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Stars rule Biscayne Bay

Published on January 11th, 2015

The history of the International Star Class is perhaps the richest of any racing keelboat in the world, and much of that history has been written in South Florida. When the Star lost its Olympic status after the 2012 Games, the Star Winter Series (SWS) was launched to keep the flame lit in Miami.

Now in its third year, the SWS is certainly on the way up. Not only have all the regattas had stronger participation than last year but the final one, the Midwinters, grew 35% with 45% of the sailors international (CAN, SWE, BRA, UKR, ARG, ITA and GER).

Social Media has gone wild with over 9000 followers on Facebook for the Star Winter Series page. The competition gets tougher every year as the SWS gains traction and with the Star Worlds here in Miami in 2016, the SWS participation will continue to grow.

The first two days of the SWS Midwinters were the Walker Cup (Jan. 8-9) named after the legendary Harry Walker who sailed Stars for 71 years. Canada took command with Brian Cramer and Cam Lymburner winning the Cup. The Walker Cup races were folded into the Midwinters (Jan. 8-11) giving it 4 days total of racing in the Miami sun while the rest of the world was freezing.

The competition in this regatta was incredible, with Brazilians Lars Grael and Samuel Gonçalves setting the pace despite a broken mast in race one which they were winning with 300 yards to the finish. But in the no discard series, the winner was Augie Diaz and Arnis Baltins by 8 points over the Brazilians, with Peter Vessella and Guy Avellon in third. Complete resultsPhotos

The overall results for the entire Star Winter Series would use the finishing place at each regatta as points. The sum of the best three of the four 2 DAY regattas plus the Mid-Winter regatta place multiplied times two determined the final standings.

Topping the scoreboard was America’s Cup skipper Paul Cayard and Olympian Magnus Liljedahl, edging out Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Augie Diaz and Arnis Baltins with Peter Vessella and Guy Avellon in third place.

Miami Star Winter Series
– Schoonmaker Cup: November 22-23, 2014 (up to 5 races)
– Commodores Cup/District 20 Championship: December 13-14, 2014 (up to 5 races)
– Levin Memorial: January 3-4, 2015 (up to 5 races)
– Walker Cup: January 8-9, 2015 (up to 4 races)
– Star Midwinters: January 8-11, 2015 (up to 8 races, includes Walker Cup)

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