Well it wasn’t pretty but we got the job done. It would have been nice to have just kept getting 1’s and 2’s but that wasn’t to be. John MacCausland and Phil Trinter sailed well today with a 4, 1, 4 to tie us. Luckily because we had won the first two races, the tie break went in our favor.

George Szabo and Rick Peters won the first race of the day in 8 knots from 320… offshore. Alberto Zanetti of Argentina was second and we managed a 3rd in that one.

The wind dropped and bit and was quite unstable but generally was going left.

MacCausland and Trinter won the second race on a nice shift on the first run. John Gimson and Ed Greig of England were second with Eric Doyle third.

At this point the discard came into play and we had a three point lead over MacCausland/Trinter and neither of us could lose to Szabo/ Peters who were in third.

So we were match racing MacCausland/Trinter. The current was running pretty hard pushing the fleet over the line. We had MacCausland and Trinter in a world of trouble in two recalled starts. In the final start they got off clean and at first cross were ahead of us. We tried to keep it close rather than race our own race. This is tough in a tight fleet on a relatively short course. In the end they beat us by three places making a tie.

Doyle won that last race which is nice for him as he grew up here in “The Pass”.

All is well that ends well. It was a great month of Star sailing with my buddy Austin. 5th at Bacardi and 1st here. With the court decision this week I now join the ranks of the unemployed. Time to look for a new adventure. You never know what’s around the corner.

For complete scores go to: www.pcyc-gya.org

All racing was cancelled today due to high winds, thunderstorms, lightening and large hail. The competitors moved their boats behind and under the club to protect them from the strong southerly winds which gusted up to 35 knots at one point.

I have a few picture enclosed to give you a better idea. Also a picture of Hoss “Michael” Sperry with his medals won so far.

Three races are scheduled for tomorrow with the first start at 1000.

Four races are required to complete the series, if five races or more are completed, each yacht will discard their worst score.

For complete scores go to: www.pcyc-gya.org

















Races 2 and 3 were completed today under overcast skies with a 10 knot northeasterly breeze that dropped to 6 knots by the end of race 3.

There was a 0.6 knot current running to the west all day and this was a big factor with regard to lay lines. There was no perceivable relief anywhere on the course.

We had an average start in the first race and we 5th coming to with windward mark. We got a bit lucky and positioned ourselves well to round just ahead of John MacCausland/Phil Trinter. Eric Doyle/Brian Sharpe were third. Both of these teams realized that the current would make the run a fetch on port tack so the gybed immediately. We extended a bit on starboard, then gybed. The wind clocked a bit also so they layed the leeward mark and we were in third place. Things stayed pretty much the same on the second windward leg.

At the final windward mark, the Race Committee signaled a course change to the finish which was to the right of the previous run. All three of us gybed to port and sailed for 5-6 minutes. We checked our compass and saw that we were 50 degrees off the posted course of 280. Then we saw a new mark being set. To cut to the point, we cut the corner and won the race. Doyle second MacCausland third and our house mates Hagebols/Brown finished 4th.

In the second race we really liked the right. We started at the right end of the line and tacked immediately to port. We got a nice shift and more pressure out to the right and were first to the first windward mark. The wind speed was about 7 knots at this point. The wind dropped a bit more down the run but we managed to stay in first. Jock Kohlhas with Brad Balmart crewing were right behind us and Larry Whipple with Mike Wolfs were in third. Up the second windward leg, we let Jock and Brad get a bit to the right of us and they passed us. They were going fast as well. Jock and won the race, we finished second and Whipple/Wolfs finished third.

We are leading the regatta for now but there are four more races left. Tomorrow we will likely see a completely different condition, windy with big waves. A large low pressure area is approaching the area from the North West.

For complete scores go to: www.pcyc-gya.org

A small fleet of Stars has turned up here in Mississippi for the Western Hemisphere Championship also known as the Spring Championship. There is one Spring Championship in Europe and one in North America each year.

This year there are 18 boats here in Pass Christian. My crew, Austin Sperry, lives here so I am staying with him and his wife Sally.

The Pass Christian Yacht Club has been in existence since 1849 and there has been sailing here on the Gulf Coast for 300 years. The only time I have raced on the Gulf Coast prior to this was the 1985 Spring Championship in New Orleans, at the Southern Yacht Club. There is a long standing tradition of racing Stars here on the Gulf Coast.

The schedule for this week is for two races per day, for four days, starting today. There will be one discard in the series.

The forecast for the week is fairly breezy every day with thunderstorms and lots of rain today. So much for the nice sunshine we enjoyed yesterday.

Today the fleet had a practice race which Austin and I managed to win. They say it is bad luck to win the practice race but I wanted to check again to see if that is still true. We also have #13 as our bow number this week so maybe all of that working together is good luck.

In any case, we are lucky to be down here and racing!

If you are waiting for an America’s Cup update, apparently the New York Supreme court issues decisions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Today is Tuesday so standby.

Paul Cayard

While most of the sailing world was on its toes waiting for the NY court to issue its decision regarding the America’s Cup feud, Hoss and I were out racing the Star on the Gulf Coast.

Thunderstorms forced a one hour postponement this morning and then the wind died after we finished the first race so we got just one in today.

But that one was a good one for Austin (Hoss) Sperry and I as we led wire to wire in the first race of this series.

The wind was light and there were 30 degree shifts both sides of 215 (southwest) while the wind velocity went from 7 knots to 3 knots and back up to 7 knots. It wasn’t any easy race for anyone so we were just lucky to hold the lead through it all.

John MacCausland and Phil Trinter sailed nicely to finish 2nd and my long time friend Larry Whipple with Mike Wolfs crewing finished 3rd.

For complete scores go to www.pcyc-gya.org

Tomorrows forecast is for sunshine and a light southeasterly after torrential rains between midnight and 0500.

Another perfect day, 78 degrees, 10 knots of wind from the southeast. We did have a big cloud come over the course today and kill the wind for a while on the second windward leg but, I don’t think it shuffled the results too much.

We were convinced about the right side of the course today so we started up by the right handside of the line and tacked shortly after the start. That was wrong. We were deep all day! At this moment I am not even sure where we finished but it may have been 30th. It doesn’t really matter because thankfully all those “mediocre” finishes we had all week look pretty good right now as we will count an 11th and can discard today’s finish.

Peter Bromby and Magnus Liljedahl won the race and the Bacardi Cup. They sailed really well all week. Mark Medleblatt/Bruno Prada also sailed well today and finished second overall. John VanderMollen who had been second most of the week had an even worse race than us today, so we may have passed him. The Irish were over early at the start. They were just to windward of us so we were a bit lucky there but again, it wouldn’t have mattered. Rick Merriman and Phil Trinter (USA) sailed a solid second half of the series to finish 3rd with Flavio Marazzi (SUI) just one point behind them in 4th. I think we were 5th but I have not seen the scores. If so, I am pretty happy with that considering my rust.

It was a lot of fun sailing the Star again and sailing with Austin. I think it is doing me some good too. Even though today was our worst score I feel so much more comfortable in the boat than I did a week ago.

We will race again in two weeks in Mississippi for the Western Hemisphere Championship.

Tomorrow Austin and I will drive the boat and truck to Gulfport, Mississippi.

Thanks for following us this week.

Top 10 Boats

1 2 3 4 5 6
Bromby Peter 
Liljedahl Magnus 
6.0 [AVG] 2.0 2.0 1.0 24.0 1.0
Mendelblatt Mark 
3.0 23.0 1.0 10.0 3.0 2.0
Merriman Rick 
Sharp Brian 
6.0 44.0 7.0 6.0 12.0 8.0
Marazzi Flavio 
Pedersen Petter 
65.0 [OCS] 12.0 13.0 3.0 5.0 7.0
Cayard Paul 
Sperry Austin 
11.0 10.0 8.0 5.0 11.0 24.0
Vandermolen Jon 
Ewenson Geoff 
2.0 16.0 6.0 2.0 20.0 30.0
Wright Peter 
Quist Nathan 
13.0 3.0 19.0 13.0 13.0 10.0
Macdonald Andy 
Fatih Brian 
65.0 [DNF] 13.0 3.0 11.0 8.0 18.0
Pickel Marc 
Mitchell Steve 
5.0 26.0 45.0 8.0 2.0 14.0
O’Leary Peter 
Goodbody Tim 
4.0 29.0 17.0 4.0 4.0 65.0 [OCS]

Another perfect day: 80 degrees, 12-14 knots of wind, sunshine, short chop on Biscayne Bay. 70 Stars on the starting line. It doesn’t get better than this.

Unfortunately, our score could have. We had a decent start but got out to the left of the first windward leg and the right was better once again. 27th at the first mark. Ouch! But that is when we start to kick it into gear. Hoss (Austin) said, “Come on Boss. Wake up Dude! We have got to get this cart in gear.” That is code for; “Hey buddy, we can still catch up a bit.” Every day but one has been the big comeback for us and today was no different. 4 legs and 16 boats passed to finish 11th.

The race was won by Andrew Campbell of San Diego who is a new “kid” in the class. Andrew went to the Georgetown University and sailed lasers in the last Olympic Games for the USA. The scary thing is that I sailed on the same America’s Cup team as his father Bill Campbell in the 1983 Cup! And I had been sailing Star already for 6 years by then. I know, I know….the is just amazing considering I am just 37.

Mark Pickle of Germany led at every rounding of the race only to get ground down by Andrew and on the last leg.

Mark Mendleblatt had a good race to finish third and move himself up into 2nd over all. Peter O’Leary of IRL also had a good race finishing 4th which moves them into 4th. John VanderMollen who was second after yesterday’s race finished 20th and Peter Bromby and Magnus Liljedahl finished 24th! And yes, this was the windiest day of the regatta. So the regatta is not over. We could technically still win!

Not only did we not have a stellar race, but the discard starting being applied today and we have been very consistent through out the series which does not get rewarded in a regatta that allows you to discard your worst race. So every boat ahead of us is discarding a big number; Bromby 24, Mendleblatt 23, VanderMollen 20, O’Leary 29, Meriman 44, Marazzi 65 and we are discarding just 11 points. The good news is that we have sailed pretty well every day and for a four year absence I am very happy. Also, if things go badly tomorrow we wont sink too far as the worst we will score tomorrow is 11 points.

Tomorrow’s start is moved up to 11:00 and the forecast is similar to today. We made some changes to our rig this morning to account for the more wind and I think we went pretty well considering we are very light compared to everyone else.

So we are all set for tomorrow and we can go for it a bit knowing that we have 5 decent scores already.

What the heck, it is time to go for it!

Check the scores at: www.bacardicup.com

It’s been almost seven months since I was in a Star boat. Given the last 3+ years of full time campaigning I was really crispy, tired and burned out….and wondered if I would ever hop back in the boat.

Then I got the call. “Hoss, it’s Boss. We’re going sailing,” said Paul (Cayard).

My first thought was “Gee, I hope I am out of this cast (post knee surgery) in time to make the Bacardi Cup!” To make a long story longer, I rehabbed my knee five days a week. Once I was cleared to sail by Dr. James Andrews, I made the call to Paul telling him that ‘the Eagle was ready for take off!’. Truthfully, I thought I was cleared too early by the doctor, but last time I checked I didn’t have an MD at the end of my name.

My Dad and Paul drove together from San Francisco (man they have some good stories!!) towing Paul’s Star. They stopped in Mississippi for three days where they tried out far too many waffle houses and we did some training out of the Pass Christian Yacht Club. Then the three of us road tripped together for the last 800 miles to Miami.

At one point my old man was driving and forgot to pull into the toll booth lane (apparently he thought we had a sun pass on the Florida turnpike – note that none of us live in Florida). So the cameras started to flash and proceeded to record every license plate from the Star trailer to the front and back of the big Dodge Ram. We decided that at the next toll booth we would fess up and it turned out that this was a good move especially when the traffic is full on!

We have been here for one week now and I am having the time of my life. The weather is fantastic, the wind is perfect and the water is warm. I really like sailing with Paul. The guy is amazing on the tiller. Unfortunately, I am very rusty having been out of the game for seven months, but thus far we have improved every race so the trend looks promising.

We have completed four races and have two remaining, we are in 3rd place overall with about 65 boats competing for the Bacardi Cup.

Yesterday we had a great day. We finished the race 5th. We had an unbelievable start at the pin with Peter Bromby/Magnus Lilijhdal and traded tacks up most of the beat. I have to take my hat off to Peter and Magnus they are sailing a great regatta.

Truthfully, after being away with my knee surgery/therapy I didn’t know if I wanted to come back and go again but being here with Paul and the boys makes me reconsider…..besides these are my good friends so what else would I do?

One more race to go then back to Mississippi for the Spring Championships sailed out of PCYC.


It is still sunny and 80 degrees. The wind blew a bit harder today 8-12 knots from the Southeast.

There was a general recall and then a black flag start. When the black flag is up, if you go over the start line early you are disqualified. This has the effect of backing people off the line. You can get a real good start if you are confident of your line sight in a black flag start. We had a good line sight but ended up not using it. We started at the pin end of the line with a bias of 10 degrees. Peter Bromby was just to windward of us. He tacked to port to cross the fleet, we followed. About 5 minutes into the race, Bromby/Liljedahl and ourselves had a 100 meter lead on the third place boat.

Ok, so we had an awesome start. That is about where it ended for us. We were noticeably slower than Bromby upwind and in fact we made some errors with our tacktics so we rounded the 1st mark 4th. We then proceeded to go slow downwind and rounded the leeward gate about 10th. Bromby was first followed by the Irish team, then John Vandermullen who is now in second place in the regatta.

We made an adjustment to our rig downwind and went better up the second windward leg going from 10th to third. Then down the run we went slow for some reason, also a tactical mistake and we finished 5th. Kind of frustrating to end on a backwards move. The last few days we have been doing the passing on the last leg.

Anyway, big picture is that we have bettered finishing position each day and are now in 3rd place over all.

John Vandermullen is very fast, especially downwind. He is using a new boat called a “P-Star” built by Mark Pickle of Germany. This boat seems to be real fast. John must be sailing well too but he did go by us downwind like we were in a Snipe.

Peter Bromby and Magnus Liljedahl pretty much have the regatta sewn up as they have a 2,2,1 score line and for the first race they will get the average of race 2-5 for their score.

Two races to go and we have to keep improving. Today was really the day that I could feel the rust of not being in the class for 4 years. When you start, sail for 30 second and then tack and cross the fleet by 100 meters, you should never see anyone. The fact that we got swallowed up by the pack is testament to the rust. As it should be! If that did not happen, the Star class would not be the class that it is. Winning in this class has always meant excellence.

Tomorrow’s forecast is about the same as today; 8-12 knots from the southeast with more sun.

Place Skipper Crew 1 2 3 4 5 6 Total
1 Bromby Peter  Liljedahl Magnus  6.0 [AVG] 2.0 2.0 1.0 24.0 1.0 12
2 Mendelblatt Mark  PRADA BRUNO  3.0 23.0 1.0 10.0 3.0 2.0 19
3 Merriman Rick  Sharp Brian  6.0 44.0 7.0 6.0 12.0 8.0 39
4 Marazzi Flavio  Pedersen Petter  65.0 [OCS] 12.0 13.0 3.0 5.0 7.0 40
5 Cayard Paul  Sperry Austin  11.0 10.0 8.0 5.0 11.0 24.0 45
6 Vandermolen Jon  Ewenson Geoff  2.0 16.0 6.0 2.0 20.0 30.0 46
7 Wright Peter  Quist Nathan  13.0 3.0 19.0 13.0 13.0 10.0 52
8 Macdonald Andy  Fatih Brian  65.0 [DNF] 13.0 3.0 11.0 8.0 18.0 53
9 Pickel Marc  Mitchell Steve  5.0 26.0 45.0 8.0 2.0 14.0 55
10 O’Leary Peter  Goodbody Tim  4.0 29.0 17.0 4.0 4.0 65.0 [OCS] 58

Short story. We got 8th moved up to 4th overall. More Later.