Nassau, Bahamas

Today was the first day of the 2015 SSL Finals on Montegue Bay. Four races were held in 6-8 knots of wind from the southeast. While this was less strenuous than 4 races in the typical Nassau winds of 15-18 knots, it was no walk in the park.

The 19 competitors here are World Champions or Olympic medalists. There are Finn sailors, Laser sailors, Soling sailors and of course Star sailors. The idea of SSL is to bring together the best one design sailors in the world and race.  This year there was one “grand slam” event in Switzerlamd in September and now the final. Next year there will be two grand slams plus the final. The plan is to build up to four grand slams plus the final each year.

I haven’t been racing in the SSL since the first event 2 years ago so I was quite happy to be invited to this years final.

The Star is uniquely qualified to be the equipment for this purpose. A laser sailor at 78 kilos can compete on an even footing with a Finn or Star sailor at 100 kilos due to the total crew weight limit.  The Star is very technical boat but still sails like a dinghy. With no rule 42 limits on rocking and pumping of the sails, this regatta is a strenous workout 100% of the time.

 

The format of this regatta is to have a maximum of 9 “qualifying” races over the first three days. The winner of this segment is qualified directly into the semi-final.  Places 2-11 will race a one race 1/4 final with the top 6 moving onto the semi final with the winner of the qualifying round. The top 4 from the semi final will race in the final with the winner of that final race being the winner of the SSL final. All these final races will take place on Saturday.

This format brings excitement to the regatta because no matter who wins the early rounds, and no matter by how many points, the winner will be the winner of the last race.  You can watch these races live on line at http://finals.starsailors.com

Xavier Rohart FRA won the day with a very consistent 1, 2, 2, 10. Diego Negri ITA had the second best day with a 2, 1, 5, 19. Brian Sharp and I had scores of 10, 4, 12, 18 and are in 9th. The worst score is discarded.

The forecast for tomorrow is more light winds with the Nassau breeze e returning for Friday and Saturday.

For complete results go to http://finals.starsailors.com/results-2/

Paul

Photo by Carlo Borlenghi

Porto Cervo

The Perini Cup is held once every two years, in Porto Cervo. It is an iconic location of these luxurious sailing yachts. Perini’s are mostly 180-200′ in length.

As in St. Barts in March, I was sailing as tactician onboard Joey Kempfer’s, Rosehearty. The racing format is “pursuit racing” which means the lowest rating and slowest boat starts first and the fast boat starts last. If the rating system works perfectly, all the boats finish at the same time, which, while fun and exciting, could be problematic with boats of this size.

There were seventeen Perini’s in the harbor at Porto Cervo which made quite a spectacle, especially at night with all the spars lit. Seven of the yachts were racing. The largest being the Maltese Falcon at 88 meters (265′) down to Eletra, the first Perini ever built at 30 meters.
Rosehearty is 56 meters (182′), weighing in at 530 tons. Racing yachts like these requires different strategies and a lot of planing. For example, a tack takes 4 minutes to complete.

We had most of the same team from the St. Bart’s Bucket in March which helps as coordinating the maneuvers and communicating on a boat this big is one of the challenges. America’s Cup and Olympic sailor, Chris, Draiper, joined us for the Perini Cup and did an excellent job of steering the boat. Beyond being very talented, Chris is very calm and patient which you need to be in a boat like this where things tend to evolve rather than happen.

The courses were all around rocks and islands in the archipelago of La Maddelena on the northeast coast of Sardinia. The first two races where conducted in very light wind and Rosehearty won both. The yacht Clan VIII finished second in both and so the stage was set for a tight third and final race. The mistral came in at 25-28 knots for the last day and we had our hands full including a torn gennaker that took a while to get under control and back onboard. Despite that problem, we managed to finish 3rd, right behind Clan, in so doing, win the Perini Cup.

Needless to say, we had one happy owner who made a very nice speech at the prize giving. At the Gala dinner that evening at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Andrea Bocelli sang. The Perini family were great hosts of this event in the country that gives these yachts their pedigree.

More information on the Perini Cup can be found at: http://www.superyachts.com

The next race for Rosehearty will be in St. Barts next March. The next race for me will be on Lake geneva in two weeks in the 50th anniversary Blue Chip regatta. The Blue Chip is a scow regatta that has had a “mystery guest” skipper in each of the 49 years. Names like Melges, Coutts, Conner, Spithill, Reynolds, Cayard, to name a few. This year for the anniversary, all previous “mystery guests” have been invited. Should be a fun reunion.

Paul

Santa Barbara

August 9, 2010

The final event of the Southern California Summer Series was shelf this pat weekend at Santa Barbara Yacht Club.
The conditions were beautiful, smooth seas, light winds and plenty of sunshine.

This weekend Danny steered our boat and I worked up front. We finished second overall!  Danny did a great job culminating in winning he final race by just one second. The star is real tough to sail well in 5 knots of wind and that what we had in Sunday.

There isn’t a lot to feel and the helmsman has to be very smooth and patient. Danny was all of that. He did have a tough couple of races on Saturday. That is all valuable experience for him as he heads up to Seattle at the end of the month to race in the North American Championship.

Jim Buckingham and Craig Moss did a great job to win the regatta by 4 points of team Cayard.

Magnus Liljedahl will be crewing for Danny up in Seattle. I am sure they will make a great team.

For me, this has been a fantastic summer of sailing with my son. I never imagined it would have been so rewarding. I also didn’t imagine Danny would have such a knack for the Star. Nothing can make a Star world champion happier than to have his son enjoy the boat we all love so much.

My next event is the Mercury Nation Championship where I will be sailing with my college buddy Kenny Maring at Balena Bay in Alameda.

For complete results visit the Santa Barbara Yacht Club website.

Paul

Edgartown

July 24, 2015

 

I have been in Edgartown for the past two days racing onboard Foggy, a brand new Frers 75′. Foggy is not just a racing boat but more like a work of art. She has a number of artistic touches, not common to racing boats, that have been added by famed architect Frank Gehry.

Foggy is wood inside and out, over a carbon core. She has skylights and port lights that are composed of hundreds of small pieces arranged in interesting shapes. Through these hundreds of small glass pieces, light is let in a very animated way. The light seems to dance or swim around inside the boat.

On the racing side, we have had 6 races, all conducted in very light winds. This hasn’t favored our 70000 pound beauty. We have a great group of sailors onboard assembled by Eric Arndt who has spent the past 8 months up in Brooklin, Maine putting Foggy together. The Brooklin boat builders are amazing craftsmen. Foggy is a fine piece of art.

Tomorrow is the last race; around Martha’s Vineyard island. This is 56 miles and the forecast is again for very light winds. We will no doubt get in late so I probably won’t write another report from here.

I will be back out here mid August to race in Nantucket which is just to the east of the Vineyard. I am getting a good dose of east coast in the summer. Not a bad thing for us left coasters to do every once in a while.

My next race is the Lipton Cup in Santa Barbara, August 8 and 9, where I will be sailing again with my son Danny in our Star.

Paul

 

Star Boat Paul Cayard

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

Father’s Day

Newport Beach CA

18 teams competed for the 5th District Championship and the Baxter Bowl on Father’s Day weekend. The top two teams were, appropriately,  father-son teams!

Six Star races were conducted over the weekend by Newport Harbor Yacht Club.   The conditions were typical; sunshine, 6-8 knots  of wind and sloppy seas.  It was tough sailing in a highly competitive fleet that contained no less than 4 Gold Stars. Newport Beach, the harbor and its magnificent homes, is an idilc spot and the Newport Harbor yacht club was a great host!

The Baxter Bowl is an annual event at NHYC but the District Championship rotates venues in California. This year the two coincided in Newport Beach.

Jim “Buck” Buckingham and Austin “Hoss” Sperry were the class of the fleet on Saturday with a 1, 1, 3 score line. Carl Buchan, (Gold Medal 1984 and Gold Star 1992) sailing with his son Jamie (son and Grandson of Bill), had a good day with a 2, 5, 3.  Danny Cayard and I had a tough day. I made a lot of mistakes and we had scores of 9, 11, 3 and were lying in 7th place at the end of Saturday.

Sunday was our day, With scores of 1, 2, 1,  Danny and I were on fire. Even the race that I got a bad start, we cleared out and went to the right and were second to the top mark. After feeling a bit down about Saturday’s scores, we put in a strong bid. However the Buchan Family had scores 2, 8, 2 to go with their 3, 5, 2 from Saturday and that was enough for them to win the Baxter Bowl. (all teams had one discard) Danny and I finished second 2 points back and Jim Buckingham/ Austin Sperry finished 3rd.

Danny and I were awarded the 5th District Championship trophy as the  Buchan’s are from district 6. Many legendary sailing names on the 5th District trophy like North, Burnham, Conner, Bennett, Blackaller, Ficker, Beek, Lehman, Jessop, Cowie, Trask, Brun, Driscoll, Haines, and Kostecki.

Beyond the Buchan’s and Buckingham/Sperry, Mark Reynold/Hal Hanel (Silver 88, Gold 92 & 00, Gold Star ’95 & ’00), Eric Doyle Gold Star 99, Benny “Benwa” Mitchell with Brad Rodi crewing, Derek DeCouteau from Seattle, and Chuck Driscoll, all posted great results this year.

Today, I had the best Fathers Day of my life! Period.

The next event on the SoCal circuit is the King of Spain in Marina del Rey July 11-12.

Can’t wait for another opportunity to be racing with my son!

For complete results go to: www.nhyc.org/files/15_BaxterBowl.htm

Paul

 

photo © Harriet Lewis Pallette

San Diego

May 24, 2015

The past two days a fleet of 16 Stars have been racing on Coronado Rhodes competing for the Rollins Bowl.  Chick Rollins was a fiery character who graced the San Diego Bay Star fleet for over 50 years.

The usual cast of characters from California were in attendance including 4 Gold Star winners; Szabo, Doyle, Reynolds and Cayard.  A fifth Gold Star winner, Vince Brun, was also in attendance as crew for Ben Mitchell.  That’s right, Vince Brun crewed!

The winds on Saturday were perfect, 6-8 knots and “fairly” steady.  Sunday was significantly lighter and more challenging.

Through it all, George Szabo and Craig Moss won the regatta. I was sailing with my son Danny, his first time in a Star.  So I was winning before counting any points.  But we didn’t do badly in the points category either, missing out on first by just one point.  We’ll have to wait for the competitive win on another day but I for sure, nothing is better than  sailing a Star with my son!

Jimmy Buckingham and Austin Sperry were third and Mitchell/Brun finished strong in 4th.

The next So Cal Star summer series event in the Baxter Bowl in Newport Beach next month.  Team Cayard will be there!

For complete results go to http://sdyc.org/results15/rollins_bowl_res.htm

 

Paul

 

John Payne Photo

Coconut Grove

One race today in perfect conditions again!  10-12 knots from the southeast, warm water, warm air.  I don’t think we have had a week of Star sailing this good, anywhere, in a very long time.

Lars Grael turned it on today and got the win.  Brian Ledbetter continued his strong form and local legend Augie Diaz finished third.  Brian and I had a bad start and struggled our way back to 12th to secure third overall.  We were pretty happy with that considering to two very bad races we sailed earlier in the series.  Augie Diaz and John MacCausland rounded out the top 5.

We did improve our downwind speed through the week, relearning little tricks that I have probably learned and forgotten 3 or 4 times through the years.

The season is finished here in Miami so I am going to send my boat to the west coast where we have one regatta a month starting with San Diego in May.  I would like to sail a couple of these races with my son Danny.  He has never sailed with me in the Star.  I think it could be a lot of fun. In early September the North American Championship will be in Seattle which will cap off the 5 events out there.  Then back to Miami for the winter series starting in November.

A big thank you to my crew Brian Terhaar who did a great job up front all week!

For complete results go to: yachtscoring.com

Paul

John Payne Photo

Coconut Grove

Two races were held today on Biscayne Bay, in ideal conditions for Star racing.  The wind was again 8-12 knots from the South.  Blue skies, warm water and slightly warmer air temperature.

In the first race, Brian and I shook off the morning blues, or what ever it was that we had the first two days, and won the first race.  We were 5th after the first lap but sailed the second windward leg very well to round first, overlapped with Ledbetter. Ledbetter/ Revkin closed in on us at the finish and we must have beaten them by less than a foot.  Andy MacDonald and Brad Nichol sailed a good race to finish third.

In the second race, Ledbetter/Revkin led wire to wire and closed out the regatta with one race to spare.  Their total score without a discard is better than anyones score with a discard.  Congrats to them, they sailed very well.  Miami local Augie Diaz and Arnis Baltins play doth left side of the course well downwind and upwind to take second place.  Third place went to Arthur Anosov and Dave “Julius” Caesar.

Brian and I were fighting near the top the whole race.  I made a couple mistakes with the wind shifts.  Also, keeping the boat going fast all the time is not easy.  The wind is fickle so you are constantly changing gears.  In the end, five of us came to the finish line all overlapped and we  just managed to edge out the others to take 6th.

So with Ledbetter/Revkin taking first place, the battle for second is on.  Lars Grael and John MacCausland are tied on 26 points.  Brian and I have removed up nicely from 9th to 4th overall with 30 points.  Behind us in 5th is Aguie Diaz with 40 points.

The forecast for tomorrow is more of the same.  One race only tomorrow, starting at 11:00.

as usual, for complete results go to: http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=1230

Paul

John Payne Photo

Coconut Grove

Two races were held again today on Biscayne Bay, in 8-11 knots from the south.  The wind was quite shifty again which gave everyone plenty of opportunity to move up…….. or down.

In the first race Brian and I crossed the starting line too early.  This meant we had to go back and restart about 1 minute after the others.  We had made up some ground, and then our starboard shroud let go.  Somehow the bolt that held it on had come unthreaded. We were very lucky not to lose the mast right then and there. We were able to find a spare pin to in the boat and get the shroud back on. In the end we finished 21st.   John MacCausland and Bruno Prada had bad luck in that they did not realize that they were over the start early and did not go back so they were scored as didi not start….last.

Brian Led Better and Josh Revkin sailed an excellent race to that the win followed by Marcelo Fuchs and Donald Seifert.  Andy MacDonnald and Brad Nichol had a good race to round out the top three.  I don’t know how they all got to those positions cuz I couldn’t see, but those are the results.

In the second race, we had a good start very close to Lars Grael.  We were able to play the first two shifts slightly better and were first to the first mark and led the entire way to the finish. It was a great race up in front with four boats fighting the whole way.  John MacCausland and  Bruno Prada eventually ended up 4th, Lars Grael and Samuel Conclaves ended up third and Brian Ledbetter and Josh Revkin finished second.

So I guess Brian and I are sailing constantly in that we are inconsistent all the time. Also, we are the only team to have won two races. Hopefully, tomorrow morning we can have a better first race.

Once the 5th race is in the books, all teams will be allowed to drop their worst score.  This will change the positions a bit.  If you go the the site below, you can see how tight things are at the top with the discard.  The first 4 boats are within two points.  Brian and I will be about 14 points off the lead with a discard.  We have made it tough on ourselves but not impossible.

For complete results go to: http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=1230

Forest for tomorrow has greatly improved.  Early this week, Saturday looked like a drift off but now it should be 10-14 knots from the southeast.

Paul