Grael, Nichol win Star Western Hemisphere Championship
Published on June 20th, 2014
Lars Grael of Brazil, teamed with local sailor Brad Nichol, edged out Augie Diaz of Miami, Florida and his partner Olympic sailor Bruno Parada, to win the BNY Mellon 2014 Western Hemisphere Star Championship.
The 29 teams were hosted by Lake Sunapee Yacht Club, with racing held June 16-20 on Lake Sunapee in Sunapee NH.
The seven race series could not have been closer. At the end of the series, after one throw out, both sailors were tied with a total of 11 points. Because Grael had three first places, compared to Diaz two first places, the winner was Grael after calculating in the tie breaker. Both skippers knew before the start of the last race, if they both finished one and two, the winner of the last race would go on to win the regatta. Grael did this in a convincing fashion.
And while they did finish 1-2, team Grael led the entire fleet, winning the last race by over three minutes. That type of a lead is almost unheard of, when racers are as talented as this field, coupled with the fact that the wind was blowing a steady 17 MPH with gusts into the twenties.
The order of finish after seven races, scored after the one race throw out, was Lars Grael 11 points, Augie Diaz 11 points, Arthur Anosov 15 points, and World Champion, John Mac Causland 28 points, and Canadian sailor Brian Cramer 29 points.