Star World Championship 2017

Eivind Melleby and Joshua Revkin, 2017 Star World Champions

Troense, Denmark

The final race was held in a 8 to 16 knot Westerly under sunny skies. The showdown between Eivind Melleby and Lars Grael materialized as Grael took the early lead and Melleby struggled to stay in the top 10.  Hubert Merkelbach, Diego Negri, Reinhard Schmidt and Johannes Polgar all over took Grael while Melleby moved up to 8th. In the end the math worked in favor of the 45 year old Norwegian and his 27 year old crew Josh Revkin of the USA.  They are the new Gold Star winners.  The also won the newly awarded Paul Elvstrom trophy for the team that won had the best score without a discard. Trine Elvstrom, daughter and Olympic crew in Los Angeles in the Tornado class, presented the trophy.  Paul Elvstrom won his second Star World Championship 50 years ago in Copenhagen.

Danny and I had a decent race finishing 31st.  Our combined weight (390lbs) is just too light to be competitive.  There is a reason there is a maximum weight limit (about 440lbs) in the Star Class.  Weight is fast!  We were slow upwind and that is especially tough on the first leg of the course right after the start.  Danny had us going very fast downwind but not enough to compensate. Our goals for the week were to sail together, have fun and get Danny some big fleet Star racing experience…in that order.  We did all that.  We spent a bit more money on masts than we hoped to, but that’s racing! I think Danny truly likes sailing the Star and will be racing for years.  I think I may have done my last race as a Star crew.  Putting it politely, my body is a little bit sore.

After racing, it was the big pack up of the boat and all the equipment then the prize giving dinner which was held in a local gymnasium….not the most Scandinavian of experiences.  The local fleet put in a huge effort with 80 volunteers to put the regatta on.  The fleet in Denmark has been small in recent years and hosting the Worlds grew the fleet to 15 boats.  Part of awarding World Championship venues is fleet building for the longevity of the class. Next year’s World Championship is in Oxford, Maryland.

Then (1989) and now.

Danny and his girlfriend Evan are driving the boat we chartered back to Berlin and then will go to Gothenberg to stay with his grandparents and cousins.  I am on my way back to San Francisco which I am really looking forward to. I have been living out of a suitcase since May 25.  That’s long even by my standards.

Paul

Star World Championship 2017

Danny Cayard, September 1989

Troense Denmark

Today was a rest day and rest I did. Slept til 10:00. Must have been tired. Later, Danny and I went down to the club (Sailors don’t know what to do with a day off!) and we raced in a fun race in the harbor that the event organizers held for their sponsors. About 20 of us participated to say thanks. There was little to no wind unfortunately but everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Tomorrow will be the last race and final day of our adventure. And it has been quite an adventure! I have shown Danny all the things not to do as well as a few good things. All of it has been a fantastic experience…even the ones that were not so pleasant at the time.  Life is that way…you need to appreciate all of it. It is your adventure.

The forecast for tomorrow is for 15 knots of wind. The Gold Star (awarded to the winner of the World Championship) is still up for grabs. Eivind Melloby of NOR is looking for his first gold star while Lars Grael is in hot persuit, 5 points back, looking for his second gold star. There are a couple other contenders but their hill is steep and it starts with them winning the race and nothing less.

I thought I would put some different pictures in today’s report. The one up top is of Danny sitting in the World Championship trophy, at nine months of age, while I was the current champ. Now I am crewing for him! It’s a great story for our family. Danny’s grandfather, Pelle Petterson is also a past world champion from 1969.

The other pictures are from the hotel at breakfast and dinner. Not a bad spot when it isn’t raining. Unfortunately, it rained a fair bit today.

Paul

Star World Championship 2017

Typical Danish House

Troense Denmark

One race was held today in 8 knots from the southwest.  There were some pretty big shifts out there today and unfortunately for Danny, I got them all wrong.  We had our worst finish in 50th. My bad!

Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi of Italy won the race while George Szabo and Patrick Ducommen sailed fast from the wrong side up the first windward leg to finish second. Heiko Winkler and Uwe Thielemann of GER were third. Regatta leader Eivind Melloby maintained his 1st place position because both he and second place Lars Grael sailed their worst races today and discarded them. So they go into Saturday’s final race with the same delta as this morning, a 5 point lead for Melloby.  Facundo Bazan and Reinhard Schmidt also have a chance to win the championship although they basically need to win he Final race and have the leaders below 10th.. The Race Committee decided to call a layday for tomorrow as we ar one day ahead of schedule and their is little to no wind forecast for tomorrow but plenty of rain.

It was a perfect Scandinavian day today..sunny and light wind. It almost got hot at one point! I am enclosing a couple of pictures of the venue.

Paul

Star World Championship 2017

Start of race 4

Troense, Denmark

Today was a beautiful day here in Troense. No rain, and there was more sun than clouds.  The wind for the two races held today was 12-14 knots still from the west.  The Star World courses are 10.4 miles long by the class rules so 2 of those plus a 4 mile sail out and 4 miles sail back, made for a long day.

Danny and I managed to keep the boat in one piece today and fairly happy with finishing both races in the mid 20’s.  In  the first race of the day, race 3 of the regatta, Augie Diaz USA & Bruno Prada, 2016 World Champs, took first place.  Eivind Melloby NOR and Josh Revkin finished second and Lars Grael BRA with Samuel Goncavles brought home a third place. This gave Melloby/Revkin the lead at the half way point in the regatta. They were awarded the Bud Vandeveere trophy for the leading skipper at the half way point and the Robert S. “Buck” Halperin trophy for the crew.  There is a perpetual trophy named after various illustrious sailors from the 110 years of the class, for the winner of each of the 6 races plus the mid week, the overall skipper and crew, the second place skipper and crew, and the Harry Nye Trophy for a life long contribution to the class.  The Nye trophy was awarded to Sune Carlssson SWE this afternoon.  Sune, who has been in attendance here in Troense all week, had a heart attack at the harbor, during the day and was hospitalized.  He is stable but awaits a surgery.  Our thoughts are with him!

In the second race of the day, race 4 of the series, Peter Vasella USA and Phil Trinter got to the first mark first but were overtaken on the run by Melloby and Revkin who are on fire, especially downwind.  They   maintained their position to win the race and extend their lead in the championship.

Lars Greal BRA is now in second place with 15 points, 5 points behind Melody while Gerhard Schmidt GER and Paul Sradnick hold third place with 21.  There are still 2 races to go and light air is on the forecast which can produce much more variation in results as more teams will go the same speed compared to the windy conditions we have had thus far.  With all 4 finishes in the top 4, if Melloby/Revkin finish in the top 5 and beat Grael/Goncalves, they most likely wont have to sail the last race to win the Championship.

The race committee postponed tomorrows start until 13:00 as the forecast is for very light winds tomorrow.

Paul

 

Star World Championship 2017

Traoense, Denmark

Race 2 here in Troense and the race committee held us a shore for a couple of hours as the wind was too strong once again.  Finally we went out for a 13:45 start.  At the first start the fleet was too aggressive and had to be recalled.  For the second start, just as yesterday, the race committee displayed the black flag.  This means that if any part of the boat is over the starting line within one minute prior to the starting signal the boat is disqualified.

Danny and I had a good start in the 18 knot westerly.  We soon suffered the consequences of being 20 kilos light as we made our way up the first windward leg.  We managed to get around the first mark around 30th and made up a few places down the first run.  The wind freshened to 22 knots at this point. On the second windward leg, we sailed out to the right just to keep our wind clean and it turned out to be good and we probably round the second windward mark in the low 20’s.  Any this point here were gusts of 24 knots and the day was starting to look like Sunday again. On the second run, we stuck the wisker pole in the water and nearly broke the mast…. One of the spreaders gave way, tore the mainsail and the mast was bent.  We managed to get the boat back to the dock with the mast up!  We took it down and straightened it with the help of Diego Negri and a few others.  It is back in the boat and looking good for tomorrow.

Up front Facundo Bazan of ARG with Juan Pablo Engelhard crewing won the race while Rienhard Schmidt GER with Paul Sradnick were second and Eivind Melleby with Josh Revkin were third.   Schmidt now leads the regatta followed by Bazan and then Melleby.  Yesterday’s winner, Lars Grael finished 9th and is now in 4th place overall.

The forecast for tomorrow is for 10-12 knots of wind.  The race committee has scheduled two races to try to get ahead in the schedule as Thursday and Friday look very light, possible too little wind.  It is kind of feast or famine around here.  The good news is it didn’t rain too hard today!

Danny and I are doing it tough but still smiling.  He is getting a real dose of Star sailing here at his first World Championship. We have had a couple late nights of working on the boat to put it all back together. Of course the first two days have been quite windy rather than easy sailing.  I should have throttled us back a bit today but they call it racing, right? Anyway, we are all good to go for tomorrow and looking forward to another opportunity.

Happy 4th of July to all my friends back home!

Paul

 

Star World Championship 2017

Danny and I sailing in Miami in 2016.

Troense, Denmark

Day two lived up to it predicted strong winds.  With winds in the mid 20’s and plenty of thunder and lightening, the Race Committee did not hesitate to cancel the racing for the day.

Danny and I had a good day finishing up our work list and repairs in between rain squalls.  We then took the boat out for a check sail in the harbor.  Luckily we did as another thing broke that would have prevented us from racing.  So we went back in and fixed that.  Should be all good to go.

Two races are scheduled for tomorrow with the first warning signal at 10:30.

With this weather, it’s hard to remember that it is July.  I know a lot of you back home are getting ready for the 4th. Wishing you a great one!

Paul

Star World Championship-2017

Stars nearing the windward mark with crews hiking over the side to hold the boat upright.

Troense, Denmark

The 2017 Star World Championship kicked off today with the first race in 15-23 knots of wind and cloudy skies.  The conditions got a bit gusty as the race progressed and 7 boats lost their masts. Unfortunately for us, we were one of them.  We submarined near the end of the second downwind leg and the mast simply imploded.  Yes, that is expensive.

I am crewing for my son Danny who is racing in his first Star World Championship.  It is fantastic to have the opportunity to be together in this race.  This is my 40th year racing Stars and to sail with my son, in his first World Championship, is an opportunity not to be missed.  His grandfather Pelle Petterson, World Champion in 1969 arrived today to support the team.  Pelle bought dinner tonight proclaiming we had already spent too much money for the day.

The Star World Championship course is rather long for these boats and featured 3 x 2 mile windward legs and 2 x 2 miles downwind legs, for a total of 10 miles.  It was pretty physical out there so everyone will sleep well tonight.

For those of us with broken masts, we just got done putting in a new mast at 8:00 pm.

Up front, Lars Greal and Samuel Goncalves BRA, 2015 World Champion led wire to wire but only just held off a strong charge by Dr. Hubert Merkelbch GER  Brian Fatih right at the finish. Third place went to Reinhard Schmidt and Paul Sradnick of GER.  Elvind Melleby and Josh Revkin sailed a good race to claim fourth place.

This was one of those races were the top 20 were racing and most of the rest of us were surviving…or not. There are 76 boats entered. I’ll get the number of countries tomorrow.

 

The Championship will consist of 6 races and each competitor will discard their worst score.  This a nice feature for something like today but its a bit early to use your mulligan

Paul