke before the start. They had bent the mast when they dipped the pole in the second race, but they didn’t realize it until the sail out to the racecourse for the third race. Despite the bent mast, Bromby/ Pritchard lead the third race at the weather mark. Bromby would later say, jokingly, “who cares about a couple of millimeters, more or less, on the intermediates!” I believe that most of us would agree that this event was not a boat speed regatta.
Wind Strength: 9-14 knots
Wind Direction: 90 degrees
Course: #4 (W-L-W-L)
Brun/ Peters had certainly positioned themselves nicely to win the regatta, but there were still several boats that had a shot at it, including us. When I was asked about our chances, I thought they were better than at the Olympics with two races to go. If we could make it there, we certainly could do it here. We started on the middle of the line with Whipple/ Strube to leeward. Our start was good but it was a tough spot to hang in. We were on the lifted tack and mark was determined to stay. Bromby/ Pritchard went hard left and looked very good. We ended up tacking a few times and got lifted on a port tack towards the mark. We got around in second, simultaneously with Allen/ Burgess, right behind Bromby/ Pritchard. We lost some on the run, but made a big gain by rounding the right gate marker. We tacked to port, pretty soon, and gained by a nice left (by now we had figured that shift out).
MacCausland/ Delaney crossed our transom by a fair margin ad headed out to the left corner. They had gained out there during some of the other races and I suggested to Mark “here they go again, they will probably win the race.” Sure enough, the wind kept going left and they go to the weather mark in first. They went on to win the race while we finished 7th.
Wind strength: 7-9 knots
Wind direction: 90 degrees
Course: #3 (W-L-W-L-W)
Brun/ Peters had to sail the last race. Cayard/ Haenel and Bromby/ Pritchard still had a chance to win. We were determined to have a good start. So far we had been struggling with this vital part of a race, and we were determined to end the regatta on a positive note. Hollowesko/ Hollowesko started to leeward of us, right at the pin. Their problem was that they had no speed and they ran out of space. They had to luff straight in to the wind as we sailed over top of them Since we cleared the fleet we tacked right away and crossed everyone. We played the middle left with a few tacks and for a while it looked like we had “a mile” lead, but towards the end of the beat, Brun/ Peters came back on a port lift that lasted until we lee-bowed them close to the weather mark. We rounded first, followed by Brun/ Peters and Bromby/ Pritchard. The run was sailed, mostly, on a starboard gybe, as we extended our lead. We gained by rounding the right gate marker while Brun/ Peters rounded the opposite mark.
There was a lot of tacking on the second beat as we covered Bromby/ Pritchard. They did a great job tacking and we were neck to neck. Brun/ Peters were not concerned about winning the race, instead they comprised by covering Cayard/ Haenel. We were able to open up some and crossed the finish line with a comfortable margin. Brun/ Peters sailed a good race and an outstanding regatta. It was Rick Peters’ first Silver Star win and a very deserving one. My motto “if you hang in there, you will have a chance to win” certainly applies to him. Vince Brun not only won the over all trophy, he also won the Master’s Tropy. Congratulations to both of you. Loof/ Finnsgard sailed very well to finish 3rd in the last race. Look for this team in the future. They are pretty awesome!
Paul Cayard is back as a top contender in the class. Together with Hal Haenel they make up a very potent team and they sailed a good regatta. New to the class and crewing for George Szabo was John Gochberg. Unfortunately, he injured his shoulder and their team withdrew from the second race. George picked up a replacement crew for the last day and managed to get a 6th in the last race. Mark and I certainly had our chances. A couple of bad decisions here and there made the difference. How about the fifth race, second beat, we could have owned the left, but then again, would have, could have, should have, doesn’t win a regatta. In sure other teams have similar stories.