District 5  Regatta Report

Sat Oct 6th, 2007 through Sun Oct 14th, 2007

John Dane and Austin Sperry, photo by Martin McCarthy

John Dane and Austin Sperry, photo by Martin McCarthy

2008 USA Olympic Team Trials

 

Final Results for sixteen races sailed on Oct. 6 - 14 at California Yacht Club.

Reports by Tom Leweck:
Day One
Floridians Mark Mendelblatt and Magnus Liljedahl jumped into a seven point lead on Day One of the Star Class Olympic Trials. They did it with old-fashioned consistency, on a day where consistency was hard to come by. By putting together a 3-3-1 series, Mendelblatt and Liljedahl got a big ‘leg up’ on the 19-boat fleet that will be racing on the Santa Monica Bay until a week from Sunday.

John Dane and Austin Sperry won the first race by edging George Szabo by just four seconds. But Dane took a double-digit finish in Race Two, while Szabo was doing a horizon job -- winning the race by well over a minute. Szabo looked very solid at that point, but Race Three was his turn to stumble into double-digits, opening the door for Mendelblatt and Liljedahl. After three races, they are the only team in the top four without a double-digit finish.

The Santa Monica Bay was on its best behavior for the opening races. There was bright blue sky without a cloud in sight, and a steady 7-12 knot sea breeze. Spectators enjoyed the warm sun and a view that included Catalina Island, the Malibu coastline and even the Hollywood sign.

Day Two
It’s becoming a ritual. For the second consecutive day Mark Mendelblatt and his crew Magnus Liljedahl won the last race of the day to solidify their spot at the top of the standings for the Star Class Olympic Trials. The team from Florida took an eighth in the first race of the day which helped them to open their lead to eight points over the 19-boat field after five of the 16 races scheduled in this series.

There is a tie for second place between two San Diego sailmakers -- George Szabo and his crew Andrew Scott are tied with Szabo’s boss, Mark Reynolds, who is again sailing with his crew of many years, Hal Haenel. Both teams have 24 points -- three points ahead of John Dane III and John MacCausland who each have 27 points.

Again the Santa Monica Bay was on its best behavior, delivering more breeze than is normal for this time of year. There was a steady 7-10 knot sea breeze that only moved around some 25 degrees as the afternoon progressed. However, the Bay was ‘bumpier’ than one would expect for that wind strength and there were also some frustrating localized voids in the wind patterns.

Day Three
Reportedly, the US Olympic Committee wanted light air venues for their trials to approximate the anticipated sailing conditions in Qingdao, China. Well, they got what they wanted today in the Santa Monica Bay. The white caps seen on both Day One and Day Two of the Star Olympic Trials were noticeably absent, along with the Bay’s bumpy water. Flat water and very light, shifty winds were the order of the day.

On Day Three of the Trials, races were both postponed and abandoned in progress, and at one point the Race Committee even moved the race course down the Bay in search for better air. It was nearly 3PM when they got off the only race of the day in something like six knots -- a breeze that faded as the 19-boat fleet ran to the finish line.

John Dane III and his crew Austin Sperry reveled in the conditions. They won the favored port end pin at the start and rounded the top mark just behind the Erik Lidecis/ Michael Marzahi team. They got past Lidecis on the second beat to win the only race of the day and move into second place in the regatta. However, Floridians Mark Mendelblatt/ Magnus Liljedahl were not far behind in third place -- which opened their lead in the Star Class Olympic Trials to nine points.

At the end of six races, George Szabo/ Andrew Scott with 28 points are tied for second place with John Dane. Mark Reynolds/ Hal Haenel with 30 points are now in fourth place with John MacCausland/ Robert Schofield (36 pts) in fifth. Other than series leader Mark Mendelblatt, MacCausland is the only skipper in the regatta who has only single digit finishes.

Day Four
Day Four of the Star Class Olympic Trials belonged to the team of Andy Horton and Brad Nichol. With a 1-3-1 series they decisively won the day, and at the same time moved into the third spot in the series standings. George Szabo and his crew Andrew Scott also had a good day. Their 9-6-2 finishes moved them into sole possession of second place. However, the series leaders, Mark Mendelblatt and Magnus Liljedahl, were always in the hunt, and their 6-2-5 series allowed them to open another point on the 19-boat fleet. They now lead the Olympic Trials by 10 points.

Day Four was very different than Day Three. No postponements; no races abandoned -- just great sailing conditions. The first race was sailed in 8-10 knots of breeze with the flattest water this reporter has ever seen on the Santa Monica Bay. Race two was a different story -- the wind built into the mid-teens and seas were huge. Many of the competitors changed to heavier/ flatter between races. Good thing, because the first beat of that race looked like ‘Victory at Sea.’ Several times I thought my 17’ Whaler would break in half as we followed the fleet upwind. Happily (for me) the wind abated for the day’s finale, but the leftover bumps truly tested the teams on the water. Horton and Nichol won that battle, but Mendelblatt and Liljedahl are still winning the war.

Day Five
It's getting crowded at the top of the Star Class Olympic Trials. After four days as the regatta leader, the team of Mark Mendelblatt and Magnus Liljedahl is now tied with George Szabo and his crew Andrew Scott at 36 points

Szabo has an enviable record of success in previous regattas on the Santa Monica Bay, including a win in the 2005 Star Class North American Championships. His comfort level was obvious in the light, but steady, five to six knots of wind that the Santa Monica Bay produced on Day Five, and he lead the 19-boat fleet to the finish line in both races. Mendelblatt sailed his discard in race one, finishing tenth, but came back to finish the day's finale in fourth place.

John Dane III and crew Austin Sperry had a very good day in the light conditions, finishing second and third in the two races, to move into third place -- just six points off the pace. However, with five races yet to be sailed, no one is taking anything for granted.

Day Six
There is a real 'log jam' at the head of the parade at the Star Olympic Trials. The top three boats are separated by just two points, with only three races remaining. Any one of these teams would well represent the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games in Qingdao, China, but in this regatta, there is no joy in finishing second.

Of the top players, John Dane III and Austin Sperry, in second place with 49 points, had the best day, with finishes of 4-3. The regatta leaders, Mark Mendelblatt and Magnus Liljedahl sailed their throwout in the first race of the day (12th place) but came back in the day's finale to finish second behind Rick Merriman and Phil Trinter -- and regain the series lead with 48 points. But no one is forgetting George Szabo and Andrew Scott, who had an 8-6 day, and are just two points behind the leaders with 50 points.

It was a great day for sailboat racing on the Santa Monica Bay. After waiting almost an hour for the wind to settle down, PRO Bill Stump started the fleet in a steady 6 knot breeze that continued to build all afternoon until the Bay was covered with small white caps for the final legs of the last race.

Two races are scheduled for Saturday and by Sunday evening the US 2008 Olympic representatives for the Star Class will have been determined.

Day Seven
After seven days of racing and 15 races -- the final race of the Star Class Olympic Trials will determine who represents the United States of America in the 2008 Olympic Games in China. Only a single point separates the leaders, with the team of George Szabo and Andrew Scott holding that slim edge over John Dane III and Austin Sperry. But neither of those teams is thinking about a match race start for the final race on Sunday. They can't, because just four points further back are Mark Mendelblatt and Magnus Liljedahl -- ready to take advantage of a miscue from the two leading boats.

Szabo had some anxious moments on Day Seven. In the first race of the day he was yellow-flagged by the judges for a kinetics violation. His subsequent penalty turns allowed Dane to get by him and move to the top of the leader-board. In the day's second race, Dane pushed Szabo well back on the opening beat, and Szabo remained deep at the leeward gate. However in a fading sea breeze on the second beat, Szabo hit the South corner hard, and passed something like nine boats -- including both Dane and Mendleblatt.

So it all comes down to the final race of the series on Sunday.


Star
Place Boat Skipper Crew Sail #: Fleet 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Total
1 USA 8230   John Dane III   Austin Sperry   USA 8230   MoB   1.0 10.0 6.0 2.0 8.0 1.0 5.0 4.0 12.0 2 3 4 3 3 6 1 59
2 USA 8273   George Szabo   Andrew Scott   USA 8273   SDB   2.0 1.0 11.0 7.0 3.0 4.0 9.0 6.0 2.0 1 1 8 6 4 3 6 63
3 USA 8306   Mark Mendelblatt   Magnus Liljedahl   USA 8306   TaB   3.0 3.0 1.0 8.0 1.0 3.0 6.0 2.0 5.0 10 4 12 2 9 5 7 69
4 USA 8156   Andy Horton   Brad Nichol   USA 8156   NB   18.0 7.0 7.0 1.0 5.0 11.0 1.0 3.0 1.0 17 12 5 6.4 1 2 3 82.4
5 USA 8222   Rick Merriman   Phil Trinter   USA 8222   SDB   15.0 13.0 13.0 9.0 4.0 5.0 3.0 5.0 3.0 6 2 10 1 7 4 2 87
6 USA 8320   Mark Reynolds   Hal Haenel   USA 8320   SDB   12.0 2.0 2.0 6.0 2.0 6.0 10.0 8.0 6.0 4 9 3 5.3 11 11 5 90.3
7 USA 8195   John Maccausland   Robert Schofield   USA 8195   CR   9.0 6.0 3.0 3.0 6.0 9.0 2.0 11.0 10.0 3 10 6 6.1 15 13 9 106.1
8 USA 8263   Will Stout   Richard Peters   USA 8263   SDB   5.0 4.0 12.0 15.0 13.0 14.0 4.0 7.0 15.0 8 5 2 8.1 5 1 4 107.1
9 USA 8244   Joe Londrigan   Mark Strube   USA 8244   LS   14.0 11.0 9.0 5.0 7.0 7.0 8.0 1.0 11.0 13 11 1 4 2 20 12 116
10 USA 8250   Andrew Macdonald   Brian Fatih   USA 8250   NH   11.0 5.0 10.0 4.0 15.0 12.0 7.0 10.0 8.0 5 6 7 5 6 8 13 117
11 USA 8207   Jim Buckingham   Eric Monroe   USA 8207   NH   6.0 8.0 4.0 10.0 14.0 13.0 14.0 9.0 4.0 7 15 16 10 14 7 10 145
12 USA 8176   Erik Lidecis   Michael Marzahi   USA 8176   NH   8.0 14.0 5.0 13.0 9.0 2.0 11.0 16.0 7.0 11 7 13 9 12 16 11 148
13 USA 8023   Steve Brown   Timothy Ray   USA 8023   NH   7.0 19.0 17.0 11.0 10.0 8.0 13.0 14.0 14.0 14 19 18 20 8 15 17 204
14 USA 7673   Chuck Driscoll   Jim Oberg   USA 7673   SDB   4.0 16.0 19.0 18.0 11.0 10.0 18.0 18.0 17.0 12 13 11 14 18 12 18 210
15 USA 8080   Fotis Boliakis   Mike Nichol   USA 8080   CLIS   19.0 15.0 14.0 17.0 12.0 15.0 15.0 15.0 18.0 15 14 15 11 16 10 8 210
16 USA 8077   Mike Hanna   Stephan Cohen   USA 8077   SMB   13.0 9.0 16.0 14.0 17.0 17.0 17.0 19.0 19.0 9 8 9 13 17 18 16 212
17 USA 8269   Jock Kohlhas   Trevor Nederlof   USA 8269   BisB   16.0 12.0 18.0 16.0 19.0 18.0 16.0 13.0 9.0 19 17 14 8 13 9 14 212
18 USA 8286   Karl Anderson   Edward Morey   USA 8286   BH   17.0 17.0 8.0 12.0 16.0 16.0 12.0 12.0 13.0 18 18 19 14.5 10 17 15 215.5
19 USA 8084   Robert Teitge   James Darin Jensen   USA 8084   DR   10.0 18.0 15.0 19.0 18.0 19.0 19.0 17.0 16.0 16 16 17 12 19 14 19 245

ISCYRA Central Office
914 Bay Ridge Road, Suite 220
Annapolis, Maryland 21403 USA
Phone: +1 443 458 5733
Fax: +1 443 458 5735
SKYPE: star.class.office
office@starclass.org

Star Class
Home
- ContactWebmaster

Results - Calendar - Classified Ads - History
Districts & Fleets - Rules - About - Online Store

Sign up for eStarlights...
Enter your email address in the box
below and click submit to receive
monthly updates from the Star Class.


(Starlights Newsletter Archives 2003-2010)