|ISCYRA Regatta Report|| |
Wed Apr 10th, 2013 through Sat Apr 13th, 2013
| Final results for eight races on April 10-12 at
Nassau Yacht Club, Bahamas.|
Photos by Robert Dunkley http://dunks.smugmug.com/
2013 Spring Championship of the Western
Hemisphere – The Changing of the Guard
The Star Class has acquired a lot of history in the 100+ years since its design was developed. Some of this history is equipment related like integrated buoyancy tanks, circular vang tracks, aluminum adjustable spars etc but the most interesting relates to the people involved in racing many years at the highest level like Lowell North, Paul Elvstrom, Bill Buchan, Mark Reynolds, Torben Grael, Iain Percy and Fredrik Loof.
Participants in this year’s Spring Championship held at the Nassau Yacht Club got a first hand look at some great people moments, which they will remember for many years. The announcement of the end of one Gold medal career and the acknowledgement of another.
The Stars were in the Bahamas early April to compete for the Silver level Western Hemisphere championship. This was the 8th or 9th time the regatta has been hosted by the Nassau Yacht Club and all were there to celebrate the 95 yr old Commodore of the Star Class Sir Durward R. Knowles. He has held this position since 1982 and has performed the duties with class and distinction. But to leave it here is to miss the best part of this story.
Sir Durward was the first athlete to win an Olympic Gold Medal for his native country the Bahamas. He won the medal in 1964 at the Tokyo Olympic Games which added to the Bronze he won in 1956 in Melbourne Australia. In total Sir Durward also competed in 1952 Helsinki, Finland, 1960 in Naples, Italy, 1968 Acapulco, Mexico and 1988 Pusan, South Korea. In his country he is an icon and celebrity. He was competing in the Olympics from his home base and traveling around the world years before the current campaigns got started. During this years’ regatta, he hosted a midweek gathering at an open-air garden across the street from the Nassau Yacht Club and based on the television cameras and news people attending, we knew something was up.
After some speeches from the race officials, Sir Durward took the microphone and gave thanks to the competitors for attending. He paused a moment and then announced that he would not be standing for re-election as Star Class Commodore when his current term ends in December. All the tv crews started flashing pictures and rushed for comments. Sir Durward was not finished. He asked if the youngest competitor would come forward. Tomas Hornos (25) is from Boston and works for Jud Smith at Doyle Sails. He was a very good college sailor (Tufts University) and 2007 Snipe World Champion plus the Star Western Hemisphere winner in 2012. Sir Durward was making the point of exiting his involvement with the Star Class by introducing one of the youngest and most successful sailors the Class has seen in years. Seventy years separated the two on stage but one aspect linked the two together. They both enjoy competing at the highest level and illustrate successful sailing over an entire lifetime.
The competitors were moved by the gesture and pictures flowed as the two shook hands. We were all sorry for Tomas as public appearances are not his strongest suit – at least not yet. He will be in the future of the Star Class as Sir Durward was as a young man.
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