Western Hemisphere Championship

Coming to the windward mark in USA8466-GEM

Coxonut Grove

The two final races of the 2018 Star Western Hemisphere Championship were held today in 15-18 knots of wind from the southeastz. Jorge Zarif of Brazil was on fire winning both races today. It was very physical and the conditions suited the 25 year old Finn sailor perfectly.

Tutu and I had the second best scores with a 3, 2.  Lars Grael had finishes of 2, 4  which was sufficient to protect his lead and win the Championship. At the last mark of the last race, Grael was 8th while we were second. Finishing in these positions would have given Tuto and I the Championship. But Lars and Samuel sailed very fast down the final run to pass 4 boats.  I am happy with our performance considering it was our first time sailing together.

Jorge Zarif moved up to third for the series with his great finishes today and Augie Diaz with Bruno Prada crewing finished 4th. Tomas Hornos finished 5th.

The only sailor not from Brazil in the first three teams was myself. Brazil has always been a strong sailing country and they are producing more good young sailors like Tutu and Jorge Zarif.

Leaving the windward mark…in a hurry!

This was the last event of the winter series here in Miami which started in November. The next Star Championship will be the Eastern Hemisphere Championship in two weeks time in Trieste, Italy. After that we will be racing on the west coast for several regattas including the North American  Championship at Marina Del Rey in August.

For complete results Go to www.yachtscoring.com

Paul

Star Western Hemisphere Championship

Start of race one today-Ken Batzer photo

Coconut Grove

Another perfect day in Miami, if you like Sailing. 10-14 knots from the southeast with a moderate chop.

In race one, the left side of the line was favored and Tutu and I grabbed the favored spot. That was the highlite of that race for us. From there, I managed to go the wrong way on each leg and even get a bit of kelp on the keel on the final run to finish 12th.  Tomas Hornos sailed fast and smart to win the race followed by Augie Diaz and then Jorgen Schonherr of Denmark. Lars Grael had his worst race finishing 4th.

The wind built a bit for race two and we got off to a bad start. We were forced to clear our air by sailing out to the right and the right was good.  Tomas Hornos led at the first mark,  while we rounded tenth. Lars Greal had started early and had to restart so he was deep.  Tutu and I went fast downwind passing 8 boats to round 2nd at the end of the first lap. John Dane, the Star representative of the USA at he Olympics in 2008- Beijing, has sailed well all week and was third at that point.

Up the second windward leg Tutu and I were just plain fast and the wind was steady. We passed Hornos to take the lead near the final mark and stretched our lead downwind to the finish.

Action coming into the top mark

So going into tomorrow’s final races, Grael leads with 11 points, we have 16 and Diaz/Prada have 26. The forecast for tomorrow is fairly strong with winds in the high teens. These have been long, hot, days on the water with four hours of racing each day. The Star is very physical in these 10-14 knot conditions.

For complete results, go to https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=4468

Paul

Western Hemisphere Championship

Photo by Ken Batzer

Coconut Grove

Two more races were completed today enroute to crowning the 2018 Western Hemisphere Champion in the Star Class.

More postcard conditions today…8-12 knots from the East Southeast.

In race 1, after a tricky battle with various adversaries, Arthur (Tutu) and I won the final sprint  to the line to take the win. Luca Modena of Italy pushed us hard and finished second while Lars Grael maintained his consistency with a big comeback to finish 3rd. Diaz had a tough race and finished 10th.

In race two, Tutu and I had a good first lap as did Grael.  As we went up the second windward leg, Greal got left while we were out to the right. The wind shifted 30 degrees left.  Large windshifts have been happening both days but it always comes back. It didn’t this time and Tutu and I lost 500 meters to Grael and 4 other competitors.  We stayed focused and ground are way back to 2nd. It could have been much easier than that!

Our speed upwind and downwind seems very good. We tried a different job today which was good to learn about.

Grael and his crew Samuel Goncalves have a strong grip on the championship, with 7 points, at the half way point. Tutu and I are in second place with 15 points. Jorge Zaria Ian third with 19. It will be tough to reel the Brazilians in and tommorrow will be decisive.

For complete results go to www. Yachtscoring.com

Paul

Western Hemisphere Championship

Photo by Ken Batzer

Coconut Grove

The final series of the Star winter racing is happening on Biscayne Bay, today through Sunday.  Two races per day are scheduled to award the Spring Silver Star in the USA.  37 teams from 7 countries are competing.

With the sun shining, the water temperature at 78F, the wind from the east at 10-14 knots, the sailing conditions were excellent as usual on Biscayne Bay.  The Brazilian’s came out strong with Lars Grael and Jorge Zarif finishing in the top three in both races and taking a commanding lead in the series after day 1.  There were several individual recalls in both starts and the wind was shifty as it came over Key Biscayne.  So there was plenty of mixing.  If you got out of phase with the shifts you could lose a lot of distance in a hurry.

I am sailing this regatta with Arturo Lopez of Brasil.  This is our first time sailing together so we have some room to improve on our boat handling and communications.  We managed a 9, 3 and are in 4th place.  Many of the top teams had one good race and one in the teens.  It is a long series at 8 races and after 5 races, each team will discard their worst score.  The “discard” keeps the teams very close in score and usually means that the regatta will be won in the last race, which is good.

Friday’s forecast is for winds in the 10 knot range from east southeast.

Complete scores can be found at www.yachtscoring.com

Paul