Today was the final race of the 2016 Star World Championship. The wind was slow to build but finally came in at 7-8 knots from 060. It was blowing over Key Biscayne onto the course and this made for very shifty conditions and significant deltas of wind pressure.
After several attempted starts, we got racing albeit under the now standard “Black Flag”. 14 boats were caught on the course side of the line prior to the starting gun. That probably means many more were not caught as it is very hard to see the line when 14 boats are over or on it.
Today’s race was really all about a battle between Augie Diaz/Bruno Prada (USA) and Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA). Only one point separated the two going into the last race for the Gold Star. Neither had won the Star World Championship. They were obviously keeping very close track of each other and started down toward the left end of the line.
Brian and I were conservative and started up near the right hand side. We tacked and headed right shortly after the start. Our speed was exceptional and we worked our way into a good lead at the first mark.
The wind got very light on the run but we managed to hold a nice lead around the bottom gate marks the first time. All of us in the lead pack headed back out to the right as that was the winning side up the first windward leg. Many of the top teams who had gone left were in the 50’s. I the think Diaz/Negri battle was pretty far back at this point. Because of a better discard, if Negri did not finish in the top 6 positions, Diaz/Prada were assured of the win.
Luke Lawrence and Ian Coleman were among those in the 50’s after the first lap. However, on the second windward leg they went hard left and got a 30 degree wind shift with more pressure. They catapulted from 50th to first! Brian and I went from 1st to about 7th at the windward mark the second time.
Down the run not a lot changed. We were going very fast up the final leg and heading left as everyone in the top group was. This time the wind went 25 degrees right! We had very good speed and managed to get a little left shift to come back on at the very end. We finished 4th in the race and this moved us up to 6th overall for the Championship. Luke Lawrence did a good job to maintain the lead and win the race. This got him into the top 5th for the regatta.
Just behind us in 5th was Augie Diaz, assuring himself of the Star Class World Championship. Diego Negri finished 7th and sailed a fantastic regatta finishing second for the third time in his career. His day will come…he deserves it.
For complete results go to www.starworldchampionship2016.com
I am very happy for Augie. He is a fine sailor and a finer gentleman! My next Star racing with be this summer in Southern California crewing for my son Danny. Then I will be back in Miami for the Winter series down here starting next November.