Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT /


Fixtures/Major Regatta Calendar

Championships October 01, 2018

2018 Star Fixtures List

2018   World Championship  Gold   7-14 Oct Oxford, MD, USA
2018   Western Hemisphere  Silver    10-15 April Miami, FL, USA
2018   Eastern Hemisphere  Silver    1-6 May Trieste, Italy
2018   North American  Silver    14-19 August   Los Angeles, CA, USA
2018   South American  Silver     7-11 Nov Rio de Janeiro, BRA
2018   European Championship  Silver   7-12 August Flensburg, GER

2019 Star Fixtures List

2019 World Championship Gold 13-23 June Porto Cervo, ITA
2019 Junior World Championship Gold J 3-6 February Miami, FL, USA
2019 Western Hemisphere Silver 20-25 May San Diego YC, USA
2019 Eastern Hemisphere Silver 1-7 September Attersee, AUT
2019 European Championship Silver 11-18 May Riva, Garda, ITA
2019 North American Silver Sept 9-14 Toms River, NJ, USA
2019 South American Silver   Argentina

2020 Star Fixtures List

2020 World Championship Gold November Rio de Janeiro, BRA
2020 Western Hemisphere Silver   Lake Sunapee, NH, USA
2020 Eastern Hemisphere Silver    
2020 European Championship Silver    
2020 North American Silver    
2020 South American Silver    

Jib Settings

Technical - Author: Eric Doyle - March 20, 2003

The most striking feature of sail plan of the star is the unusually large and powerful mainsail. A look at more traditionally designed yachts shows boats with much larger head sails paired with a conventionally sized main. One interesting trend which I have noticed is that the rest of the world is starting to catch up to the design of the star. We are seeing more and more boats come out with smaller jibs in relation to the main. From the International America’s Cup Class to Mumm 30’s to Farr 40’s, everyone is starting to realize this configuration is fast, fun, easy to use and doesn’t have to compromise the performance of the boat. In the star boat, much of our time and energy is devoted to setting up the mast and properly trimming the main and rightly so, as it is the primary driving force. However, the jib is important as well and in this article I will attempt to explain how different jib settings in various wind strengths can help improve the performance of your star boat. I know I run the risk of upsetting many crews who can probably trim the jib far better then I, but they can correct my mistakes in future articles of their own!

The first thing I look at when setting up the jib is the halyard height. This is critical to the lead position and must very precise and repeatable. On my boat the jib halyard adjustment is dead ended at a knot, either on the barney post or forward, which is just blown off at the leeward mark and allowed to rest on a stopper knot when sailing upwind. This way you don’t have to worry about cleating the halyard exactly on some sort of mark when making the transition from down to upwind. Large adjustments to the height of the jib are made by switching to a different ball on the halyard at the mast exit. Try to remember which ball the jib is on for next time. If you are sailing an older boat, it is very important to have an adjustment to be able to quickly raise the jib high off the deck when running downwind. This helps to get the sail area projected higher up and helps keep the pole from digging in the water as the boat rolls to weather on heavy air runs. On my boat the tack of the jib is about 1 inch off the deck when going upwind. The foot of the jib just overlaps about half an inch on the deck almost all the way back to the clew. Not too much overlap though as this gives away needed sail area. Remember, as you raise the jib, the clew also goes up which has the same effect as moving the lead forward, and vice versa.

The lead position on your boat must be able to move both in and out and fore and aft. The in and out position is rarely changed and I will go over some special conditions where I like to try changing this later in the article. Normally it just lives at the 14 inch mark out from the center of the boat. We also have a mark 7 feet 2 inches from the headstay for the fore and aft position where we start the day. Small are adjustments made from there depending upon the conditions. I usually try to set the jib up according to the sea state: flat water-- lead aft and trimmed flat. In bumpy conditions-- lead forward and a rounder more powerful shape. In light to medium flat conditions, I don’t mind having the lead aft with just a hint of a fold along the foot of the jib. The lead should be just far enough forward to get the leech of the jib to the mark on the spreader when at the maximum trimmed position. As the wind strength increases and the jib stretches more, the leech opens up and the lead has to go forward and the sheet has to be trimmed harder in order to get to the spreader mark. Only trim the jib to the mark if you feel the boat is going top speed. Keep it eased outside the mark in extremely light air, in sets of waves, coming out of a tack, off the starting line and at leeward mark roundings.

I always like to be able to see just a hint of wrinkles along the luff of my jib, especially in flatter water. The jib tack adjustment can be thought of like the cunningham on the mainsail. The harder you stretch the luff, the more the draft moves forward and the more the leech opens up. In flat water you want to be able to point high so the luff must be loose. This helps close the leech, so the lead must be aft in order to sheet hard enough to flatten the jib overall. If there is enough wind and the water is extremely flat, you might be able to try and sneak the lead inboard an inch or so. The telltale sign for this is when you feel like the luff of the jib is always soft and breaking because you keep trying to point the boat higher into the wind. In big waves or chop, the luff should be tighter to give the jib a more powerful, draft forward shape to drive the boat through the waves. This will also help keep the upper leech from cupping and closing down the slot. If the conditions get extremely windy, I have also seen people drop the lead outboard a bit to open up the slot without sacrificing any pointing. Contrary to popular belief, in windy conditions the jib must remain very full for several reasons. First, just the overall size of the main gives the boat too much power in the back and a full jib is necessary to pull the bow down and balance the boat. Second, the main is generally set up very flat and often breaking up a bit. The jib then becomes the driving force to keep the boat going forward. Often the waves are huge in these conditions and the boat will literally stop when pounding through them. A full jib helps the boat to power through the waves and to accelerate better after coming to a crashing halt. A very flat jib just makes the boat too hard to sail in these conditions.

Now, all these little tips are great for getting the final 2% of performance out of the jib in some conditions, but don’t make it too complicated. Most of the time the leads are at the standard settings and the leech is trimmed right to the mark in the middle of the spreader. Clear, repeatable marks and settings are critical and good communication between the skipper and crew about jib trimming is also vital during the race. A little ease in a big set of waves and a little trim in a puff can go a long way toward grinding over that guy who started underneath you. I also like to do several tacks just after the warning signal to get in sync with the conditions and to give the crew the opportunity to see how hard the jib needs to be sheeted out of the tack and how long till he can sheet into max trim. Take some time also to practice some boathandling, but with an old jib as this type of practice can shorten the useful lifespan of a new jib considerably. One afternoon at the beginning of the season to shake off the winter rust can go a long way. I like to go out by ourselves just do transition drills from upwind to downwind and do some leeward mark roundings. This helps reduce the chances of pulling the mast back with the jib halyard all the way up and stretching the luff of your brand new jib as tight as a drum, or the ever damaging wrapping of the jib around the headstay. Ouch!! It is also nice to come into the leeward mark on port tack and have the confidence to jibe right at the mark and turn upwind without a hitch.

I try to keep the trim on the boat as simple as possible. Getting the boat set up before the start and then trying to go the right way will win more races then changing the jig leads ¼ of an inch. But, just as you keep an eye out for windshifts, always keep an eye out for changing conditions which require a change of trim.

Star Tuning FAQ

Technical - Author: Vince Brun - April 01, 2003

Q: I have good speed but lack on pointing, what should I do?

A: Most of the time pointing problems come from the mainsail being set flat and therefore less powerful. The first control that come to mind is the outhaull and lower backstay. On trying to generate power the outhaull being eased will greatly help create power up the very low sections of the mainsail. By increasing the tiller pressure, making easier to steer in light shift conditions.

The next control is the lower backstay, that will make the middle sections of the mainsail fuller and again more powerful. It is possible that the lowers can be pulled too hard and as a result the forestay get too tight. If the lower backstay have to be pulled hard to make the mainsail fuller, the spreader should be moved further forward ( eq. from 5 1/2" to 5" ).

Very often I just pull the lower backstay an extra half inch to maintain my crew over the side and keep the boat power up and on the high pointing mode.

Q: How much shroud tension upper should I have? 

A: The upper shroud tension dictates the amount of pre-bend you will have and how full your mainsail will setup. This is true even in very light winds.
I don't pay much attention to how much tension I have on the shrouds but more important, how much pre-bend I have. To measure your pre-bend is very simple. With the boat on the trailer "pop" the mast with the spreaders aft, as you were setup for going up wind. Make sure that lever is off, and upper backstay have only enough pressure to make the forestay snug. Then bring the main halyard shackle to the opening on the mast groove and check the distance from thehalyard to the mast as the spreader height. The mast fore&aft dimension is 3 3/4" and I normally set my mast with 4 inches of pre-bend. 

I think this is a much better way to tune your rig, since this is exactly what will affect the fullness of your mainsail. With the mast stiffness varying a bit, the right pre-bend (the bend that fits your mainsail ) with a softer mast should require less shroud tension than with a very stiff mast, therefore comparing upper shroud tension between boats without comparing mast stiffness is
NOT very accurate way to duplicate the setup. 

Star Boat Rigging Tip: 

The Star rig have been setup further forward now than ever in light winds and this setup won't work if the jib isn't pull up the forestay. We see often this days crews with the jib tack about a foot above deck. This accomplish two tasks: one that the jib is further up where winds are less affected by the water surface ( surface drag ), therefore making the jib more efficient. 

Second is that when sailing in strong winds the bow and the pole tip tends to hit the water, and we all know what comes after the pole hit the water. By lifting the jib on the downwind leg, we keep the jib and pole way from the water and the crew the work the waves harder. 

I have seen lots of boat that have made the jib halyard puller going through the mast partner allowing the jib to be pulled even further up. This is easy control to be rigged up and sure will make the difference on your downwind speed and your comfort zone. 

Combatting Windy Conditions with a Light Crew

Technical - Author: Eric Doyle, 1999 World Champion - April 16, 2003

One of the more frequently asked questions I receive is, "My crew and I are a little on the light side-- how do I set up the boat when it is windy?"

Now, I am going to outline some changes you can make to your boat to help when the breeze is up, but when all is said and done, we all know that heavier teams are faster. When you go to that big event, like Bacardi Cup or the World Championship, the best skippers are going to have big crews and the best light guys can do is hope that there are some long reaches. This seems to be the only place where the weight can be a liability. The lighter boats plane off and surf a little quicker and lots of distance can be made up. However, many times this advantage cannot be realized because of the traffic which confuses the waves too much--something which the lead (often heavier) boats don't have to contend with.

Let's start with why heavier is faster. We all know that flat is fast upwind. When the wind comes up, the heavier boats stay flat longer. This speed advantage is compounded when the waves get bigger. Heavier boats can set up with fuller sails, and therefore have more power to drive through the waves. In flat water situations, the speed difference between the boats is often not as apparent. This is because pointing really high is critical and less power is needed since there are no waves. If it is flat and shifty, the heavier boats can utilize their speed advantage by driving off toward the next shift faster, thereby leveraging out more and gaining more once the wind shifts. In the chop though, plain old power is king.

I think we all know the obvious places to start once we get overpowered. Outhaul out to the band (you must have enough purchase to trim this from the rail while racing upwind) and cunningham on hard. Now, say the boat still has too much helm and you are struggling. If the conditions are choppy, my next suggestion would be to move the mast step forward one hole. This is easily done, even on the water, if you sail with two pins in front of the mast butt. The first pin should either be a fast pin or have an easily removable nut on it. To remove the bolt while on the water, go downwind, lay the mast forward, and have the crew remove the front pin. When you trim in for upwind sailing, the mast should pop forward and lay against the second forward pin. The bolt you removed can now be placed behind the mast butt. It is a good idea to practice this at least once before attempting on race day. A piece of Teflon in the butt casting will also help the mast slide easier.

I have found moving the butt to be faster in wind conditions as low as 12 knots. If the chop is steep, you must be able to carry more power in the main and put the bow down to drive through the waves. If the boat has too much helm, the boat will be all jammed up in point mode and putting the bow down will be impossible. Another symptom of this is when the boat pounds or chops a lot going upwind. The bow should be lively and dance over the waves and the helm should be light with just a touch of helm. In waves, the boat needs to have a wide sailing groove and should not go from overpowered to underpowered and back again with every wave. Moving the butt forward helps free up the helm and lets you carry more power down low to sail through the waves.

Another trick which helps in the breeze is tightening the shrouds. I like to tighten the uppers at least one full number on the Staymaster when it blows 15 or more. This is from my light air setting and helps to flat ten the main, tighten the forestay a little and keep the rig more upright in the boat. If the weather report calls for a windy series, tightening the intermediates also really helps. Most tuning guides recommend 2 15/16 inches for the intermediates. I have had much success tightening 1/8 or even 1/4 of an inch from this standard setting. This works especially well when the wind is over 18 knots. The goal in this condition is to keep the main as quiet as possible. Any time the sail flogs, the increased drag really slows the boat down. The head of the main must be perfectly flat, almost invisible to the wind. The upper backstay should be on firm and the lower should be just tight enough to keep the bottom half of the main fairly quiet, but not developing too much helm. The firm backstays will also keep the forestay from sagging too much. The mainsheet tension is also critical when it is windy. I have found the if you have to ease the sheet too much to relieve the helm, then the main is too full. You have to find a way to flatten the main enough to let you sheet on hard. Easing the sheet allows the mast to stand up more and makes the main fuller; not fast in the breeze.

The lower shrouds get a little tricky in the windier conditions. I might tighten them up a turn if I think the main is too full in the middle, but when it gets really windy (20+ kts) the main and the shrouds stretch a lot and the rig starts to fall over sideways more and more. This makes the main too flat and the sail will break up all the time down low. The lowers actually need to be eased at this point. This will open up the front of the sail and help to quiet it down. Many sailors have also had success dropping the rake back an inch or so when the breeze comes up. This helps tighten the shrouds and opens up the leech of the main, both of which help reduce helm. I have not had a lot of success with this method of depowering as I feel that the boat doesn't point quite as well. I prefer to move the mast butt and only move the rake as a last resort.

I hope these tips help. Each particular change helps a little and when a combination or all of them are tried together, the results can be quite dramatic. Remember, set the sails and the boat up not just for the wind, but the water conditions as well. Straighter exits and a wider groove for waves, tighter leeches and flatter sails for higher pointing conditions. Good luck and see you on the race course!

Tips on Winter Star Boat Storage

Technical - Author: John MacCausland Sr. - April 16, 2003

It is very important that a Starboat is stored properly for the winter. Ideal storage is a dry warm area. Unfortunately this type of storage is not available to many of us. So, we must take steps to protect our Star in a less than perfect environment. I have found the following steps are important: 

  1. The boat must be thoroughly washed with soap. Remove all salt residue, especially from the under-deck wire and fittings.
  2. Boat must be thoroughly dry with all ports open so that the boat can breathe. (Check all tanks for water.)
  3. After the boat is thoroughly dry it should be covered with a tight cover. Place the boom or some substitute such as a 2 x 4 on the deck before covering to support the cover. Or alternatively cover the cockpit area with plywood before covering the boat.
  4. Do not apply the brake on the trailer, as the brake shoes might stick to the brake drum causing the brakes to be locked up next spring.
  5. Wash mast and boom. Remove salt from all wire rigging. Make sure that the copper nicro-press on the bottom of the wire halyard is not touching the halyard lock as this cause corrosion of the lock fitting. This is a good time to apply beeswax or paraffin to the halyard wires both for extra protection and to have the halyards well lubricated for the beginning of the next season.
  6. Remove tiller extension to preserve the life of flex coupler.
  7. Renew the shock cords, especially those which are exposed to the sun. This includes the shock cord which prevents the backstays from wrapping around the spreader ends and the jib fairlead car shock cords. 

NOTE - In preparing your boat for storage remember water turns to ice which can be very damaging to a Starboat, causing delamination of the fiberglass. Whatever you can do to keep the boat dry will extend its life. Proper covers and a good dry storage area will keep your boat race-ready for next year. 

Light Air Upwind Gears

Technical - Author: George Szabo - April 16, 2003

Trying to go fast in light air (4 - 9 knots) requires a shift in priorities from sailing in breeze. In breeze where we want to have flatter sails the opposite is true in light air. Because we are looking for power, fuller draft aft sails (slightly used older sails too) are better. Also, instead of driving fast forward , we need to change our focus in light air and flat water, and think that the boat is only going to go so fast, so we want to go for max point without any loss of speed, or flow over the keel.

Light air rig tuning 
To help power up the rig, there are few light air specific changes that can be made:

  • First, longer intermediates are better for light air. By easing the intermediates to 3” you are powering up the top of the mainsail. We had our intermediates at 2 31/32” for the North Americans,
  • Increasing your spreader sweep to 5 ½ or 6 inches helps the mast bend more, which in turn opens the leech of the mainsail when your lower backstay is eased off all the way. The disadvantage of having the spreaders open is that it is more difficult to set your lowers just right when the breeze comes up (some believe that by using more lower runner, you are also increasing your forestay tension),
  • Easing the lower ½ turn will give some sag to your mast and provide even more power and point, but make certain to put the ½ turn back on if the waves come back up or you may lose some pointing ability. 

Changes to the sail/crew setup 

  • When the crew is in the boat, it is normally fast to ease the outhaul 1 ½ inches,
  • If the crew is not sitting on the rail, the crew should stay far forward in the boat so that their belt buckle is at the vang track, and their head is near the shrouds (windward or leeward depending on the boat heal and wind velocity). By keeping the weight forward, you help bury the bow in the water which helps the boat point higher. Once the crew is sitting on the rail, move them back to their normal position near backstay to help the boat go faster forward,
  • Raise the jib halyard 1 or more inches higher than your heavy air setting so that only one inch of the foot curl is touching the deck. You will also need to move your jib lead aft one hole when you make this change. The result is that the jib will project as much area as possible,
  • I like to add a telltale to the leech of the jib that I can see through the spreader window. And another telltale to the top and upper middle batten on the main. 

For the following conditions, my general set up is: 
6-8 knots:

  • Crew forward,
  • Lower backstay all the way off, 
  • Upper backstay set just snug so the rig doesn’t bounce, and the jib looks good (not too flat), 
  • Jib cloth eased so some wrinkles in luff of jib to get the draft aft, 
  • Main cunningham off, 
  • Outhaul eased 1.5 inches from the black band. 

6-8 knots with flat water: 

  • If you have too much helm, you may need to point higher, sail flatter, move the crew further to windward , or a combination of the above. 
  • Lead set so middle jib batten set parallel to centerline of boat to begin with. if the water is bumpy, keep it there. It the water is extremely flat, try sheeting ½ inch inside the spreader.
  • Keep the boat rumbling upwind. If you sail into a lull, ease the mainsheet to reaccelerate and put heel back into the boat to keep it moving – especially in waves. If the water is flat, you can keep the chine by the backstay just barely skimming the water, but no flatter than that.
  • Try stalling the top batten telltale, but keeping the upper middle batten telltale flowing. This will get you some extra height. 

6-8 knots and waves 

  • Weather chine near backstay may be as far as 3” out of the water, 
  • Top of main sheeted so that in chop the last foot of top batten is parallel to the boom. 
  • Sheet the jib leech on the spreader mark. 
  • No pinching. Rumble, rumble, rumble. 

8 knots, when you are thinking of getting the crew over the side, I like to: 

  • sheet 2-4 inches tighter on the mainsail, 
  • put the leech of the jib on the spreader mark, or slightly outside, 
  • power up the mainsail by pulling the 2-2.5 inches of line out of the lower backstay from my “slack” position (where I pull the lower on from no tension to where it just barely has tension) 
  • Skipper sits as close to centerline as possible to keep crew out of water 
  • When the crew begins to complain that they are getting too wet – tell them that you are going really fast and that they should stay there, crews always think they are getting too wet – and try to sail flatter still without dragging your crew. 

Quantum Sails San Diego

How Star Sails are Made

Technical - Author: Mark Reynolds - April 16, 2003

Design and Materials 
The overall dimensions of the main and jib are pretty well defined by the class rules. You normally go to the maximum dimensions, but there are a few dimensions that are short of maximum. The most extreme being the jib luff which is 24 cm short in order to get the whole foot down on the deck to create an “end plate effect”. There are a few other areas where some decisions need to be made regarding measurements and since cloth stretches and shrinks that must be taken into account. Deciding on the materials to be used, the orientation of the material and the shape to be put into the sail is, of course, very important. All three of these factors are also very related. Different materials have varying stretch characteristics, and the orientation of the cloth can be very important as well. A well designed sail will react to the changes in loads in a positive way rather than a negative way. Instead of just stretching and getting fuller the sail can be designed to not stretch as much or even stretch in a way that the sail gets flatter when under stress. The cross sectional shape in a sail is the result of curves put into seams and the curve put up the luff of the sail. The amount and shape of the curves as well as the balancing of the seam and luff curves is a combination of computer design and trial and error. It is then confirmed by thousands of hours of 2 boat testing and on the race course. Today’s sails feature more stable fabrics, very stable radial corners and rocked panel midsections. These improvements which began in the late 70’s have resulted in sails that are powerful in light wind but flatter and straighter leeched in strong wind.

The cutting process really consists of drawing and cutting. Almost all of the curves that make up the shape in the sail are made by matching the straight edge of one side of the cloth to the curved line that is drawn on the other side of the panel. When the two are put together this gives the shape to the sail. Originally the curved lines were created by bending a stick and then drawing a line. This was replaced by patterns for one design sails which worked great to insure that they were all the same. A plotter/ cutter machine driven by a computer is the most effective way of doing custom sails and is also used for production sails. Star sails can be done both ways effectively.

After the panels are all drawn and cut the batten pockets and windows may be added before the all the seams are sewn. Even some of the corners reinforcement might be added at this point. The seams are then taped together. The taping process is very important because any errors here will cause the shape to change. The current tapes are very aggressive and really just leave the stitching to give a little more peel strength. After the sail is sewn together the corners are finished off followed by the leech and then the luff.

In the finishing process often called "handwork" the corners are finished off with grommets, press rings or headboards. Numbers, class royalties and tell tails are applied, battens fitted and the sail is folded up and ready to go!


Technical - Author: Magnus Liljedahl - April 16, 2003

I always loved sailboat racing. There is nothing that I would rather do. To line up on the starting line and then play the game is what it is all about. 

To succeed, you must stick with the sport for a long time. There is always another race, so don't get down on yourself when things turn against you. 

The ultimate reward is the one we can all gain if we play "fair and square"; it is the friendship and respect earned from people, around the world. I wouldn't trade any of them, for any victory, that I have been fortunate enough to achieve. 

Remember, it is only a game. 

The following is a brief instruction on how you can improve your skills and get the most out of your race. 

Our sport is filled with exceptions and variables. Not only that, there are many different techniques that can lead to the same success. It would take a book to try to cover them all. Here, I have tried to give you the basic scenarios. (There is a lot more to it, but, at least I gave it a try.) 

Preparing for a season 
As always in life, it starts with a vision, a dream and the setting of goals to achieve. Since the weight rule is in effect, a good place to start is, how much do you need to weigh and by when do you need to weight this amount? 

Physical training is a basic for any athlete, and the Star crew no exception. Even though the best training you can do is to sail the boat, spending countless hours hiking and tacking; it is practically impossible for two people to connect and spend the required time working out exclusively on the water. This is when cross-training comes into play. I was always keen on going to the gym and lifting weights, but the last few years I have also included other forms of cross training. Power walking, biking, rowing and kayaking are some of my favorite alternative exercises.Massive abdominal work and stretching is a daily routine, even though the abdominal muscles should get some rest every 4th day. 

Make sure that you work out your entire body and not just a few muscle groups. Your body is similar to a chain-- it is important that all links are equally strong. Your lifting routine should be sport specific and therefore different from the everyday "musclehead" you meet in most gyms. 

I recommend that you find a personal certified trainer, who will help you set up a program and assist you with the work-outs. It makes a world of difference. If you can't find or afford a personal trainer, working out with a partner is the next best thing. You will get so much more accomplished with someone there to spot for you. 

Your food intake is as important as your workouts. Your trainer should be able to help you in this area too. 

For example, my trainer helped me realize how important it is to have at least five meals per day. If you need to gain weight, you make those meals bigger, (smaller if your goal is to lose pounds.) Even if you don't need the extra weight, the multiple meals will help your digestive system to supply your body with the essentials it needs to become stronger and faster. You and your skipper should have a set target weight and your job is to meet that weight at the time of weigh-in and during the event. 

To succeed, at least in the long run, it is important that you are open to input from many sources. Usually, your best source of input is your skipper. While this may not apply at all times, at least in my case, it is how I have learned most skills during the nineties. 

Don't take it personally when you are told to do something. This is where most crews fail, on and off the water. It holds true in other areas of life as well. I have made this mistake many times, and it is only during the last few years that I have isolated the problem and realized that it is for the best of the team that the crew sometimes get an earful. There will also be times when you may not deserve it, but in the heat of the moment, it will happen. Remember, do not take it personally, no matter what! 

Getting down to the boat: 
This is actually when the race starts for you. It is time to focus and concentrate, at least for the more important events. 

Don't be late and make your skipper wait for you. He has enough problems to deal with, and you are the one who is supposed to be helping him. No matter your skill level, you have no excuse for being late. 

Have your clothing worked out in advance. Make sure you will stay comfortable in all conditions. It is your responsibility to ensure your gear weighs in; it cannot weigh more than 10 kg. 

While I have never been the best boatworker, and some things are best left to the skipper, a crew can always make sure that the tanks are empty of water, that the backstay has the proper markings and that there is drinking fluid on-board. Also, check your hiking straps and customize them if needed. How about adding a little Teflon polish where you sit? It makes sliding in and out easier. Learn your digital compass to perfection. If you don't have one on the boat, ask your skipper to get one. It is a must! Stay with your boat so your skipper does not have to search for you before the race begins. Again, your job is to help him do well in the race, and he may need you for a last minute change. 

Going sailing: 
Hoisting the sails in heavy air can be a very difficult task, but if you follow these steps, it will make it much easier. The sails are expensive and not only that, you need to have them fresh for the race. Flapping them in the breeze is not an option. 

The jib should be hoisted first in most circumstances. 

Facing forward, with the jib (rolled up) between your legs, hook up the tack, then turn around and hook up the sheets. If it is windy, you will need to have your skipper help you from this point on, but if it is under 12 knots you can hoist it yourself. 

With one foot on each side of the jib and the head in your hand, you stand up, facing forward. In heavier air I lean, heavily, with my back on the mast and allowing it to support me from falling. 

Hook up the halyard and then (still with the jib between your legs and feet) move forward and zip up the luff as far down as you can. 

Hoist the jib some and then continue zipping it up. If it is windy, your skipper will have to help you. As you lean up against the mast, hand the head back to him so that he can hook it up and start hoisting while you are holding on to the forestay, standing up, zipping the luff.. 

Once it is 3/5th of the way up, you must move your leeward leg, allowing the Jib to fly freely. Your skipper can now move back in the boat while holding the halyard. It is your job to get back to the mast and lock it in. 

If the luff is not zipped up all the way, get back up to the bow and do so. 

While hoisting the main in windy conditions, I like to be on my knees in front of the mast, facing aft. Help un-roll the sail, while keeping the luff tightly together one the leeward side of the boom. It is very important that you keep the luff together thus preventing it from falling in the water. Unless you are still tied up to the dock, keep in mind that your jib is up and the boat is moving. Losing the luff in to the water is not a good thing and it could easily ruin your day. If it is very windy, I would remain on my knees, with one knee holding in the luff. If the conditions are moderate, I would stand up and hoist, still holding in the luff with my foot. It's nice when it locks on the first pull when you get to the top, then feed the luff in at the tack. 

Now your sails are up, the Cunningham is on, your lines are organized and your clothing and harness is on (I suggest that you get dressed before hoisting the sails. Don't make the skipper wait for you to do so. You may lose valuable time to check out the wind and the racecourse). 

To avoid kinks in the jib sheet, I frequently undo one end and throw it in the water so it will straighten out. Don't coil it back up. Simply pull it back in to the boat in a pile. If you coil it, chances for another kink to develop increase. I usually gather the jib sheet on the port side, under the deck. I do the same with the back stay line, except, I put it under the starboard side. In windy and wavy conditions, where you get a lot of waves rolling in to the boat, the ropes have a tendency to float aft and they end up around the Barney post. To prevent this, simply keep kicking the ropes forward 

Final preparations: 
Calibrate the compass to the heading given on the committee boat. Adjust the tacking angle if needed. It should be somewhere between 63-73 degrees. I usually read the high and low indicator on our compass while my skipper reads the actual course we are steering. It is very helpful for the crew to be aware if you are on a header or a lift. If you pay attention the next tack won't be a surprise. Having the compass calibrated also helps you on the run. 

Try to find the weather mark before the start. This will be your job all day, so the sooner you find it, the better off you are. 

Now, look for the breeze and don't block the compass as your skipper tries to find the favored end of the line. Keep the bailers open if needed but let's not forget to close the bottom ones before the start. Some of the new boats don't have the side bailers any more but I'm referring to the most common set up with side and bottom bailers. 

Keep an eye on the committee boat and be prepared for the sound signal. 

An added benefit with the digital compass is the timer function. Even though, the display is visible for the skipper, I still count it down. 

Inform your skipper where other "hot teams" are on the line and help him keep clear of other boats. 

On the final approach to the line, I make sure that the weather jibsheet is pulled in. The same applies to the leeward back-stay. You may have to tack right away so you got to be prepared. Keep the bulk of the jib sheet to one side under the deck and the backstay on the other side, under the deck (I don't believe in storage bags). If it is real windy, keep kicking the sheet and the backstay line, up underneath the deck, or else it will float back to the bamey post area and may cause a tangle. 

I try to help my skipper by looking behind us and up the line, informing him about approaching boats and also if I can see the committee boat. Chances are that if we can't see them, they can't see us. 

By the time the gun goes off, your boat-speed should be full throttle. If the conditions permit, you should both be fully hiked. This is a good time to try straightening your legs for as long as you can endure the pain. 

First beat: 
Feed information back to your skipper thru out the race. Let him know what you see, especially after the start. Let him knoww iff there is an opportunity to tack, if he should put it in a "point mode" or "foot" and avoid being run over. Talk to him about where other boats are going. Who passes behind your transom? Did the boat that just crossed us on port clear the boats to windward? Keep feeding the information. My skipper usually knows before I tell him, but I keep talking to him as much as I can. It doesn't hurt. Some information needs to be edited in order not to distract the skipper, but that usually works itself out, as the two of you become a team. 

Keep looking for that mark. You must find it. Not only do you need to find the weather mark, you also need to locate the leeward gates. If you know where they are before you get around the weather mark, it will be a great help to your team. Keep looking back. You will find it. 

As you approach the weather mark, your job is now to find the offset mark. Is it up or down from the weather mark? Are we going to reach to it or is it going to be tight? Are we lifted going in to the mark or are we headed? This information will help in deciding which gybe will be favored on the run. 

Offset leg: 
Make sure that your skipper got the vang tight before the rounding. This will help maintain an optimum sail-shape as you get around the mark. 

While on the offset leg, I start looking for the breeze. Depending on the conditions for the day, I will keep looking all the way down to the leeward gate. 

Adjust your trim according to the apparent wind. Usually, you need to drop the jib leads out-board and sometimes you need to start bringing the mast forward, but it all depends on the angle. 

The run: 
Once around the offset mark I usually let the mast forward first of all. If we do a gybe-set, we may gybe first but the standard rounding would be mast forward, pole up, jib up, get forward in the boat and never ever cause a leeward heel. Stay on the weather side of the boat at all times (yes there are exceptions, but not many). 

Look at the boats that are still sailing upwind and approaching the mark (hopefully, there are some boats behind). Can you detect either of them being lifted and or in a puff? Let's say that you are running on a starboard gybe and when you look back, you see a group of boats, lifted on starboard tack and also in more breeze. This may indicate that you should gybe right away. 

A basic technique is to have your skipper put the boat in the direction of the next mark. You would want to stay on the gybe were the main wants to be. 

Mark and I developed the standing-up technique during most of the 2000 season. I actually got the idea from looking at Ross MacDonald and Kai Bjorn at the Worlds in 1999, but I was reluctant to try it at that regatta. As we practiced in Miami, after the Commodores Cup that year, I ran up on fore deck right away, as we got around a mark. We felt fast and I've continued to do that ever since, given the proper conditions. 

The advantages with this technique are: 

You can achieve a weather heel much easier and because of it, you get less wetted surface; 

the crew will get a near perfect 360-degree view and will be able to see both the breeze and the competition much easier; 

the crew can easily hike the boat to weather and help steer the boat too; 

the skipper gets a better view of the water in front of the boat and therefore can avoid steering into weeds and other objects (This is particularly helpful in places like Miami, where sometimes avoiding weeds is the difference between winning and losing.); 

and, it allows the crew to move for and aft much quicker. 

To be successful, you need to: 
know where the next mark is; 
get out of the wakes from boats ahead of you; 
drop the mast forward sooner rather then later; 
adjust your sail trim; 
pull the vang very tight; 
hike as hard as you can. 

Other than balancing the boat and finding the next mark, the most important task for the crew, while sailing down wind, is to keep your air clean. Obviously, if your boat has a masthead fly, you will find your apparent wind easily. The problem is--so will your competition. 

During the past year, we have substituted the masthead fly with yarn on the shrouds and, sometimes the intermediates. We always carry two pieces (about 6" long) below the spreaders. 

As you approach the leeward mark, you have to be lightning quick, with the takedown and putting the boat back in the upwind mode. It is always helpful to talk about your next upwind leg strategy while you are on the run. Ask your skipper what his plan is, or better yet, tell him what you see and make suggestions. 

If you know that you will stay on the same tack for a while, after the rounding, you may put less emphasis on making the boat tack ready and perhaps make a later takedown. If you plan on tacking right away, obviously your leeward backstay needs to be tight and the slack taken out of the weather jib sheet. 

Our standard rounding would be: 
Cunning ham on slightly 
Slug down 
Out haul on 
Jib down 
Mast aft (pull back stay - ram off) 
Pole down 
Trim your sheet and take up as much slack as you can in the weather jib sheet and leeward backstay 
Balance the boat as needed. 

Critical here is that your skipper trims in the weather jib sheet for you. He will not be able to get it all the way, but the more the merrier. 

Pay attention to any course change as you get around the mark. Be observant as always. 

This is my favorite leg of the racecourse. Unfortunately, even though recommended in the Star Log, it doesn't get used as much as it should. To be fast on the reach spells hard work. The masters of these legs are Torben Grael and Marcelo Feirerra. By watching them, you soon realize that it is not only hard work, but also a lot of technique is required. 

A good skipper will keep the boat moving all the way. Keep telling him to head up in the lows and, very important, bear off in the puffs. No crew could straight leg hike the entire distance. Similar to a wrestling match, you need to put your system in a recovery mode now and then, in order to go the distance. 

An added benefit by bearing off in the puff, or on the top of a wave, is that it gives your team that opportunity. 

Once you gybe on to the next reach, you have got to know where the bottom mark is. Keep looking for the puffs. Again, head up in the lows and leave yourselves with plenty of space to leeward, so that when the next puff hits, you have room to bear off and make gigantic gains. 

Next lap: 
Now, the upwind game starts all over again. Keep reporting where the competition is headed and start looking for the next mark. Whatever your position might be, do not give up! Think of it as a basketball game, where you may end up winning at the buzzer. 

Once you cross the finish line, you may rest. 

See you on the race course!

Finding The Perfect Crew

Technical - Author: Alex Hagen - April 16, 2003

Oh boy - to be honest this is the most difficult thing in the world. When I started sailing a Star I put a lot of energy into this. I could neither find a suitable person among my Laser and OK-Dinghy companions, nor in my club or neighborhood. Then I started a nationwide advertising campaign in several sailing (and nonsailing) magazines. "Looking for a sportsman of more than 100kg for a crew career in the Olympic Star Class, sailing ability is welcome but not necessary!" (I was wrong.)

I interviewed about 10 people, mostly non-sailors. Then simple luck offered the best crew to me. Vincent Hoesch, 20 years young, living 1000 km away, had a telephone chat with my mother and left no doubt that he was the right choice. With 80 kg less team weight than the current World Champions Conner/Anderson, I wasn't too confident. But, we were young and created a new athletic sailing style that was very successful in those days.

Vinci was, what I call, the perfect crew: He was highly motivated and always pushed me hard. He was physically strong, and most important, an incredibly good sailor. He simply understood the whole game, 100%, and his great input helped minimize the mistakes that occurred while we were racing. On top of this, I had not before, and have not since, seen anyone as skilled in manual crew work (remember 20 years ago a lot more things broke on a Starboat, but Vincent fixed everything in a minute). Last, but not least, we liked and respected each other.

After 5 years together we separated and Vinci decided to become a skipper of not only Stars, but also other keelboat classes. Since that time, we each continued having great successes, but being separated, never again achieved the skills that we had together.

Nowadays, I would not have the energy to train a non-sailor until he is "the perfect crew".

One day, I went out for a test with a huge discus thrower. As we could not find a sailing suit to fit his size, he put on 10 t-shirts from his sponsor, Adidas. After a long downwind leg, I was ready to feel the advantage of excessive bodyweight. However, when we turned upwind, this athlete explained to me that there was no way he could hike out without going through his warm-up-program first.

It is just so much easier to call a superstar like Marcelo Ferreira and - with a lot of luck - win the world title. He is a natural talent and positive thinker, which allows the skipper to free his mind.

The attitude and sportsmanship is what I like about my current crew, Carsten Witt. Yachting was a new sport for him, since he was a national rowing champion and did no sail until he was 25 years old. I tell him to look around as much as possible and feed me with short and helpful information.

Looking at his own sailing career, any skipper will agree to the fact that he had his best crew simply when he had his best result. Or - when the top sailors of the world meet once a year to battle for the Gold star, it is the small differences in the crew work that makes one team the winner.

Nowadays, the Star rig has developed to stiffer masts and more powerful sails than 20 years ago. As a result, the Star goes faster upwind in the waves, but for sure requires more crewweight. Vinci Hoesch of the early eighties, with 85 Kg - matter how good he was - would not work as a crew today. This, friends, makes the search for a super crew so difficult. I am sure the Star Class would double its numbers if the pool of potential Star crews was bigger. Most people look at the Star Class after they have finished with dinghies. The Star would attract more sailors if the boat would not require such enormous bodyweight.

Becoming A Better Crew

Technical - Author: Phil Trinter - April 16, 2003

The crew position on a Starboat is regarded as one of the most challenging in all of sailing. It require strength, agility, and a good knowledge of what it takes to win. I have been sailing full time in the Class since 1992. Over the past 9 years I have learned what it takes to become a better crew. I am going to outline a few things to improve your preparation and performance as a crew.

  1. Fitness
  2. Crew clothing
  3. Boat set up
  4. Practicing: a. by yourself or b. with skipper
  5. Mental preparation: a. weather, b. race instructions, and c. sailing rules 

1. Fitness 
Before we step on the boat, the two most important things you can do to improve yourself as a Starboat crew can be done off the water and away from the boat. As we all know, the Starboat can be a handful in a breeze. It requires us to use a lot of muscles. To prevent those muscles from being sore the next day, it is a good idea to have some sort of fitness program to exercise the muscles we use the most. I have found strong legs, abdominals and lower back are good places to start.

2. Crew Clothing 
Being warm, and comfortable on the water is the other thing we can take care of before we show up and go sailing. Take the time to purchase your own hiking vest, wetsuit, drysuit, boots, sunglasses, gloves, watch, and sun cream. I know some of these things are very expensive. Properly taken care of, they can last over a long period of enjoyable sailing. Efficient clothing will also make it easier to get from one side of the boat to the other, thus improving your boat handling skills.

3. Boat Set-Up 
It is still not time to go sailing yet. Setting up the front of the boat--so that it is consistent every time you go out to crew-- is extremely important. Some of the things that can change from boat to boat are: the location and length of your hiking strap adjustments, placement of jib sheet cleats, one continuous jib sheet or two separate, 1 to 1 or 2 to 1 jib sheets, and crossed or uncrossed backstays. In the heat of battle, being able to make a move without wondering where something is located, can be the difference between rounding a mark in front or behind.

4. Practicing 
Another good exercise in becoming a better crew is to experience driving a boat yourself. The smaller the boat the better, i.e., sunfish or a laser. The smaller boat exaggerates the movement of the person sailing it. For better or for worse, you will see first hand which kinetic movement is fast and which is slow -- both upwind and downwind. Take this experience and apply it when you are on the Starboat. So often in a big breeze, the difference downwind is the legal kinetic activity of the crew.

As far as I can remember, I have been told, "practice makes perfect." Unfortunately, the Starboat is no different. Whether it is a weekend regatta, or a major championship, getting out and practicing is the key to becoming a good crew.

Practicing tacking and gybing requires time on the water with your skipper. It can be a weekend, a day before the regatta starts, or leaving the dock half an hour before the first race. Every little bit helps your coordination and teamwork.

5. Mental Preparation 
The mental side of crewing is just as important as the physical. Being able to contribute to the decision making of a skipper could be one of the most valuable things a good crew can do. A good crew will have an understanding of weather and tide, know the race instructions, and have a good handle on the sailing rules.

I hope a few of these tips will improve your performance as a crew, and in turn, help you and your skipper win some races. The Starclass rewards its winning crews like no other. It is an honor I hope you achieve.

A Star Is Reborn

Technical - Author: James Keesling - April 16, 2003

"There is nothing, absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." (Kenneth Graham)

Some people say that there is nothing better than finding an old Harley in a barn that has been sitting there untouched for 40 years, except maybe finding an old Star in a barn that had been untouched.

I started my search for a boat to put together on the Star Class web site. There was a message posted that someone had found boat #36 (or so they thought) and was it worth anything. After several e-mails, the boat was available, however, was in very rough condition, (no barn) I asked for pictures to see if magic could be performed and what would be required to put her back sailing again (read: time and money). Needless to say, the photo's were taken some distance from the boat, so how much work was needed was hard to tell. I asked why so far away, and the answer was all the poison ivy around the boat.

I couldn't determine what hull number the boat was, simply because no one had actually been in the boat to look. (polson ivy and all ... ) Finally, another e-mail arrived from a gentleman who would be in the area and knew something of Star boats. He would climb on in and see if any resemblance of a hull number could be found. To my surprise, number 25 was actually in readable shape. The rest of the description confirmed that much magic would be needed to put her back together:

"Got up there Saturday and caught up with Tom. I went up and looked at the boat. It had what looked like 25 in the hull, not 36. The 5 was just about rotted, but the 2 was clearly there. The boat looked salvageable but a project. The deck is plywood and maybe not original. The deck is completely shot. The boat is laying over to one side and where the water is collecting it is rotting. One plank is rotted and I suspect some of the framing also along that side is also rotted. The boom was wood and is completely rotted away. It would be nice to get the boat covered in case someone decided to salvage it."

So ended my search for an old Star. I called the Star Class office and asked for information regarding Hull #25, and warned them that a new member and a transfer of ownership was on its way. Mike at Triad trailers was the next phone call., "One Star trailer please, float off options and paint it blue, I hope to be there in a few weeks." So much for the easy part. I now own an old Star and a new trailer.

I had the directions to the Silver Bay Guideboat and Canoe Company on lake George and was on my way from Colorado. First stop, one freshly painted Star trailer in New Milford, CT. Second stop, Silver Bay, NY. Tom James owned the star and had purchased her 30 or 40 years ago, along with 2 old Chris Crafts, just to resell. Well, the star has been around for some time. There was a big forklift available to use to help load the boat on the trailer. I showed up at 3:00 pm hoping for some help, and ready to start transferring boats and trailers. To my dismay, the forklift driver had gone home for the day. I started trying to move the boat out of the woods onto the pavement. I hooked up the winch on the Hummer to the old Desoto cradle, and started to pull it out of the ground. It was sitting in 6" of dirt and the rubber had rotted the wheels. First, it pulled the Hummer about a foot across the road, then it broke free and the Star was dragged out of its hiding place. I hooked up the hitch to the back of the truck and dragged the whole mess up the hill to a flat spot where I could get the fork lift to it. "OK, now what?" I thought. I needed to find the keys to the forklift. After looking under seats, and in all the usual hiding spots, no keys. Back down the hill to Tom's place for some help. I think I had him convinced that it would be OK for me to drive the fork lift without hurting me, other boats or the star. I packed extra line and lifting straps Just in case. I really didn't want the hull to just lift off the keel while trying to load her onto the new trailer. Luckily, inside the boat were lifting rings bolt ed to the keel, made out of solid brass. I tied the slings to the lifting rings and then to the forks. Up she went in one piece! I backed up slowly and let the Star hang while I switched trailers. The boat fit nicely on the new trailer. One hour later, after hosing her down and some cleanup, I wrapped her with shrink-wrap just to keep the boat together for the trip back to Colorado.

So much for the fun part, now the work starts.

Several hundred hours, many phone calls to John MacCausland, one set of plans, new spars, vang track, Harken, Harken, and more Harken, one North Sails tuning guide, 10 gallons West System, 6 large metal grinding disks, 250 fasteners, 180 sanding disks, I broken old mast section, 3 sheets teak and holly plywood, varnish, adjustable jack stands, one set used sails for training, measuring tape, scale, and 5000 ping-pong balls later, we have a Star!

My wife Joanie and I knew the name of the boat before it even made it back to Colorado, "Poison Ivy". We featured her in the Denver Boat Show in January, 2002. Next, we trial sailed her in a local lake just to make sure nothing cracked, broke, or worse, sank. From there we resanded the rudder and sprayed epoxy primer on the bottom to fair and fill. Now we were ready for the first regatta of the summer.

Six Stars showed up to the first event May 4-5 at Cherry Creek Lake. This would be a good test to see if Poison Ivy would even be able to compete. Prior to the first gun, we tore the forestay turning block out of the deck, Cool!. One line tied to the bow cleat and around the forestay, we were at least sailing. This of course set the rake totally wrong, so we didn't really know how speed and pointing were going to be compared to the other boats. After 3 races, we were in 3rd place. Sunday morning, I fixed the forestay fitting and re-tuned the rig. Off we went and managed to tie for second but lose the tiebreaker in the regatta. At least the boat worked and sailed well.

Back to the fun part, Sailing. Having never sailed a Star before, we were totally excited about "Poison Ivy" and learning how to make her go fast. She had her moments of speed and pointing, Now I get to spend the time on the water sailing and figuring it all out. This really is better than finding an old Harley in a barn!

Preparing Your Mast

Technical - Author: Mark Reynolds - April 16, 2003

Before you step your rig next time, take a minute to check a few things out.You should look it over to help prevent any potential problems and there area few adjustments to check. You don't need a failure that may put you out of a race this season.

A few millimeters can be all there is between having your mast standing or letting the wind and gravity bring it right back down. Your mast can be slightly bent from last season and the spreaders and intermediates can have moved since the last time they were checked.

Today's new masts come pretty ready to go. The mast manufactures do a good job of presetting the spreaders and the intermediates. A few days of goodpressure can seat things a bit so even a new mast should be rechecked. If you have a season or two on your mast it's way past time to check your settings.

I check mine quite a few times a year. Check to make sure that your mast is straight. Small adjustments are easy, particularly at the top where the welding has made the mast not asresilient. If you are careful you can straighten a mast that's been very bent. Before the 2000 Olympic Trails we rolled to windward and dipped the pole in the drink for a few seconds. As soon as it hit Magnus pushed the inboard end up the mast. Although the mast didn't break, it was pretty bent up. We were able to straighten bends that were both sideways and fore and aft.

Assuming that your intermediates are at the spreader tips, they need to be adjusted before attaching them to the spreaders. Pull the upper shroud down along the front of the mast and mark the inside bearing point on the mast. If you have a Spartech make sure to leave the small spacer in. You can put a phillips screwdriver through it to hold it in place and make a mark inline with the lower edge. Measure down from this point 2 15/16" (75mm) and make another mark. Now pull the intermediates down and adjust so that theinside bearing point is in line with this mark. Make sure you tighten thelocking nut.

After installing the spreaders tie some twine or shock cord tightly between the tips (right around the shrouds) and measure to the back of the mast checking the sweep of the spreaders. This normally comes at 5" and this works fine. At this point I also make sure that the line from tip to tip is perpendicular to the side of the mast butt plug. This can be checked byusing a level or you can line up a batten on the butt plug and check to see if it's in line with the twine between the spreader tips. If you haven't checked this for awhile it will most likely need a little adjusting.

Check your mast head sheave and halyard lock. They normally don't have problems but make sure that the pin that holds them in is secure. The lower pin that holds the halyard lock also holds the upper shrouds. This pin broke on Peter Bomby at this years Springs.

Take a very close look at the main halyard at the shackle and at the ball to make sure there are no broken wires. This should be replaced at least every few years.You should take off the jib box and check all of the screws inside and makesure that they are tight. Check the half sheave that the jib halyard runsaround. If you haven't kept the jib halyard waxed it will wear out quickly(don't forget to wax it!).

Before reinstalling check all the screw holes. Last year before the trials I found a crack from the top screw hole into the cutout. It was also starting to crack from the hole toward the side aswell. No question that it would have broken soon. Look around the spreader bracket and make sure that it's still tightlyriveted to the mast. If not, you can re-rivet it using stainless rivets.

Make sure when riveting anything to your mast to use something to insulate it, I use Alumilastic. If you have a collar around the mast as was used on many Folli's make sure that there is still a piece of plastic under it to insulate it from the aluminum mast. I've seen quite a few masts break off at this point.

Wipe the wires off with some MEK or acetone. It's a good idea to replace the rod rigging occasionally. I've seen wires break within 1 year and have seen them last for many years. The intermediates and headstays seem to break the most, and fortunately neither usually cause a broken mast. The lower diagonal shrouds and the outer lower cap shroud are more critical.

Check the shock cord that's tied from backstay to backstay near the spreaders. This should still have some stretch left in it and be about 6'long. If it's too long the leeward backstay can get caught around the spreader tip on a jibe.

I've been putting Starbright on my mast to keep it from getting pitted and spraying some McLube in the sail slot to make the sail move up and down a little easier. With the Spartech masts make sure to tape your spreader tips before standing the rig for two reasons. The bolts have been known to back out and they are also a bit sharp which has ripped many mains at starts and mark roundings.

Powering Up

Technical - Author: Mark Reynolds - April 16, 2003

Based on the positive response on the article on depowering, this month I was asked to discuss powering up. Questions like "How do you keep that crew over the side as long as possible in lighter conditions?" and " When it's light and there's some swell or chop how do I keep the boat moving?" are good ones.

We get this condition a lot off San Diego and will most likely have it at the next Worlds in Marina Del Rey. One easy way to power up is to sail light, a lot of guys here in Southern California sail light and in marginal mini hiking conditions it's an advantage, but that isn't always an option. Here are a few pointers:

Crew Weight - Being able to get the crew over the side is fast, particularly in choppy conditions. I will sit almost inside the cockpit to keep my crew over the side. I think that the reduced windage and lower center of gravity are fast. Also if the crew is already out when a puff hits I can quickly lean out and take advantage of the extra power more effectively.

Steering - You want to keep the boat moving so you must really concentrate on keeping both tell tails streaming aft on both sides, and not pinch. In light air it's more important than ever to have the crew doing the looking around so the helmsman can concentrate on precise steering. If you are going fast you are developing more power and you will end up pointing higher than the other boats.

Sails - You need to keep those sails powered up. Use your fuller main if you have one. Often a slightly older main will be better in conditions where you need more power. The draft will be further aft giving you a bit more helm and power.

Rig - it's important to have just a slight leeward sag in the middle of the mast or at least straight. You don't want the mast up in the middle with the tip falling off in light wind. When the rig is set up properly you will automatically have the right bend in all conditions. If your mast is up in the middle in 8 knots you need to loosen the intermediates and the lowers. There should also be a little bit of looseness at the mast partner to keep the mast in column.

Outhaul - As soon as you are no longer full hiking you should ease the outhaul a bit. You can't ease it too much particularly in very light wind but ease it enough to get a bit of shape in the lower section of the sail. Use the lowest seam in the main, it should be pulled straight when over powered but can drop away at the middle of the boom as much as an inch when you need some power. 

Cunningham - The cunningham should be eased to keep the draft as far back as possible. Leave plenty of wrinkles in. If the wind has dropped uncleat the cunningham and ease the mainsheet real quick to get the mainsail to move up the mast track. Spraying a little McLube on the mast track and on the main luff rope will also help. 

Backstays - It's very important to have no tension on the upper backstay. This will give the jib maximum sag and fullness. The lower backstay is a little trickier. You don't want to pull it on too soon, if the crew is not hiking you probably can't use the extra fullness but as soon as your crew drops over the side you can make the main fuller to develop more lift. This will help to keep them over the side and result in more height as well. The helm will increase but in this condition this is a good thing. You just have to experiment to see how much you can pull on. Watch the boats around you. 

Jib trim - Make sure you have just enough tension on the jib downhaul to pull out the wrinkles but no more. You might want to keep a few wrinkles in to make sure you are not too tight. Jib lead stays the same but the crew will need to trim the sheet a little more often as the wind changes keeping the leech on the mark on the spreader.

Mainsheet trim - more trim will give you more power, just make sure you don't over do it and put on the brakes. You just have to look at the boats around you and experiment with more or less mainsheet tension to see what's right for the conditions.

Update on the Star Class from Seahorse Magazine

Technical - Author: Steve Mitchell, 2002 Star World Champion - April 22, 2003

The Star, as one of the oldest one-design classes and as one that thrives and prospers under its Olympic status, has always been at the forefront of new ideas. The class rules have evolved over the years to embrace GRP technology, and the tolerances are very small on most measurements, leading to very equal boats from different builders.

Prohibited materials include all the exotics, such as carbon, Kevlar, Nomex and so on. Hulls are foam sandwich construction, which enables boats to be competitive for many years. The boat Iain and I sailed at the 2002 worlds was built at the start of 2000, but many fast boats are up to 10 years old.

The main builders now are Folli and Lillia, both from Italy and rivals along the shore of Lake Como, and Mader from Germany. All the builders are constantly striving to improve their designs in search of the perfect Star. The tally of manufacturers at the last worlds had Folli in 1,4,5,6 and Lillia in 2nd and 3rd. The most significant aspect here was that the Lillias were of a new design and proved particularly fast downwind in the hands of Torben Grael and Xavier Rohart. Lillia have been hard at work on this new hull design and these were the 2nd and 3rd boats from their new hull mould.

The hull shapes of the Lillia, Folli and Mader are similar, but the keel shapes are different, the Lillia keel being squarer in elevation, with more surface area than the Folli. Hull finish is a constant worry for Star sailors, with the epoxy hulls post curing in hot weather, leading to print-through of the cloth weave which needs constant attention to ensure a perfect finish. Some Americans opt for the $US5,000 refairing, but even this prints through eventually.

Lillia have just created a new mould in association with Devoti Sailing, the Finn builder. It is made in ceramic, which allows it to be baked to high temperatures for long periods without the mould being affected. A normal GRP mould would distort under these temperatures. The finish of these boats is therefore as close to perfect out of the mould as any Star has ever been.

Most crews polish the hulls with Starbrite Teflon polish for the final shine. The merits of polished versus sanded finish have long been discussed; but with Stars being kept in the water at championships it is the best way to prevent growth and scum adhering to the hull.

The obvious differences between the Folli and Mader and Lillia lie in layout, with the Lillia opting for a Laser-style cockpit, with full-height buoyancy tanks and a high floor. This compares to the Follis and Maders which have conventional decks with space below them and then half-height side tanks. The Lillias have the runner adjustment on deck in between the helm and crew, a lighter option than the conventional system where the adjustment is led forward and comes out at the back of the foredeck, necessitating more fittings below decks. Crews tend to have a preference: we prefer Lillia¹s above-deck systems as they run more freely and can be let off or pulled on by helm or crew.

Normally sail and rig controls are led to the helm, but on the Lillia more are led forward, again to lessen weight, and some adjustments are done away with altogether, such as fore and aft jib car adjustment. This means there is a fixed jib track as opposed to the bulky adjusters on other boats. Jib sheet angle is changed via a barber hauler attached to the jib car.

Spars are dominated by Emmeti of Italy and Spar Craft of the USA; these are spread evenly across the fleet. The latest trend has been towards using unanodised masts, which are believed to be stiffer but need constant polishing to prevent corrosion. No firm conclusion has really been reached on these yet.

Sails are dominated by North Sails (USA and UK) and Quantum (USA), with North getting 1st and 2nd at the 2002 worlds and Quantum 1st and 2nd at the 2001 worlds. We have been using North from the UK loft, but these are built from the same computer cut-files as the San Diego sails. This continues Iain¹s association with North UK, who helped to develop his world-beating Finn sails.

The revised crew weight rule has seen lighter and fitter Star crews, and after some initial reluctance from the USA most are happier being fitter and healthier, which can be the only way for an Olympic sport to be seen. The change has also led to a welcome influx of Finn, Laser and even 470 sailors to the class.

Iain and I have finally secured our full Olympic funding and are pleased to be sponsored by Skandia as part of their global Set Sail initiative. Iain has worked alongside the title sponsors of Skandia Cowes Week for a number of years and our relationship is excellent.

All in all things are rosy in the Star class.

Crew and Helm Communications Upwind

Technical - Author: Mark Reynolds - April 29, 2003

I was asked the other day how much verbal help the crew can give the skipper in the Star upwind. The mix between boat speed and tactical help can vary depending on conditions, crew experience and just personal preference. A crew very strong in tactics might want to be the "tactician" and make all the calls and leave concentrating on boatspeed more to the helmsman. At the other extreme a crew without much sailing experience can focus more on just reporting the position of the nearby boats allowing the helmsman to judge boatspeed and make tactical decisions without having to look around as much.

Any help the crew can give will allow the helmsman to concentrate more on the tell tails and making the boat go fast. You don't see an Americas Cup helmsman looking around too much.

Covering the Blind Spots
The crew should try to cover the helmsman's blind spots when possible. When you are at the helm your focus is mainly at the tell tails so it's fairly easy to look slightly both ways, through the sail windows to leeward and slightly to windward. The crew can help by looking in the other directions like from straight upwind around the windward side abeam and straight behind. Clearly when the crew is droop hiking it's a little harder to see in certain areas as well. Realizing the crews different positions upwind I expect slightly different feedback in different wind conditions.

Boat Speed
One of the most important things the crew can provide is feedback on is the relative speed with other boats on the race course. First it's better if they can always refer to your own boats performance (height and speed) compared to others. This way if the helmsman only hears the word "higher" then they know it means that our boat is higher. When there's a boat near by I use this constant feed back to judge effectiveness of changes in tune. If I'm hearing even / even (height and speed) for a few minutes and I make some tune changes and suddenly I hear we are "higher / same speed" I can figure that it's probably the adjustment I just made.

I've found it is important to have just one person making the final call, on some Stars this will be the crew and other times the helmsman. Although it can work really well to discuss some tactical decisions often things get tight and one person needs to make the call. I like the crew to help paint a picture of the positions of boats, those around us and our main competitors so I don't have to look around. For instance if someone is in my blind spot behind and to windward and is getting lifted I can decide to tack or wait for the shift without ever having to look. It's really hard for the helmsman to look aft and if someone is passing behind, particularly someone we know we need to beat it's nice to know to base tactical decisions. 

By knowing the distance a boat passes behind at the next crossing the crew can report which side gained. It's also really nice to know if the majority of the fleet is to one side or the other. If 90 percent is on the opposite side you not only increase the chances of a big gain or loss but there's a pretty good chance 90 percent of the fleet is isn't wrong!

History of Mader Star Boats

Technical - Author: John MacCausland - July 28, 2003

The history of Mader Star Boats began when the Tempest was dropped from the Olympic program and the Star Boat was added in the fall of 1976. Leonhard Mader, Sr. with the help of Eckart Wagner contacted Bill Buchan. At that time Buchan boats were considered to be the fastest and it was very important for Mader to secure an agreement to build Buchan designed Stars in Europe. In the fall of 1976 Leonhard Mader, Sr. flew to Seattle and met with Mr. Buchan to sign an agreement. Bill Buchan then shipped the first set of Star molds including the hull, deck, cockpit, keel, rudder and skeg. From these molds were built the first Mader Star Boats.

April, 1977 saw the first Mader Star Boat built. A successful Finn Dinghy sailor from the Netherlands, Kees Douze, received the first boat. Many more Star Boats were to be built in a short period of time including boats for Valentin Mankin, Eckart Wagner and also Dennis Conner. This is the boat that Dennis won the World Championship in Keil, Germany with five first place finishes, a record that still stands to this day. In this same event Uwe VonBelow finished third overall. For Mader this was a break that they needed to put them on top of the Star Class. Other sailors have also won championships with Mader Star Boats including Alex Hagen with Vincent Hoesch in 1981, Carl Buchan with Hugo Schreiner in 1992, Ross MacDonald with Eric Jesperson in 1994 and Eric Doyle with Tom Olsen in 1999 won the largest Worlds Championship on record in Punta Ala, Italy.

Now that you know some of the history of our company, we would like to give you some idea on how we build our boats. Our first boats were built with polyester resin and foam core sandwich construction. From 1986 our boats have been built with epoxy resin. The following is how our new boats are constructed. We start by spraying gel coat in the mold. Next we laminate a thin fiberglass roving followed by more roving and finally a biaxial roving. Then we fit a foam core and laminate that in with a biaxial roving and finish with normal roving. The deck is laminated the same as the hull. The cockpit liner is laminated with two layers of roving and has a thinner foam core and finally one thin layer of roving. To prepare the hull for the cockpit a "U" shaped keelson is glued to the floor of the hull. Together with this the cockpit is glued onto the hull with a precise fixture to insure proper fit. While the hull and cockpit are curing, the deck is removed from the mold and prepared to be installed on the hull.

After the deck is installed the boat goes into a large oven to cure. After the hull comes out of the oven, then the completed hull comes out of the mold. In certain areas we reinforce the hull to deck joint with laminate. Also at this time the underside of the deck is sealed. The hull will be placed in the oven for a second time for curing. Once the hull is completed the prepared keel is placed into a fixture to insure proper placement. After gluing and bolting the keel to the hull we fit the skeg and rudder. The final step before the fittings are mounted the hull, keel, rudder and skeg are highly polished. As to the fitting out of the boat, it is all done custom to the boat owners wishes and suggestions. We have found our process creates a very fast boat with a long life expectancy. Our boats have won many Worlds, Europeans, North American and Olympic Championships.

Lifting Rudders Outlawed

Technical - Author: Hannes Gubler, Chairman, Technical Advisory Board - February 10, 2004

On 5 December 2003, the Class Management Committee and the International Governing Committee discussed the legality of the lifting rudders on some of the recently built Star Boats. The Technical Advisory Board members stated that the vertical rudder movement is within the requirements of the Class specifications, but their opinion is that the difference in speed would be minimal. According to the builders, the cost to remove the lifting rudder from the recently built boats is far less than the cost to install it into older boats. Consensus of the CMC and IGC members was that, as a matter of policy, allowing lifting rudders would not be good for the Class; therefore, the decision was made that lifting rudders will not be allowed in Star boats.

To all Members, Measurers and Builders of the Starclass:

Lifting Rudders (or up-and-down rudders)

Following the decision of the International Governing Committee and the Class Management Committee, the Technical Advisory Board has decided on the necessary clarification and the procedure concerning the existing boats with lifting rudders.

The Technical Advisory Board has decided:

  1. Lifting rudders are not allowed.
  2. For existing and measured boats, the device in question must be altered in a way that the rudder remains in all positions fixed in a height conforming to the rudder measurement.
  3. The deadline for the alteration is:
  • April 15, 2004 for boats competing in Gold- and Silver-Events,
  • February 1, 2005 for all other boats.

March 9, 2004
Technical Advisory Board
Chairman, Hannes Gubler

New Measurers for the Star Class

Technical - Author: Technical Advisory Board - September 27, 2004

On the 6th and 7th of August 2004, we organized a seminar for measurers at the boatyard of Leonhard Mader at Waging in Southern Germany.

Participants at the seminar were:

  • Instructors: - Hannes Gubler, Chairman TAB
  • Friedrich Krieger, Certified Measurer
  • Measurer candidates: - Peter Schöberl, Salzburg, Austria
  • Günther Staudinger, Linz, Austria
  • Observer: - Hermann Weiler, Vice-President ISCYRA

"Burschi" Mader was a very helpful and active host. The participants much appreciated that our Vice-President attended the seminar.

Peter Schöberl and Günther Staudinger, both technical engineers, had the possibility to realize and understand all important items concerning the one-design status of the Starboat. I am convinced that they will be very helpful for our class and, after some more practical experience, can soon be elected as Certified Measurers. These two measurers will be able to maintain a good service for the class in Austria and Southern Germany in the future.

Although very satisfactory, this is only a first step. In many other regions, districts and countries, we have to find new measurers and provide more information about the technical conformity of the Starboat.

Therefore, I would highly appreciate being informed if sailors from other regions with technical background would be interested in being a measurer for the Star Class. If you are interested, please contact the Technical Advisory Board.

September 2004
Hannes Gubler, Chairman TAB
CH-8702 Zollikon, Switzerland
Rebwiesstrasse 54
Phone ++41-1-391 91 94
Telefax ++41-1-391 94 04

Star Class Weight Chart

Technical - Author: Bill Allen, ISCYRA President - December 21, 2004

Effective January 1, 2005 
Official Formula is: Crew Weight = (100 - Skippers Weight) / 1.5) + 100 
Conversion Formula is: Crew Weight = ((220 - Skippers Weight) / 1.5 ) + 220

per Wt. (kilos) Crew Wt. (kilos) Skipper Wt. (lbs) Crew Wt (lbs)
64 124.0 140 274.2
65 123.3 141 273.5
66 122.7 142 272.8
67 122.0 143 272.2
68 121.3 144 271.5
69 120.7 145 270.8
70 120.0 146 270.2
71 119.3 147 269.5
72 118.7 148 268.8
73 118.0 149 268.2
74 117.3 150 267.5
75 116.7 151 266.8
76 116.0 152 266.2
77 115.3 153 265.5
78 114.7 154 264.8
79 114.0 155 264.2
80 113.3 156 263.5
81 112.7 157 262.8
82 112.0 158 262.2
83 111.3 159 261.5
84 110.7 160 260.8
85 110.0 161 260.2
86 109.3 162 259.5
87 108.7 163 258.8
88 108.0 164 258.2
89 107.3 165 257.5
90 106.7 166 256.8
91 106.0 167 256.2
92 105.3 168 255.5
93 104.7 169 254.8
94 104.0 170 254.2
95 103.3 171 253.5
96 102.7 172 252.8
97 102.0 173 252.2
98 101.3 174 251.5
99 100.7 175 250.8
100 100.0 176 250.2
101 99.3 177 249.5
102 98.7 178 248.8
103 98.0 179 248.2
104 97.3 180 247.5
105 96.7 181 246.8
106 96.0 182 246.2
107 95.3 183 245.5
108 94.7 184 244.8
109 94.0 185 244.2
110 93.3 186 243.5
111 92.7 187 242.8
112 92.0 188 242.2
113 91.3 189 241.5
114 90.7 190 240.8
115 90.0 191 240.2
116 89.3 192 239.5
117 88.7 193 238.8
118 88.0 194 238.2
119 87.3 195 237.5
120 86.7 196 236.8
121 86.0 197 236.2
122 85.3 198 235.5
123 84.7 199 234.8
124 84.0 200 234.2
125 83.3 201 233.5
126 82.7 202 232.8
127 82.0 203 232.2
128 81.3 204 231.5
129 80.7 205 230.8
130 80.0 206 230.2
131 79.3 207 229.5
132 78.7 208 228.8
133 78.0 209 228.2
134 77.3 210 227.5
135 76.7 211 226.8
136 76.0 212 226.2
137 75.3 213 225.5
138 74.7 214 224.8
139 74.0 215 224.2
140 73.3 216 223.5
    217 222.8
    218 222.2
    219 221.5
    220 220.8
    221 220.2
    222 219.5
    223 218.8
    224 218.2
    225 217.5
    226 216.8
    227 216.2
    228 215.5
    229 214.8
    230 214.2
    231 213.5
    232 212.8
    233 212.2
    234 211.5
    235 210.8
    236 210.2
    237 209.5
    238 208.8
    239 208.2
    240 207.5
    241 206.8
    242 206.2
    243 205.5
    244 204.8
    245 204.2
    246 203.5
    247 202.8
    248 202.2
    249 201.5
    250 200.8
    251 200.2
    252 199.5
    253 198.8
    254 198.2
    255 197.5
    256 196.8
    257 196.2
    258 195.5
    259 194.8
    260 194.2
    261 193.5
    262 192.8
    263 192.2
    264 191.5
    265 190.8
    266 190.2
    267 189.5
    268 188.8
    269 188.2
    270 187.5
    271 186.8
    272 186.2
    273 185.5
    274 184.8
    275 184.2
    276 183.5
    277 182.8
    278 182.2
    279 181.5
    280 180.8
    281 180.2
    282 179.5
    283 178.8
    284 178.2
    285 177.5
    286 176.8
    287 176.2
    288 175.5
    289 174.8
    290 174.2
    291 173.5

Announcement from the TAB - Interpretations to Specifications

Technical - Author: Hannes Gubler, Chairman, Technical Advisory Board - May 02, 2005

The Technical Advisory Board has decided on the following interpretations to the following Specifications:

1. Materials for the Backstays, Spec. 11.2:
Many sailors use new materials like "Dyleema" for the upper and the lower backstays. Since the backstays are considered as "running rigging" and Spec. 11.2 states that the running rigging may be of "any material" the TAB confirms that the material for the backstays (uppers and lowers) is optional.

2. Coating of the Jibstay, Spec. 11.1:
Some sailors use coated wires or tubes around the jibstay to protect the sails. The TAB consideres that means to protect the sails for a longer life are in the interest of the Class. It is however obvious that - on the other hand - an aerodynamic advantage resulting thereof can in no way be accepted.The TAB has therefore decided the following limitation with a clarifying addition to Specification 11.1:
The Jibstay may have a firmly fitted tube or coating totaling a maximum of 7,2 mm in diameter.

3. Position of the Cockpit, Spec. 6.1:
In connection with the approval of new Starboat designs it had been discovered that the position of the cockpit is not clearly defined and only described as laying between the Hull Stations 5 and 8. Considering the official Drawing Nr. 2 and the existing tolerances concerning the Deck the TAB has limited the position of the cockpit opening with a clarifying addition to Specification 6.1 as follows:
The forward end of the cockpit opening is limited with 3685 maximum forward of Point "T" and the aft end with 1605 minimum forward of Point "T".

For the Technical Advisory Board
Hannes Gubler, Chairman
April 16th, 2005
Hannes Gubler
Rebwiesstrasse 54, CH-8702 Zollikon, Switzerland
Phone: ++41 – 1 – 391 91 94
Fax: ++41 – 1 – 391 94 04

Thoughts on Boat Renovation

Technical - Author: Bill Buchan - November 25, 2005

Bill Buchan with his refurbished Star #7260, “Old Faithful”

This guide to buying an older Star and making it competitive is a result of a project which I took on in 2004. With the recent increase in interest in renovating older Stars I thought the various considerations involved in finding an older boat worthy of refurbishing and what is involved in renovating it would be of interest to others.

Early in 2004 I went through a refurbishing of the last boat that I built, #7260. Admittedly, it isn't all that old, being built in 1988, but boats do get tired with age and need a certain amount of refurbishing after years of use. “Old Faithful” was purchased from its Canadian owner for less than $5000 US.

I stripped the boat down completely and repainted the boat inside and out. While in the process of rebuilding the boat I thought that maybe I could get better performance with a new keel, so I flew in a new keel from Folli.

One of the thoughts about the Folli keels is that if the keel is as close as possible to the final shape then less filler is needed to achieve the desired keel shape. This means that the overall density of the keel is greater than one which uses filler to achieve the final keel shape and thus has more righting moment when the boat is in the water.

One of the recent trends in setting up Star boats is to have more weather helm than we used to have. In reattaching the keel to #7260 I am trying the maximum-forward position in order to create more weather helm. I was of course concerned about how this change would affect the boat’s performance. I have been sailing the boat for the last two seasons, including at the 2005 North American Championships in Marina del Rey, and I feel that the change has indeed made an improvement in the boat’s performance.

The following are some thoughts and suggestions that have occurred to me to help those that might wish to take on a refurbishing project: 

1. I urge you to only consider a glass boat if you have any intention of racing and winning in a competitive fleet as, for the reason given below, they are just plain faster. If your primary goal is to have a fulfilling project to bring back something of beauty to its original or better than original condition, then by all means go for it, even though it might be a “woodie”, but don’t expect to be competitive with the newer series glass boats.

2. In going with the glass boat, it is absolutely necessary that the bond between the skin and the core is sound and that the hull hasn’t picked up any weight. As well, there shouldn’t be any cracking except perhaps at the deck edge where a reinforcement and repair is relatively easy. 

3. Boats built prior to 1980 most likely will not have a keel that is competitive, especially off the wind. I have found other builders to be willing to sell me their keels. The problem is shipping the keel. I would suggest airfreight. Removing a keel and installing the new one is no picnic but it isn’t as difficult as it might seem. If you are not up to the task, your local boat builder should be able to give you an estimate of the cost. The weight of the keel will, of course, need to be certified and the various keel measurements checked by a Class measurer so that your Measurement Certificate can be brought up to date.

4. As for the hull shape, it appears to me that not much has changed in the last 30 years or so.[1] If what I hear is correct, the current Lillia, for instance, which is certainly competitive, is basically the same shape as what they were building in the early 1970’s. This would lead me to believe that the Gerards, Lippincotts and Duplins, as well as the boats that I built would be fine with regard to their design. Once again, the hull must be in good shape as nothing would be more discouraging than repairing a hull that has delamination or water in the core. Even though I built many successful boats that utilized balsa in some areas of the hull, I would avoid those boats unless they are surveyed extra carefully. Again, weight gain would be a tip off that there is a problem.

5. Boats of the vintage that we would be dealing with, even though they might be glass, will most certainly need to be faired and painted. It is important that enough of the original finish is sanded off so that a minimum of weight is added.

Weight in the ends of the boat.
The weight in the ends issue of course started with the early glass boats that were built by Lippincott that seemed strangely fast when their wooden boats hadn't been that competitive. As a point of interest, I called Bob Lippincott prior to the 1968 Olympic Trials to purchase one of their boats as there were rumors of their speed in the hands of sailors that until then hadn't been going all that well. Needless to say, they couldn't take care of me so I was confronted with being a glass boat builder myself, which of course is what I did for the next season. As to when the lightness went to another level, I can't say for sure, but I'd say it was in the mid to late 80's, meaning boats of the 7200 to 7400 series. 

It should be mentioned that for quite some time now builders have been squeezing out as much of the resin as possible, mainly through vacuum bagging, creating what is termed a “dry lay-up” in which the fiberglass cloth appears to be dry. The weight of the resulting lay-up has remained fairly constant over the years, at about 0.7 lbs. per square foot. While the Star Class specifications read “The weight per unit area of any part of the hull, including a representative portion of any structure required to stiffen the surface, must equal or exceed 8.8 kg/m² (1.7 lbs/ft²),” note that this includes structural elements. The 0.7 lbs/ft² is just the foam core with glass and gel coat. The point here is that over the last 20 years or so there has been very little change in the weight at the ends due to construction techniques.

From time to time, a swing test or something similar has been brought up as a way to control the situation but so far nothing seems practical, at least as something that could be done at a regatta. How this affects the practicality of the old boats versus the new is somewhat immaterial as the club level sailor sails primarily in smooth water anyway and the difference only really shows up in ocean, open water, conditions. It's certainly something that needs to be considered though, if the prospective purchaser of the older boat plans on racing in the "big time".

In summary, I would say that for a relatively modest sum of money and a lot of hard work, it is possible for someone to have a boat capable of competing against anyone, anywhere. The candidates are out there. With a little research you might very well find something really special.

Editor’s note: Bill started building Stars at the age of 13 in 1948 with the help of his father. For a history of Bill’s boat building career see the article “Buchan Boats”. Bill used his boats to win three World’s Championships (1961, 1970, 1985) and an Olympic Gold medal (1984). Bill has been a member of the Technical Committee, now the Technical Advisory Board, since 1979 and was its chairman from 1996 through 1998.

[1] A builder has to take into consideration the fact that the hull shrinks as it cures. A boat built in a mold built to the correct measurements will not measure in because of this. Thus, the hull mold has to be built somewhat larger. Further, depending on the way the hull was laid up it will shrink in various directions which are not completely predictable until after the fact. The tolerances in the Table of Limitations attempt to allow for the result of vagaries due to shrinkage. However, given that the tolerances are now in a fairly narrow range and have been since the Table of Limitations was revised in 1977 and again in the late 1980’s it is questionable that there is much difference in terms of potential boat speed by taking the hull to the maximum or minimum dimensions at the various measurement points.

Changes to the Specifications of the Starboat Hull

Technical - Author: Hannes Gubler - January 09, 2006

Following the passed Resolution #16-2005 the wording of the Specification concerning the Sheer in the official Drawing Nr.1 - LINES AND LIMITATIONS is amended as follows:

- Sheer: Maximum 26 (incl. Deck-Transom) and equal throughout exept in small areas where the shrouds are fixed.

In particular this means that the radius of the sheer at the position of the Skipper and at the position of the Crew must be equal.

January 2006, for the TAB, Hannes Gubler

Silver Star Qualifiers for 2006 World’s

Technical - Author: Steve Gould, Chairman Judiciary Board - May 13, 2006

In response to a request for a ruling from the President, the JB has issued the following interpretation of Rule 29.3.2 pertaining to entries to the World Championship through Silver Star events:

A. Each continent is entitled to send one additional set of entries to a World Championship according to the schedule prescribed in Rule 29.3.2.

B. The continent’s additional entries under Rule 29.3.2 are to be determined by its Continental Committee based upon the most recent Silver Star event held in that continent and completed at least ten days before the entry deadline for the World Championship. For 2006, the 29.3.2 qualifiers are: for North America the Spring Silver Star in Annapolis; for South America the 2006 Silver Star completed in February 2006; for Europe the 2006 European Championship in August 2006; and for Australia the 2006 Australian Championship.

C. Qualifiers from a Silver Star event through Rule 29.3.2 are restricted to participants from the fleets and districts of the continent where the Silver Star event is sailed. For example, for the 2006 Worlds, only competitors from North American fleets can qualify through the 2006 Spring Silver Star in Annapolis. Similarly, only members of fleets in South America can qualify through the South American Silver Star.

Stephen G. Gould
Chairman, Judiciary Board

Safety Chains, and Trailer Towing

Technical - Author: Rick Burgess - August 21, 2007

After most regattas end we all have great stories to tell once we get back to our sailing clubs, and having sailed in the North Americans in Vancouver it was going to be just that. Great stories about tankers, currents, sandy beaches, etc, Oh silly me.

After a really wonderful regatta and a truly great final dinner I drove back to my hotel to change my clothing and then start my drive down to the Los Angeles, California area. I did glance down at the trailer hook-up while throwing my travel bag into the back of the van. All looked OK and the so called safety wire was in place, or so it seemed.

Well I went about 1/2 mile when I hit a very small bump in the road, and much to my horror I saw in the rear view mirror my boat and trailer taking a different route than I was. The safety wire did not even start to slow it down and I watched it jump over a curb, go over a walk way, pass between two trees (almost untouched) and then plow through a flower garden and come to a quick stop at the base of a set of concrete stairs, ugh.

Well in the end the damage was minor as to what could have and maybe should have been and no one was injured. After digging the dirt out of the slightly bent hitch and rewiring the light harness, and reattaching the almost straight mast, I reattached the trailer to the van, added a real safety chain and continued on my way.

So if your trailer came to you with only that wire, I would strongly suggest that you invest in a real safety chain as it's well worth the money. Also if your trailer has one of those buttons that shows "green" when attached to the tow vehicle properly, take a second look it also is well worth the two seconds. 

The Hybrid-Vehicle Towing Experience

Technical - Author: Keith Donald, Star #7814 - July 31, 2008

Towing a Star with a Ford Escape

With gas at $4/gallon, the idea of towing a Star with a Ford Escape 4-cylinder gas-electric hybrid vehicle seems less bone-headed than it used to. At almost 100,000 miles and with about 25,000 miles of towing, I thought it was time to share the experience in hopes that others will consider this option. I must admit that pulling a 2,500 lb rig with a vehicle rated at 1,000 lb towing capacity seems like a warranty buster at first glance, but my engineering instinct began to question the towing rating. Since the V6 gas version of the same vehicle has a 3,500 lb towing capacity, then it is just a matter of horsepower, not braking or handling. The 4-cylinder gas-electric hybrid has almost V6 performance for acceleration, it just doesn’t have the power for sustained towing much above 65 mph.

Now here are some maintenance highlights that are often not considered in choosing a hybrid vehicle. Not all hybrids use the same technology, but the Ford Escape Hybrid uses the same technology as the Toyota Prius. The transmission is continuously variable, but unlike a conventional CVT, the hybrid vehicle uses a single planetary gear set in combination with two electric motor/generators to provide seamless power transfer from the gas engine to the drive shaft. These gears are always engaged, even in reverse or when the engine is stopped. It is the clever use of these motor/generators that provides the optimum ratio between the engine speed and the drive speed. The lack of a torque converter, clutches and shifting provides an extremely durable and efficient transmission. On my cross-country trek to Vancouver for the North Americans, I never had to use the brakes on the down grades. I simply slipped the transmission into low gear at any speed. Low gear is misleading since there is no gear change – only increased battery charging. But if the battery is fully charged, then engine braking is activated with a smooth but noticeable increase in engine RPM. I still have the original brake pads after 100,000 miles due to regenerative braking. Also, the factory recommended maintenance interval for oil change, etc. is every 10,000 miles whereas for the gas model equivalent, it is every 5,000 miles. I am fully confident that I will get another 100,000 miles of trouble-free use from this vehicle.

The Ford Escape has a fancy MPG indicator with a line graph that updates every minute. With that kind of data, you can instantly see the impact of hills, headwinds, tailwinds, A/C and, of course, the big one – highway speed. I get about 22-23 MPG towing at about 65 mph. If I have the patience and guts to drive 55 mph, then the towing MPG goes up to about 27 MPG. Non-towing use is about 30 MPG (35+ MPG with conservative driving – not bad for an all-wheel drive SUV). City mileage is better than highway. For towing, I just keep my eye on the tachometer and MPG indicator to be sure I am not over-taxing the engine. If I’m held up in traffic, it is a great stress reliever to know that my MPG will improve.

The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid has about 15% more horsepower. If you want blistering performance in a hybrid tow vehicle, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid has about 50% more horsepower and a tow rating of 3,500 lbs with an impressive MPG rating only about 10% less than the Ford Escape Hybrid. Expect to wait six months or longer for delivery of a new hybrid tow vehicle. However, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy used, if you can find one.

I hope this generates some interest. If you’re looking for a single vehicle that gets the towing job done and can get great mileage in the non-towing environment, I can’t think of a better choice than the Ford Escape Hybrid. Just throw on a class 3 hitch, use synthetic oil, and stick with the 10,000 mile maintenance schedule, even if your dealer tries to convince you otherwise. Oh yes, and ditch that roof rack – too much wind resistance.

I welcome comments or questions and can be reached at

What Are They Sailing in the Olympics?

Technical - Author: John Koopman, Co-Chief Class Measurer - August 25, 2008

Star Sailors at the Olympics. Photo by John Koopman

What type of Star are they sailing in the Olympics? 

Murray - Lillia
Spitzauer - Lillia
Scheidt - Lillia
Wang - Lillia
Lovrovic - Lillia
Rohardt - Lillia
Percy - Mader
Pickel - Folli
O'Leary - Lillia
Negri - Lillia
Pepper - Lillia
Kuznierewicz - Folli
Domingos - Lillia
Marazzi - Wilke
Loof - Folli
Dane - P4 (Pickel / MP Sailing Promotions boat)

Dane is sailing the P4. He went really well yesterday (Saturday) in the light air. Sperry was lying on the foredeck a la downwind on the upwind legs. Very effective in getting down the wetted surface and changing the pitching of the boat substantially. 

Marc Pickel is sailing Folli 8291. Most of the sailing will be against a strong current so Marc (also Mark Reynolds his coach) felt the upwind advantage of the Folli would be an asset.

The equipment is pretty standard other than the plethora of glass booms. Murray solved the heavy aluminum boom problem with an air hatch lifter. A heck of a lot cheaper than a glass boom.

With the light air, the traveler is back.

A number of the boats have installed small compasses in the bow hatch.

Nothing seems dominant so far, other than the weather.

Donate Your Star

Technical - Author: Joe Zambella - November 04, 2008

Donate your Star (only 7400 series boats and newer) to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) and receive a deduction on your income tax.

For more information contact: Fran Charles at, or Joe Zambella at

Please include information about your boat..

TAB Decision on Velocitek Device

Technical - Author: John Koopman - February 27, 2009

The TAB has determined that the Velocitek navigation device does not fit the definition of a 'Timer and Compass' as defined in the Class rules (31.2.6).

The device is a GPS which provides the direction of travel rather than where the bow of the boat is pointed.

Submitted by John Koopman for Joseph Knowles.

Seahorse Magazine article: “Upping the Stakes”

Technical - Author: Lynn Fitzpatrick for Seahorse Magazine - June 11, 2009

Article written by World Regattas' Lynn Fitzpatrick as seen in the July 2009 issue of Seahorse International Sailing Magazine.

Upping the stakes
Iain Percy's Mader-built Juan K design wasn't the only new and exotic Star boat in Qingdao last year... there was also, of course, the shadowy and then still slightly mythical P Star from Marc Pickel's German programme.

The Star is approaching its 100th anniversary and yet remarkably at this year's 82nd annual Bacardi Cup on Miami's Biscayne Bay there was still plenty to talk about for aficionados of boat development.

There is no question that Peter Bromby and Magnus Liljedahl dominated the 82nd Bacardi Cup, but there was also real news from Team V-3, the three crews sailing the new P Star. With very different team profiles and "some good karma", as skipper, Jon VanderMolen puts it, they had at least one boat in the top 10 in every race and finished respectably in sixth, ninth and 23rd overall.

Meanwhile, the P Star (above) is also making inroads
- here being tested in Qingdao by its creator Marc Pickel

Marc Pickel, the P Star builder and two-time German Olympic Star skipper, teamed up with 2002 Star World Champion Steve Mitchell in P2. Jon VanderMolen, more at home on Michigan's Gull Lake, was sailing with Finn sailor Geoff Ewenson in P5. And for his first Star regatta, 2003 College Sailor of the Year and World Team Racing Champion skipper Clay Bischoff had talented Canadian crew Tyler Bjorn in the bow of P1.

Pickel's development of the P Star began in 2002. With support from Michael Illbruck and his Pinta Racing Team, Pickel approached the Yacht Research Unit of Kiel University to run CFD studies on different Star hull designs and appendages. For seven months CFD specialist Eric Wolf collaborated with Pickel on the design for the original P Star, systematically testing different hull geometries and parameters within the tolerances of the class rules.

Notes Pickel, an experienced boatbuilder who has also worked for VO70 and Whitbread 60 build whizz Killian Bushe: "The offsets at the different stations of the Star hull constitute variance boxes of 19mmx16mm at the forward stations and 25mmx19mm at the middle and aft stations. For a one-design boat you have a lot of space in which you can play with different hull shapes."

Using RANS methods Pickel and the yacht research team tested the changes in flow forces on the appended hull and generated velocity predictions to calculate the performance variances compared to Star boats from existing manufacturers. In short, Pickel developed a Star boat with the longest waterline possible within the allowed tolerances. Out of the P Star's CNC-milled moulds comes a precise hull with a very straight exit, minimum volume in the mid-section and a deep but narrow bow.

Research and development and an Olympic campaign come with a price tag, and Pickel is resourceful to say the least. Pickel and his Star crew, Ingo Borkowski, trained with the well-funded American team of John Dane III and Austin Sperry during the run-up to both the US Olympic Star Trials in southern California and the Olympic regatta. Working together as a team, Pickel concentrated on optimising the P Star hull while the Americans, with Quantum's Mark Reynolds, tried to optimise the rig and sails for the anticipated light airs in Qingdao.

A proposition 
While in southern California Pickel received a phone all out of the blue from Jon VanderMolen, a passionate Star sailor and the Lillia dealer in the US since 2000. VanderMolen has built his business by taking in used Star boats against new boats, which has helped grow fleets throughout the US. His business took off in 2002 with the introduction of the Devoti Lillia Star. However, within a few years VanderMolen watched as the dollar plummeted and the European-built Lillias became prohibitively expensive. Aside from selling boats to those in the hunt for Olympic medals, VanderMolen's Star business all but dried up. By building a Star boat, spars and trailer in the US, VanderMolen believed that he could continue to promote fleet development throughout North America.

VanderMolen: "Would you be interested in selling the moulds to the P Star to me so that I can build boats in the US?"
Pickel: "Not now. Let's talk after the Games"...

According to VanderMolen, he didn't pester Pickel, but as Pickel became further entrenched in developing the P Light to give the Germans and the Americans a special edge at the Olympics, he relented and sold VanderMolen P1, the first P Star. VanderMolen sailed P1 with Steve Ticknor in the 2007 Bacardi Cup and got off to a great start, but the lake sailor had a tough time at the upper end of the wind range later in the regatta.

The logistics of finishing boats and shipping them to China in time for the Olympics left Pickel with no time to test his equipment in Qingdao. He and Dane each had P Star Lights at the Qingdao Olympic marina. As his back-up boat Pickel also had what he considered the fastest light-air boat in the world, VanderMolen's brother's Folli. Dane himself also had a Mader.

"We made the call on which boat we were going to use as late as possible. We didn't put any pressure on ourselves about which to use," said Pickel. "We were confident in both set-ups and we just trusted our weatherman, Meeno Schrader."

Two new faces at the front of the Star fleet, Doyle Sails 
are now making a push into this lucrative one-design market 
this is Mark Mendelblatt and Bruno Prada at work 
during this year's Bacardi Cup.

Schrader's call was for more breeze than usual during the second week of the Olympic regatta, the period in which the Star races would be held, and Pickel and Borkowski measured in the Folli for the Games. Dane and Sperry, on the other hand, went with the P Light. The Germans went through to an exciting and windy Medal Race. The Americans led the regatta after the first three light-air races, but then fell away in the heavier winds.

Pickel and VanderMolen will probably be building their new P Stars in the grounds of the North American Sailing Center in Gull Lake, the 2009 Bacardi results giving a real boost to the new arrangement. As teams sorted through their charter boat and crew arrangements in advance of that regatta, VanderMolen could steer different teams to different boats. Rather than load the P Stars with rock stars, VanderMolen felt that it would make more of a statement if good sailors, yet relative unknowns in the Star class, sailed the P Stars and had success. Hence VanderMolen hooked Tyler Bjorn up with Clay Bischoff for Bischoff's debut as a Star skipper.

"The three teams tuned together before racing each day. Clay and Tyler were faster than the rest of us every day, and all of us could point higher than everyone no matter who we were near when we were racing," said VanderMolen.

Bischoff also admitted after his two OCSs, "It's not easy getting used to starting the Star! They have a lot more momentum than my little dinghy and the line's jammed out with big talent. No mercy."

Midway through the Bacardi Cup VanderMolen commented on his and Ewenson's performance, the best by far that VanderMolen had ever had in a major Star regatta. He credited the boat - and he also credited Ewenson for being such a great crew. Pleased with the performance of the different teams using the P Star, Pickel added, "The one big advantage is that the set-up is pretty simple in this boat so that you can concentrate on tactics and racing instead of spending too much time inside the boat."

The difference between the P1, P2 and P5 according to Pickel, is "quite small. But we have tried to optimise the appendages a little.."

Autoclaves are now on order and the first P Stars built on American soil should be available by the end of September. Four provisional orders were received within a few weeks of the Bacardi Cup - all from well-known Star sailors.

And a new spar 
VanderMolen may have the bead on Star boats and spare parts in North America, but he, like everyone else, has been feeling the pinch of a dearth of spars to go around. Once Spartech closed their doors in the summer of 2007 Emetti had a monopoly on Star mast production and most deliveries in 2008 were quickly snapped up by Olympic campaigners.

Intent on producing masts in the US, VanderMolen honed in on Sparcraft, the Charlotte, North Carolina manufacturer of aluminum spars. VanderMolen's team includes an aerospace designer and John MacCausland, who has been retailing Star parts and providing regatta support for decades. The team quickly designed a new teardrop-shaped section with aerodynamic characteristics that are almost identical to the Emetti mast. Fittings and shrouds are interchangeable.

MacCausland and Kevin Murphy tested the first Sparcraft mast during the Bacardi Cup. "We were thrilled with how easily we tuned it and how well the sails fit," said MacCausland. He expects the Sparcraft masts, which are anodised on site, to be available no later than July. Always the optimist, MacCausland is also happy that the new mast, which will be priced competitively with the Emettis, is coming to market at the beginning of the Olympic quadrennium.

At this point the Star class do not allow carbon-fibre masts though many teams have been using lightweight, and expensive, fibreglass whisker poles. MacCausland foresees lightweight aluminium Sparcraft booms and ultra-thin alloy whisker poles on the horizon.

A paradigm shift 
Between defending Etchells titles, coaching and picking a lot of brains about the Star, Jud Smith has spent a long time in Miami over the past couple of years. Smith hopped into the Star class in 2007. By sailing with very experienced crews he soon learned how to set up the boat and qualified himself for the worlds that year. But as he concedes about his first year in the boat, "I knew that I wasn't up to worlds potential. Actually I was at the point where I didn't yet even know what I didn't know!

"But we were always learning.. the main is obviously the dominant power source and must be designed to go through a huge wind range. You need a full sail downwind to go fast and make the big main work almost like a spinnaker. Then you need enough mast bend to flatten out that big full sail upwind."

Smith had constructed his third mainsail by the 2008 Miami OCR. He made some changes to the luff curve and camber and Mark Mendelblatt and Mark Strube later took seventh place at the 2008 Star Worlds with Smith�s fifth mainsail. Despite the success,Smith�s Star sail development efforts were curtailed a bit during the run-up to the Olympics because he was so heavily involved in Doyle Sails' production of Yngling sails.

The line-up of boats for this Olympic quadrennium has Smith and Doyle Sails making a more concerted effort in the Star. Smith comments on his sail designs: "They currently have a little more luff curve than the others, so we probably use a bit more cap shroud tension and have a different spreader sweep, but I wouldn't say that our numbers are that far from Quantum's or North's."

North Sails� V-1, M-16, M-05 and M-22 were spawned out of North's work with a number of Olympic teams. Notably, Argentinean designer Juan Garay worked closely with 2008 gold medallists Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson and used North Sails' design programs, Membrane and Flow, to design the M-16. The M-16 is slightly deeper in the three-quarter-height compared to the all-purpose V-1 used by silver medallists Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada.

The proverbial Chinese wall was raised in Quantum's San Diego loft while Mark Reynolds worked on sail development with John Dane III and Marc Pickel, and George Szabo worked with the Polish, Swiss, Australian and French Olympic Star teams. Naturally that sail development was oriented toward light air for Qingdao.

Since then the game has begun all over again with the implementation of the Star class's new rule eliminating outside assistance from support boats from leaving the dock until the finish of the last race of the day, combined with an expected moderate to windy 2011 world championship and initial Olympic country qualifier in Perth. Boatbuilders, spar manufacturers and sailmakers are all now returning to the "wise head" strategy: equipment that works well across a range of conditions.

As Vince Brun concludes, "I have still yet to see somebody take a radical approach and win all of the time. Sailors have to be able to defend in all conditions."

Image of the Star Class

Technical - Author: John Chiarella, International Secretary - June 29, 2009

The Star Class has been and is the leader in one design and competitive sailing. Most of all of us know the many sailors personally or by name that have risen to the very top of the sport of sailing. With this history come the responsibility to hold ourselves above other Classes and to follow our bible - the LOG.

I ask all Star sailors to correct this situation by:

Placing your correct sail numbers on your sail along with the correct country designation and your highest award.

This is what we are and the reason for this is evident. Be proud to be a member of the class and a leader in the sailing world.

John Chiarella
International Secretary

Seahorse Magazine: Article on Stars with Bill Buchan

Technical - Author: Bill Buchan - September 21, 2009

This article was written for the September 2009 edition of Seahorse International Sailing magazine.

A very good year - Part 1

2011 will mark the 100th birthday of both the Star and X One Design classes. Time to begin celebrations with a little history... firstly with Olympic gold medallist and three-time Star World Champion Bill Buchan

Similar to most one designs of the period (including the XOD in England), originally the Star Class yacht was created to be a club, or local racing sailboat, in this case primarily intended for use in the Long Island Sound area of the United States. But once sailors began to realize what a wonderful design it was, and the need that it filled, within a few years it had quickly started to spread to the far corners of the globe.

Wishing that it remain a one design class, there obviously also needed to be a set of measurements and specifications that could be adhered to by a variety of boat builders, no matter that they might be professional as well as relatively unskilled amateur builders. And from the very beginning, right through until the mid 1980s, these measurement tolerances remained quite generous... The rules did dictate, though, perhaps optimistically, that there was to be no "intentional taking advantage of these tolerances to create a boat with a design advantage"; they were strictly for the purpose of allowing for genuine errors in building and still have the boat certified as a legal Starboat for racing purposes. 

The truth of the matter, and to the long term benefit of the class, was that as soon as the late 1920s there were new shapes being created by naval architects that took advantage of what was already known as the Statute of Limitations. 

In the mid-1930s, one young man, Phil Spaulding, who later went on to become a prominent naval architect in the field of commercial ship design, and incidentally just happened to be a classmate of Skip Etchells at the University of Michigan, as well as a Star sailor in the Puget Sound Fleet, wrote his Masters Thesis on what would be the results, at least theoretically, of building Stars to a variety of hull shapes that would all fall within the envelope allowed. His efforts also included some rudimentary tank testing. 

Even though there were by this time literally hundreds of Stars being built every year, the extent to which some builders were exploiting the tolerances wasn't widely appreciated – especially regarding the flatness or otherwise of the fore and aft contour or profile shape. There was mention of what we call the"moving base line" concept in the rulebook, but it wasn't widely applied, let alone understood, until the early 1950s.

Bill Buchan and a youthful Steve Erickson collect their gold medals
at Los Angeles in 1984.

Basically, a "favourable" rule interpretation allowed the maximum height of the key measurement Station 6 to lie some two inches (50.8mm) "higher above the base line" than the plan offset implied, instead of the commonly believed maximum of one inch (25.4mm) higher. This in turn permitted a much greater design range including what we now regard as the modern flatter and faster canoe shape.

What had kept many builders from going in the direction of the"minimum rocker" hull, as it was called, was the perception that the "standard" shape was still considered the best all purpose design, whereas the boats with less rocker only excelled in the higher wind range upwind and down. Conversely, the rounder, lower wetted surface shapes, were considered light weather standouts. Eventually, though, as sails and sailing technique started improving into the 1950s, all boats were soon being built to variations of the faster minimum rocker design.

The next innovation, we'll call it the "Vee" bottom, took the principle of less rocker to another level. Even though the specifications called for the athwartships shape to be a segment of a true arc of a circle, there were several boats built that didn't meet that standard. For better or worse, the class responded by creating minimum and maximum radii templates with relatively short chord lengths for stations 3, 6, 8 and 10. The result of this was that most competitive Stars being built today are of the maximum radii (ie as flat as possible) through the middle portion of the hull bottom. This has the secondary effect of creating an even flatter fore and aft shape.

The Star's unique combination of finesse and brutality
has drawn in most of the very best sailors at one time or another. 
And that appeal rarely disappears; many of the top American's Cup
and Volvo sailors, like that 'last Laser', still keep a Star tucked away
just in case. Among class enthusiasts is Juan Kouyoumdjian 
(racing here with Alejandro Colla at the 2009 Europeans in Kiel.
A Juan-K designed Star took the gold medal in Qingdao.
Photo by Tom Korber/Rolex

While all this was going on, the "wide bow" made its debut appearance. None of us building boats in our basements or garages could understand how boats from an east coast builder were showing up on the racecourse with a plumb bow look. Well, surprise of surprises, in 1956 to be exact, the measurement tolerances were modified to greatly expand the maximum half-breath tolerance of the chine at station 1 from 57mm to 95mm – legalising the manipulation needed to produce a plumb stem. Quite a change, but it at least leveled the playing field going forwards. Several boats in our own 6th District, which includes Washington State and British Columbia, as an example, were successfully modified shortly after to take advantage of this new measurement.
For a few years after that, everything seemed to be running smoothly... except that it was obvious that with the arrival of fiberglass we would soon need – among other things – a class minimum weight. Even though there were cedar boats rumoured to be as light as 610kg, the only restrictions up until then being the scantlings, the class decided on 671kg as a good lower weight. This has proven a good figure, but from then until today the class continues to try to resolve the next issue of controlling the weight distribution and the lay-up of the hull. There have been attempts to control the situation (the rules specify an "even" weight distribution) but to date the class has not come up with a workable solution and wide differences continue to exist.

While all this was going on, in 1970 the class also made the move into aluminum spars, and with the approval of aluminum came a mandated minimum tip weight. Even though there was discussion of making the rules for aluminum such that they wouldn't make wood masts obsolete, calmer heads reminded us that, no matter what we did, wood will always be replaced with aluminum, so let's get on with it. 

So that is how it went, and it's been good. Even though aluminum masts do fail, they are much more reliable than were their elegant but fragile predecessors. More recently, there has been discussion of carbon fibre spars; from my limited experience I would say that the technology isn't there as of this date – maybe in the future that will change. The way Star sailors get all worked up over the differences in the bend characteristics of aluminum spars from the same mast builder, I can't imagine what would be the uproar we'd have with carbon...

From the mid-seventies up through the mid-eighties Star hull design generally remained pretty stable, other than adding several measurement points to the rudder and keel, but those of us on the class technical committee could see the potential for trouble on the horizon. The fact that the measurement tolerances were still so large coupled with serious designers taking a look at the potential for breakthrough shapes, made it obvious that we needed to develop a new set of Star plans based on the designs that were currently being utilized but with much, much tighter limits. That work was completed in a relatively short period of time with a lot of help from Hannes Gubler, who created the new lines drawing, as well as Andy Menkart and several others.

In other words, the Star as it appears on the plans being issued today isn't the same as what was being sent out to builders for the prior 70 plus years. Our objective was multi purposed, to tighten the Statute of Limitations around a modern hull shape, so that it would be virtually impossible to build a legal, non-competitive boat and to add some measurements where, believe it or not, there weren't any before. At the same time, we compared our new envelope with the other, competitive boats being built to make sure that they would all conform. Even though there has been some criticism of the fact that the sheer heights at the extreme ends of the boat weren't addressed, I would say that what we did has proven good for the class. 
New "breakthrough" boats come and go, but today there is a healthy selection of excellent boatbuilders able to turn out a series-built championship winning Star boat design... off-the-shelf.

Bill Buchan was also a Star builder, and built the "Long Beach" special that took him and Steve Erickson to the 1984 Olympic gold medal. Bill's son Carl also won the 1992 world title with Hugo Schreiner. He was talking to class historian David Bolles and 1986 Star World Champion Vince Brun.

Let’s Make Sure Our Star Shines Bright

Announcements - Author: Fried Elliott - March 22, 2011

Our "image" is always important but even more so in this our Centennial year and while in the midst of the ongoing ISAF Olympic decision. As a result, it is natural for others to talk and post online about the Star and their impressions. For those in touch with the modern Star, they know the boat as a modern high performance racing keel boat, supported by a highly competitive, vibrant one-design class.

Unfortunately, not everyone sees the Star in this light. This can be due in part to a lack of information or bias, but it is also in some part a result of how we present ourselves. Look around your club. How does the Star present itself? Do you see a well organized fleet of sleek racing machines or do you see a parking lot cluttered up with a lifeless bunch of neglected boats? If there is any suggestion of the latter, then it’s time to take action!

For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, this is a good time to get our boats and facilities ready for the sailing season ahead. Let’s make sure we're looking ship shape and squared away! This is something to which each Star sailor can contribute.

Fleet Captains: organize a work party; help members get their Star on the starting line; volunteer to your club to execute one notable club improvement project in the name of the Star Centennial. If you have a fleet nearby who is struggling, make plans to lend them a hand.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Make sure your own boat is clean and seaworthy. The Star is elegant and inspiring. Make sure your Star looks the part. If you have a broken piece of rigging and need assistance, ask for help from your fellow fleet members. There is always someone in every fleet who has the knack for these things and the necessary tools.
2. If there is a "loaner boat" at your club, make sure it receives special notice. It is your fleet's "flagship" and should look the part.
3. Make sure the fleet parking and boat areas are clean and organized. Remove trash and broken parts. Make sure gravel and paving is clean, grass is cut, and leaves are raked. Line the boats up in their parking spots; don't have them randomly positioned. You're a racing fleet!
4. Update the Star class portions of the bulletin boards and trophy cabinets at your club. Make sure active members are promoted. Replace faded photographs and outdated brochures. Polish your trophies and make sure their inscriptions are current. Check your fleet flags and signals and replace any that are tattered or faded.
5. Chances are you have an annual Star regatta or event. Make sure the podium, lectern, trophy table, and backdrops are freshly painted, highly photogenic, and have a Star "presence" in every photo.

Preparations are well underway for the Star Centennial Events being held in Larchmont and St Tropez later this year. We encourage all Star sailors, past and present, to make plans now to attend. However, our Centennial Year is something to enjoy and support the entire year. Start now! 

New America’s Cup Imperils Sailors Pursuing Speed

Technical - Author: Aaron Kuriloff, Bloomberg Businessweek - September 12, 2013

On the morning of May 9, Andrew Simpson reported to work at a former seaplane base in Alameda, California, for his job trying to win the America’s Cup.

The 36-year-old professional sailor arrived around 7:30 to join teammates in the gym for weight training. The shore crew was readying their ride, a red, 72-foot (21-meter) catamaran, before rolling it through sliding doors down to the water and hoisting its 131-foot wing-like sail with a construction crane. Big Red, as the Artemis Racing crew called the twin-hulled, carbon-fiber yacht, was almost ready for its final run.

Technological advances had redefined the Cup, an idiosyncratic sailing duel of the wealthy that originated in the 19th century. The boats were quicker and more dangerous than ever, 12-story catamarans capable of traveling at highway velocities. They were the vision of Larry Ellison, the chief executive officer of Oracle Corp. and the world’s eighth-richest man, who won the trophy in 2010, along with the right to host the regatta and hold sway over vessel design and rules.

Of that morning four months ago, Iain Percy remembers just flashes. He’d won gold and silver with Simpson on the British team at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. The partners, best mates for more than two decades, sat side-by-side on exercise bikes. "He was pushing hard on the bike to lose some kilos," says Percy, the Artemis skipper. Six-foot-one and 229 pounds (104 kilograms) at the Olympics the previous summer, Simpson was the ideal size for a Star-class boat but heavy for Big Red. He disliked the gym, which had occupied a couple of hours of many days for a decade or more as he developed the ropey limbs and iron core needed to haul lines and hang off boats.

Technological Marvel
The dozen or so of the world’s best sailors on Big Red would need every bit of their combined strength, talent and experience just to control the boat, which was capable of speeds exceeding 40 knots, or 46 miles an hour. Like all catamarans, it was prone to cartwheeling wrecks.

From the gym, the team moved on to a breakfast of cereal, yogurt and fruit, joking with each other in accents from a half-dozen countries. Then Percy led a briefing, outlining the day’s plan to meet up with Ellison’s defending champions, Oracle Team USA, for a sparring match up and down San Francisco Bay.

These practice races hadn’t gone well for Artemis, according to interviews with crew members, people on rival squads and Cup officials. While Big Red was a marvel of material and design technology, it was relatively slow. The champions, and the rest of Artemis’ competitors, had built boats that rose out of the water, balanced on blade-like hydrofoils, dramatically reducing drag and increasing speed. Big Red wasn’t built to do that.

Shattered Wreckage
It had other flaws -- among them a history of damage in the main beam joining the hulls -- and spent weeks in the shop, limiting practice hours.

The crew finished dressing and strapping on safety gear, including crash helmets, radios, air bottles and knives, in case an accident trapped someone under water. They strode from the hangar, faces smeared with high-SPF sunscreen behind reflective sunglasses, and clambered aboard. Simpson struggled briefly to connect the control lines to the forward sail, called a jib. Percy went to help him. The breeze was coming on, a cold wind blowing from the deep Pacific, building toward 18 knots. The men buckled their gear, took their positions and pointed the bows out toward the bay. "Like these horrible days always do, it started very normally," Percy says.

Highway Velocities 
It would end with a crew member lost beneath the shattered wreckage of Big Red and the 162-year-old America's Cup in turmoil. The crash spurred four investigations, dozens of new safety rules and renewed debate about whether technology had advanced faster than sailors’ ability to harness it safely.

The Artemis wreck marked a critical point for the regatta, based on interviews with Cup officials, Artemis team ownership and management, professional sailors around the world and documents made available to Bloomberg. This was the second major wreck involving one of the new Cup boats, and it came after two years in which at least a dozen U.S. racers died in accidents.

Television Audiences 
For sailing, it was a moment akin to the 2001 death of seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt during Nascar’s Daytona 500. That accident set off an unprecedented review of stock-car racing and triggered sweeping safety revisions. This accident shocked competitive sailors who embraced rule changes and new technology for bringing new excitement to the once-staid world of America’s Cup racing.

Safety versus speed is an old argument in sailing. In recent decades, material and design advances have transformed the sport, sending professional sailors across the water at highway velocities. The record for sailing in a straight line has increased 30 percent since 2008 to 65.45 knots, while the round-the-world record fell to 45 days from 79 in 1993.

The America’s Cup this year was shaped by Ellison. Seeking the television audiences of auto racing's Formula One or Nascar, his planners advertised the world's best sailors racing the world’s fastest boats. Tiny on-board cameras flash up-close action to viewers, with vistas of San Francisco and the bay as backdrops. Spectators in waterfront grandstands are close enough to hear skippers barking commands. Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP is a media sponsor of the America’s Cup.

Risks Raised 
The rules raised the risks, calling for 72-foot catamarans driven by vertical carbon wings. Costing $8 million each, the boats are capable of exceeding the 45 mile-an-hour speed limit on the Golden Gate Bridge. Sailors, having long ago moved on from the belted khakis and golf shirts worn by Ted Turner on his 66-foot Courageous in 1977 off Newport, Rhode Island, don wet suits and life jackets.

Oracle flipped a boat during a practice last October. While nobody was injured, it highlighted the dangers in a competition that’s always held the threat of catastrophe. In 1995, Australia’s 75-foot monohull folded in half and sank in two minutes during a race off San Diego. At least two sailors had died pursuing the Cup, most recently Martin Wizner of a Spanish team, killed off Valencia in 1999 when a piece of equipment broke loose during training and struck him.

Most of the 15 or so competitors that organizers expected decided against the current contest, citing costs and safety, among them the British Team Origin. That freed Percy and Simpson to join Artemis, which is backed by a Swedish billionaire and the Royal Swedish Yacht Club. By that morning when Big Red sailed out of Alameda, Artemis was one of three remaining challengers, along with teams from New Zealand and Italy.

Billionaire’s Quest 
Light breezes riffled the waters off Sardinia under a cloudy sky in September 2007. Torbjorn Tornqvist was at the wheel of a 52-foot competition yacht, one race away from winning the world championship in the Transpac 52 class. Lean, tan and bald, he wore a gray jacket and a red baseball cap. Beside him on the stern stood tactician Russell Coutts, the most successful sailor in America’s Cup history. When the boat crossed the finish line two miles later, the trophy was Tornqvist's. "From that moment, he was hooked," Coutts says. "He had the bug bad."

Growing up in Stockholm piloting dinghies, Tornqvist left racing behind to become a businessman and didn't rediscover the sea until he turned 50. Now 59, he made his fortune trading oil, co-founding Gunvor Group Ltd. His 44 percent stake gives him a net worth of $3.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Wealthy Pursuers 
After Coutts joined Ellison’s team and won the America’s Cup, Tornqvist began thinking he could mount a successful campaign for the trophy with Artemis Racing, named for the Greek goddess of the hunt, he says. He joined a long line of wealthy pursuers of the silver Cup first awarded Aug. 22, 1851. That's when the schooner America, sponsored by the New York Yacht Club, defeated more than a dozen of Great Britain's fastest yachts off the Isle of Wight. Moguls including Harold Vanderbilt and J.P. Morgan have since met periodically on the high seas with the best racing sailboats their fortunes could build to compete for possession of the three-foot trophy, known as the "Auld Mug."

The Cup operates outside any sports league or governing body, with rules agreed upon by competitors every couple of years. There's no purse -- and no limit on spending. Designing, building and racing a boat can cost upwards of $100 million. Engineering is so secret that in the past teams have been caught sending frogmen to sneak looks at rival boats.

Dream Job 
Tornqvist knew his team faced long odds. It took Ellison three tries to win the trophy, which has changed countries just four times. "It is personal ambition obviously, I wouldn't deny that," Tornqvist says. "To be honest with you, I just couldn't resist the challenge."

Andrew Simpson’s path to his dream job started in childhood. Iain Percy met him at the under-15 U.K. national championships when they were both preteens. Scared to go out in the windy conditions one day, they built Lego boats instead, launching a friendship that continued as they advanced from junior regattas to the Olympic Games. Simpson, nicknamed Bart after the television character, was a great athlete and consummate teammate, Percy says. He was a fan of Tottenham Hotspur, "Star Wars" and the Stereophonics, a Welsh rock band, according to a profile in Yachting World magazine. His sporting hero was cricketer Ian Botham. After Percy beat him in the trials for the 2000 Olympics, Simpson moved to Australia to help his friend train, and he was there when Percy won.

Professional Sailing 
"I have a really vivid memory of sailing in and finding him with my mom and dad, all three of them in tears," he says. They sailed together in two-man Star boats for the 2008 Olympics. Rain pelted the waters off Qingdao, China, as Percy and Simpson outlasted Sweden in a duel for the gold.

In November 2010, Percy accepted a job with Artemis. Tornqvist and leaders of the Royal Swedish Yacht Club announced that the team would represent Sweden in the America’s Cup. Percy persuaded Simpson to join Artemis, talking him out of a plan to build furniture.

Cup teams offer the steadiest jobs in sailing, often with benefits and a housing allowance. Sailors in this year’s regatta make $10,000 to $70,000 a month, depending on their duties, estimates Gary Jobson, an NBC sailing analyst who won the Cup as tactician for Ted Turner. Jen McHugh, a spokeswoman for Artemis Racing, declined to discuss compensation.

With Artemis, Percy would be skipper, on-the-water leader of a crew stocked with Olympic medalists and world champions. Simpson would help Percy with weather and tactics. They would be led by CEO Paul Cayard, a veteran of six Cup campaigns and the winning team in the 1998 Whitbread Round-the-World Race.

Boat Designer 
Argentinian Juan Kouyoumdjian designed the Artemis boat. "Juan K," as sailors call him, developed Ellison’s single-hull Cup boat in 2007 and the boats that won the past three editions of the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race.

Kouyoumdjian also designed Rambler 100, a record-setting, 100-foot yacht that lost its keel during the Fastnet Race off Ireland in 2011 and left former United Technologies Corp. Chairman George David drifting in the Celtic Sea for almost 3 hours. For all his success with monohulls, Kouyoumdjian had less experience with catamarans. The only multihull among 15 grand prix boats in the gallery on his website is Artemis.

Hydrofoil Decision 
His group’s design of the hydrofoils for Artemis put the team at a disadvantage from the beginning. The L-shaped, blade-like underwater wings work as airplane wings do in the air. When a boat is going fast enough, they create lift and raise the hulls out of the water, reducing drag and increasing speed.

Computer models suggested full foiling wouldn't work, Tornqvist says. The boats sail five to seven legs back and forth along San Francisco’s northwestern waterfront, making turns defined by buoys. Staying up on foils might have required going extra distance to maintain speed, he says the modeling showed.

So Kouyoumdjian designed Big Red to use foils to lift the hulls only about three-quarters of the way out of the water, reducing friction. The three other teams committed to boats that would fly on foils completely above the surface.

"That was our big mistake, perhaps, believing too much in the modeling," Tornqvist says. Kouyoumdjian didn't reply to e-mails asking about the boat’s design. A receptionist answering the phone at his office in Valencia, Spain, confirmed receiving e-mail and said he was traveling.

First Scrimmage 
It was just one of Big Red's deficiencies. In May 2012, the wing-sail buckled in moderate winds during testing off Valencia, Spain. In October, the forward-most of the two beams joining the hulls broke as the team conducted structural tests in San Francisco Bay, towing the yacht behind a motorboat. Those setbacks kept the boat in the shop and the sailors on shore.

On Feb. 11, Big Red was back on the water, ready for its first scrimmage with Oracle. A high-pressure system hung off the coast, yielding blue skies and temperatures in the 60s Fahrenheit (around 16 degrees Celsius). A 15-knot sea breeze came in from the Golden Gate.

It wasn't much of a race. Oracle’s boat leapt onto its foils and sped along at 30 knots, legging out on Big Red, no matter what Artemis tried, as the teams criss-crossed the bay.

"We understood that we were completely wrong about the whole thing," Tornqvist says. "They were faster downwind, which we knew, but the reality was they were also a bit faster upwind, and this came as a huge shock." He ordered a redesign of the team's long-planned second boat so that it could fly on foils, too. (Oracle and New Zealand also built two boats.) "We were so much behind," he says.

Final Run 
Still, the crew set out aboard Big Red May 9 feeling optimistic, according to interviews with squad members. A truck carrying the pieces of the new boat -- it would be called Big Blue -- had arrived that week, and the team was looking forward to sailing the faster craft.

Oracle prowled the waters, launched from the team's base at San Francisco’s Pier 80, its crew dressed in black. Nathan Outteridge, Artemis' 27-year-old Australian helmsman, guided the boat into position. Then they took off, the crew adjusting the sails by cranking winches hand over hand, as if pedaling a bike with their arms.

A flotilla of speedboats followed. Artemis CEO Cayard rode in one, Oracle CEO Coutts in another. Some carried rescue divers and emergency medical people. In others, engineers perched over open laptops and dashboard-mounted flat-screens, monitoring data from sensors as the yachts zigzagged up and down the bay.

Bearing Away 
At about 1 p.m., near Treasure Island, Outteridge saw Oracle turning back toward Berkeley. He began to follow. The transition from sailing upwind to downwind in a catamaran can be catastrophic. The sails can produce more power than the hulls can take, driving them downward and causing the boat to trip over the nose and flip end over end.

"You’ve got to do it at full speed," says Outteridge, a gold medalist in high-speed skiffs at the 2012 Olympics. "The faster you're going, the more lift you get and the safer it is."

Artemis had been having difficulty with the move, known as bearing away, according to team members. The bow would nose into the water, sending spray arcing up over the hull. "We did a few earlier that day where we thought, 'OK, we’re a bit on the edge here,’" Outteridge says.

Holding On 
The wind had strengthened to about 18 knots as he started the maneuver, according to a portion of an Artemis review of data from sensors on Big Red, eye witness accounts and video. As the boat turned, the bows dug into the water and the craft began to flip forward, pitchpoling as sailors call it.

The forward beam -- the one that broke before -- collapsed on the left side. The left hull broke away and the right hull and wing folded into each other. "We buried the bow pretty hard," Percy says. "I remember seeing the leeward hull snapping. I fell onto the wing and rolled then into the water."

Outteridge knew he needed to hold on. He’d seen sailors falling from perilous heights when the Oracle boat flipped. He grabbed for some straps. As the nose submerged, his perch rose until he was several stories high.

Frantic Search 
"Then I was just trying to pick a place to land," Outteridge says. He wound up about a quarter of the way up the wing just before the hull flipped over onto it. "I sort of held on and waited until I thought I was at an OK height to sort of jump and then I just rolled up the wing because, well, because the beam -- you could hear the noise of it breaking, so you knew in a moment the hull was going to land on the wing." He was uninjured after falling perhaps four stories before going into the water. Motorboats from both teams raced to the scene as rescue divers jumped in. Someone pulled Percy and Outteridge out while others conducted a headcount. They were one man short.

Percy realized the missing crew member was Simpson, who had been adjusting the small forward sail from a station along the hull. Percy leapt back into the 57-degree water and swam to the wreck, searching frantically amid the debris. "I was just all the time hoping that he had fallen out earlier and was going to be found in the ocean, because I knew as every second went by things were getting less and less positive," he says.

Some searched up and down the bobbing remains of the wing, others underneath the corners of the hulls. "One of the guys found him right at the bottom of the wing base," Outteridge says. "We had to cut through the net and cut some electrical wires to get to the hull and then to fish him out."

'Tough Flight'
Simpson was placed on a spinal board and pulled onto one of the speed boats. Percy held his friend as rescue workers performed CPR. The boat ripped across the bay chop to nearby St. Francis Yacht Club. After 20 minutes of resuscitation efforts, Simpson was pronounced dead. It was 1:43 p.m. The San Francisco coroner hasn’t yet issued a report on what happened to Simpson.

Percy flew to the U.K. that night with Simpson's wife, Leah, and two sons, Freddie, 3, and Hamish, six months. Leah Simpson didn't respond to an interview request through David Tyler, a public relations professional helping the family.

"That was a tough flight," Percy says. "I had some lovely chats with Leah about Bart. And we had some sad moments."

Carrying On 
Simpson’s death came almost two months before the start of qualifying races. Race officials initiated a review, as did Artemis and the police. On May 14, organizers said the Cup would proceed.

About a week later, the Cup issued a new safety plan. Rules included lowering the top wind speed by 10 knots to 23 knots and requirements for new body armor, crew locater devices and high-visibility gear. After protests from Italy and New Zealand about how several changes would affect boat design, an international jury of yachtsmen found that the regatta director exceeded his authority. Racing proceeded with voluntary compliance.

That isn't enough, says Dean Sicking, a highway safety engineer who 12 years ago investigated the crash that killed Earnhardt. Nascar mandated head-restraint devices, designed safer cars, opened a safety research center and modified walls at tracks around the country. There have been no fatalities in its top-level series since.

Safety 'Afterthought' 
"It has been my experience that safety is an afterthought in many sporting activities," Sicking says. "You hear that it’s just part of the sport. People occasionally drown due to a racing accident. That's the way things were in Nascar. They just accepted that it happened about once a year until someone stood up and said, That's too much, we can do better."

Although the America’s Cup Event Authority did consult with Nascar after the Artemis accident, sailing's long-established traditions work against sweeping changes. Citing a "fundamental principle of the sport of sailing," the international jury ruling on the safety recommendations concluded that "each competitor and crew member must remain responsible for their own safety at all times."

As in mountaineering, auto racing and hang gliding, there are inherent dangers to sailing, says Coutts, the CEO of Ellison's team. At the same time, he says, the response to Simpson's death may help, and "if the sport as a whole could develop something that would help prevent injuries or life-threatening situations, that would be a good outcome." For professional sailors, learning to handle the Cup boats has been sobering, Percy says. "It’s very unstable," he says. "I've felt these boats were too dangerous."

Simpson Memorial 
On a rainy May 16, boats from the four America’s Cup teams met at the spot where Simpson died. Eight bells tolled and representatives of each team laid a wreath on the water. Tornqvist flew in to be with his team, attending the memorial and meeting with members individually and in groups. He told the sailors it was their decision whether to proceed. He says he could tell that Percy was devastated and might not want to keep going. After a few days, Tornqvist asked him, "Are you ready to lead?" If he wasn't, Tornqvist knew the campaign was over.

Percy says he initially felt like quitting. Then he thought about the 140 people on the team and their families. He also spoke with Leah Simpson, who confirmed what he already knew: Andrew would have wanted them to stay in the race. Percy told Tornqvist he was ready. Tornqvist gathered his team.

"I said, 'OK, we go forward,'" he says. "'How does that sound?' And I was met by stone silence. And I understood that this is so deep. But then one by one, they started to talk, and say, 'OK, let’s give it a shot.'"

Big Blue 
Working around the clock, the shore crew redoubled its efforts. The boat took shape in the hangar as first one beam, then the other, joined the two blue hulls. In July, workmen flipped the platform upside down and used cranes and forklifts to simulate different loads. The catamaran held together.

On July 22, a crane swung Big Blue over the edge of the pier. Tornqvist raised a glass of champagne. Two days later, the crew boarded, donned yellow crash helmets and wet suits emblazoned with a blue ribbon insignia honoring Simpson, and sailed onto the bay.

They had about two weeks before a semifinal showdown with the Italian Luna Rossa team backed by Prada SpA (1913) CEO Patrizio Bertelli. Percy says he felt a mix of joy and sadness. He wished Simpson was there.

Race Day 
As the breeze built to 15 knots, Outteridge steered past Candlestick Park, where the National Football League's 49ers play, and the boat accelerated. Then it rose above the water and flew.

"It was a perfect day," Outteridge says, "and exactly what our team needed." On a sparkling Aug. 10, in its fourth semifinal race, Artemis came off the start looking like a winner. The Italians, leading three races to none, got into a bad spot as Outteridge attacked and the gun sounded. The boats touched. Then Big Blue leapt onto its foils and screamed toward the first turn at 32 knots. The Italians fell behind. First the gap was one boat length. Then it was four.

The turning mark approached. Artemis went to bear away -- the move that had capsized Big Red. Outteridge barked out a five-second countdown into the turn, and crew members scrambled across the net between the hulls.

This time the yacht soared around on the foils, a rooster tail of white spray arcing behind. For one moment, Artemis stood on the verge of an upset win that would prolong the series.

Beaten Out 
Then the umpires intervened with a late ruling that Outteridge’s pre-start moves had fouled Luna Rossa. Crew members kept Big Blue speeding along for a minute until they understood the call. They slowed to accept a time penalty as the Italians raced ahead. After two more penalties for course violations, Artemis lost by 2 minutes and 11 seconds, eliminated from the competition but crossing the line to a standing ovation from the crowd on shore. It was the team's 13th day sailing the boat. Tornqvist climbed aboard and embraced an emotional Percy. He said afterward he was proud of the way his team had worked together and competed, even after the tragedy.

With New Zealand needing just five more victories to take the trophy, the results may fall short of Ellison’s vision for the Cup. The regatta has produced thrilling television images, along with back-and-forth racing, but the ratings didn’t measure up to those of competing sports events.

TV Ratings 
America’s Cup broadcasts on NBC averaged a 0.9 rating in big city markets, according to data provided by the network. The women’s final at the U.S. Open tennis tournament between Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka, on at the same time as the Sept. 8 race, drew a 4.9 rating on CBS.

The 72-foot catamarans may be sailing their last Cup races. Ellison said in an August television interview with Charlie Rose that if he is in charge of the next competition, the boats will probably be smaller -- 45-footers that would reduce the expense and risk. The leaders of the New Zealand team have also promised changes for the event.

While today's yachts continue the America's Cup tradition of testing the limits of design and engineering, Tornqvist says he thinks they're too costly and their raw speed forces compromises to classic maneuvers of racing. He says he's eager to see what the winners propose for the next regatta.

Four months after Cayard phoned with the news that Andrew Simpson was dead and his boat wrecked, Tornqvist says he's learned from the Artemis campaign, with its heartbreaks and triumphs. He says he will continue championship racing. Percy has already signed on to sail with him. "I've realized it was more difficult and challenging than I thought in the beginning," Tornqvist says. "I hate losing, so I’m going to come back."

Reflections from Outgoing President Bill Allen

Announcements - Author: Bill Allen - January 20, 2014

First of all, I'd like to take this chance to officially congratulate Lars Grael as the incoming Star Class President. Lars will be an outstanding leader and face of the class. He is a world class sailor and has outstanding credentials as a leader of sports activities in Brazil. He understands the current situation of the class, and has some great ideas about how to meet the challenges ahead.

As I reflect on my time as class President, several milestones come to mind. I think we have improved communications with members, mostly due to the new office and presence of Barbara Vosbury as Executive Director. I am very grateful for the chance to work with her and Laura in their efforts to communicate with members.

Unfortunately, the Star was not chosen for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. While this has been disappointing, and is a very shortsighted decision by ISAF, it may prove to have positive effects for the class. We are now increasing our efforts to promote participation by weekend sailors. Several of the recently approved resolutions are directed at reducing the cost of the boat and promoting younger sailors. The recently formed Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) will continue to work hard to find ways to help the class grow.

I would like to thank all the officers and volunteers who worked hard for the Star Class over the past 10 years. In particular, Rick Burgess as chairman of the IGC has been very effective in that capacity, and is always willing to help in the boat park. He's also one of the best crews I've had the privilege of sailing.

Special Thanks also to John Koopman for the many hours he has spent on technical matters as Chief Measurer, to Melinda Berge for great work on our website, and Larry Whipple for spearheading our Long Range Planning Committee.

It is clear that the class is in a transition time. I know our new leadership group is more than capable of meeting the challenges ahead and enhancing our position as the class where the top sailors compete. I have always felt that improving participation in silver stars and super regional events (Bacardi Cup, Oktoberfest, etc) is a key to class strength. These are the events I have most enjoyed, and are the best chance to develop lifelong friendships all over the world.

As for me, I plan to continue to sail the boat I have loved for over 50 years. But most of all, I look forward to continuing the many friendships I have made in the course of sailing the Star.

Good sailing

New Technical Advisory Board Chair Appointed

Announcements - Author: Barbara Beigel Vosbury - January 28, 2014

President Lars Grael has appointed Brian Cramer (WLOC) as chairman of the Technical Advisory Board of ISCYRA. Brian follows Joe Knowles as chair of this important committee and anticipates that these are no small shoes to fill.

Joe has been chairman of the TAB since 2006. Joe has served in many capacities over the years, Fleet Captain, Measurer and Chair of the TAB. He brought a wealth of information and technical knowhow to the job. The Class would like to thank Joe for all of his work over the 50 years he has been involved with the Class. We hope we will see him sometime soon on the waterfront.

Fresh ideas and enthusiasm are what Brian is bringing with him for this important job. The Class expects that Brian will lead us into our future with great organization and a hands on approach.

Minimum Jib Sailcloth Weight

Technical - Author: Brian Cramer, Chair Technical Advisory Board - February 14, 2014

Star Class Members:

All Star Class members have the yearly opportunity to present new rules, explain their importance and vote them into our rulebook.

The year 2013 was special as a number of initiatives came from the Long Range Planning Committee who presented ideas that would lower the cost of Star sailing.

One of their areas of interest was in improving Star jibs that they believed had a short competitive life.

Three ideas were presented, put to membership vote and accepted. Members wanted the sailcloth to be heavier, batten pockets to be longer and reinforcing in the sail corners to be less restricted.

The intent of the new 12.1 rule is to increase the minimum sailcloth weight used to manufacture jibs from 3.7 ounces per sailmaker yard to 4.4 ounces per sailmaker yard prior to resin finishing. It is the phrase “prior to resin finishing” that has caused a problem. While all sailcloth manufacturers offer material that meet or exceed the new defined minimum, there is no method of measuring the cloth in a finished jib to validity its legality.

The Technical Advisory Board has reviewed the wording of the new rule and has made the recommendation that the first sentence of the new version of 12.1 be suspended until clearer language can be passed by the membership. By suspending this part of rule 12.1, the TAB wishes to make clear that the new rules for jib batten pocket length and corner reinforcing remain. Longer lasting jibs will be available to Star Class members with these two initiatives in place even with the original cloth weight.

It is hoped that a new resolution be presented for voting that contains simpler and clearer language regulating the minimum cloth weight for Star jibs. The yearly cycle for new resolutions is soon upon us with voting at the July 2014 World Championship in Malcesine Italy leading to enforcement in January 2015.

Brian Cramer
Chairman TAB

Clarification on Starclass World Championship rules, STCR 29

Technical - Author: Judiciary Board - February 24, 2014

Members of the Judiciary Board (JB):
Marko A. Hasche, Chairman, (2016),
Joe Bainton (2014), 
Jay Tyson(2017), 
Federico Calegari (2018), 
Frederico Viegas(2019),

Request by:
Rick Burgess - International Governing Committee (IGC) Barbara Beigel-Vosbury - Regatta Manager

Request date:
Jan. 20th 2014

Clarification on Starclass World Championship rules, STCR 29.

The IGC is considering the qualifications for a World Championship to be Log Plus 2.
The example is a fleet that has only 5 Active Paid boats. Under the STCR 29.1 this fleet would have no qualifiers to the World Championship. Also a District Championship that has less than 11 competitors would have no qualifiers under STCR 29.2.
The question is: Does Log Plus 2 give the fleet or District 0 or 2 entries?

JB decision:
STCR 29 contains extensive regulation on the entries for world championships. A fleet or district may only send a boat to a world championship, if it consists of at least 6 or 15 boats respectively, STCR 29.1 and 29.2.
How isolated members and members from undersized fleets and districts can qualify for world championships is stated in STCR 29.6 and 29.9: Each continental Vice-President may recommend his members who are isolated or belong to an undersized fleet as an entry to the World Championship with the approval of the CMC provided that the member is not of a nation with already two regular qualifications; the regulations for undersized districts are similar. There is no rule that allows additional entries for fleets or districts.
Therefore, under STCR both the fleet and the district in the presented case have no entry. Should the notices of race (NOR) of a regatta state that qualification is “LOG plus 2”, the JB’s understanding would be that the addition of two only applies to a fleet and its regular
qualifications pursuant to 29.1. All other methods of qualification under the STCR - including qualification via the district - depend on the personal participation of the skipper in regattas and the respective results or are regarding wild cards etc. (see STCR 29.6 to 29.9). Logically, a stipulation “LOG plus 2” can only apply to those rules that tie in with a group.

Therefore, the JB’s understanding of a stipulation “LOG plus 2” would be that any regular fleet may send two more boats than under STCR 29.1. All other methods of qualification shall apply unchanged.

Decision date: Jan. 28th 2014

End of decision

2014 World Championship, Important Information

Announcements - Author: Barbara Beigel Vosbury - March 14, 2014

Hello Star Sailors,

Important Information:

  1. The Qualifications for this year are Log Plus two. To see a description of how this will be applied please read the article on our webpage, which can be found here.
  2. The IGC has voted to allow under sized fleets to send 2 boats to the up coming Worlds in Malcesine, Italy.
  3. The NOR for the Worlds in Malcesine is now complete and posted here.
  4. New Entry System: We have added a new entry system to our webpage. It is located in the Membership Database section (under Contacts).
  5. The Silver Star events which qualify under STCR 29.3.2 are: 2013 South American Championship, 2013 European Championship and the 2013 North American Championship.

You will need your email address and membership number (password) to access the entry form. If you have not paid your dues for 2014 you will not have access to the section of our site until your dues are paid. If you do not know your membership number (password) just click on Forgot Password. Once you are in the database you can go to your profile and change your LogIn and Password to whatever you would like that makes it easier for you to remember.

We have just gone live with the entry form. If there are any glitches that you find please take a screen shot so we can see where the bugs are and get it fixed pronto!

Best regards,
Barbara Beigel-Vosbury
Executive Director

Technical Advisory Board Members Announced

Announcements - Author: Brian Cramer, Chair Technical Advisory Board - March 27, 2014

Star Class Members:

The Star Class is moving forward by searching out new members that want to make a contribution. In setting up the current Technical Advisory Board, I wanted to offer an opportunity to individuals that have a technical understanding of the Star, who have the energy and time to deal with difficult specification changes and believe that after 102 years the Class has many great years ahead.

I am pleased to announce the following people have accepted positions on the Technical Advisory Board:

Jim Ryan, USA Co-Chief Measurer

  • Graduated 1993 SUNY Maritime at Fort Schuyler with a B.Eng specializing in Naval Architecture
  • Worked at B&R Designs and B&R Mast and Rigging
  • Currently running J.Ryan Development / Locus practicing Naval Architecture

Guido Sodano, Italy Co-Chief Measurer

  • Certified Star measurer since 1995
  • Founder of mastbuilder sold to Emmetti Spars
  • Involved in start-up of Wally Yachts

John MacCausland, USA TAB 

  • Current Star World Champion
  • Owner Moorhouse MacCausland Sailing
  • Winner of 6 Silver Stars from 1984 to 2012

Arthur Anasov, USA TAB

  • Boat builder of Odessa 1993 Russian Whitbread Yacht
  • Owner of Star Boat Shop, Arcadia Florida
  • Competed in 9 World Championships starting in 1994

Dominic Schenk, Switzerland TAB

  • Boat builder since 1998 worked for Josef Steinmeier building Stars
  • Maintenance work in Auckland (New Zealand) Alinghi Challenge
  • Established Schenk AG yacht building Company

Please join me in welcoming these great Star Class members to their positions on the Technical Advisory Board.

Brian Cramer
Chairman, TAB

Annual Meeting and Resolutions

Announcements - Author: Barbara Beigel Vosbury - June 07, 2014

Dear Star Sailors,

The 2014 Annual Meeting of the International Star Class will take place at 1800 hrs on Saturday 28 June 2014. The location will be at the Fraglia Vela Malcesine. We are looking forward to your attendance.

Here you will find the Resolutions presented for presentation at that meeting. Each Fleet will have the opportunity to cast their votes for these to be included on the Ballot in December of 2014. Each fleet is requested to fill out a Delegate/Proxy form.

Please note: There is a change in the list of Resolutions because I misunderstood the Judiciary Boards directions for presentation of the resolutions.

See you in Malcesine!

Best regards,
Barbara Beigel-Vosbury
Executive Director 

Harry Nye Trophy Awarded to Alexander Hagen

Announcements - Author: Dierk Thomsen, ISCYRA Commodore - July 24, 2014

Since 1989 it is a tradition of our Class to award the Harry Nye Trophy to individuals who provide exceptional service to the Star Class over an extended period of time.

I have the great honor to award this trophy this year to our friend Alexander Hagen.

In 1989 the first recipient was Walter von Hutschler. If you study the list of recipients you will find Star Class members with very different backgrounds. But all of them demonstrated that they follow one goal: the welfare of the Star Class.

Alex, I am someone who knows your way of life since we met for the first time at the end of the 60’s at the OK Dinghy Worlds in Kiel. You were a member of a troupe of 6-8 youngsters which engaged the jury in a funny way. Later you became more serious and finally you ended up in 1978 becoming a member of the International Star Class. It was not a try for you, no — you started through by winning regattas from the first start on.

You won Blue Stars, 7 time Silver Stars and two times Gold Star by winning in 1981 the Worlds and 16 years later your second Worlds, both in Marblehead. Your win of the German Championship last year shows us that you can be successful also at an age of 59 years. This is the one side of the medal.

The other side is your engagement on different areas in our Class. With your company Star Rigg Service you did not earn money, you provided a service for sailors which often need assistance in technically critical situations.

On top of that you offered your time and knowledge by serving many years as First Continental Vice President.

A very special mentality is your understanding of our heads today: the environmental protection in general. We remember your power by reducing the fleets of coach boats at regattas. Finally your idea ended up in a Class Rule.

But the cream on top of our daily life was your fight for many years to stop the trend to increase the body weight as a tool to sail successfully. Since that time we operate with a special rule to limit the body weight in an acceptable way.

Thank you Alex. You are a great sportsman.

New Membership Database

Announcements - Author: Barbara Beigel Vosbury - July 28, 2014

Dear Members,

I hope this email finds you well and sailing your beautiful Star!

I am writing today to inform you of the new “Membership Database" that we have been working on. It is becoming more and more interactive daily. Please go to it and play around with it and report back to me your thoughts, suggestions, reports you would like to see and even criticisms—yes even criticisms. We’ve been looking at it so much and it works for us, but it is you, the sailor, who must be happy with the information you receive out of it.

We have built in security levels so that, say, our President has the ability to see all of the members, etc. but the Fleet officer only sees his fleet. District Officers see all of the fleets in his district. Wow, even as I am writing this I am remembering reports I have retrieved for District officers that, at this very moment, they will still have to get from me instead of themselves. In time this will change.

The very first thing you will notice is that if you have not paid your dues to ISCYRA you will not have access to this database. No worries, you can go straight to the Join/Renew and take care of that! Remember that I process the memberships here in the office so it will not be available to you, say on a Sunday, if you have paid because I am probably out sailing my Star and not processing memberships! Someday it may be automatic but right now you still need me to process the payment and update the record. Sorry.

As a Fleet officer you will be able to see everyone that has ever been a member of your fleet (unless they have changed fleets). We leave these people in the database because you just never know when they will return! However if you know otherwise please send that information on to me.

So now go to our webpage, select Contacts, scroll down to and select Membership Database. You will be directed to the new membership portal. Enter your email address for your username and your membership number as your password. If you do not remember your membership number, or never knew it just select Forgot Password.

Once you are in the database you will be at the dashboard. The Gold and Silver entries are first and foremost on the Dashboard, but from here you can navigate to the directory of your fleet, or Fleet reports, certificates or your profile. There is some limited searching at this time—it is still a work in progress.

If you select Search, you can search our database of Measurement Certificates. Yes, we have uploaded them to the Web for your convenience. No more having to ask the Central Office for certificate copies for boats you are interested in buying or for that Point B number when you are fitting a new spar.

In your personal profile you can change your username and password to something that works better for you.

Please do help us make this a better site for our members by sending your suggestion to me.

Thank you.

Barbara Beigel-Vosbury
Executive Director 

What is the Star Sailors League (SSL)?

Announcements - Author: Mark Reynolds - September 29, 2014

It’s a limited company founded by sailors for sailors with the following mission;

  • Creation of an racing circuit under the name "Star Sailors League"
  • Promotion and support of athletes
  • Training and support for future generations
  • Preservation of the skills' heritage from the champions
  • Creation of a pathway that allows the best sailors to consider sailing as a profession

To locate and establish a collection of the best sailors in the world, the SSL looked to track the 220+ annual regattas from the Star Class program and created the SSL “Skipper Ranking” and “Crew Ranking”. This ranking list will give some of the best sailors a means to see where they rank worldwide within the Star Class. It will also provide one of the ways to qualify sailors for the four (4) SSL Grand Slams and one (1) SSL Grand Final each year where prize money will be offered. The first SSL Grand Final was run last year in Nassau with 18 boats, the results are here. 

This year the top 12 sailors from the SSL ranking will be invited as well as some additional sailors (such as current Olympic Gold Medalist in the Star Class - Freddy Loof) to make sure other top professional and youth sailors get the opportunity to compete with the best on the ranking list. 

The goal is to have the SSL racing held in a company owned fleet of 30 Star boats that will be sent around the world for SSL Events, but will also be chartered to top athletes or rookies who wish to participate in other Star Class events. The SSL will organize training camps to integrate rookies with the existing members of the Star Class. Top athletes will always be present during these camps. 

An extensive broadcasting program will be organized for these SSL Grand Slams and the media program will also be helping promote all Star Class racing. The SSL has already supported several Star regattas including the 2013 and 2014 Star World Championships with live GPS tracking, 3D graphics and full live internet commentary. This enables sailors not in attendance to follow the racing and to promote Star Class events to the world. This program is important to facilitate new regatta sponsorship opportunities interested in supporting top sailing athletes.

What is the relationship between the Star Class and the SSL and how will this contribute to the Star Class?

The organization operating as SSL and the Star Class and its 2000 worldwide members are completely separate and independent. The two organizations and members have separate mission statements but share a connection to the 100 plus year old premier one design racing keelboat. The Star Class and the SSL have a standard licensing agreement which protects the Star Class trademarks and name but allows SSL to use the image and likeness of the boat to promote their programs existing between two parties. The Star Class expects the relationship with the SSL to help continue the tradition of the Star being the premier one design racing keelboat. It will give more visibility to attract famous sailors and insure that the Star Class will remain the premier keel boat class. 

Like the Olympics, the SSL will help attract the top sailors of the world to the Star primarily though the SSL Grand Slams and SSL Grand Finals that will include Prize money. The boats used in the SSL events will be Star boats and will be supplied by the SSL, so unlike the perception of the Olympics, there will be no “arms race” to create a faster and more expensive sailboat. It will impact the Star Class in a positive way by providing business for our suppliers and used equipment which helps make Star sailing more affordable to others. Although some classes like the Dragon and 6 Meter have come back in popularity in some areas as a classic yacht with very good competition, the Star is more athletic and to keep the class growing and at the top of the sport the Class membership need to continue to attract young athletic sailors.

The worldwide media coverage provided by the SSL, will further promote the class with an opportunity to attract new members at all levels. Some of the future Star Class events will be also promoted by the SSL just as they have done for the last two Star World Championships. The Star Class members believe this association will bring in new regatta sponsorship prospects insuring Star Class events are run at a high level and at the same time providing the possibility of holding down entry fees.

2015 Annual General Meeting & 2015 for 2016 Resolution Form

Announcements October 17, 2014

Dear Star Class Members,

The International Governing Committee has voted to have the Annual Meeting of the Membership in Gaeta, Italy at the 2015 European Championship. The date has not be confirmed but will likely be 2 or 3 June 2015 depending on the Measurement and Social Schedules.

Please also note that the deadline for 2015 for 2016 Resolutions is now 2 February 2015. Get your pencils out, fill in the 2015 for 2016 Resolution Form and send it to the Star Class office.

Best regards,
Barbara Beigel-Vosbury
Executive Director

Online Voting for the Star Class 2014 Ballot

Announcements - Author: Barbara Beigel-Vosbury - November 04, 2014

Dear Star Sailors,

The Executive Committee, in an effort to increase participation, has decided to offer online voting for this year’s elections of Class officers and Rule changes. Online voting will be open from 20 November through 10 December. Increased participation in the voting process will help to provide an accurate and balanced view of how our members want the Class to move forward.

The online voting process will be managed by an outside vendor. Each member who has provided the Class office with an e-mail address will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to access the electronic ballot. The e-mail will provide a unique login and password for each recipient.

As the online voting is a new process for 2014 we're sure there will be some questions and possibly concerns. The following addresses some of the common questions. If your have questions not addressed here please e-mail the Central Office at

1. Who gets to vote? 
Life members and Active members with boats.

2. Do I have to vote? 
No, but we sure would like you to!

3. What if I do not have an email address? 
Not a problem, we have put together the list of eligible voters and pulled out the ones without emails. You will receive paper ballots in the postal mail. They were mailed today. Just be sure your signed ballot is received in the Central Office by 10 December 2014.

4. How do I vote online? 
You will receive an email with instructions, a link to the election and a passcode unique to you. Follow the instructions and you have voted.

5. What if I do not get an email, do not get a paper ballot but feel I am eligible to vote? 
You might want to email the Central Office first to be sure you are eligible at

6. How do I know my vote went through? 
After you have voted you will be able to look at your completed ballot and you will receive a confirmation email with a transaction number for your vote.

7. What if I am a “co-owner” of a boat? 
Two emails from the voting system will be sent, whoever votes first gets the vote. You and your co-owner should discuss the ballot and just submit one vote if you agree on the issues. If not, you will have to take your chances.

Also included in the voting system is a section for Comments. These will be received by the Central Office in the form of a list of comments with no names attached. Please let us know your thoughts.

Thank you for taking the time to Vote. As a member of the Star Class your input is critical in helping us define the future of the Class. 

Best regards,
Barbara Beigel Vosbury
Executive Director 

2014 for 2015 Ballot Results

Announcements - Author: Barbara Beigel-Vosbury - December 13, 2014

Dear Star Sailors,

Our first Online voting is finished and it was well received by the membership. Congratulations to Harry Adler and Dino Pascolato, Vice Commodores and Enrico Chieffi, Peter Erzberger and John MacCausland as Rear Commodores. All of the resolutions passed. Results of the voting can be found here.

Reporting from the online voting is different than what we are used to and we have included all of the available reports from the system for your perusal. They are found in the same .pdf as the results.

Thank you all for your participation in the voting process, your input is invaluable.

Best regards,
Barbara Beigel-Vosbury
Executive Director

Technical Advisory Board Decision on Velocitek SHIFT

Technical - Author: Brian Cramer, Chair TAB - December 24, 2014

The Technical Committee has been asked by members to review a new product by Velocitek called the SHIFT and make a decision on its compliance with Star Class rule 31.2.6.

This new Velocitek device is not a GPS and does indicate where the bow of the boat is pointed and therefore is allowed in our Class sanctioned events.

The decision on this device (the SHIFT) is an update to the previous ruling of February 27, 2009 (reprinted below).

This device provides an alternative to the Tacktick Race Master and Micro compasses. Enjoy racing.

Technical Articles 

This Article Last Updated: Oct 14th, 2010 - 15:13:49 
TAB Decision on Velocitek Device
By John Koopman
Feb 27, 2009, 10:38

The TAB has determined that the Velocitek navigation device does not fit the definition of a ‘Timer and Compass’ as defined in the Class rules (31.2.6).

The device is a GPS which provides the direction of travel rather than where the bow of the boat is pointed.

Submitted by John Koopman for Joseph Knowles

Bill Stump Appointed Regatta Manager

Announcements - Author: Barbara Beigel-Vosbury - January 08, 2015

The International Star Class is pleased to announce that Bill Stump will be our new Regatta Manager beginning this January, 2015! Bill has extensive experience as a PRO as well as with running prestigious international regattas and we are excited to have him join us.

Welcome to the Star family Bill!

Check out Bill's brief resumé and bio to learn more about him!

Bill Munster 1938-2014

Human Interest - Author: Andy La Dow / Sailing Scuttlebutt - January 09, 2015

Internationally known World Champion yachtsman Bill Munster passed away suddenly on December 11, 2014 in Bend, Oregon at the age of 76.

Bill was a native and resident of San Diego for over 70 years before retiring to Bend, Oregon. Bill attended Army Navy Academy in Carlsbad, CA and graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Bill worked as a commercial real estate broker for many years at Coldwell Banker and then as owner/principal of Munster Properties in Point Loma, CA.

Bill was a true gentle giant who made a huge mark on the sailing community throughout his life. He began his sailing career in the 1960’s on the late John P. Scripps’s beautiful racing yacht Novia del Mar. As the story goes, Bill was in the bar at San Diego Yacht Club and after perhaps some libations, he challenged the strong man of the day Pete Peterson to an arm wrestling match right then and there. Bill proceeded to break Pete’s wrist, which gained immediate notice and earned him a crew spot on the coveted Novia del Mar. The rest is history.

Due to his size, strength, and quick wit, Bill became one of the most sought after Star class crews long before the days of hiking harnesses. Bill crewed for the late Tom Blackaller in the 1972 Olympic Star Class Trials where they sank Tom’s boat named appropriately “Good Grief” in 30+ knot winds on San Francisco Bay where a keen photographer snapped one of the most famous sailboat racing pictures of all time.

When the wind gusted to 50, Tom Blackaller and Bill Munster 
"just drove the aptly named Good Grief under".

Munster and the bow of "Good Grief"

Bill was instrumental in fostering the growth of the Etchells class in San Diego, also serving as the class International President for many years. Bill crewed for Dennis Conner in the Etchells Worlds on two occasions. After finishing second in Fremantle, Australia in 1990 along with fellow crew mate Andreas Josenhans, Bill and Dennis brought in Norm Reynolds to win the 1991 Etchells World Championships on San Francisco Bay. Bill also skippered his own Etchells for many years, winning the San Diego Bay Fleet Championships and the coveted Orca Bowl among others.

Bill served as Commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club in 1996. He also accepted US Sailing’s One Design Yacht Club of the Year award in 1999 to San Diego Yacht Club in recognition of his efforts to grow one design sailboat racing in San Diego and around the world.

A man that lived a full life, always quick to tell a joke, often not concerned with political correctness yet someone his many friends knew always had their back.

Fair winds our dear friend. – Andy La Dow

A Celebration of Life will be held at San Diego Yacht Club on Saturday, January 31, 2015 a 1:00 PM. Memorial contributions may be made to the SDYC Sailing Foundation/Jr. Program Endowment, 1011 Anchorage Lane, San Diego, CA 92106.

Reflections from Chuck Beek

It looks like the E22 class has claimed him as their own. He did have a stellar career in our little boats. He was "discovered" by Charlie Lewsadder (NH), who had a real eye for talent, and was responsible for bringing up two other famous star crews. As I recall they teamed up in 1967 and intimidated the 5th district with the Munster Mini-hike. (I do believe this was the first time it was so called). Before foot straps, much less a harness, it looked impossible.

As you know Bill was my dad's (Barton Beek) regular crew in the late 80's, and they represented the LB fleet all over the world, and Bill definitely complemented Bart's talents. Ashore they were always amusing. Bill could be loud and confrontational whereas Bart preferred to be more subtle.

I believe Bill and I both had a father in Bart, and so I am so sad to lose a Star brother. 

Frederick Francis Meyer 1915-2015

Human Interest February 09, 2015

Frederick “Babe” Francis Meyer was born July 10, 1915 in Lorain, Ohio, USA and lived in Lorain for all but a number of months or so of his nearly 100 years. He passed away Friday, February 6, 2015 at home in the loving care of his family and with the professional help of Hospice of the Western Reserve. Fred was the son of Philomena (Minnie) and Frederick Meyer, who was the designer and builder of the Meyer life long family home.

Fred was a graduate of Lorain High School 1933, where he was a member of the student rifle club, was the manager of the track team, and got “A’s” in woodworking class. All this lead to years of adventure. He was a cook on the Great Lakes ore boat, the “Diamond Alkali,” for a couple of transport seasons during and after high school. For the five years that followed, he was employed at American Crucible Company in Lorain.

He married Ann Mattioni on May 20, 1940. Then, when WWII called our young men to serve, Fred’s talents as a Tool and Die maker at Jack and Heinz, Cleveland, were used during the war effort for aircraft construction. In peace times that followed, his talent for carpentry prompted him to do something he really loved and with his brother, George, they formed Meyer Brothers General Contractors.

In his spare time he repaired the Lorain lighthouse, was a registered Star Class boat builder and built six custom vessels. His own Star boat and the last one he sailed, “Quagmire,” is being refurbished and will be a part the collection of temporary exhibits on recreational wooden boating for the new Great Lakes Historical Society and National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, Ohio.

He was a life long member of St. Anthony Parish, where he was an altar boy for the very first Mass held in a tent at Century Park. He was a member of the Holy Name Society and was on St. Anthony’s bowling league. He served as church usher for decades. He was the 1949 Commodore of the Lorain Yacht Club, captain of the Southern Lake Erie Fleet of the Star class boats, a member of the International Star Class Yacht Racing Association, the Vermilion Boat Club, Beaver Creek Gun Club and Lorain Senior Fellowship, where he was the joke meister and the weather and fishing reporter.

Fred, alias “The Commodore” alias “Uncle Babe” and Grandpa loved music, especially from the 40’s era. He shared tons of tunes as well as a huge tradition of card playing with his family and friends, who still gather for a good game and a manhattan on weekend afternoons. At other times, the basement pool table was the focus for hours of friendly and memorable competition. He spent endless time in between, always there for his kids, and was undoubtedly the best Dad who ever lived! Fred was passionate about Lake Erie where he grew up on it’s shore. He built and sailed ice boats and sail boats. He hunted waterfowl and fished endless walleye and perch from his teen years well into his 90’s.

His wife, Ann, passed away in 2003. Fred’s children are Constance Ann, who died in 1946, Marjorie Ellen Kodish (husband Marvin), Frederick Thomas Meyer (wife Mary Lee), Mary Anne Meyer, Jean Marie Richards (husband Donald). He has 10 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. He is loved and missed by all of them, and by countless friends and admirers. He was a class act.

Friends may call at the Busch Funeral Home, 163 Avon-Belden Rd., Avon Lake, (440) 933-3202, Thursday, February 12, 2015, from 4 to 7 P.M. Lorain residents drive along the Lake remembering Mr. Meyer’s love of Lake Erie, taking East Erie Ave. (Rt. 6) East, turn right on to Rt. 83, (Avon-Belden) and go one block South. Prayer service at the funeral home will be at 10:15 A.M., followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 1305 E. Erie Ave., Lorain, Friday, February 13, 2015, at 11 A.M. Father Richard Hudak will officiate.

Memorials may be forwarded to St. Anthony of Padua Church, Lorain or the Great Lakes Historical Society.

Tim Owens, Australian Olympian

Human Interest March 12, 2015

The sad loss of Tim Owens

It was with great sadness that we heard that Tim Owens had passed away on 28th February. Tim was one of the Club’s longest serving members having joined in 1956 (this was the same year as Peter Rundle and John Bach and preceded only by Ray Kiely, Albert and Shirley Mitchell and Helmut Schultz, I think).

Those who have been active in sailing at LMYC in the past 20 years or so would know Tim well and are beneficiaries of his cheerful personality and wisdom. Tim sailed with Albert Mitchell on Helsal II and on Albert’s Diamond in the Australian Championships in Hobart. Tim’s own boats included an 11 metre One Design, a 30 Square Metre, a modified Adams 10 and his current boat Dee One, the Adams 10.6. Tim was honoured to carry the Olympic torch through Belmont for the opening of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

But few would know about his incredible sailing achievements in his earlier years. Alistair Leask has kindly spoken with a number of people and recalled his own memories to put together the following:

Star class yachts were a major part of Tim’s life for a quarter of a century – they took him to regattas up and down the east coast of Australia and to Chicago, Tokyo, Kiel, San Francisco and Los Angeles. He got to know and compete against some of the very best yachtsmen in the world.

Tim was a well known, well respected and well liked Star sailor who was a foundation member of the Lake Macquarie Fleet of District 11 of the ISCYRA (chartered in 1960, it was the first fleet of an international class on the Lake). Tim held positions ranging from Fleet Captain to Continental 1st Vice President (Australia).

He was a consistently competitive sailor who gave encouragement to others and provided a good yardstick: if you could mix it with Tim, you were sailing well (but it didn’t happen often!). Over the years he was the owner of 5 Star boats (Valsheda, Maryke, Starfire and two Boofa). At various times he was Fleet Champion and NSW Champion. His first overseas experience was at the Star Worlds in Chicago in 1963 where he crewed for Graham Engert in Mac. He competed in the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 as crew for Martin Visser in Maryke.

In 1963 he represented Lake Macquarie in the Worlds at Kiel with Bob Cox as crew: he finished a creditable 26th out of 87 qualifiers, including an 11th place – the best result in a world championship by an Australian at that time. He has had the good fortune to have been taken sailing by Dennis Connor who said “I’m not going to tell you what to do – but you can learn by watching what I do.”

In 1978 Tim and Bob competed in the Worlds at San Francisco where they had a steep learning experience: dense fog, racing current, strong winds, droppy seas. In 1983, Tim and Terry Carruthers sailed the pre-olympic regatta at Long Beach California followed by the Worlds in Los Angeles. In each of these events he was able to sail against the best of the best – the likes of Tom Blackaller, Buddy Melges, Bill Buchan and Dennis Connor. In one race Tim was mixing it with the top ten when he crossed tacks with Dennis Connor who called out “Hey Tim, what are you doing up here in this high real estate area.”

Tim was always a strong advocate of class racing and in particular of the Star Class. One of his remarks was “If you hear someone knocking the Star, you will know that they have never sailed one.”

Alistair concludes by saying “It was a pleasure and a privilege Tim to have known you, crewed for you, sailed against you – there are few your equal.”
Sentiments shared by all Tim’s friends at LMYC.

John Chiarella presented with 2015 Harry Nye Award

Announcements - Author: Barbara Beigel-Vosbury & Rick Burgess - April 21, 2015

The Harry Nye Trophy was awarded to John Chiarella during the Saturday evening festivities at the Western Hemisphere Championship held at Biscayne Bay Yacht Club. President Lars Grael took the podium and gave a short talk about the meaning of the Harry Nye Trophy. It is named after Harry Gale Nye who was twice a Star World Champion and Commodore of the Class. The trophy recognizes an individual’s outstanding contribution to the International Star Class. Lars continued, giving the wonderful background of one of the most deserving people in our class.

John has 50 years of Star Sailing under his bottom, he has served as a Fleet Captain, the 12th District Secretary, a Rear Commodore, and as the International Class Secretary. John has also been the driving force in two Silver Star events held at Lake Sunapee, NH, his home waters. John has long been known as a champion of the Fleets, always being sure that the Fleets come first and reminding everyone of this when we get off track.

To a standing ovation Mr. John Chiarella accepted the Harry Nye Trophy.

After composing himself John expressed how grateful he was to be honored with this award. John also conveyed that he was sharing the honor with his now departed wife Donna who was the person that bought John his first star. As John has said many times it really was Dona that kept him going.

Congratulations John! Well deserved!

2015 Annual Meeting Notice and Resolutions

Announcements - Author: Barbara Beigel-Vosbury - April 23, 2015

Dear Star Sailors,

It has been a very busy time for the Class Management Committee, Technical Advisory Board and Judiciary Board members. There were 130 Resolutions that were submitted to them for processing. 130! Through hard work, compromise and editing they were able to agree on 41 to be presented at the Annual Meeting in Gaeta, Italy. The listing of Resolutions can be found here.

Please take the time to read them all in detail. As there was a lot of thought, time and effort to put them together. Please also remember that the Fleets that sent in these Resolutions are very much interested in moving our Class forward while preserving our rich long history.

Between now and the Annual Meeting the IGC and CMC members will review these and we will have another posting of the Resolutions that will include their comments and recommendations. This should help the meeting move at a faster pace so that we can have more discussion and less reading at the meeting. As the Boy Scouts of America say “Be Prepared”. We have a lot of work to do.

Mark your calendars!
ISCYRA Annual Meeting
1600 hours
2 June 2015
Base Nautica Flavio Gioia
Gaeta, Italy

I hope to see many of you in Gaeta!

Best regards,

Barbara Beigel-Vosbury
Executive Director

David Millar 1930-2015

Human Interest - Author: John Finch - April 24, 2015

I'm deeply saddened to report that David Millar passed away on April 22, 2015. He was 85 and died peacefully with family by his side after a valiant struggle with Alzheimer's disease.

Dave was born and raised in Toronto and began sailing with his father and brother in boats they built at home. When he was 17, Dave did a beautiful job building a Comet, a 16' boat, somewhat similar to a small Star. This primed him for his next project, a Star, and a life-long passion for Star sailing. 

Dave built his first Star, number 3078, at age 20. He subsequently built 3481, 4320 (with his brother) and 4756. Later on, he owned 5283, 4725, 5708, 6120, 6577 and 7060. Dave was always a strong competitor, winning countless races over a 60 year span and was runner up in three Olympic trials. He was also a very talented artist and successful graphic designer by profession. Our class logo of overlapping stars was drawn by Dave.

1960 Canadian Olympic Trials. 
Dave Millarr & Peter VanBuskirk, 2nd place

For decades, Dave was the pillar of Star sailing in Toronto. He was the "go to" expert on everything to do with construction, repairs, sailing and racing, freely sharing his knowledge and assistance with everyone. The thriving fleet was due largely to Dave's efforts and devotion. I personally, was very fortunate to be mentored by Dave and am eternally grateful for his guidance and influence in sailing and in life.

Alzheimer's is a terrible disease that among other things steals away precious knowledge and memories. Three years ago, Dave and I went Star sailing for what turned out to be his last time. Sadly, his vast sailing knowledge and experience had already been taken away and he didn't remember or recognize anything. He was clearly distressed, not knowing what to do... until he took the tiller. He steered the boat perfectly, with the characteristic smile, confidence and contentment that was always his manner. It appears nothing can take such ingrained ability away.

Fair winds and enjoy sailing your Star Dave. We will miss you.

Peter Tallberg 1938 - 2015

Human Interest - Author: Christian Oller; IOC writer Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, and Marissa Flancers - May 18, 2015

It is with great sadness that Finland Star Fleet reports the death of Peter Tallberg, ISCYRA life member, at the age of 77.

Mr. Tallberg was the most successful Finnish Star sailor and our best known sports leader. Before transitioning into the administrative side of sport, Tallberg competed in five editions of the Olympic Games. His best performance at the games was finishing fourth in Star at Tokyo 1964. He finished 15th in the 5.5m in Rome 1960, 11th in Star at Mexico City 1968, 12th in Soling at Munich 1972, and 11th in Star at Moscow 1980. He was also the Eastern Hemisphere Star Champion 1967. Mr. Tallberg was an active sailor in different classes, but the Star was always closest to his heart.

He also enjoyed practicing other sports, including squash, table tennis, skiing and golf. As a skier, Tallberg was Finnish junior slalom champion in 1954. He finished 3rd in the Finnish senior squash championships in 1978. 

In 1976 Mr Tallberg was elected member of IOC as the youngest member ever. He was also the first IOC member to participate in the games as an athlete. During his 40-plus years working for the Olympic Movement, Mr Tallberg had a strong and far-reaching impact. He was the founding chairman of the Athletes’ Commission and chaired it from its inception in 1981 until 2002, when he became an Honorary member of the commission. Mr Tallberg worked tirelessly to place the athletes at the heart of the Olympic Movement and to protect sport from all forms of corruption. He was a Council Member of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) (1999-2002) and member of the World Olympians Association (WOA) (2007-2014) as liaison for the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

Mr Tallberg was also the President of the International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU, later International Sailing Federation - ISAF) (1986-1994); President of the Finnish Yachting Association (1977-1983), and President of the Scandinavian Yacht Racing Union (1978-1981). He also captained the Finnish Olympic Yachting team (1976), was Vice-President of the Finnish Squash Association (1974-1976), became a Council member and Secretary General of the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF, later SportAccord) (1988-1998), and was a member of the Executive Board of the European Sport Conference (1994-1998).

Finland Star Fleet expresses its deepest sympathies to Peter Tallberg’s family.

Peter Tallberg with brother Henrik preparing their Star for the Tokyo Olympics 1964

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) 
Longtime IOC member Peter Tallberg of Finland has died after a battle against cancer, the International Olympic Committee said Saturday. He was 77.

IOC President Thomas Bach described Tallberg as "my first teacher at the IOC" and said "the athletes of the world and all those who love sport owe him a huge debt."

Tallberg was a sailor who competed in five Olympics between 1960 and 1980, with his best result a fourth-place finish in the Star class in 1964 at Tokyo. He became an IOC member in 1976, and was the founding chairman of its athletes' commission.

The Olympic flag at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne will be flown at half-mast in Tallberg's honor for three days.

Bach said Tallberg worked for the Olympic movement for more than 40 years, and "had a strong and far-reaching impact." He left the athletes' commission in 2002, becoming an honorary member of the body that is a link between active athletes and the IOC.

An avid sportsman, Tallberg also competed in skiing - winning a 1964 national slalom championship - and played squash, table tennis and golf.

Tallberg was also a former president of the International Yacht Racing Union and vice-president of the Finnish Squash Association. He was a council member of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from 1999 to 2002.

In the 1970s and 1980s, he held senior posts with the Helsinki-based, family company Oy Julius Tallberg AB that focuses on real estate and long-term equity investments.

Tallberg studied at universities in Finland and Germany.

World Olympians Association mourns Olympic legend Peter Tallberg
By Marissa Flanders (USA) / Sports Features Communications

Peter Tallberg was the second-longest serving current IOC member.

(SFC) International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member, former World Olympians Association (WOA), and five-time Olympic sailor, Peter Tallberg passed away last Saturday (May 16th) at the age of 77 in Finland.

Tallberg was elected as an IOC Member in 1976 and was the second-longest serving IOC Member. From 2007-2014, he served as a WOA liaison to the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

The WOA was saddened to hear the news of his death.

WOA President, Joel Bouzou stated, “For me Peter Tallberg is and will remain a pillar of the Olympic ideal and dream. Peter always looked further than sport, always thinking about what sport and great athletes could bring to society. This is why he attended many editions of the International Peace and Sport Forum.”

He went on to add, “Peter is the person who encouraged me to run for the WOA Presidency. He was convinced that the organization could benefit not only Olympians, but the whole of society through the work of Olympians. He was therefore very happy with the current reforms of the WOA. Having been the liaison between the WOA and the IOC Athletes Committee from 2007 to 2014, Peter will be sadly missed by all Olympians but he will remain in all our hearts forever.”

The WOA wanted to extend their deepest condolences to the family of Peter Tallberg.

2015 Annual Meeting Voting Results

Announcements - Author: Barbara Beigel-Vosbury - June 05, 2015

List of Resolutions that were voted on. Voting results for the resolutions at the class annual meeting June 3, 2015 in Gaeta, Italy before the European Championship. 

Otto Schlenzka 1919 - 2015

Human Interest July 29, 2015

Kiel, Germany mourns its honorary citizen Otto Schlenzka, who passed away at the age of 96 years in Kiel. On behalf of the City President Hans-Werner Tovar paid tribute to the long-time commander of Kieler Yacht-Club: "With Otto Schlenzka the state capital Kiel loses an outstanding personality. He has influenced Kiel in the field of sailing and was as a true sportsman always an excellent representative of our city."

Otto Schlenzka was awarded in 1996 an honorary citizenship of the Schleswig-Holstein state capital. With this Kiel acknowledged the longstanding excellence of Schlenzka for national and international sailing, and especially for the Kiel sailing area. It is thanks to him that "the International Kiel Week regatta became the largest sailing event in the world and also outside Kiel, Kiel Week is an internationally renowned sailing event," it said of hom at that time.

The Olympic history of the sailing city of Kiel is closely linked with the name Otto Schlenzka. At the opening of the sailing competitions 1936 he was the age of 17, and carried the flag of Japan. In 1972 he was head of the Olympic regatta off Kiel-Schilksee, whose organization is still considered as a model.

Otto Schlenzka was born on March 9, 1919 in Flensburg. He came in 1932 to Kiel and joined 1933 the Imperial Yacht Club (now Kieler Yacht-Club) a. Two years ago, he was honored by the KYC, which he chaired from 1974 to 1983, for 80 years of membership. Schlenzka was honored with many awards not only of sport, he was also in 1984 winner of the Order of Merit. 

Change for Star Class Contintental Vice Presidents

Announcements - Author: Barbara Beigel-Vosbury - August 05, 2015

Dear Star Sailors,

We have had some Officer changes recently that you should be aware of.

In South America:
It is with sincere regret that we announce the resignation of Alberto Zanetti as 2nd Continental Vice President for South America. Alberto has been the guy in Argentina who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the Star alive and thriving in Argentina. A fierce competitor on the race course, Alberto has been a leader on shore as well. His insight and advice will be missed but we are sure it will still be available for the asking!

Alberto, thank you for everything you have done and are doing. We know that you will still be an active supporter of the Class on the water and off!

And now… 
Let us introduce Torkel Borgstrom as your new 2nd Continental VP in South America. Torkel is no newcomer to Star sailing but has surely increased his presence in most recent years. Torkel works for North Sails in Buenos Aires and is a regular on the race course in Argentina and now Miami! Torkel is a new face in the leadership of South America.

Welcome Torkel, we look forward to having you on board the leadership of our Class!

In North America:
It is with regret that we announce the retirement of Rick Peters as the 2nd Continental Vice President for North America. Rick has served this position since 2010 but finds his family and business do not afford him the time to continue in the role. To benefit the Class Rick would rather see someone who has the time and energy take over. Rick will still be active with the Class and we are sure to see him on the course and feel his presence behind the scenes.

Thank you Rick for your service to the Class. It is much appreciated.

And now…
Let me introduce Dave Caesar as the person to fill Rick’s position. Dave is a Life Member of our Class and hails from Canada. Dave sails out of the Seneca Lake Fleet and is most often seen on the race course with Arthur Anosov. Dave has been a member for a long time and has strong feelings for the Class and the future of the Class. He is one of those ‘understated’ and quiet guys—you are not sure you remember who he is until you see his face!

Welcome Dave! We look forward to having you on board as a leader for North America!

Barbara Beigel Vosbury
Executive Director

Berger Brothers Win Kasabian Trophy

Human Interest - Author: Tony Herrmann - October 22, 2015

Tom and Dave Berger hold the Spring Series Trophy in front of the Kaiser Trophy

The Berger brothers (Dave & Tom) and Curt Kasabian "duked it out" for the Western Lake Michigan Fleet Championship/Kasabian Trophy for the entire 22 race 2015 season. The Bergers have been racing stars in the Racine-based Western Lake Michigan (WLM) Fleet for more than 20 years. Persistence pays. The Bergers were 1st in fleet in ’98, 2nd in fleet in ‘97 and 2nd or 3rd in either the Spring or Summer series in the '12, '13 & '14 racing seasons. This year the Bergers edged out Curt Kasabian in the last four races of the year actually sailing Kaiser Kasabian's last star boat “"TRIM" #7834. This season the Berger brothers placed first in the Spring series on the way to winning the 2015 Kaiser Kasabian Fleet Championship Trophy. 

Kaiser Kasabian raced Stars in the Racine for more than 50 yrs of the 77 year history of Star fleet sailing at our Racine Yacht Club. Thus, the special Kaiser Kasabian Trophy modeled after TRIM Star #5234 which he built for himself in the 1950s. During this 50 years, Kaiser owned and raced five different stars all named Trim. Curt Kasabian, Kaiser’s son finished 2nd in fleet this year. Tony Herrmann and his son, Michael, finished 3rd in fleet after winning the Summer Series.

The 59th Mission Regatta in June, sponsored by the Fox family in honor of their father Jim Fox and his WWII air service, was won for the second year in a row by the guest team of Jack Rickard and Sam Eadie. Curt Kasabian and Chris Nielson were 2nd and Jeff Schaefer and Rob Walker were 3rd. Rick Hennig, Ken Fox and the Denali crew run the races. The Fox family ladies host the post-racing picnic and award activities. 

The Annual Racine Yacht Club Regatta Star Series in early August was won by the Curt Kasabian-Chris Nielson team. The Berger brothers placed 2nd and Mark Hetzel and his son Sam were 3rd. The Blue Nose Regatta in September was won by the Berger brothers.

2015 Ballots and Voting for 2016 Officers and Rules

Announcements - Author: Barbara Beigel-Vosbury - November 19, 2015

Dear Star Sailors,

The 2015 Annual Election and Rule Change voting that will take place 20 November to 10 December 2015. Below is an explanation of what will take place tomorrow. Please take a moment to read about the new process and feel free to email me with any further questions or comments.

The Executive Committee, in an effort to increase participation, has decided to offer online voting for this year’s elections of Class officers and Rule changes. Online voting will be open from 20 November through 10 December. Increased participation in the voting process will help to provide an accurate and balanced view of how our members want the Class to move forward.

The online voting process will be managed by an outside vendor. Each member who has provided the Class office with an e-mail address will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to access the electronic ballot. The e-mail will provide a unique login and password for each recipient.

As the online voting is a new process for 2015 we’re sure there will be some questions and possibly concerns. The following addresses some of the common questions. If you have questions not addressed here please e-mail the Central Office at

1. Who gets to vote?

Life members and Active members with boats.

2. Do I have to vote?

No, but we sure would like you to!

3. What if I do not have an email address?

Not a problem, we have put together the list of eligible voters and pulled out the ones without emails. You will receive paper ballots in the postal mail. They were mailed several weeks ago. Just be sure your signed ballot is received in the Central Office by 9 December 2015.

4. How do I vote online?

You will receive an email with instructions, a link to the election and a passcode unique to you. Follow the instructions and you have voted.

5. What if I do not get an email, do not get a paper ballot but feel I am eligible to vote?

You might want to email the Central Office first to be sure you are eligible. Just be sure your signed ballot is received in the Central Office by 9 December 2015.

6. How do I know my vote went through?

After you have voted you will be able to look at your completed ballot and you will receive a confirmation email with a transaction number for your vote.

7. What if I am a “co-owner” of a boat?

Two emails from the voting system will be sent, whoever votes first gets the vote. You and your co-owner should discuss the ballot and just submit one vote if you agree on the issues. If not, you will have to take your chances.

Also included in the voting system is a section for Comments. These will be received by the Central Office in the form of a list of comments with no names attached. Please let us know your thoughts.

Thank you for taking the time to Vote. As a member of the Star Class your input is critical in helping us define the future of the Class.

Best regards,
Barbara Beigel Vosbury
Executive Director

Harry Herchel Adler awarded the Harry Gale Nye Award

Announcements - Author: Barbara Beigel-Vosbury - November 20, 2015

Harry Herchel Adler was awarded the prestigious Harry Gale Nye Award for his longtime contributions to our beloved Class. President Lars Grael beautifully summed up Adler’s long life in sailing and more importantly his long life in the ISCYRA.

Harry reminded us all of the “roots” of our Star Class. Remembering that many of the items we take for granted on boats of all kinds were designed by Star Class members for the Star and then later adapted for other classes. These innovations are part of the reason that our Class is so great. It is also why we need to continue to foster growth and innovation for our Class and for the future.

  • Walter von Hutschler and the Flexible Spar
  • Duarte Bello developed the circular vang track, adjustable (when sailing) outhaul fitting and the Bello bailer
  • Skip Etchells, Buddy Melges and Bill Buchan were front runners in boat design always exploring the edges of the tight measurement tolerances.
  • Antonio Gorostegui from Spain won two Worlds in a row having figured out putting the mast further forward downwind and allowing the flow on the mainsail to drive the boat faster.
  • Skip Etchells invented the halyard lock to take the pressure off the spar

Harry sailed Stars from 1942 until 2000. During that time he won the South American Championship, the Brazilian Championship, and the District 7 Championship. He also earned one Gold Chevron at the 1956 World Championship held in Naples Italy. He represented Brazil at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo and won a bronze medal at the Pan American Games in 1963 in his Star. Harry also achieved high rankings in the Soling Class twice finishing second in their South American Championships.

Harry has always been passionate about the Star and the Star Class and for 25 years on the ISAF Council waved the Star banner high. While serving on the Council he also was a member of the Keelboat Committee and the Appeals Committee. Not one to give up being on the water, Harry also served as an International Judge for 20 years.

Harry lives with his beautiful wife Gisele in Rio de Janeiro. Their son Daniel won a Silver Medal in the 1984 Olympics in the Soling (crewing for Torben Grael) and son Alan became a Star World Champion in 1989 (also 3 Olympic Games in the Flying Dutchman Class and won the J24 Worlds).

Thank you Harry for everything you have done for our Class, for sailing in general and for reminding us that we should never forget our "roots"!

Best regards,

Barbara Beigel-Vosbury
Executive Director 

Giovanni Grimani 1939 - 2015

Human Interest - Author: Rizieri Ianni - November 22, 2015

On the left, Giovanni Grimani sailing with Rizieri Ianni

Bracciano 9th October 2015

Today I’m very sad, Giovanni, our friend Govanni Grimani passed away, we grew old together, since 1976 when I met Giovanni for first time on Bracciano Lake with his beautiful Star and became a very brotherly friendship. We shared the most beautiful moments of our life, he was a big friend, a "real gentleman" among my friends, he was always kind and never a word out of place.

Giovanni devoted many years of his life to Star boats and Star Class. He was an ISCYRA Life Member from the Lake Bracciano Fleet. Since he was young he sailed the Star, he always sailed the Star. His first Star was "Rebellea" built in the shipyard Costaguta from Voltri, Italy, and the last was "Eliele XII", built by Folli.

We sailed together many times, we shared the passion without limit for this boat, we sailed on Garda Lake, Como Lake and Viareggio Tirreno Sea.

Giovanni developed a friendship between Bracciano Lake fleet and Perla della Versilia Fleet. Many sailors from the Versilia Fleet took part in the Bracciano Star Trophy, a regatta invented by Giovanni, and many sailors from the Bracciano Lake Fleet took part in the Benetti Trophy sailed in Viareggio.

Giovanni worked with passion inside District 14 and became the district Secretary with historical assistant Stefania Moneta, and took part in the Administrative International Committee of ISCYRA.

Giovanni was always a friend for all Star sailors, he believed in the friendship and the respect between friends, all people remember Giovanni as a "gentleman" both as a sailor and in life.

The "Associazione Velica di Bracciano" was started by him. Thank you very much Giovanni for giving us the passion for sailing, specially for the Star, good wind my friend …….

Rizieri IANNI

2016 for 2017 Resolution Form

Announcements - Author: Barbara Beigel Vosbury - November 25, 2015

Dear Star Sailors,

This is a quick reminder that the deadline for submitting a Resolution for an ISCYRA rule change is due in the Central Office by 10 December 2015. Resolutions submitted on time will be dispersed to the Class Management Committee, the Judiciary Board and the Technical Advisory Board within 5 days of the deadline.

If you have a good idea for a rule change please get with your fleet officers and get a resolution together for presentation to your fleet. Once your fleet has agreed to go forward your fleet officer should submit the form with a statement of the Fleet meeting where your Resolutions were discussed including Fleet members in attendance.

We look forward to input from you and your Fleet on moving our Class forward!

The 2016 for 2017 Resolutions will be presented to the Fleets at the 2016 Annual Membership meeting in April 2016 at the World Championship.

The Resolution form can be found here.

Best regards,
Barbara Beigel-Vosbury
Executive Director

Hank Rowan 1923-2015

Human Interest - Author: Barbara Beigel Vosbury - December 15, 2015

Burlington County, New Jersey businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist Henry (Hank) M. Rowan, the man who founded an international corporation, contributed generously to numerous causes and changed the face of higher education in South Jersey, passed away on Dec. 9, 2015. He was 92 years old.

Mr. Rowan, a native of Ridgewood, New Jersey, was founder and chairman of Rancocas-based Inductotherm Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of melting, thermal processing and production systems for the metals and materials industry.

He started the firm with his late wife, Betty Long Rowan, in 1953, building their first furnace in their backyard in Ewing Township, New Jersey. Initially, his main goal was to enable foundries to reduce the cost of melting metal with induction, and Mr. Rowan and his staff became true innovators, changing the face of the entire industry. Today, the Inductotherm Group and its sister companies employ more than 3,500 people in more than 20 nations and serve customers around the globe.

While renowned as a businessman and entrepreneur, Mr. Rowan did not stop there, nor did his impact. Since 1992, Mr. Rowan’s name has been synonymous with higher education. It was in that year that he and his late wife donated $100 million to then-Glassboro State College with just one request: revitalize engineering education.

Although he was a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mr. Rowan was committed to investing his money in a school and a region where he believed it could have the most impact. The Rowan Gift was the largest to date given to a public college or university in the United States.

Hank Rowan with Clark and Rick Dhein

In 1992, the board of trustees of the college changed the name of GSC to Rowan College (and it became Rowan University in 1997, when it offered its first doctoral program). In 1996, Rowan University opened its doors to its first class of engineering students. Today, the award-winning engineering college offers bachelor’s through doctoral programs in five disciplines and is adding a new building to enable it to double its enrollment to about 2,000 students. The donation by Mr. and Mrs. Rowan directly and indirectly led to remarkable growth at the university, which today is designated by the State of New Jersey as a research institution and is one of only two schools in the nation with both M.D.- and D.O.-degree granting medical schools.

In December 2014, the Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation committed $15 million to Rowan University’s College of Engineering, which was named the Henry M. Rowan College of 

Mr. Rowan and his family have been generous to numerous organizations beyond the University. Among more recent donations, in 2008 he gave $20 million to what is now known as the Williamson College of the Trades in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. In 2014, Mr. Rowan funded the purchase of a building for the South Jersey chapter of Boy Scouts of America to expand its Westampton headquarters. Mr. and Mrs. Rowan had funded the construction of the Scouts’ original facility there in the 1980s. In 2015, Mr. Rowan and his wife, Lee, personally committed $17 million to the Doane Academy in Burlington City.

Many organizations honored Mr. Rowan for his commitment to business and community. Among his awards were the George Washington Medal Award from the Engineer’s Club of Philadelphia (1992); Outstanding Engineer for the Year Award (1994) and a Lifetime Achievement Award (1995) from the Professional Engineering Society of Southern New Jersey, Inc.; the AFS William J. Grede Award (1995); a Distinguished Service Award from the Consulting Engineers Council of New Jersey (1997); the William Hunt Eisenman Award, Philadelphia Chapter, American Society of Metals (ASM) International (1997); induction into the prestigious National Academy of Engineering (1998); induction into the Hall of Honor, Foundry Management & Technology magazine’s highest award (2003); and most recently the Distinguished Life Membership Award from ASM International (2014).

One of his most visible honors stands on Rowan University’s Glassboro campus: a seven-foot bronze sculpture of Mr. Rowan unveiled in December 2012, two decades after the $100-million gift.

In 1941, Mr. Rowan attended Williams College for a year and then transferred to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) upon his acceptance into its engineering program. The program was interrupted by World War II, and he enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet and trained to become a bomber pilot, flying B-17s and B-29s, though the war ended before he could fly in combat. He returned to MIT to earn his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

Among his many interests, Mr. Rowan was an avid pilot and sailor who was a member of the Aviation Hall of Fame and who competed in the 1992 Olympic Star Class sailboat racing trials in Miami. He published his autobiography, “The Fire Within” in 1995.

The son of the late Dr. Henry M. Rowan Sr. and Margaret Frances Boyd Rowan, Mr. Rowan also was predeceased by his first wife, Betty; his sons, James and David; and two of his siblings, Margaret and William.

Mr. Rowan is survived by his wife, Lee; his daughter, Virginia and son-in-law, Manning J. Smith III; his grandchildren, Rowan Smith Watson and Manning J. Smith IV; and his sister, Miriam Mallory.

Services will be held after the first of the year. Rowan University will hold a memorial service at a later date. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, any donations be made in Mr. Rowan’s name to the American Foundry Society and the Lake George Land Conservancy.

Reflections from Rick Dhein

Hank started sailing Stars sometime in the 1960’s at Northern Lake George Yacht Club with his wife Betty. It was a large and very competitive fleet. In a relatively short period of time Hank was at the top of the fleet. He holds the record for the highest number of Star Fleet Championships.

All of Hank’s ten Star boats were named “Riot”. When he was a youngster he was at a summer camp and one of the row boats was named “Riot”. He thought it was a good name for a boat. He sold almost all of his Star boats (at a reasonable price) to a new Star sailor or to someone who needed an upgrade at NLGYC. He thought it was important to set new Star sailors into the fleet and keep it competitive. Hank’s influence in Star sailing at NLGYC was very high. An example is that my father, Del Dhein, crewed for Hank in the Star for over ten years. Hank got me into Star sailing when he sold me my first star #6419. As a result my son, Clark, is also a Star sailor. That is three generations of Star sailors at Northern Lake George. Hank thought it was important to support the US Star boat builders and only his last two were built outside of the US. He represented the NLGYC Star fleet regionally and all over the US. Bacardi was a favorite and the arrangement was that Betty and Lari (my mom) would drive the Star down to Miami and back and Hank and Del would fly in one of Hank’s planes.

Hank sailed Stars up until a few years ago and was still competitive on the race course. He will be missed by Star sailors and others at NLGYC, but his influence will live on forever!

Happy Sailing Hank!

Reflections by Rick Burgess

Hank and I first met on the race course in Lake Hopatcong 45 plus years ago. That meeting was in the protest room, Hank won and I lost. Several years later in Nassau we got to learn a little more about each other and a lifelong friendship started.

Hank and I sailed together (mostly in the winter) for at least 30 years including the infamous “Hank Who” race in the 1973 Worlds in San Diego. Our first worlds together, the first race of the event and guess what? Hank won!

Hank loved to compete in the Star and really enjoyed sailing in his beloved Northern Lake George Club. Hank always had time to share both time and parts for all who needed. When the US Sailing Center in Miami was proposed, Hank was right there offering his financial support.

Hank will be missed but not forgotten.

A True Champion. by Janet Lawrence, LG

When I first started sailing a Star, my sister Libby and I sailed my dad’s old boat, Strawberry II.

She, Strawberry, had been one of Henry Rowan’s former boats, one of the “Riots”. Mr. Rowan knew Strawberry was fast. Lib and I were finishing toward the back of the fleet pretty routinely and still getting our feet wet, so to speak. Mr. Rowan had been for a long time and still was, our club champion and the pride of our fleet and the district. He was a very competitive and serious sailor who never missed a race and never gave up a single boat length no matter how far ahead he was. He was always learning and working to be the best sailor he could be.

One day Mr. Rowan came up to me in the parking lot before a race and said he was going to CREW FOR ME that day!!! He was giving up a race to come out with me and really “show me the ropes”! I was honored and nervous and anxious to learn everything I could from him. It was intimidating but he couldn’t have been more kind. It was a light wind day and made it hard to experiment with sail shape quite the way we had wanted but I still learned lots from him. We talked about the typical wind patterns and angles. We strategized about how far to go on flyers. We messed with the tuning of my boat. He was fun, generous and kind.

Mr. Henry Rowan was and is our all- time club champion in every sense, a True Champion.

2015 Ballot Results - Officers and Web

Announcements - Author: Barbara Beigel-Vosbury - December 16, 2015

Dear Star Sailors,

We've got some new International Vice Presidents! Congratulations to Tom Londrigan, Jr. and Hubert Merkelbach! We are looking forward to having you on board--more toward the back of the boat! And congratulations to Bert Collins for being elected Treasurer again.

Congratulations to Christoph Gautschi and Sune Carlsson as our new Vice Commodores and John MacCausland, Hal Haenel and Marcelo Ferreira as our new Rear Commodores! We hope to see each of you on or around the race course!

Thank you are the words to use for each and every District Officer that were just elected. They do a tremendous job of keeping Star sailing in line in your area and we thank them for their hard work and dedication.

All of the Resolutions passed and the exact results can be found in this file. The wording for the resolutions can be found in this file.

Thank you all for your participation in the voting process. Your vote DOES count and IS appreciated and IS needed!

Happy Holidays to everyone in our Star family. Be safe, have fun and give thanks for all of the wonderful things in your life.

Best regards,
Barbara Beigel-Vosbury 

Franco de Denaro 1926-2016

Human Interest January 20, 2016

Franco de Denaro Has Left Us

The news of the death of Franco de Denaro leaves a great void in the world of Sailing. Born in Zara in 1926, with his strong and proud personality, he lived as a great helmsman and dedicated at least 70 years to the Star Class, the great love of his life and the most demanding form of Olympic racing.

As early as 1947 he was at the helm of "Fiammetta", during the Naples Italian Championship, in team with Pietro Straulino, brother of another sailing legend, Tino. 

His passion for racing, which he could pursue in the spare 
time from his intense career, at first in the Merchant Navy around the world, and then as harbor pilot in Venice, led him to take part in several Italian, European and World Championships, competing against some of the greatest helmsmen in the world. 

With his return to Trieste in the mid-90s the local fleet came back to life, reaching under his command the remarkable size of 15 hulls, among which his former boat, "Basilisco", current Italian champion.

He has been and will be forever an example of unequalled sportsmanship and of the most romantic dedication to a life of sailing – of the kind that no longer exists. 

Please share your condolences and memories with his daughter Nicoletta de Denaro, electronically or Via del Lazzaretto Vecchio 4, IT-34123 Trieste (TS) Italy.

Jim Allsopp 1943-2016

Human Interest - Author: Sailing Scuttlebutt - March 14, 2016

Sailing industry leader Jim Allsopp died after a 4 year battle with brain cancer on March 12 in Annapolis, MD. Jim was 72 years of age.

Jim Allsopp was a sailing legend who has personally and professionally influenced many sailors. Jim was one of those naturally talented sailors – he won the 1976 Star World Championship in Nassau, beating Tom Blackaller, Pelle Petterson, Malin Burnham, and Bill Buchan. Jim also won the 1976 Star European Championship in Marstrand, Sweden.

Jim most probably would have continued winning in the Star Class had Lowell North not seen enough of his talents to ask Jim to be the trimmer on his 12 meter Enterprise for the 1977 America’s Cup Defender Series. That was followed up by an offer from Lowell for Jim to run the new North Sails loft in Annapolis. Jim accepted and his loft became one of the most successful in the company.

Through his work with North Sails, Jim became an ambassador for sailing in Europe.

Jim survived the stormy 1979 Fastnet Race where 15 people died and 5 boats sank. He was sailing Ricardo Bonadeo’s 50 footer Rrose Selavy and brought his rookie team back home safely. Italy and Spain were just breaking into the international sailing scene and Jim was a frequent invite during the 1980’s on the Italian Sardinia Cup and Admiral’s Cup teams. Jim brought his sailing talent and good humor to those teams who were hungry to learn from the best.

In the 1990’s, Spain's fledgling big boat group called in Jim to help get them up the ladder. Jim often sailed with King Juan Carlos and was a regular helmsman and tactician for the Spanish maxi, one ton, and Copa Del Rey teams.

Meanwhile, Jim kept his hand in the America's Cup and sailed as navigator on the 12m Eagle in the 1987 edition in Perth, Australia and as mainsail trimmer on Russell Long’s 12m Clipper in the 1980 Defender Series. Not one to take a break, Jim sailed in the 1997-98 Whitbread Round the World Race on George Collin’s entry Chessie Racing.

After stepping down from running North Sails Chesapeake, Jim later managed North Sails' marketing department and influenced the company's worldwide image. He owned a succession of boats and most recently raced his Mumm 30 and J/70 with his two sons as well as being a highly sought after tactician in Superyacht circuit, primarily on the schooner Elena and J Class yacht Shamrock.

Allsopp was a Life Member of the Star Class. Not only did he enjoy sailing the Star, he was grateful for his Gold, Silver & Blue Stars. But it was his Life Membership he cherished in the class, and that kept him connected to all of us.

Jim will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Thanks to Rick Rundle for his editorial contributions.

Voting Results of 2016 Annual General Meeting

Announcements - Author: Barbara Beigel Vosbury - April 10, 2016

Results of voting at the ISCYRA 2016 Annual Meeting:
Resolution #1 - for 341, against 12
Resolution #2 - for 167, against 186
Resolution #3 - for 257, against 87
Resolution #4 - for 342, against 11
Resolution #5 - withdrawn
Resolution #6 - for 70, against 289
Resolution #7 - withdrawn
Resolution #8 - for 274, against 79
Resolution #9 - for 233, against 120

See text of resolutions

To: All Fleet Officers and Members of the ISCYRA
From: Central Office, February 29, 2016
RE: 2016 Annual Meeting

Dear Fleet Officers and Members of the ISCYRA,

The Annual General Meeting of the Membership of the ISCYRA will take place at the Coral Reef Yacht Club, Friday 8 April, 2016 in the South Side Dining Room at 1600 hours EDT. Attached please find the Resolutions that will be presented and below is the Agenda for the meeting. Delegate Proxies will be sent via email to Fleet Officers by 4 March 2016. We look forward to your attendance.


I. Call to Order, Richard Burgess, IGC Chair
II. Reading of the Minutes
III. Reports of the ISCYRA Officers
IV. Ratification of the IRC and the IJ
V. Ratification and Revocation of fleet charters
VI. Unfinished Business
VII. Proposed Amendments
VIII. Other new business and open discussion concerning current subjects of interest
IX. Adjournment 

Class Management Committee Announcement

Announcements - Author: Class Management Committee - May 01, 2016

The International Star Class Yacht Racing Association’s Class Management Committee (CMC) would like to announce the appointment of a new Executive Director. Effective May 1, 2016, Jon VanderMolen will assume the role of Executive Director.

Jon has been a member of the Star Class since 1985. He is currently a Life Member from the Gull Lake Fleet at Gull Lake, Michigan, District 4. Jon has served as the Gull Lake Fleet Captain for 15 years and three terms as the District 4 Secretary. He has been involved in major regatta planning as organizer of the 2003 Spring Championship of the Western Hemisphere, and the 2008 North American Championships.

In addition, the CMC has hired One Design Management (ODM) to operate the Class’ administrative duties. ODM partners, Jerelyn Biehl and Sherri Campbell, will operate the day-to-day business of the Star Class office. Jerelyn and Sherri are professional class managers and located in San Diego, California, USA. ODM manages several of the top international One Design classes in the world and the CMC believes the Star Class will benefit greatly from ODM’s knowledge and experience.

The CMC would also like to thank Barbara Vosbury for her eight years of service to the Star Class, and wish her well in her new endeavors.

J. J. Bracony, Brazilian Star Sailor of 1948

Human Interest - Author: Darke de Mattos - May 19, 2016

Bracony with Olympic torch

Nowadays, Stars in Rio de Janeiro waters are a flamboyant glamorous class, but it was not always so. The class owes its cradle to two characters: Joao Jose Bracony, known by his friends as JJ and the Emperor of Japan.

In the thirties and early forties Rio yacht sailing was concentrated in the Anglo-German colony at the west side of the bay. With the war, they started to fight each other and sport sailing vanished. There were only two Stars existing, one with a small cabin and the other, though within original plans, was too heavy due to the use of improper Brazilian timber.

Following Japan striking Pearl Harbor, Brazil joined the allies and our fuel tanks went dry. With a twenty by four nautical miles sheltered waters bay, yachts had to sail or row. Since there was an official Star plan existent, a one off boat was built and named Enif. Now we had three Stars but were far from a class. So, there was the decision of popularize sailing activity and the Star boat was the chosen one. 

This is the moment that JJ takes upon him the challenge of the project. We had nothing and had to start from scratch. Inaugurated as Captain of our maintenance workshop, he had it transformed into a wooden boat factory. Boats had to be stiff enough to allow racing, totally compatible with ISCYRA and cheap enough to be sold in installments. It was the pursue of a dream, not profit. He had to imagine, project, sample try and devise a Ford production line way of life. He produced templates, tried Brazilian timber well-matched, and figured how to bend and glue planking in them. Powered hand tools were still to be invented. Hardware was a problem in itself. Most mast standing rigging were spliced and had the loop sledded into position. Since Stars mainsail slides in grooves, fittings had to be special. There was no place to buy them. So, JJ had to build a special metal workshop to develop, manufacture and appropriately supply production. 

Rules are to be complied no matter how silly they might be. At the time Stars had floor boards, no self floating device, a row, anchor and appropriate length of rope, bucket and a sponge to keep them dry. Bailers came by many years later. Several Star owners were crewed by their wives. Hauling in a Star jib is not a light-hearted job. We were then still figuring if a crew person should be agile and light to bail and dry without disturbing balance or should be a heavy rhino stile to keep the boat upright. So, JJ devised a small, light and not jamming winch for the job. Excepting sails, boats were delivered ready to race to the new owners. This research and trial and error taught JJ into an outstanding helmsman.

Star seed sprouted and when the war blew itself away, there were forty three Stars sailing. Then, the industry came to life and it was pointless to go on with our production. One of these wooden Stars was present in Havana – Cuba for the world championship of 1946. She was named Toro and graded 22nd.

In 1948, JJ became an Olympic athlete by leading the Brazilian Star team in the London’s games. He was then twenty nine years old. From being airline captain to coffee planter JJ could be known as a jack of a thousand trades. In his lifetime, three times he knew richness and bankruptcy. 

With the Olympic Games coming to Rio de Janeiro in this 2016, a torch was lit in Athens and brought in tour around Brazil. Known Brazilian athletes with special reference to Olympic ones are invited to carry the torch, so, JJ gathering whatever stamina was left in him, performed his penultimate mission by carrying the torch in the town of Vila Velha in the Espirito Santo (Holy Ghost) State. A few days later, on July 7th, as old sailors do, JJ faded away. He was then ninety seven years old.

Goodbye dear racing foe. Please do not forget your last mission, which is to whisper at the Lord’s ear: “Keep Stars Olympic and alive”.

On May 17, in Old Town, Rio De Janeiro, John Joseph Bracony carried the Olympic torch in the garden of his building, due to his advanced age and health problems. 
He is 97 years old and sailed in London 1948 in the Star class.

Here we can see how relevant the Star class is along the history and still very active because of YOU.

1948 olympics

Update to Class Rules

Announcements - Author: Class Management Committee - June 08, 2016

The recent printing of the LOG has incorporated all of the 2015 Resolutions that received the necessary number of votes to pass. Unfortunately there were two - STCR 8.3 and SPEC 5.3 that were not included in the most recent printing.

The necessary changes to these rules have been amended in our master rule file and can be seen viewed through the Class Rules section of this site. The next printing of the LOG will incorporate the language as seen in theis electronic version.

Entry Date for 2016 European Championship Extended

Announcements - Author: Jerelyn Biehl - June 20, 2016

The Star Class IGC has approved an extension of the European Championship entry deadline for 2 weeks from June 23 until July 7.

Information on the European Championship to be held July 12-17 at Warnemunde Sailing Week is at the webpage and also on this website.

USA’s National Sailing Hall of Fame Inducts Ficker and Burnham

Human Interest - Author: NSHOF - July 11, 2016

The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) today announced the nine people who will make up its 2016 class of inductees which includes the legendary sailing champion (Star Worlds, Congressional Cup and America’s Cup) Bill Ficker (Newport Beach, Calif.).

Additionally, America’s Cup sailor and Star World Champion Malin Burnham (San Diego, Calif.) will be recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bill Ficker: One afternoon in 1970, Bill Ficker, the Star World Champion (1958) and Congressional Cup winner (1974) who would steer Intrepid to an America’s Cup win that year, encountered Ted Turner after winning a trial race in Newport, Rhode Island. "He walked up to me," Ficker recalls," and said, 'Ficka is quicka.' The next day he arrived with a box full of buttons bearing that slogan. I cringed a little bit."

Putting aside superior tactics and his allocation of responsibility that produced a happy boat, Ficker credits Cal Tech with Intrepid’s quickness. “They interpreted all our speed data,” he says. "We sailed precisely to the numbers they gave us. The crew was very disciplined. Tactician Steve van Dyck and navigator Peter Wilson did a good job keeping me on the numbers." 

Bill Ficker has had a cat bird seat for watching both his beloved Star class and the America’s Cup go through significant changes. The Star class was one of the few games in town 75 years ago, and at one time, the only class with a world championship regatta. He applauds its ability to police itself and to adapt to new materials and technology. Ficker helped direct that adaptation as a member of the class’s technical committee.

Malin Burnham: In 1945, at age 17, Malin Burnham became the youngest ever to win the Star World Championship. Fellow sailors say he's the best natural helmsman they've seen. That's part of it. The rest has to do with the seven virtues he was taught in the San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC) junior program. We all know them: commitment, dedication, hard work, teamwork, follow through, playing by the rules, and planning ahead. 

We all give them lip service while Burnham has made them his mantra. He was a major contributor to a new junior sailing center at the yacht club on one condition: that the seven virtues would not only be taught there, but indelibly imprinted on the building. One of those virtues, playing by the rules, cost him a second Star World Championship. He and crew Jim Reynolds had a strong lead in the 1963 series in Chicago. "In race four, the leech of the main touched the windward mark," Reynolds says. No one saw the infringement, but Burnham immediately dropped out.

2020 Olympics by Tom Londrigan

Announcements - Author: Tom Londrigan - July 14, 2016

In November 2016, the World Sailing Council and Committees will review the 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition and provide feedback on possible changes to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.  

In February 2017, a special World Sailing Council meeting will be convened to decide on the final proposal to be made to the International Olympic Committee (“IOC”). The IOC Executive Board will then make the final decision in June 2017.  World Sailing has already approved the changes to their regulations to allow for a potential change and World Sailing has already approved the procedure for reviewing any proposed changes. Please click these two links for further information….

World Sailing’s has taken these measures in reaction to IOC’s new “Agenda 2020.” Agenda 2020 provides a new strategic roadmap for the Olympic movement under the main headings of sustainability, credibility and youth. The IOC’s approach to future Olympic Games includes moving from a “Sport based” to an “Event based” model, a clear target of achieving 50/50 gender equality at the Tokyo 2020 Games and a framework of a total number of approximately 10,500 athletes and approximately 310 events in the overall Olympic events.  The move to an 
event-based model through Olympic Agenda 2020 also highlights the flexibility for the IOC to consider the event programmes proposed by each International Federation while reflecting innovations in the respective sports.

Currently, Olympic sailing enjoys ten events in six different classes of boats: 

One Person Dinghy - Men (Laser)
One Person Dinghy - Women (Laser radial)
Two Person Dinghy - Men (470)
Two Person Dinghy - Women (470) 
Two Person Skiff - Men (49er)
Two Person Skiff - Women (49erFx)
One Person Dinghy Heavy - Men (Finn)
Windsurfing- Men (RS:X)
Windsurfing- Women (RS:X)
Multi-hull - Mixed (Nacra 17)

In light of the IOC’s 2020 Agenda, sailing appears to comply with the “event based” objective and the youth target but has not yet reached its goal of gender equality. Currently, an Olympic sailing team would be comprised of 6 men and 5 women as well as two other sailors in the “mixed” event. World Sailings deliberations this year raise significant questions for our Class. 

1) Should keelboats be in the Olympics?   I think we all agree that one design Keelboat racing is the pinnacle of yacht racing and draws out the best talent in our sport.
Exclusion of one design keelboats ignores our best sailing talent and is not reflective of the pinnacle of our sport.  2012 Olympic sailing best illustrated this point.  The Star racing reflected the top talent in the sport of sailing, to finish last in London was an honor.  It could be argued that our last place finisher would have fared quite well in many of the other events. We should step forward and advocate including one design 
Keelboat racing in the Olympics. Including a two man keelboat and a three woman keelboat would achieve the goal of gender equality and reflect the wide range of sailing talent and events that comprise our great sport.

2) Should the Star be included in the Olympics?  Pride compels us to say “yes”. Practicality suggests that the Star is one of the few options for keelboats as it is a two person team and keeps the numbers of athletes manageable.  A new Class for 2020 seems improbable.  Our current champions are at the top of the sport of sailing and we have enjoyed a long history in the Olympics.  However, a return to the Olympics should turn on what is best for our Class.

3) Is inclusion in the Olympics good for the Star Class?  This is the most important question.   Historically, Olympics Classes have failed to maintain membership and have died on the vine, the Star Class excluded.  The Star has historically been an exception to this trend until the last 12 years 2000-2012.  During those years, the cost of the boat (or even the perception of the cost of the boat) and ability to compete with heavily funded 
Olympic programs has hurt membership.  We lost possibly 50% of our membership. Is this due to the Olympics?  This is a valid debate. In my opinion, these last few years have seen our Class thrive.  Our Worlds and Continental events have been strong and the competition more balanced.  Our fleet and district activity however is doing poorly.  

Local participation may only be a problem for the USA and Canada, I defer to others in Europe and South America as to their opinion of local participation.  The SSL has been a great help for our profile, mainly in Europe though.  Is returning to the Olympics like dating your ex-wife?  Our Olympic hangover seems to be over, now do we go back date our ex-wife and find ourselves four years later having to start over again but with less boats and sailors?

4) What is the opinion of our membership?   Again, I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but I have only encountered a few sailors in the USA or Canada that are excited about the prospect of returning to the Olympics.  However, if South America and Europe feels strongly about returning, I don’t think the North American sentiment should rule the day.  We have seen growth in South America and Europe and if our membership demands inclusion the Olympics then we should listen.  One final note on this front, if another keelboat class is trying to be included in the Olympics and that Class would compete for our members, we probably have no choice but to seek inclusion to the Olympics or we may suffer a decline in our membership.

5) Should ISCYRA actively pursue inclusion, what message are we sending to members merely by seeking inclusion?  This turns upon our members’ opinion.  If membership 
feels we should try to get back in then we must put forth the effort.  Win or lose, it will be okay, but if we don’t try it would be a disservice to our members.  If membership is opposed, then I feel we should walk away and not engage the World Sailing Council other than promoting the inclusion of keelboats; move with confidence, let the Class know, one way or the other. 

Nice Star Fleet Honors Their City’s Tragedy

Announcements - Author: Jean-François Puissegur - July 18, 2016

As you may know the Nice Star fleet had been deeply touched by the terrorist attack in front of the "Baie des Anges". Nobody was killed in the star fleet but we all know somebody who lost a children, a mother, a wife, a friend…

Our city and all the members of the fleet and of the Club Nautique de Nice are devastated.

On Sunday 07/15 we should have sailed the Asteria Cup, but we decided to set up a ceremony in front of the “Promenade des Anglais” where the attack happened, to keep all that 84 people in our prayers and in our heart.

Nice is a land of freedom, a land of hope, a land of peace. We will keep on living, sailing, We will remain standing!

From Nice with love and Hope,
Jean-François Puissegur
ISCYRA – 9th district assistant secretary 

John M. MacCausland 1933 - 2016

Human Interest - Author: John MacCausland - July 25, 2016

John M. MacCausland, known to most of the Star community as Big Mac, passed away on Saturday, July 23, 2016. Big Mac was more than just a Star sailor. It has been said that, "Big Mac was the Star Class." He was passionate about it and his life work revolved around Stars. He was a driving force in the class for over 50 years and was the current Rear Commodore.

John's passion for sailing was ignited during his childhood summers at the Jersey shore where he raced small, one-design boats. He began sailing Star boats in the 1960s, achieving great success in District 2 regattas and International events. He finished third in the 1984 North Americans and won a daily race award at the 1973 World's. He served as North American Class Vice President during the 1980's and 1990's. During this time, he organized many continental championships, and set a new standard for excellence for Silver Star events. He was instrumental in updating many Star class rules to modern standards.

In addition to racing Stars and working behind the scenes at the Class, he ran a family-owned Star boat supply business. In the 1980s and 1990s, Big Mac's van was a staple at Star events providing parts and service. But it was not the parts he provided that made his business special, it was the time he invested with each sailor. Whether you needed just one cleat or a whole new rigged mast, he was there to help and offer advice because he loved the Star. Many Star sailors enjoyed seeking Big Mac's counsel and advice.

In 2006, the Star Class awarded John the Harry Nye Trophy for his years of outstanding service to the Star Class. He was passionate about improving the Star Class for all sailors – from the weekend lake sailor to the World Champion. He truly loved the sport.

In his racing days, John was a competitor and a gentleman on the water. In his administrative capacity with the class, he was attentive to details and always fair. In his business, he was a professional that went the extra mile. To his friends and family, he was loving and fiercely loyal and always ready with a good practical joke. Many will miss Big Mac, but know he is glad to be back with the only thing he loved more than Stars, his wife, Ruth.

Funeral services from 3 to 5 Sunday, July 31. Schetter Funeral Home , 304 Marlton Pike W, Cherry Hill, NJ. 08002. A repast at the Cooper River Yacht Club to follow.

From Rick Burgess:
I have to pass on a story about my first meeting with my friend, John MacCausland.

In 1968 I was sailing in a regatta in Seaside Park, NJ. In those days we always sailed triangle courses. Being a young, full of himself, person I thought I had an overlap at the reach mark and said so to John. At the time, I did not know him but was aware of who he was. Anyway, I asked for the room I thought I was entitled to but John just turned around and growled at me. Needless to say, I did not pursue it any longer. After the race John came up to me in the parking lot and introduced himself to me. We chatted a while and from that time on a friendship developed that only grew stronger as the years went by. He will be very much missed by Jan and myself.

From Xavier Rohart:
I’m so sad to hear that… Will miss him a lot…

I will remember so much upwind crossing and downwind fight always with this typical big smile and fighting spirit…

Repose en paix

From Mark Reynolds:
So sorry to hear this. John was a guy that probably helped me more with my business than anyone else, in fact not probably, he did help me more than anyone. When I first started I received business and Star class wisdom from John which continued over the years, advice that I still benefit from today. It was always a joy to do business with John. I was so glad to be able to see him for the last time a few years back at the Tomahawk. We will miss him.

From Larry Whipple:
One Bacardi cup my wallet was stolen from my trailer box. This was probably 30 years ago. So Big Mac found about this about this and came up to me and said how much much money was in your wallet? I said, not sure, maybe two hundred. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a large roll of cash and started counting off 100 dollar bills. When he got to 20 of them, he said will that last you for the regatta? After the regatta when I got home I sent him a check for two grand. He called me and said I think you paid me too much. He knew I did not, but that was his way of saying thanks for sending me back the money. We should all rejoice in his life and not be so sad in his passing. He is for sure in a better place. A better place for sure! Whip

From Bill Allen:
I first met Big Mac at the 1984 NAs in Westport. We had a very competitive battle then and many times over the next 15 years. Along the way, I figured out that I didn't need to bring parts, or even tools, to major events because Big Mac was always there with whatever I needed and a smile. He and son John helped me many a night get ready for the next day. I'd ask if I could help rig a new mast and the response was yes, stay out of the way! But I appreciate Big Mac most for his mentoring as I got into class administration. Our weekly phone calls were invaluable. No one has ever done more to help and promote the Star Class in North America. 

I will always remember Big Mac as a fierce competitor, a helpful parts supplier, an excellent class officer and mentor, and most of all, a friend. Fair sailing Big Mac.

From Bill Buchan:
I am so sorry to hear of John's passing, he was such a good friend as well as such a help during my years building Stars. Sadly, we hadn't communicated with each other lately but he was on my mind constantly, just a few days ago I was thinking that I should give him a call. It goes without saying that John was a very accomplished sailor as well, I remember many races where we were battling it out for whatever place we had our eye on at the time.

From Peter Dirk Siemsen:
With great regret I heard that my long-time friend John has passed away. Please transmit my sympathy to his family. 

John was one of the mainstay of the Star Class for many years and one of the biggest consumers of Coke I have ever met. We shall miss him.

Joe Duplin, World Champion 1934-2016

Human Interest - Author: Star Class - August 08, 2016

Joseph Duplin, of Winthrop, Massachusetts, a Star World Champion, died August 7, 2016. He "did the impossible" in 1963 winning both the North American Championship and the World's Championship within a single three week span, against starting line-ups totaling 129 of the world's finest skippers. The closest previous approach to such a feat was Duarte Bello's 1962 bid, when he won the European Championship in a field of 47 and then was runner-up in the 1962 World's among 73. Duplin was named the 1963 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.

In 1966 Duplin also won the European Star Class Championship, sailing with Fritz Reiss at Varburg, Sweden. Joe was one of the sailing coaches for the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team for both the 1972 Munich and 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Also in 1963, Joe was named Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.

Duplin and his crew Francis Dolan took the championship at Chicago under difficulties of unsteady breezes and all kinds of weather and sea conditions. While others broke down, touched marks, or simply went the wrong way in the shifting winds, Duplin never won a race but never fell below 9th. His "Star of the Sea" caught and passed the fastest of the fleet whenever the heat was on, and he was able to keep her up front once she got there.

Tufts University hired Joe Duplin, as head coach in 1967. Duplin, whose father owned a boat shop in Winthrop, Massachusetts, was always a major presence in college sailing. The coach at MIT for the previous six years, his leadership gave Tufts immediate credibility. Duplin's first team featured all-Americans Dave Curtis and Charles Loutrel, who earned the honors in the first year they were presented. Joe was inducted into the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association Hall of Fame in Newport, RI, for a Lifetime Service Award in 2007-2008. 

Duplin was described as "bigger than life, physically huge -- six feet one and barrel-chested, an innovator and a risk taker." He was a star on the football field in high school.

Love is in the Stars

Human Interest - Author: The DeCouteaus - August 10, 2016

They had only been dating for a couple months and it was almost her birthday. Unsure of what to get, and wanting a gift that would truly be appreciated, he decided to ask what she would like. With little hesitation she answered, “"I would like a sailing lesson." Really, he thought, this is too good to be true! Sailing was the passion of his life, and that was what she wanted for her birthday, things were going well. Derek started sailing star boats in 1977 and has been hooked ever since.

With a glance at the calendar, Derek noticed the Jack and Jill race of the Budd Inlet fleet on Puget Sound, Washington, was close to Michelle's birthday. Being a practical person, and needing crew, he thought that would be a good day for the sailing lesson. However, not wanting to cause pre-race anxiety for his student (crew), Derek decided not to mention to Michelle that her birthday sailing lesson would be during a race.

The day was perfect, Derek thought, 75 degrees, 7-9 knots of breeze and a girl who wanted to go racing! Actually, it was a girl who wanted a sailing lesson and clueless about the race. Minor detail!

At the marina, Derek went to work getting the boat ready while Michelle intently observed. She had only admired pictures and videos of the star boat and now, with excitement, she was ready to go sailing. Derek started his tutorial, more like a crash course, as they left the dock. Once out of the marina, other star boats could be seen, and that was when Derek shared that they were about to participate in a race. "What!" Michelle said with panic, "I've never been in a star boat, I can't race!" 

As they sailed to the course, Derek assured Michelle that he would give instructions and the race would be fun! Although not completely convinced, she decided to be a good sport and go with it. After all, Derek was experienced, he was confident and, Michelle thought, very cute! Derek was able to pull off a win in spite of the challenge of having inexperienced crew. And even better, Michelle enjoyed sailing in the star and wanted to go out again. This was the beginning of a summer of racing together. 

Deciding it would be a good to have crew for the rest of his life, Derek proposed to Michelle, and they tied the knot on July 4, 2016, aboard the "Lady Washington". 

Derek and Michelle DeCouteau are now both happily married star boat owners. It was in the stars these two were meant to be!

Chris Rogers 1950 - 2016

Human Interest August 16, 2016

Theodore Christopher Rogers was born in Ithaca, New York, February 6, 1950. A 1974 graduate from Cornell University, Chris spent the first part of his life in Miami, Florida as a Boat Broker, Equitable Agent, and sailor. He moved back to Ithaca, NY with his son in 2008. An outstanding athlete, he grew up under the tutelage of his athletic parents, sailed competitively with his father for over forty-five years, excelled in the international arena as a sailor, was on the 1980 Olympic Sailing Team, and was devoted to the International Star Class and its many outstanding sailors.

A single parent, he created endless opportunities for his son, who has become an outstanding athlete, sailor, and admirable young man. Chris was also a consummate Cornellian and generously supported numerous university athletic and academic endeavors. With Zack Shulman, he spearheaded the creation of the “Corporate Roundtable”; an integral part of Entrepreneurship at Cornell. 

He was a partner and Senior Managing Director - New Business for Hamershlag Sulzberger Borg Inc., contributing visionary ideas and world wide connections to the company goal of investing in “human capital” and philanthropic work. Chris lived life with tenacious energy, heart, and integrity. 

He is loved and will be missed by many. “Sail away TCR!…”

The Star Class was a very big part of Chris' life starting as a youth sailing in the Ithaca fleet, District 12, to sailing on Lake Hopatcong, NJ in July of this year at the Tomahawk Regatta with Bob Krahulik. He also was very proud to have sailed in something like 25-40 consecutive Bacardi Cups. In the Star Class history he is listed in 1998 and 2000 crewing for Ding Schoonmaker, 2001 and 2004 with Jock Kohlhas, 2002 with Bert Collins, 2003 with Rick Peters, 2005, 2012, and 2013 with Joe Bainton, 2006 with Carroll Beek, 2007 with Timothy Seeling, 2008 with Bill Fields, 2009 with John Bainton, in 2011 he skippered with crew Mark Dolan, and crewed in 2014 with Doug Smith. 

Chris Rogers and Bill Buchan setting up "Old Faithful", #7260, during the 1992 Worlds at San Francisco, one of the many in which he sailed.

ISCYRA Welcomes New Life Members

Announcements - Author: Star Class Office - August 30, 2016

The CMC recently voted acceptance to Michel Niklaus (Geneva) and Foss Miller (Puget Sound) as Life Members of the Star Class; both with longstanding history as sailors and contributors to the Star Class. 

Life membership is outlined in the LOG and allows 100 members. Applications can be submitted for consideration and will be placed on the waiting list. If you are interested in being considered, please contact the ISCYRA office ( for an application. 

Jon Vandermolen, Executive Director 
Jerelyn Biehl & Sherri Campbell, ISCYRA office

Donald Gray 1931 - 2016

Human Interest September 03, 2016

New Haven, Connecticut attorney Donald A. Gray, Jr., 84, died July 9, 2016. He was life member #61 of the Star Class.

Born in Bronxville, NY, attorney Gray graduated from The Hotchkiss School, Class of 1950, and Yale University, Class of 1954. He was a U.S. Navy Korean Conflict Veteran and a retired President and General Counsel for The Western Connecticut Industrial Council Inc., an exclusive association of manufacturers, retiring with over 30 years of service.

Holder of three blue chevrons won in Star Class events, he bought his first Star Boat In 1949 from Skip Etchells, #2857, which he named "Barbie" and competed at the 1950 1st District Championship, then called “The Atlantic Coast Championship”, finishing third. 

In 1996, after a long hiatus, Don bought a boat built by Mader for Durward Knowles, #7306, and joined the Mid-Connecticut Star Fleet. In 1999 he bought a new Mader from John MacCausland, #7964, and then in 2003 he bought yet another new Mader, #8152. He was out on the water consistently and could be counted on to show up for fleet events. The last year he actively competed was 2011. Health concerns compelled him to retire after the 2011 season.

On August 27, 2016, a memorial event was held at Mid-Connecticut Star Fleet’s S mark.

Memorial at MID fleet's "S" mark.

Richard Sands 1929 - 2016

Announcements Human Interest - Author: Hornell Evening Tribune - September 14, 2016

Richard Sands, 86, passed away peacefully Wednesday (Aug. 31, 2016) with family by his side following a long illness.

Richard was born Nov. 18, 1929 in Auburn, NY. Growing up in Skaneateles, he developed a passion for all things sailing and racing Comet and Star Class boats in particular. Dick graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, earned his Bachelor of Science from Oberlin College and Master of Science and PhD's from Syracuse University.

He moved to Alfred, N.Y. in 1956 to begin a 41-year career teaching Organic Chemistry at Alfred University, retiring in 1997. They say that when Dick first arrived in Alfred his wife Marge was pushing the car!

Dick was very active in the community; serving on or chairing many University committees over the years. He was a life time member of the Alfred Fire Department and Ambulance Service (serving 10 years as assistant chief and five years as chief) and the Allegany County Fire Chiefs Association. For many years you could see Dick manning the "High Striker" for the fire department at the Hot Dog Day Festival. He also was the captain of the 12th District Keuka Lake Star fleet founded in 1933.

Dick was predeceased by his beloved wife, Margery; and his parents, John Dayton and Angie Whitman Sands.

He is survived by his three daughters, Marguerite Sands of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Virginia M. Sands of Eugene, Oregon and Elizabeth Dayton (Tom) Stewart of West Chester, Pa.; his grandson Joshua Dayton Stewart of Downingtown, Pa.; his brother and sister-in-law, John and Eileen Sands of Corning, N.Y.; a niece, Christine (Matt) Vizzari and nephew Paul (Jennifer) Sands; and a very special family friend, Jumah Darley without whose loving and compassionate care we would not have had the past six years.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 at 2 p.m. at the Union University Church, North Main Street, Alfred, with Rev. Christian R. Mattison officiating. Burial will be at the Alfred Rural Cemetery at the convenience of the family.

Review of Electronic Equipment

Technical - Author: Brian Cramer, TAB Chairman - September 27, 2016

The TAB has been asked to review different types of electronic equipment being considered for use in Star Class racing and their compliance with the new rule 31.2.6. Part of this review is to incorporate the physical capabilities of the electronic equipment with the intent of the rule.

The TAB wishes to remind all members of the Warning to boatbuilders, sailmakers and owners which is incorporated into the Star Class Rules and Specifications. "When considering anything in connection with the boat or its sails or equipment which is not within established practice in the International Star Class or is not clearly covered by plans or specifications, you must assume that it is illegal, and must obtain a ruling from the Technical Advisory Board before attempting it."

Once the TAB has completed its review, the findings will be published.

Thank you for your patience, 
Brian Cramer TAB Chairman

Ann Beach, Life Member 1927-2016

Human Interest September 28, 2016

Ann Dandridge Franklin Beach, longtime Annapolis, Maryland resident, sailor, computer pioneer, and wife of Rodney V. Beach, former head of the Key School in Annapolis, passed away on August 28, 2016, in Smithfield, Rhode Island, after a brief illness. 

Ann was born in Flushing, New York in 1927. She was the daughter of Lewis B. Franklin and Martha Dandridge Franklin; her father was a banker and the longtime treasurer for the Episcopal Church in the U.S. She attended Chatham Hall and Vassar, graduating from Vassar in 1947 with a degree in math at the age of just 20. 

In her memoirs, Ann confesses that, during her teens and early twenties, she was "obsessed with sailing." Her family spent the summers in Noroton, Connecticut, and she learned to sail in Wee Scots at the Noroton yacht club. By age 14, she was crewing regularly on Star class boats. The Star class sailors in Noroton were a fast crowd; two of Ann's friends and regular skippers were Hilary Smart and Owen Torrey, Jr., who won gold and bronze medals, respectively, in sailing at the 1948 Olympics in London. Unfortunately, Olympic sailing was not open to women at that time. 

During World War II, Ann became Fleet Secretary for the Central Long Island Sound Star fleet, and helped to organize the 1945 Star world championships. Fifty-five years later, in 2000, she reprised a similar role when the Star world championships were held in Annapolis. Ann was one of 100 life members of the International Star Class Yacht Racing Association. 

After graduating from Vassar, Ann moved to New York City and found a job as, nominally, a librarian at IBM's new Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory at Columbia University. This was an exciting time to be working for IBM, the Apple/Google of its day. Ann put her math degree to good use, and was trained to use the new calculating machines. She worked on a high-profile IBM project to determine more precisely the position of the moon which IBM used to show the public the capabilities of its latest machine. IBM's "lunar ephemeris" was the basis for the orbital calculations of the NASA moon programs in the 1960s, including the Apollo landings. 

Ann also did calculations on her machine for Dr. S. Chandrasekhar, the Nobel laureate and famed Indian-American astrophysicist. In 1951, at age 24, she co-authored a paper with Dr. Chandrasekhar on radiative transfer in the atmospheres of stars - Dr. Chandrasekhar supplied the physics, Ann and her IBM machine crunched the numbers. 

In 1952, Ann married Rodney VanRychen Beach of Easton, Maryland, who was then a graduate student in history at Columbia. In 1954, they moved to Albany, New York, where Rod took a teaching position at the Emma Willard School. Ann's time charting the moon & stars at IBM ended in 1954 when she became pregnant with twins. In 1958, Rod became the headmaster at the College Preparatory School, a K-12 all-girls' school in Cincinnati, Ohio; in 1977, he became head of the Key School in Annapolis. 

At these schools Ann faithfully "crewed" for her husband in whatever capacity was needed to keep the school racing forward - figuring out the school schedule, advising the school newspaper, working in the business office, and organizing fundraisers and athletic events such as Key School's annual 10k run. She also worked for many years as a tax consultant in Annapolis, a job which satisfied her passions for numbers, puzzles, and people. 

Ann was always active - sailing was succeeded by skiing, bowling, tennis, bridge, organizing the family's annual camping trip out West to a new national park, and knitting a lifetime supply of sweaters and blankets for her children and grandkids. Later in life, Ann and Rod enjoyed being the always-cheerful crew on camping, canoeing, and rafting expeditions organized by their children. 

Ann is survived by four children - Betsy Beach of Providence, Rhode Island, Tom Beach of Berkeley, California, Ed Beach of Columbia, Maryland, and Penny Beach of Boise, Idaho; eight grandchildren; and three great grandchildren. A memorial event for Ann will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.

Reply to Scuttlebutt on Demise of Fleet Racing

Technical - Author: Larry Whipple - October 07, 2016

I have only replied to Sailing Scuttlebutt newsletter 10 times since its inception. In this case, I am responding to the article regarding the demise of fleet racing (#4682).

To start, I am a star boat sailor of 51 years. The class was started in 1911 and organized in 1922. I have sailed 24 world championships in the class, and I’m proud to be on one of the two boards that direct the class. The founders of the class made the fleet the core of the class. Not the 1%. We have relaxed our rules to get to upper level championships, but everyone must sail at least 5 races in their local fleet and be a member of that fleet to be able to race in a World or Continental Championship.

The Star boat is not a destination class, it is a fleet driven class. Sure there are exceptions, but over 94% of our class are fleet sailors. We have life long sailors including Bill Buchan, Lowell North, Tom Blackaller, Paul Cayard, John MacCausland, Augie Diaz, Mark Reynolds, George Szabo, Carl Buchan, Dennis Conner, Vince Brun, Eric Doyle, Malin Burnham, just to name a few. This group averages over 30 years of sailing Star boats. Many over 50 years, fleet driven!

Jacques Puissegur 1937 - 2016

Human Interest - Author: Olivier Godefroy - October 20, 2016

Jacques and Jeff Puissegur

Jacques Puissegur has left us on October 19, 2016, and a page is being turned.

Besides his lovely wife Aline, Jacques had two passions. First, the STAR! Long time a Star sailor, from Algiers (Algeria) with his father in the late 40s and 50s to Nice in the 60s, where he also sailed a cruising Star, Ino. Then, he joined the Nice fleet, where he bought Tracassin, # 3172, the first of a long serie with which he participated in many regattas in France, Italy and Switzerland. He was a very smart competitor, which had earned him the nickname of "The Old fox of the baie des Anges"! He had been twice French Champion, once in 2006 with Jean-Gabriel Charton, and secondly in 2010 with his son Jeff Puisségur. 

For many years (almost 20), he had been the President of the ASPROSTAR (Star boat owner French association), as the French representative, on behalf of all the french Star sailors, in front of the national federation for sail racing - Federation Française de Voile (FFV). 

He was also the soul and organizer of the Nice Christmas Regatta, making this event a big international success. A long time fleet Captain of the Nice fleet, health concerns compelled him to retire after the 2011 season. He then passed the baton to his son Jeff.

On May 21, 2009, he was presented a Certificate of Appreciation, signed by International Star Class Yacht Racing Association President, J. William Allen:

"On behalf of all Star Sailors and the International Star Class Yacht Racing Association we would like to thank you for your undying devotion to our sport. By serving as President of ASPROSTAR and representing all French Star Sailors to the Fédération Française de Voile (FFV) you have helped build the ground work for a great future of Star Sailing in France."

Besides the Star, his other passion was jazz music. A very good pianist with his band, his masters were Fats Waller and Duke Ellington, whose compositions he played in the Côte d’Azur jazz bars.

All his many friends will miss his smile, his energy, his skills and passion, and his "tchatche", a French North-African slang word for volubility.So long, Jacques, we love you.

Olivier Godefroy
Nice Fleet

Jacques Puissegur with Jean Gabriel Charton

Helge Spehr named District 13 Secretary

Human Interest - Author: iSC - October 31, 2016

Helge Spehr has sailed out of Segler-Vereinigung Kiel, Germany for about 45 years. He also often sails in regattas of the Kieler Yacht Club (KYC), Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV, Hamburg) and VSaW (Verein Segelhaus am Wannsee, Berlin), so has good connections to these clubs as well. Additionally he has many friends in smaller clubs in the north of Germany and Denmark.

He has sailed Stars since 2009, the first time in the European championship as a crew. His first personal Star was bought on Ebay. Presently he sails with his son Jesper in the Kieler Fleet (KF) of which he has been the Captain for two years. Kiel Fleet is close to the neighbor-fleets in Gluecksburg, Hamburg and Luebeck.

Spehr started to sail with his parents on big boats as a baby. His career began in the Opti, later Europe, and since 1985 in the Laser class. In the Lasers he placed 10th in the Eurocup-circus in 1987 to 1990, sailing nearly this whole time in Laser regattas. In 2008 he first bought a Star, #6878, followed by #7747 and now #8225.

Spehr is the CEO of a public utility in Rendsburg, Germany.

Voting is now open for the 2016 resolutions

Announcements - Author: Star Class Office - November 17, 2016

Voting for the proposed resolutions is open to all Active and Lifetime members today through December 10. Those Active members with an email address should be receiving their link to vote shortly. Those who have not provided an email address have been mailed a ballot. Any Active member may choose to vote online (your vote will only count once). The link to vote online is

Please see the attached documents for your consideration. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email the Central Office:

Attached are 3 documents:

Bill Solomons 1933-2016

Human Interest - Author: J. Bruce Stennard, from AFLOAT Magazine - November 17, 2016

Bill Solomons at the helm of the 12 metre Vim when she was the trial horse for Gretel, Australia's first America's Cup challenger in 1962.

When Bill Solomons passed from our midst in September. he left the sailing world in mourning, for he was not only one of Australia's finest racing helmsmen but also a gentleman of the first rank. Those who had the privilege of knowing him were all infinitely enriched as much by his quiet demeanour and dignity ashore as they were by the memory of his outstanding racing exploits around the world.

One of the last of the true Corinthian Amateurs, Bill was proud to have successfully represented Australia at the helm of some of our most famous racing yachts. His personal and professional presence will be sorely missed and not least at Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron where he was a distinguished member for 58 years. The Squadron was one of seven yacht clubs to which he belonged but having grown up on Sydney was the one in which he naturally felt most at home.

I knew and admired Bill Solomons for over 50 years and yet at his farewell. as I stood among the many mourners on the Squadron's manicured lawns, listening to the lone piper playing him over the water in a fine Spring rain. I was gripped by a profound sense of loss and regret that I had not spent more time in his company.

There is no more plaintive sound in all the world than the slow and stately Gaelic rhythm of a MacCrimmon pibroch played by a master on the great Highland bagpipes and as the haunting notes sailed out across the greywaters of the Harbour, I was certainly not alone in weeping for a man who had made a deep and lasting impression. Bill Solomons had the genuine and engaging warmth of a diplomat and the impeccable good manners of a man of distinction, which he most certainly was. To his very great credit he treated everyone., no matter who they were, with equaI courtesy and respect.

William Robert Peter Solomons was raised by his paternal grandparents on the water's edge at Elizabeth Bay. As a boy he haunted the local boat shed and there imbibed the fundamentals of sailing that underpinned his life-long passion for boats. In exchange for rowing crews out to their moorings, he was given access to a small gaff-rigged skiff in which he learned to sail.

He was a bright boy who was academically gifted enough to be the youngest ever scholar at Sydney Boys High, the illustrious school in which he excelled in maths and long distance running. As a teenager he and a mate sailed an over-canvassed 10-footer, a cedar skiff with no buoyancy, in which they learned a lot about bailng and staying upright in a blow. In hard southerlies and westerlies they took turns at the tiller, enjoying the thrill of low-level flying as they broad-reached out and back.

Bill was lucky to have been taken under the wing of Sydney's veteran yachting journalist. Lou d'Aipuget. who built him a 12-footer and became something of a father figure for him, taking him aboard his gunter-rigged raised-decker Cherub as they cruised Pittwater during school holidays.

In his eulogy for his father, Bill's elder son, Dr Gregory Solomons, paid tribute to Lou d'Aipuget and a string of other luminaries who served as father figures and mentors and who encouraged and guided the young man. Among the notables was Eric Strain, the English Olympic yachtsman who had raced as a professional in Europe where he became famous as a light-air maestro. Eric insisted that Bill practise steering with his eyes closed and insisted that he not move the tiller beyond the edges of the centreline plank. Those light-air skills were well and truly learned by Bill Solomons who mastered the art of being able to keep a boat moving in little or no breeze.

Bill's talent as a helmsman was such that at the age of 29 he became reserve helmsman for Gretel. Australia's first America's Cup challenger in 1962.

In 1968 Bill skippered the 5.5 Metre Barranjoey at the Acapulco Olympics, crewed by Jim (later Sir James) Hardy and Scott Kauffman. They finished mid-fleet after a Mexican naval barge crashed into the yacht and almost sank her at the dock. Bill spent the 1970s racing Solings and the '80s and '90s in Etchells, and later the Star Class which became his favourite one-design, and spending many years as captain of the Sydney fleet. Bill's swan song was a second in the classic division of the 5.5 Metre worlds in Sydney in 2004. sailing with Mick York and Stuart Grey.

Greg Solomons drew warm smiles and approval when he told the farewell gathering at the Squadron that "Dad's greatest victory was in marrying Mum in Newport. Rhode Island. just 24 hours after the last America's Cup race. The Australian syndicate chairman, Sir Frank Packer, gave the bride away, Jock Sturrock, Gretel's skipper, was Best Man and Bus Mosbacher, Weatherly's winning America's Cup skipper, generously hosted a wonderful wedding reception in the Newport mansion that was the American crew headquarters. President John F Kennedy attended the festivities that "made the newsreels." "It was, Greg said. "a 20th century fairy-tale."

Bill Solomons and his bride.the lovely Athenian-born Faye Coroneos. who was then one of Australia's most glamorous fashion models. became a "brilliant team" whose marriage lasted for 54 years. "They loved each other dearly, Greg told the gathering. "They were perfect for each other. Dad enjoyed his sailing but his greatest love beyond all else was Mum and his family."

Jane Lawrence 1922-2016

Human Interest - Author: Family of Jane Lawrence - December 06, 2016

Jane-Elizabeth Crusoe Lawrence passed away on November 30, 2016. She was born December 24, 1922 in Hollywood CA to Walter R. Crusoe and Lydia Schaeffer Crusoe. She was a great granddaughter of Luther Reeves Wallace. Her father was co-owner and business manager of "Los Angeles Saturday Night", a weekly magazine newspaper and later worked for Binney & Smith in Easton PA.

When the family decided to move East, they settled on Shippan Point in Stamford and Jane-Elizabeth (as she was always called) entered First Grade at Low-Heywood School, becoming an honors graduate and later a member of the Board of Trustees, a President of the Alumni Association and class agent for many years.

During WWII she was a member of Civil Air Patrol, the Aircraft Warning Service and the War Emergency Radio Service. During this time she met her future husband, Dennis Lawrence of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England, a pilot in the Royal Air Force. They were married three years later, on the same day, when they had met, February 22, by Dr. Vincent Daniels at the First Congregational Church, Old Greenwich. They settled in Old Greenwich eventually and raised their three daughters. They are survived by Hilary Lawrence, Avery Lawrence Belicka (Andrew), Alison Lawrence Buxton; five grandchildren, Jessica (Christopher) Kelly, Blair (Patrick) Daley, Gregory Belicka, Brooks (Courtney) Buxton, Reed Buxton, nephew Richard R. Van Loan, niece Peggy Jane Lapin and several nephews and nieces in the USA and England. Dennis predeceased her in 1999.

Community activities were pursued by both. Jane was a member of the Boards of The Garden Club of Old Greenwich, the Greenwich Audubon Society, the Art Barn, the Greenwich Point Committee, the Greenwich Symphony, the Symphony Guild and the Friends of Greenwich Point, while Dennis was active in St. Paul’s Church in Riverside, serving on the Vestry as a Lay Reader and as a teacher in the Sunday School. He later returned to his Anglican roots and was ordained, serving in the newly formed Anglican Church of the Advent in Greenwich. He became the Fleet Chaplain for the OGYC for several years. He also served as a visiting Summer Minister for the Maine SeaCoast Missionary Society on both Monhegan and Matinicus Islands. Both were contributing researchers and editors for Greenwich Historical Society’s publications.

Both were active in sailing circles at Rocky Point Club, Greenwich Cove Racing Association and the Old Greenwich Boat (and later Yacht) Club. Jane was a competitor in the Rhodes 18 Class and the first Instructor for the Junior Program started by GCRA. Dennis ran the YRA races for 20 years without winning the Moosehead. He also had a radio program on WGCH Sunday evenings, courtesy of Sterling E. Watts Hardware, announcing and commenting on the races of that day. 

Jane became more deeply involved with the sailing industry in 1963 when she was secretary to E. W. “Skip” Etchells, naval architect and owner of the Old Greenwich Boat Company, builders of Stars and other small one-design boats and eventually the launching of the Etchells Class. When the Company ceased building, Jane joined John Marshall and Peter Conrad in establishing the first sail loft for North Sails on the East Coast. She later worked with Sobstad Sails as well. In 1980 she became the Assistant to Edward D. Muhlfeld, the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of “Yachting” Magazine.

During many years, Jane also continued activities with the International Star Class. She was editor of the annual LOG and the monthly “Starlights” and had been Fleet Secretary since 1967 for the Central Long Island Sound Fleet, now sailing out of Cedar Point Yacht Club in Westport. She was made an Honorary Special Member of Cedar Point. The Jane C. Lawrence Perpetual Trophy is awarded annually for the CLIS Qualifying Series.

A memorial service will take place at the First Congregational Church of Greenwich, 108 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich CT Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 1:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to The Island Institute, Post Office Box 648, 386 Main Street, Rockland ME 04841, or The Perrot Memorial Library, 90 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich CT 06870,


The following article on Jane Lawrence was published on the Star Class Website OCtober 31, 2016:

Earlier this year Jane expressed a desire to step down as the Central Long Island Sound Star Fleet Secretary. It is noted in the 1967 Log that E. W (Skip) Etchells was Fleet Captain and Mrs. D. (Jane) Lawrence was Secretary. We assume they would have been elected to these positions in late 1966. At the time Jane was working as the office manager at Old Greenwich Boat Co. Skip handed Jane the fleet checkbook one day to pay an expense, as she recalls, the rest was history.

The fleet has been very fortunate to have a Secretary that knows the class, traditions and many of the members around the world. Jane would hitch a ride with one of us to a Gold or Silver Star event and make sure to introduce us to just about everyone at the event. When Jane was not attending she always told those going to say hello to a few people for her. Encouraging emails were sent regularly to our members about championships, regattas and weekend fleet racing.

First thing in the morning Jane could be found greeting, registering and getting caught up with each participant always with a smile at the Bedford Pitcher and when Cedar Point Yacht Club hosted the Districts or North Americans. Of all the regattas, Jane loves the Bedford Pitcher the most because of the history and the beautiful silver trophy. Central Long Island Sound Star Fleet was always one of the first, if not the first, to send dues to Central Office thanks to Jane. Always doing a proper and efficient job. Cedar Point Yacht Club has made her an Honorary Special Member as a recognition to her many years as the Secretary of the Star Fleet.

The Jane C. Lawrence Perpetual Trophy is awarded annually winner of the qualifying series which determines who will represent the fleet in the World Championships. The International Secretary, Ernie Hammer, recognized Jane’s contributions to the class as CLIS Fleet Secretary at the 1986 North Americans in Cleveland. In 1988 Jane edited the Star Log. At the 2009 North American Championships at Cedar Point Yacht Club Jane was recognized for her 43 years of service as our fleet Secretary with the presentation of a beautiful half model of a star.

It has been a great fifty years with her as Fleet Secretary and she will be missed but we will continue to hear from here because of her great love of the Star Class and all her sailing friends around the world.

Four time Olympic Gold Medalist: Paul Elvstrom 1928-2016

Announcements December 07, 2016

ISCYRA official condolences to sailing sport hero GOLD STAR PAUL ELVSTROM.

The Star Class is saddened to hear today about the passing of Danish Sailing Team (Sejlerlandsholdet) Olympic legend Paul Elvstrom at the age of 88. Elvstrom was a 2 x Star World Champion (1966 & 1967) as well as the winner of four Olympic gold medals and eleven world titles in an amazing eight different types of boat, Mr. Elvstrom influenced the sport around the world, and was an inspiration to sailors around the world.

From Lars Grael, ISCYRA President (2014/2017):
Sailing Legend Paul Elvstrom dies at 88.

4 times Olympic Champion and 13 times World Champion, Elvstrom was the first ever great sailing legend at Olympic classes.

Paul was a boat designer and built sails; boats; masts; fittings and sailing gear. Who never had while sailing an Elvstrom bailer or a ratchet block?

He published many rule books with tactical skills entitled "Elvstrom Explains".

At the Star Class his short career was relevant enough to win 1966 and 1967 World`s and George Elder Trophy; Bud Vanderveer Trophy; Commodore Harry Nye Trophy – 1966.

He sailed against my uncles Erik and Axel Schmidt in the Soling Class at Kiel Olympics in 1972. He sold sails to my grandfather's Preben Schmidt 6 Meter "Aileen" in the sixties.

Sailing Idol and Olympic hero, I met Paul and Trine Elvstrom for the 1984 Tornado Class Olympic campaign.

I had the pleasure to sail with and against him for two Olympic campaigns and once together on Super Maxi "Ipanema" (photo above) in a regatta in Palma de Mallorca.

Our friendship made me an Elvstrom Sails sailmaker in Brazil from 1987 till 1993. My oldest daughter Trine Grael name is influenced by Paul's daughter and Tornado crew Trine Elvstrom.

As a sailor, my greatest honor to remember him was not to occasionally beat Paul & Trine (just a few times) in the Tornado Class, but to become the runner-up to his last international title at the 1988 Kiel Week.


Torben Grael: 
"Paul was my greatest idol, and probably of many other sailors of many generations too."

Santiago Lange:
"A true legend and a great example that made a reference for an era of our beloved sport. A true great! The sport of Sailing is mourning today".

Larry Whipple: 
He transformed sailboat racing. Put in the training and hours. Loved the Finn and the Star boat. He was the 1st Robert Sheidt!! Just a real, real cool guy. Obsessed but, so cool.

Mark Reynolds:
I was lucky to visit Mr. Elvstrom in 1986 at his house in Hellerup next to the club. I was just passing through and Jan Persson took me there. He was my idol and educator growing up, his books "Expert Keelboat and Dinghy Racing" and a few years later "Elvstrom Speaks on Yacht Racing" were my bibles. I knew every word! I still utilize his sailmaking advice from his first book.

Dierk Thomsen:
I remember Paul's sailing demonstration at the Star Worlds in Kiel 1966. We had wind conditions where sailors today would not leave the harbour. 8 (eight) bft. westerly to north-west winds which means big waves in Kiel on Stollergrund. Dark grey clouds. If you would see the Star Log 1967 with the cover photo you can imagine what this means. His crew was John Albrechtson from Sweden. The results: 1-3-2-1-11 My memory is that we all were total fascinated how he handled his boat in this conditions.

One year later the worlds in Kopenhagen on the Öresund in front of Skovshoved Harbour the conditions where much lighter, sunny weather, nice winds. He sailed with a young danish sailor Poul Mik-Meyer. Results: 1-12-4-5-4. 5 Races, no discard and star class's own scoring system. Paul 288 points, Lowell North 285 points. Don Trask 283 and Joe Duplin 282 points. It was very very close on the last day. Paul waited at the finishing line until Lowell fined the race - in place 17. Poul was Champion again.

By the way, my dear friend - you can be happy to be an active sailor today. At that time, 1960s, it was the rule that the President of the Star Class could not sail the Worlds. He was in one person Chief Race Committee Chairman and Chief of the International Jury and decided every problem by his own. So he made the decision in Kiel, that the sailors are responsible for their own and have to make their own decision to race or not to race. The Starting Vessel was an old large heavy steamer owned by the Water Department, which means, they could go out in every condition. I remember that Ding Schoonmaker sank his boat. After the race the above mentioned race committee vessel pulled up his star and Ding was able to race next day. Today the race committees feel much more responsible for the security of sailors and boats.

2016 Ballot Results

Announcements - Author: Robert T. Flower Chairman, Balloting Committee - December 14, 2016

Dear Star Class Members,

Thank you for taking the time to vote on the important issues in front of our Class. The results of the voting are below. Resolution #3 DOES NOT PASS, all other Resolutions have passed (two thirds majority required for a resolution to pass).

Also below are the comments from the membership.

Please add any comments for the office here. 
Answered: 15 Skipped: 301

  1. I would have been in favor of amendment # 5 based on the comment, but not on the proposed text that is certainly missing strikeout. 12/10/2016 8:55 AM
  2. Maybe we should state that an International Jury can be replaced with Jury with X number of years in the Star Fleet, so this Jury knows th class inside out. 12/7/2016 12:33 PM
  3. Pretty easy voting process, not sure how many members vote, or even know they can? Thanks Rick 12/7/2016 11:04 AM
  4. None 12/5/2016 11:18 PM
  5. Thank you *** 11/30/2016 12:03 AM
  6. Resolution 2 removes all weight restrictions for crew except for Gold Events. Is this the intent? 11/29/2016 6:12 AM
  7. For proposal #2, I would amend, for the purposes of fairness, if one crew is protested re: weight after the initial weighin, all crewmembers of all boats should be re-weighed. 11/29/2016 5:10 AM
  8. 11/28/2016 12:42 PM
  9. Best Regards 11/28/2016 11:55 AM
  10. As written to Tom #3 has to be rewritten again because it is not correct 11/27/2016 12:58 AM
  11. The way i read #2, the weight rule would only be in effect for gold events.... 11/18/2016 10:50 AM
  12. 2. I've voted against the 2. because deleting the text it looks like there will be no 31 rule on all the events except for gold ones: For Gold events the total crew weight is limited according to the following formula: 11/18/2016 7:15 AM
  13. 11/18/2016 1:13 AM
  14. For the younger generations getting started in the Star Class ages 16-29.... The so called "One and Done" weight rule... is crazy because smaller crews will be at a disadvantage due to the BIG CREWS sweating off their weight just to make weigh in and then eating and drinking all the weight back the next day. THIS WILL BE ABUSED! DO NOT PASS!!!!! Some of the best boat handlers can do a 720 in seconds! THEN WHY do we teach future generations to do 720s, when they commit a foul??? Just because the older men are getting LAZY/Chicken Shit to do a 720! KEEP THIS RULE: It will encourage people to think twice about committing a foul! 11/17/2016 7:25 PM
  15. Great job, Thank You all. 11/17/2016 5:28 PM

Respectfully submitted, 
Robert T. Flower Chairman, Balloting Committee 

Robert W. Lippincott, ES 
Barbara Beigel-Vosbury, AN 
Robert T. Flower, MES

Electronic equipment which meets rule 31.2.6

Announcements Technical - Author: Technical Advisory Board Members - December 18, 2016

The Technical Advisory Board has been asked to clarify what electronic equipment can be used in Star Class racing while satisfying rule 31.2.6. Considering the interest of the Class to contain the cost of Star sailing, the intent of the recent rule change and the opportunities to improve the sailing experience, the TAB has ruled that a boat can race with a single self contained electronic device which provides direction and position based information and a timer. Examples of the approved equipment are TackTick Micronet Race Master, TackTick Micro Compass, Velocitek Shift, Velocitek ProStart and Nautalytics Alloy Digital Compass.

Eight Bells: Herbert Hild, Life Member

Human Interest - Author: Storm Trysail Club - December 26, 2016

Herbert A. Hild, winning yachtsman, sailmaker and family man, dies at 88. He passed away peacefully at his home in Rye, NY on December 11, 2016. 

Herb was born on August 10, 1928 in City Island, NY, where he grew up in the vibrant yachting community, and later established Hild Sails and Island Nautical. The 'HH' logo was the hallmark in many one-design and offshore racing events on Long Island Sound and beyond. Herb's business was founded out of his great love for the water and his expert sailing accomplishments.

Herb was a lifetime member of the Star Class Association and actively raced his Star Boat, Desiree, over a span of 20 years. His sailing highlights included winning the Atlantic Coast Championships twice, in '53 and '63; competing in the Olympic trials, where he qualified as an alternate in 1948; and crewing on the winning Star at the 1963 Bacardi Cup. Numerous other regatta's were won in Star Boats and later in his beloved Tartan 44 and 37, both named Endurance. 

Herb was a member of the American Yacht Club, where he served as Commodore from 1981-82, the Cruising Club of America, the New York Yacht Club, and the Storm Trysail Club. 

Herb is survived by his wife of 64 years, Helen; his daughters Heidi Hild Sommers, Hope Alison Hild and Heather Hild Atwater, his son-in laws David P. Sommers and Nathaniel B. Atwater Jr.; and four grandchildren: Kimberly A. Sommers, Karalyn P. Sommers, Nathaniel B. Atwater lll and Herbert Alan Atwater. He was pre-deceased by his brother Howard M. Hild.

A successful businessman, he was often heard to say, "the harder I work, the luckier I get".

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of Herb Hild to either: City Island Nautical Museum, PO Box 82, City Island, New York 10464 or to the Trustees of Columbia University, In honor of Dr. Leonard Stern, Nephrologist of Herbert A Hild, Attention Executive Director of Development, 630 West 168th Street, P&S 2-421, New York, NY 10032

2016 Christmas Regatta - Trophy Jacques Puissegur

Regatta Reports ISCYRA District 9 - Author: Jean-Gabriel Charton - December 31, 2016

From the 28th to the 30th December 2016, 47 crews were gathered in Nice to compete during the traditional Christmas Regatta. This impressive participation is a record for this event and made it the biggest event of the Star Class in Europe this winter.

The 2016 issue was the 60th anniversary of this historical event of the Star Class. The death of Jacques Puisségur who was for a long time its manager and the ringmaster of the tombola where everbody wins, also added to the emotion and importance of this date. In his memory, the name of the regatta will be "Christmas Regatta - Trophy Jacques Puissegur" in order to thank him for his involvement.

His son Jean-François Puissegur took up the torch and thanks to his commitment, 47 crews met to fight. Among them, many champions of the serie like Xavier Rohart, Emilios Papathanasiou, Fritjof Kleen or Roberto Benamati but also enthusiasts representing 12 nationalities from all over the world. Seduced during his last visit, Joshua Revkin pleased us to come back from USA, sailing this time in family with his father Jim. Thank you guys!

Weather conditions were changing during the three days of racing, as announced the day before during the briefing by the president of the race committee M. Dominique Giorgi. He’s also a Star owner of the fleet of Nice. This meeting was the opportunity to welcome all competitors and even more through a welcome aperitif. Diego Negri came as a neighbor and a friend of the regatta.

The first day brought together the typical conditions of Nice in winter combining sun, flat sea and thermal wind coming from land. What all the participants call year after year "Champagne sailing!". It allowed the race committee to organize two races before returning the fleet ashore for a bbq under the sun before enjoying the terrace of Club Nautique de Nice. At the end of the first day, the podium was made up of Giampero Poggi / Manlio Corsi (ITA 8497 / FDM) followed by Emilios Papathanasiou / Antonis Tsotras (GRE 8434 / GR) and Jean-Gabriel Charton / Olivier Terrol (FRA 8266 / Ni).

On the second day, the fleet left the port after a short delay due to uncertain weather conditions. The thermal wind was much weaker than usual and finally a strong east wind obliged the committee to send back the whole fleet to shore.

On the third and last day, 3 races were run in the traditional weather conditions with a wind weakening for the last one. The departure from the harbor in the morning was accompanied by the sunrise allowing all the crews to photograph themselves in front.

If you have friends who have participated or if you have followed the event on facebook, you see exactly what we mean! At the end, Giampero Poggi and Manlio Corsi won this 60th Christmas Regatta - Trophee Jacques Puissegur for their first participation, followed by Roberto Benamati with Alessandro Vongher and Emilios Papathanasiou with Antonis Tsotras.

The organization of the regatta would like to thank warmly the SSL for its support since many years and for its contribution to the success of the event. This year again the regattas were broadcasted live on Internet with live tracking 2D. To celebrate the anniversary, dozens of caps were offered to competitors with the SSL logo.

We hope to see you again next year and even more participants. We are doing our best to let you live a magical experience on our favorite boat.

The Nice Star Fleet wish you the best for 2017, many successes in your life and in your Star races, of course. Results categories:
1st Master = Giampierro POGGI (ITA)
1st Grand Master = Lorenz Zimmermann (SUI) 
1st Exhalted Grand Master = Daniel Wyss (SUI) 
1st Woman = Claudia Maria Graber (AUT)
1st Junior = Marcel Ceelen (NED)

Richard Slayter 1931-2016

Human Interest - Author: L Austell Slayter - January 05, 2017

Richard Melvin Slayter (SDB)
April 4, 1931 – December 10, 2016

Richard Melvin, “Dick”, Slayter, is remembered by his family and friends as a man who impacted countless lives in countless ways. Richard was the only child of Henry Sands and Enid Reese Slayter. Originally from Glendale CA, he attended Glendale high school and graduated USC School of engineering, cum laude, in 1954. He worked his way through these years as a surveyor throughout southern California. He served in an Army Engineering Mapping Group during the Korean War in Tokyo, Saipan and Tinian. 

After separation from the army in 1955, he supervised construction of the original Illinois State Tollway near Chicago IL. As a supervising engineer, he inspected many bridges and was known as "Sledge Slayter" because he would test the soundness of concrete forms by wielding a sledge hammer against the wooden frames to see if they would fail. It was on the shore of Chicago’s Belmont Harbor where sailing stole his heart in the form of a Star boat. California called him back in 1959 where he immediately signed on with Rick Engineering. He towed his Star boat directly into San Diego Yacht Club, stumbling upon Lowell North at the hoist. 

For the next 34 years Richard, a legendary principal of Rick Engineering, was the chief civil engineer on many landmark projects in San Diego County including La Costa, Rancho Bernardo, Scripps Ranch, Fashion Valley Center, Miramar Ranch North and Lusk Mira Mesa. 

A colleague wrote: "He had quite a reputation at Rick Engineering among the engineers who were sometimes a bit afraid of him but always respected him. He was considered a real expert at all things engineering and taught many people through the years, some who later became leaders at Rick after Dick retired. His imposing stature, square jaw and piercing blue eyes sometimes presented a gruff exterior but covered up a big heart. He had a completely unbiased view of gender (if you were good at what you did, he did not care whether you were male or female) and an uncommon ability to get to the point and move things along. He was a no drama kind of guy!"

Cars and boats occupied his spare time throughout his life. His engineering skills were applied to hot rods as a young man and then to owning and restoring eight different Porsches. His first boat was a Star and he owned and raced four Stars in Illinois and the San Diego Bay Fleet. The first sailing of a Fifth District Green Star was won by Richard Slayter in Feather. Richard encouraged and fostered crew and new skippers in Stars in the fleet. Strong young sons moved him into racing a Petersen 34 and then cruising extensively on his Valiant 40 with his wife, Lynlee. Many lasting friendships were made in ports from Baja to Maine and the Caribbean. 

Among their cruising friends he was known as a belt and suspenders kind of guy. He had parts for his parts. On his boats, as well as all other endeavors, he always made sure everyone had the tools and training to be successful and safe. His dry, sharp wit was enjoyed by everyone he met. 

He is survived by his wife Lynlee Austell, four sons and six grandchildren.

Richard endured the long series of small griefs dealt by Parkinson's Disease. Donations can be made to UCSD Dept. of Neurosciences, Parkinson's Disease Research (4425)

Even with his deteriorating health, he remained a pillar of support for his wife, sons, grandchildren and extended family. "He was my voice of reason during tough times and my inspiration when I felt like giving up. He was my rock and my compass when the seas got rough."

Fair winds and following seas Richard Melvin Slayter. 1931--2016

“Sail the North” in Europe in 2017: IDM and Worlds

Announcements January 28, 2017

The 13th District presents to the European North the best Star boat sailing events in 2017. The International German Championship in Kiel (8 June - 11 June 2017) starts the doubleheader. After that you can drop your boat off to the World Championship free of charge at the club.

Two weeks later the Star World Championships wills tarts 285km away from Kiel in Troense near Svendbord (29 June - 9 July 2017). In a lovely little town the Danish Fleet will present you the nordic Star boat Highlight on a famous sailing area.

We invite you to spend fantastic regattas in the North!

2017 Levin Memorial

Regatta Reports ISCYRA District 20 - Author: Paul Cayard - February 13, 2017

Three races were held Saturday on Biscayne Bay for the Star class. A relatively large fleet of 33 boats were on the race track this morning ready to take on the mild easterly winds.

I am sailing with my son Danny this weekend. Yesterday I flew to Miami from Bermuda where I spent the week visiting my daughter Allie; so I just have to say it, I am having a GREAT week!

Danny and I started the weekend off the way you dream of; winning the first race. We were first to the first mark but it was back and forth the whole race and were only recaptured the lead from Whipple/Sperry in the last 100 meters.

In race two, we had another good start and played the shifts well to finish second to Andy MacDonald and Brad Nichol who had a great day with a 5, 1, 2.

In the third race, I got a bad start but we dug our way out to round the first mark about 6th. The wind was light and fickle, perfect for Danny and I being 50 pounds light. We managed to pass two boats and finish 4th. George Szabo sailed well to win that one.

At the end of day one, Danny and I are leading. It is tight though. The top three boats are separated by 2 points. As you can imagine, I could not be a happier father!

Sunday's forecast is 8-9 knots from the southeast. Perfect conditions for Pencil Neck Racing. (Fun name for being light)

Sunday: The wind had difficulty materializing this morning but we finally got one race going around 12:40 in 6 knots of wind from the southeast.

After yesterday’s results, things were tight at the top and with the fickle conditions today, anything could have happened.

Danny and I had a decent start and shortly after tacked to port to head right, in the middle of the fleet. The wind was fickle and dropping in strength as we neared the windward mark. We rounded about 7th with Augie Diaz in front of us. Augie blazed down the run as usual and rounded the gate with a big lead. At this point the regatta was his.

Racing in conditions like this is very challenging. It is not hard to get a few things wrong and find yourself back in the pack. We were very lucky as most everything we did this weekend turned to gold.

On the second windward leg, Augie and Arnie went to the right and Danny and I stayed a bit more to the left. This worked out for us and we passed Augie. Down the final run to the finish, Augie, again super fast, passed us to finish third but our 4th was all we needed to win the regatta. Gris Dolf and Luke Lawrence won the race with Larry Whipple and Austin Sperry in second.

I haven’t had this much enjoyment from sailing in a while. I experienced this when I raced with both Danny and Allie to Hawaii, twice. That was 10 years ago.

Next for me is IRC racing with the Beau Geste team in Australia at the end of the month.

2017 for 2018 Resolution Form

Announcements - Author: Jon Vandermolen, Executive Director - February 23, 2017

Dear Star Sailors,

The deadline for submitting a Resolution for an ISCYRA rule change is due in the Central Office by 30 March 2017. 

Resolutions submitted on time will be dispersed to the Class Management Committee, the Judiciary Board and the Technical Advisory Board within 5 days of the deadline.

If you have a good idea for a rule change please get with your fleet officers and get a resolution together for a presentation to your fleet. Once your fleet has agreed to go forward your fleet officer should submit the form with a statement of the Fleet meeting where your Resolutions were discussed including Fleet members in attendance.

We look forward to input from you and your Fleet on moving our Class forward!

The 2017 for 2018 Resolutions will be presented to the Fleets at the 2017 Annual Membership meeting in July 2017 at the World Championship.

Best regards,
Jon Vandermolen
Executive Director

Star European Winter Circuit ev. 3/4

Regatta Reports March 05, 2017

The ciruit 3rd leg kicked off in Monaco friday 03/03 on a course shared with the resident Melges 20 fleet. Two races were sailed under beaufort 3-4 conditions form East.

On saturday, very strong winds forced the RC to ground the fleet.

Sunday two more races were sailed in Western Beaufort 4-5 conditions.

Congratulations to Thomas the fleet Cadet who has managed top 3 at every race, key to winning this leg of the circuit where no discard were possible given the number of races.

See you all at the Final in Sanremo, racing will start on march 31st.

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