Coconut Grove

The 93rd Bacardi Cup got underway today with 65 Stars, from 15 countries, racing under classic Biscayne Bay conditions of 12-15 knots from the Southeast. The wind was very steady with only small oscillations.

I am sailing with Pedro Trouche, a very good young Brazilian sailor. Pedro and I got off to a very good start at the left end of the line and after 5 minutes were able to tack and cross the fleet. Our goal for Day 1 was to have a good race without taking big risks. Thus crossing when we could and getting in the middle of the race course. We lost a couple of boats on both edges and rounded the first mark 6th. We fought with Negri/Kleene(ITA/GER), Peter and Robert O’Leary (IRL) , Kusznierewicz/Prada(POL/BRA) and Schönherr/Koy (DEN/GER) most of the day. In the end, we finished a strong third with O”Leary brothers winning over Kusznierewicz/Prada in second.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for more of the same, maybe a touch less wind.

For complete results go to:…




Very light winds made for a tough day. We didn’t get much right and ended up dropping from 5th to 9th in the quarter finals. In the final race, Percy/Ekstrom won by an inch in over Rohart/Ponsot. Melleby/Revkin 3rd and the qualification leaders, Mateusz/Bruno, who were seeded straight to the finals, finished 4th.  While light winds prevailed all day, the final could not have been more exciting.

Beautiful week-tough day.

Star Sailors League

St. Francis Yacht Club – Racing

Drawing its inspiration from tennis and its annual Masters, the SSL Board has launched in 2013 the SSL Finals which will be organised at the end of every year. This regatta has exceptional media coverage and brings together the 10 best sailors of the Ranking and about 15 VIP guest sailors.


Day 4 of the 2019 SSL Finals saw the qualifying series come to a close. Due to light winds, 2 races were run today making it a 10 race qualifying series.

Phil and I ran the gauntlet and made it! There was nothing easy about it. Today saw very light and still shifty winds. Phil and I retuned our mast last night and felt very fast today.

Drawing its inspiration from tennis and its annual Masters, the SSL Board has launched in 2013 the SSL Finals which will be organised at the end of every year. This regatta has exceptional media coverage and brings together the 10 best sailors of the Ranking and about 15 VIP guest sailors.


Two young teams did well today, Lorenzo Chiavarini(GBR)/Kilian Kilian Weise(GER) and Jimeen Ha(KOR)/Mark Strube. It’s great to see these two young Laser sailors mixing it up with seasoned keel boat sailors and doing well!

The forecast for tomorrow is more of the same light winds. The quarter final starts at 11:00 EST with 8 teams, qualifiers 3-10, racing. The top 5 from the quarter final move on to the semi final along with the #2 from the qualification series. The top 3 will move onto the Final along with the number #1 qualifier. The winner of the Final is the SSL Finals winner and takes a Gold Medal and a $40,000 prize. There is $200,000 total prize money on the line at this event.

Watch the live broadcast of the Quarter Finals, Semi Finals, and Finals tomorrow on
You can also watch it on my FB site.
@starsailorsleague St. Francis Yacht Club – Racing #SSLFinals #SSLFinals2019 #StarSailorsLeague #watchthefinals #watchthelive #Bow01 #USA

Photos by Star Sailors League / Gilles Morelle and Marc Rouiller @lightstormphotographieay 4 brought to a close the qualifying round of the 2019 SSL Finals. The leaderboard photo has all the results.

Nassau, Bahamas’s

The 7th edition of Star Sailors League (SSL) started here in Nassau on Tuesday.  Here are my posts from my Facebook site, cayardsailing, for the first three days of racing.


For day 1 of the SSL finals, the fleet ran in two races in a shifty Northwest breeze. Phil and I did fine, not great. We are tied for 5th on 14 points with Hamish Pepper/Pedro Trouche and Iain Percy/Anders Ekström. Melleby (6points) followed by Negri (7) at the top. The points are all pretty tight as you would imagine with a fleet like this.

Four races are on the schedule for tomorrow in 16-18knots. We will be tired tomorrow night!

Big breeze here in Nassau today yielded good results for Phil and I. Our 4, 14, 1 moved us up to 3rd place at the half way point of the qualifying series. Diego Negri (ITA) and Frithjof Kleen(GER)are really sailing consistently well and have a strong lead with just 8 points. Mateusz Kusznierewicz(POL) and Bruno Prada(BRA), 2019 World Champions, have 17, two points ahead of us.

Day 3 of the SSL finals was rough for Phil and I. We really never seemed to get on the correct side of the shifts. There were plenty and they were big.

Yesterday’s leader Diego Negri also had a tough day and slipped to third. Some of you younger sailors enjoyed the lighter winds and did well today.

This all means things are tightened up for Phil and I tomorrow. We are 4 points out of 5th and 8 points ahead of the critical 10th spot.

The forecast for tomorrow is more light wind.

The photo of us with our heads in the boat and behind several of our competitors is a good reflection of our day.

Watch the live broadcast tomorrow – Saturday on

@starsailorsleague #SSLFinals #SSLFinals2019 #StarSailorsLeague #watchthefinals #watchthelive #Bow01 #USA

Photos by Star Sailors League / Gilles Morelle and Marc Rouiller @lightstormphotographie

Here is a link to the results:

Coconut Grove

Three races were held today, in a 15 knot northeaster for the Star fleet on Biscayne Bay. 

16 teams were happy to get out for the Winter Series opener after racing was cancelled yesterday with gusts up to 40 knots.

In race one, the windiest of the day, Augie Diaz and Bruno Prada took the win. Phil and I passed Eric Doyle right before the finish to take second. 

In race two, Doyle was on fire and led wire to wire with Augie and Bruno in second and Phil and I third. There were some good sized shifts coming off Key Biacayne and I did not get us in phase.

It was pretty much a who beats who in the final race. Doyle was over early and had to restart and Phil and I had a nice clean start and led wire to wire to take the Schoonmaker Cup.  We were both fast and in phase finally.

This was the last opportunity to train before the SSL Finals which start in about three weeks in Nassau.

Phil and I had decent speed but need a bit more time in the boat together to smooth out the corners.

Back to SFO tonight.

For complete results go to


The third annual 2019 Vintage Gold Cup is complete and we have a new winner; Eivind Melleby from Norway with Josh Revkin (USA) crewing.  Melleby won the “who-beats-who” final 8th race to take the win over Lars Grael of Brazil with Arnie Baltins crewing.

26 teams from 7 nations established a new record For competitors in this event for 50+ year old wooden Stars. Interest in the Vintage Gold Cup continues to grow and may only be limited by the logistics of the venue some day. The craftsmen who restore and maintain these boats are as much a part of this event as the beautiful boats they put at the hands of the competitors.

Danny and I finished 5th which is certainly respectable but I did not sail as well as I had in last years.  We were racing a beautiful 1953 Etchells built Star named Scimitar. Our GEM which is getting a new cedar deck put on her. She will be back in action next year!

A cold morning on Gull Lake

A big thanks to Don Parfet and Jon VanderMolen for their vision and all their hard work to make the Vintage Gold Cup such a fun event.  26 wooden Stars, all restored to an amazing beauty, is a sight to behold. Their were even 4 that were completely original with bronze hardware and wooden spars.

Complete scores at

TransPac 2019-Pyewacket

While the 2019 Trans Pacific Yacht Race was the 23rd consecutive for Pyewacket owner Roy P. Disney, this was a special race. It was the 50th anniversary of the iconic race, with 92 yachts competing. On July 13th , we left the dock in Long Beach with aspirations to win. As fate would have it, our mission this year, would be of a higher calling.

After a slow first day, fighting the light southeasterly winds of a Catalina Eddy, we finally got the northwesterly gradient winds around 15:00 on Sunday the 15th and started hitting speeds of 12 knots on a heading of 220.

As night fell and a full moon rose on the cloudless sky, the wind increased to 18-20 knots and the boat speed rose to 15 knots. We were sailing with a reefed Mainsail, Genoa staysail and Blast Reacher as we passed into the early hours of Monday.

At 01:55PDT, Monday July 15, a distress call was made to the US Coast Guard by the yacht OEX, on channel 16. Onboard Pyewacket, Ben Mitchell, who was getting dressed for his watch, heard the call and asked out navigator Tom Addis to check on the location of OEX. We soon found out that the sinking yacht was just 3 miles and almost directly ahead of us.

In an instant, and without hesitation, our mindset shifted from full race to full rescue. At 15 knots of boat speed, the target would be just 12 minutes ahead. It was dark and fairly windy. There was a lot to do.

A flare went off and we could see the strobes from life rafts containing our fellow competitors.

A crew of veteran ocean racers, we slowed our boat, dropped, flaked and lashed down all three sails, We made sure all lines were out of the water before starting the engine. Doing any of the above tasks incorrectly could have rendered us useless as a rescue vessel.

As we pulled up alongside and to leeward of the two rafts, we immediately asked if all of the crew were accounted for. They were. We proceeded to board the 9 sailors. We then recovered and stowed their two life rafts. The speed with which we executed the rescue made it seem benign. 

Just 100 meters away, with it decks now awash, the sinking yacht, with its mainsail haplessly flapping in the darkness, looked like a ghost ship.

10 minutes after arriving on the scene and with all onboard, we asked if any of the crew were injured or hypothermic. While all 9 were in good condition, some had been waist deep in water trying to plug the giant hole in the hull where the rudder had parted company with the yacht. We got them down below and offered some dry clothes and hot drinks. 

The crew of Pyewacket maintained its watch system to operate the yacht in a professional an orderly manner, albeit toward a new destination.

The Coast Guard asked Pyewacket if we were capable of getting our entire charge back to Los Angeles safely to which we responded in the affirmative. Approximately 24 hours later Pyewacket docked at Windward shipyard in Marina Del Rey with 19 souls onboard. Several of the OEX spouses were there to greet their men and all were very appreciative of Pyewacket’s efforts.


In Summary

Fundamental Rule #1.1 of Sailing states: A boat or competitor shall give all possible help to any person or vessel in danger. 

The very experience that we on Pyewacket were planning to put to use to win a race got put to use for a much higher purpose. 

Rather than sharing a trophy we, the crew of Pyewacket 2019, share a strong sense of camaraderie, honor and pride in rendering assistance to fellow competitors in peril. There is no greater calling as a sportsman!

Pyewacket crew:
Roy P. Disney
Gary Weisman
Ben Mitchell
Tom Addis
Scott Easom
Brad Jackson
Mark Callahan
Mark Towill 
Robbie Kane
Paul Cayard 

San Francisco

Back home after a great week of Star sailing in one if the most idyllic venues in the world …Porto Cervo.

Arthur and I ended up 6th in the World Championship with a solid second place finish in the 20 knot final race.  The Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) and Bruno Prada (BRA) won the race and the championship.  For Bruno, this was his 5th Star World Championship victory which is a new record in the class. Augie Diaz (USA) with Henry Boening (BRA) were leading going into the final race and finished second overall.

Complete scores can be found at:

Hiking hard

I am in SF for a few days and  then La Jolla  for a weekend with my good friend Mark McLaughlin and family friends.

On July 5th I am off to Fremantle to be with my daughter for the launch of my first grandchild.  60 and a grandfather all in 6 weeks!

Porto Cervo

We are at the half way point of the Star World Championship. Light air has prevailed making for tedious sailing. Arthur (Tutu) Lopes and I are in fourth place, with 32 points, after scoring a 19th in the opener. Augie Diaz has sailed very fast and well in these conditions and is leading with 15 points. A discard will factor into results after race 4.

The fleet of 63 teams from 20 nations will experience more light winds today…4-6 knots. Friday may see the wind getting up to 10 knots.

For complete results go to

Photos by Marc Rouiller

Riva del Garda

After five days of racing with 12 races, 4 of which were yesterday, Arthur “Tutu” Lopes(BRA) and I got the Bronze in the European Championship. 

Robert Scheidt(BRA) showed once again why he is the athlete of our era. With his crew Henry Boening, Robert came from behind on the final run of the final race to pass Xavier Rohart (FRA) and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot to take the win. Mateusz Kusznierewicz(POL) with Federico Melo(POR) crewing, were fourth in the Final.  A four finalists are Star World Champions.

It was a very physical 5 days with 12 races, mostly in 15 knots and above and with free pumping for the final three races. The temperature of both the water and air was older than usual and the rain at lake level produced snow in the surrounding mountains. This meant a lot of layers of neoprene and that much more to fight against. I will be tired for a few days!

01 USA 8550 // Skipper: Paul Cayard // Crew: Arthur Lopes

The European Championship, an International Star Class sanctioned event, was combined with the Star Sailors League(SSL), and titled the Breeze Grand Slam. The SSL has brought so much to the Star Class and Sailing in the last five years. This event was another example; 90 competitors from 16 nations, live coverage on the internet, You know the SSL from the Finals we race in the Bahamas every December. The idea is to have 3 Grand Slams per year followed by the Finals at the end of the year.

While I should be thrilled to get bronze against a fleet of 92 competitors, including some of the most decorated sailors in the world, I have a bit of remorse today. After winning the semi-final over Scheidt and Rohart. Tutu and I had the lead, albeit a small lead of 30 meters, for the first lap of the two lap Final. However, after rounding the gate at the end of the first lap, we chose to go left initially while Rohart and Scheidt went to the right. The next time we came together, they were 50 meters ahead. We chose to keep it close rather than splitting and looking for a significant wind shift. We were hoping for them to fight a bit and create an opportunity. That chance never came.

The remorse comes from knowing how hard it is to get in a position to win one of these championships, especially in the “knock out” era. There are so many chances to lose…. and yet we had made it to the final race, and we had the lead and we had the speed to win. As an athlete you don’t remember all the brilliant things you did that allowed you to qualify for the final, you only remember the final result. But that is the fuel that drives an athlete. Yesterday also happened to be my 60th birthday!

So for me, I will take that fuel into the Star World Championship, June 17-23 in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. The format will be different. Six races over six days, longer courses and one race per day. It has been 31 years since I won the World Championship. Last year I placed 3rd. I am still at the top of this game. To win another World Championship would cure the blues I feel today. I am driven! I can’t wait to get to the gym tomorrow!

Fragile Vela Riva made mer a cake that we enjoyed with 200 people!

For complete results go to: or

Star Sailors League Fraglia Vela Riva St. Francis Yacht Club US Sailing