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Torben Grael and Guilherme Almeida win Star North Americans

Published on October 11th, 2014

Oxford, MD (October 11, 2014) – The fourth and final day of the Star Class North American Championship was just as shifty as it had been all week, with 7-10 knots and rain. With seven of the eight race schedule completed, only one race today would be needed to finalize the series. After taking the lead on day three, Torben Grael and Guilherme Almeida (BRA) posted an 11th today to seal their victory. Finishing second was Tomas Hornos/ Josh Revkin (USA) with Arthur Anosov/ David Caesar (USA) in third.

Additional report by class media…
The 2014 International Star Class North American Championship came to an exciting close Saturday with the completion of the final race in the series held at the Tred Avon Yacht Club in some of the most challenging winds Star sailors have faced in a Silver or Gold Star regatta this year. Overall success was not defined by number of race wins, but by consistency and maintaining a low point average as seen in the final results. Within the top 5 finishers, none of the teams won a race throughout the series and 1st through 5th place, with 40 and 72 total points respectively, were separated by a seemingly large 32 point gap that calculates to a mere 4 point difference in race finishing place averages. Brazilians Torben Grael and Guilherme Almeida (BRA 8210) ultimately won the Championship with a cumulative 40 points and a race average 8th place for all 8 races.

For Race 8, the final race of the 2014 International Star Class North American Championship, the Race Committee sent the Star sailors on their longest and most difficult race yet: the 5 leg, windward-leeward Course 3 with 1.8 mile long legs. The wind was blowing 10-12 knots from the West at 060 deg., similar to the previous day’s wind conditions. The Race Committee started the sequence for Race 8 right on time and with all boats clear at the start, the fleet had officially begun its final crusade for the 2014 International Star Class North American Championship Silver Star title.

Shortly after the start, several boats tacked onto port and aimed for the right side of the course without looking back, a strategy that paid off huge in Race Day 3’s conditions during Race 6 and 7. Unfortunately as the fleet approached the windward mark, it became very clear that a relying entirely on the right would be the best way to sail yourself to the back of the fleet. Sailors who stuck to the left side of the course upwind made major gains playing the center-left shifts all the way to the windward mark. Douglas Smith and Chris Rogers (USA 8072) were the first team from the left to fetch the windward mark, they rounded with a 3 boat length lead and carried the fleet onto the second leg of the overall 5 leg race. Paul Cayard and Brian Terhaar (USA 8460) rounded in 2nd with Tomas Hornos and Josh Revkin (USA 8177) right on their hip. Canadians Mark Passmore and Simon Van Wonderen rounded in 4th just ahead of Arthur Anosov and David Caesar (USA 8000) in 5th.

As the Stars made their way downwind on leg 2, the wind shifted left 10 degrees giving teams who set up closer to the right side the advantage and ability to move up within the fleet more easily. USA 8460 Cayard/Terhaar had overtaken USA 8072 Smith/Rogers about halfway down leg 2 and rounded the leeward mark in the lead. USA 8177 Hornos/Revkin held on to their 2nd place position, rounding ahead of CAN 8235 Passmore/Van Wonderen in 3rd, and USA 8000 Anosov/Caesar in 4th. The Race Committee moved the weather mark to 050 deg. to match the new wind bearing and notified all competitors as they rounded the leeward gate marks and moved onto leg 3.

The first leeward mark rounding was perhaps the most pivotal point in the race because despite the left shift trend on the previous two legs and the recent windward mark change 10deg. to the left, many of the sailors, including the majority of the leading boats, set up to sail upwind on the right hand side of the course. At the second windward mark rounding, it became evident just how persistently unfavorable the right side of the course was when only one of the top five boats from the previous two mark roundings sustained its position.

Local Eastern Shore of Maryland Star Fleet member and recent recipient of the International Star Class’s Boat Donor Program, Alan Campbell with crew Steve Rollo (USA 8045) rounded the leeward mark in the low teens and anticipating another major shift, headed left. Just as they had expected, the wind shifted another 15deg. to the left and USA 8045 Campbell/Rollo sailed into 1st place eventually rounding the weather mark 10 boat lengths ahead of 2nd place USA 8177 Hornos/Revkin. Derek DeCounteau and Jamie Stewart (USA 8083) followed the pair around in 3rd place with 4th place Bob Lippincott and Michael Zuschnitt (USA 7512) and 5th place Jerry Wendt with Ezra Culver (CAN 8389), close behind. The top 5 sailed the final remaining downwind leg and leeward mark rounding in the same order, however due to another left wind shift and course change by 10 degrees to 040 deg., CAN 8389 Wendt/Culver and USA 8460 Cayard/Terhaar managed to move up a few places during leg 5 on the parade to the finish line.

Alan Campbell and crew Steve Rollo (USA 8045) crossed the finish line in 1st place, winning one of the International Star Class’s 5 North American Championship perpetual trophies: the Edward N Hay Memorial Perpetual Trophy for the 1st place finisher in the last race of the series. Race 8 was the second race at a Silver Star Championship Campbell has won thus far in his career and was Rollo’s first race win after just TWO regattas (this event included) in the Star, earning him a Star Class Honor of 2 Silver Bars as a Race Winning Crew. Jerry Wendt and crew Ezra Culver (CAN 8389) finished the race in 2nd overall, earning Culver his first Star Class Honor of 1 Silver Bar for a Race Top 3 Finishing Crew. Tomas Hornos and Josh Revkin (USA 8177) finished in 3rd place with Paul Cayard and Brian Terhaar (USA 8460) immediately behind them in 4th, and Derek DeCounteau with crew Jamie Stewart (USA 8083) crossing in 5th place.

Final standings

Event details.

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