Star Sailors League Press

Nassau

Here is the official SSL press release from the first day of racing.

SSL Finals 2016
November 28th – December 4th
Nassau, Bahamas

BATTLE COMMENCES AT SSL FINALS 2016

The 4th edition of the Star Sailors League Finals kicked off in earnest today with two qualifying races. The early exchanges confirmed the amazing quality and depth in the fleet, which contains no less than 16 Olympic medallist among the skippers alone. The trade winds have been consistently blowing for days before the regatta and the sea state was a significant factor, especially as the racecourse was at the very top of Montagu Bay. Squall activity affected both the wind speed and direction, with the breeze ranging from 10 to 20 knots and oscillating 30 degrees.

After two races, Italians Diego Negro & Sergio Lambertenghi showed consistency and speed to lead the Qualifying Rounds by a single point without winning a race. Americans Mark Mendelblatt & Brian Fatih finished a solid second and Brazilians Robert Scheidt & Henry Boening, finished the day in third.

Diego Negri:
It was a great day, not an easy first one though, lots of wind changes and waves. We had a good start on the first race, we were on the left, fought among the top five at the top mark and finished third. For the second race the wind increased a little bit, we decided to start more in the middle of the fleet and we were leeward to the fleet, got a big righty and it looked good, we had a nice fight and with a great downwind leg we finished second.”

Robert Scheidt is back at the SSL Finals having missed out last year due to his Olympic Laser campaign. Sailing with Henry Boening, the Brazilians were first to the top mark and were never overtaken, winning the first race of the regatta. Americans Mark Mendelblatt & Brian Fatih, were never out of the leading pack and finished second. Italians Diego Negro & Sergio Lambertenghi showed good speed and consistency to take third.

Robert Scheidt:
The first race was very good, it was a good fight with Mendelblatt and Negri. We are happy we were able to hold them off and won the first race. The second race wasn’t so good, we made some technical mistakes but we finished within the top 10 and that was our goal.”

Race Two got underway after the top mark was moved to accommodate a big wind shift, and it was a blanket start, with virtually the entire fleet hitting the line on the start gun. SSL City Grand Slam champions, Xavier Rohart & Pierre-Alexis Ponsot copped a turning penalty in the first race of the regatta but the Frenchmen came back fighting in Race Two, taking the gun ahead of Negri & Lambertenghi. Jorge Zarif & Bruno Prada sailed intelligently upwind, and showed great technique downwind, to claim third.

After two races, the top VIP team was Jonas Høgh-Christensen & Stevie Milne, with two sixth place finishes. Putting the Danish/Northern Ireland combination in seventh place. Høgh-Christensen is a phenomenal Finn sailor representing Denmark at three Olympic Games, winning the Silver Medal at the London Olympic Games after an epic battle with Ben Ainslie. However this was the first time the Great Dane has even raced a Star.

Jonas Høgh-Christensen:
“We had a very good feeling with the boat, we tried to keep it simple and stay our of trouble. We had a couple of bad starts but managed to recover quite quickly after and sailed fast, both up and downwind, especially downwind we are fast. It was super fun and we really enjoyed it!
I love the Star, it’s tough, it’s technical, but with the free pumping it really comes in handy being a Finn sailor. The conditions couldn’t be better, it’s sailing in paradise.”

The youngest skipper taking part in the 2016 SSL Finals is the 22 year-old Argentinian VIP Facundo Olezza, racing with Portuguese Finn and Star sailor, Federico Melo. The rookie notched up a fifth place in the first race and ended the day in 8th position in the fleet.

Facundo Olezza:
“It was unbelievable to finish fifth in the first race! I personally try not to think about all of the names of my competitors, if I think of what they have achieved in their careers I would be more respectful than what I should be. So I just try to do my best, go out and sail. On top of everything try to enjoy it. The opportunity to race among these champions is one in a million. I am really happy to be here and I am learning a lot from Federico Melo. I love the Star, I don’t know what I was doing when I was sailing the other boats, from now on I will try to do some races on the Star along with my Finn Olympic campaign”.

Racing at the SSL Finals 2016 continues tomorrow with the second day of the Qualifying Rounds. A maximum of four races are scheduled for tomorrow with live coverage starting at 1100 (GMT-5).

Full coverage of all four days of action will be streamed live on the Internet with expert commentary from special studio guests, including America’s Cup four time winner Dennis Conner and Olympic silver medalist in London 2012 Luke Patience. On the water, the latest in hi-tech camera technology, as well as Virtual Eye 3D Graphics, will provide thrilling viewing.

Since our audience is present in all parts of the globe, Internet will be our stadium. From November 29th to December 4th, regattas will be streamed live on http://finals.starsailors.com. A complete live video stream of the races as well as additional insights provided by the state-of-the-art tracking system developed by Virtual Eye for the America’s Cup will allow people from over the world to follow their favorites and to cheer for them. Many prestigious sailing websites around the globe will also share our live broadcast on their homepage.

For more information visit
finals.starsailors.com

Nassau, Bahamas, November 29th, 2016

__________________________

Press enquiries to:

Rachele Vitello
SSL Media and Communication
rachele.vitello@starsailors.com

 

Star Winter Series

Schoonmaker Cup Final

Photo by Marco Oquendo

Coconut Grove

Two races were held today today in 8-10 knots from the east-southeast. We had our ups and downs but basically Danny sailed very fast downwind and we made huge gains on the final runs of both races to finish 9 and 7.  That was enough to move us up to 7th overall which is a good result in this fleet especially for the youngest skipper in the fleet.

Augie Diaz and Arnie Baltins were the class of their own this weekend never finishing worse than 2nd. George Szabo Isao Toyama were second and Canadians Brian Cramer and Matt Johnston finished third.

It has been such a pleasure having Danny race with me in my favorite boat and experience the Star winter Series in Miami. Today the sun was out and the water was smooth on Biscayne Bay. When it is like that, there is no better place to race Stars.

In two weeks we will have the final regatta of the Wimter Series, the Walker Cup.  I will move back in the boat and have 2012 Star Class Olympian, Brian Fatih crewing for me. The Walker will serve as a warm up for the Bacardi Cup starting immediately after. Brian and I will race the Walker, the Bacardi Cup and then the World Championship in April, together.

For complete results on the Schoonmaker go to www.yachtscoring.com.

Paul

Star Winter Series

Schoonmaker Cup

Coxonut Grove

Danny and I are back in the Grove for more Star Racing. This time the Schoonmaker Cup with 20 other teams.

For this event,  I am crewing for Danny. It has been fun to share the Star with him this past year and I hope he enjoys Star sailing for as many years as me and his grandfather have!

It’s been a while since I was in the front of a Star and today we had 3 races in 15 knots from the east. I will sleep well tonight!

Star Winter Series

Star Winter Series photo by Marco Oquendo

We had some great moments and some more challenging moments. At the end of the first day, we are tied for 9th with Arthur Anosov, the winner of the Masters two weeks ago.

Augie Diaz and Arnie Baltins had a great day with a 2, 1, 1. Brian Cramer of Canada is in second and George Szabo third.

Two more races are scheduled for tomorrow and the forecast is 10 knots from the east.  That should be more to our liking.  Team Cayard, at 380lbs all up, likes the lighter winds.

For complete results go to www.yachtscoring.com

Thanks to Marco Oquendo for the photos.

Paul

ZagMasters

Zag Masters

imageCoconut Grove

Two races were held today in 8-10 knots from the east on Biscayne Bay. This weekend is the “Masters” regatta in the Star Class. Obviously,  the name is indicative of a certain amount of life experience required to race in the “Masters”.  The Masters has become the Zag Masters in honor of Frank Zagarino, one of the class stalwarts and a Bicayne Bay Fleet member.

My son Danny joined me for this event and we got off to a great start winning race 1 by a healthy margin. Unfortunately I went the wrong way on the first leg of race two and we were deep coming into mark 1.  We made a couples of nice choices,  always with good speed, so we moved up to 7th by the finish.

Arthur Anosov and Dave “Julius” Ceasar had a better day than Danny and I with a 3, 2 and are leading after day 1 with 5 points.  Dan and I are second, 2 points back with Seiggert/Fatih in third 2 points behind us.

One race is scheduled for tomorrow and the forecast is calling for big breeze from the northwest following a cold front coming through the area tonight.

For complete results go to www.yachtscoring.com and find Zag Masters.

UPDATE

No racing today. Too much wind.

Arthur and Dave won the Zag Masters. Danny and I are second, Swigert/Fatih third. Danny and I won the Father-Son Team. That’s special!

The next Star event in the Winter Series is the Schoonmaker Troohy in two weeks.

Paul

image

New Star

Coconut Grove

It’s winter in the northern hemisphere so where do Star sailors go? Miami.

More than 30 teams are here in Miami for the 2016 Midwinter Championship. As usual the fleet is very is international with teams from Sweden, Italy, Germany, Canada, Argentina, France, England and USA.

Today was a special day for me as I launched my first new Star since 2006. She was designed and built by Folli on Lake Como, Italy. Andrea Folli and his team did a magnificent job in building the boat. Launching a boat for the first time doesn’t happen very often so I gathered my friends, got a good bottle and did it right.

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Magnus and I then took the boat out for her maiden voyage.

The forecast for tomorrow is 8 knots from the Northeast. 2 races per day are scheduled.

I am really looking forward to racing tomorrow! Reports will follow.

Paul

Star Boat Paul Cayard

King of Spain

Marina del Rey

16 Stars turned up in Marina del Rey this weekend to contest the King of Spain regatta. The conditions couldn’t have been better with 8-10 knots for all 6 races.

Jimmy Buckingham and Austin Sperry posted great scores to win the regatta with 7 points. They won three of the 6 races with great speed. Danny and I sailed well to finish second with 9 points and Andy MacDonnald and Brad Nichol finished 3rd.

The best part of the weekend for me was the last race. Danny and I switched places and he steered his first Star race. Danny had a great start, we had decent speed and we were 1st to the windward mark! I doubt I was first to the first windward mark of my first race steering a Star. Very proud of my son! What can I say?

I think we upped the level on the fun meter.

Next event if the Lipton Cup in Santa Barbara August 8-9.

Paul

Star Class sailing at the Bacardi Cup, Bacardi Miami Sailing Week, day one.

Bacardi Cup-Day 4

Photo by Silken

Coconut Grove

Another picture perfect day with excellent sailing conditions. The wind was a bit lighter today starting out at 11 knots and dropping to 8 by the finish.  The fleet was well behaved on the starting line so no Black Flag today and no one was over early.

We had another great start and were in the top 5 at the first mark.  Not going super fast but ok.  There weren’t any big shifts out there today as the wind oscillated up and down 5 degrees around 165M.

Brian Cramer of Canada got to the first mark first with and we were just behind the Brazilians Lars Grael and Jorge Zarif.  Unfortunately we were slow again down wind today and lost about 5 boats on each run.  We rounded the second windward mark 7th and finished 12th.

I am really scratching my head on this one but I am sure I will figure it out.  A bit late for this regatta but I guess life is that way.  You just keep learning and in some cases relearning.

Zarif leads by one point over Lars Grael who is the defending champ. Mark Reynolds with Magnus Liljedahl are in third place, Torben Grael in 4th, Augie Diaz in 5th and Brian and I are in 6th.  The points are close enough that we can move up or down with two races to go.

The forecast for tomorrow is light…6-8 knots of wind.  That could mix things up a bit as a lot more boats will be competitive and if there is any substantial wind shift, it won’t be hard to be mid fleet at the first mark.  Saturday is forecast to be back on the 10-12 knots which is pure boats speed weather.

For complete results go to www.yachtscoring.com

 

Paul

Bacardi Cup-Day 1

Coconut Grove, Florida

March 1, 2015

I am back in south Florida for more Star sailing.  This time the legendary Bacardi Cup.  This year is the 88th running of this event which started in 1927 in Havana.

57 boats are racing from more than 10 countries.  The competition will be tough with the Grael brothers tom Brazil, local favorite Augie Diaz, double gold medalist Mark Reynolds, and a host of other great teams that all have a chance to win.

Today’s first race finally got underway after two general recalls and the committee resorting to the black flag to keep the anxious competitors behind the line.  The wind was 12 knots from the east and very shifty and puffy as it was coming right over Key Biscayne.

Brian and I had a good start but managed to work our way backwards in the fleet to round the first mark about 25th.  The leader at that point, had had a horrible start, tacked behind everyone and went hard right. The second place boat at the first mark had gone hard left.  Go figure.

It was a day of ups and downs as the wind was very fickle.  One moment you thought you were real fast but it was just that you had a puff that others didn’t.  Same with the shifts.

As the race went on, Larry Whipple and Austin Sperry worked their way from third to first. Brian and I work our way from the 25th to 7th.

Ahead of us were some very good teams.  Behind us there were some too.  So we were pretty fortunate to get back to 7th.

This is a long regatta, 6 races, and each race is longer than what we have been racing down here this winter.  So the tactics can be a bit different.  You can really get a lot of separation, (we call it leverage)  from the fleet which can pay off if you hit it right.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for 15 knots from the east again.  80 degree temperatures are the norm here so don’t feel sorry for us if you are somewhere in the upper east coast or midwest.

For complete results go to: www.yachtscoring.com

 

Paul

Photo: Marco Oquendo/imagesbymarco.com

Star Midwinter Championship – Day 4

Coconut Grove

Magnus and I came out determined to get back what was ours, and we did. We finished with a 1, 2 which was enough to move us up from 11th to 6th in the mid winters and save the overall Star Winter Series Championship by just one point.

After yesterday’s broken mast, and it’s 32 point cost to our score, we were down. But we worked late last night to put our spare mast together, tuned it this morning and went out and won the first race in the 18 knot easterly. That set the tone and we followed that up with a second in the last race. Lars Grael won the last race and Augie Diaz from finished close in third.

The three of us battled it out most of yesterday and today…great competition.

I want to thank my crew Magnus Liljedahl, gold medal winner in 2000 in the Star class. He is an amazing crew and great friend. You can’t have more fun than sailing with a great friend and competing at the same time. We are so blessed to be able to do this and to do it in Miami in the winter!

Next event for me is Key West Race week January 19-23, where I will be sailing on Shockwave. It’s a new team for me and I am really looking forward to racing with them.

For complete scores go to www.yachtscoring.com

Paul

Star Winter Series

Star Midwinter Championship – Day 3

Coconut Grove

Three races were sailed today on Biscayne Bay for the Star fleet. The wind was great: 15-18 from the northeast.

Augur Diaz had a great day winning two of the races and Lars Grael continued to do well edging us for the win in race 1. We were in the hunt in all three races with better speed than yesterday in the breeze.

We got 2nd in race 1 then 5th in the second race with Augie and Lars ahead of us.

However, things turned ugly for us on the final run of the final race. We rolled too far to windward, stuck the wisker pole in the water and broke the mast.  That in turn shreds the mainsail so what we have is big, expensive mess

I should have been more cautious. It was the end of a long hard day and we were in third place which would have moved us up to second overall. But I lapsed my concentration just for a second and that was that. And a quick 30 points added to our score so we are now in 11th place.

So we got towed back to the dock, cleaned up the mess, had a cheeseburger, and rigged one of my other masts.

We are pretty much out of contention for this regatta and since it is a double counter, we will probably be out of the running for the Winter Series overall.

But that’s racing!

Two races on the card for tomorrow and it should be a bit windier than today at 20-25 knots still from the northeast.

For complete results go to: www.yachtscoring.com

Paul