Szabo/Mitchell win first race of Star Worlds

Published on April 10th, 2016

Miami, FL (April 10, 2016) – Racing at the 2016 Star World Championship got underway today at Coral Reef Yacht club in Miami. Seventy-two teams from 13 nations, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Ukraine and United States, faced tough conditions and high competition on the first day.

The race course offered spectacular conditions on Biscayne Bay with winds at 15 knots of wind with gusts of 18 knots at the top of the course from 80° with 20° shifts and very choppy. The Race Committee set a Course 0 with 2.2-mile long legs and fired the first signal on time at 11.30 hrs with 3 attempts.

The third start was done under Black Flag. Finally, the third trial to start this first race was valid but unfortunately, some Star Sailors flew off the pin getting over. The teams that were over early are Paul Cayard / Brian Fatih, James Babel / Scott Benson, Torben Schmidt Grael / Guilherme de Almeida, Allan Cullen / Dave Martin and Robert Stanjek / Frithjof Kleen.

Although the start was the key factor in sailing a successful race, competitors had to fight for a good position on the first upwind leg. At the first part of this first leg, the majority of the fleet sailed to the left side of the course the windward and then most of them moved to the left.

At first, looked like the right was the favored side but at the top of the windward, the tricky and typical lefty of Biscayne Bay gave an advantage to the fleet that was coming from the left making the sailors reached the first mark without much separation. Through the reach, the last Star World Champion, Lars Grael, made a great recovery next to the Team Croatia and Team Argentina.

The wind shifted on the last second upwind making the Race Committee reset the marks. This time the wind shift right at the top of the mark and some sailors got over the lay line making big changes on the positions of the sailors. The second upwind was rounded by John MacCausland / Dave Caesar, followed by Brian Ledbetter / Joshua Revkin.

The fleet completed the downwind and by the third upwind the definition of this first race finally came, George Szabo / Steve Mitchell led the fleet, followed by Luke Lawrence / Ian Coleman who had a tight finish against Augie Diaz / Bruno Prada who finished in the third place.

On Monday, the regatta schedule continues with the second race of the Star World Championship 2016. Anything can happen as three Top Star Sailors of the Class got BFD (black flag’ed) today, Paul Cayard, Torben Grael and the team Robert Stanjek & Frithjof Kleen give the fleet a little advantage.

Racing continues through April 16, 2016.

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