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Going for the Gold in Oxford

Published on October 6th, 2018

Over sixty teams from eleven countries have gathered for the 2018 Star World Championship in Oxford, MD. Known for its tricky current and shifty wind conditions, this could deliver high scores during the 6-race series from October 8 to 13 with reserve days on October 14-15.

Teams flocked to the venue earlier this week to begin preparations including registration, measurement, and on the water training. Several Olympians, over ten former World Champions, and many of the 2018 Silver Star Champions will vie for the 2018 Gold Star title.

The primary variable of concern this week is the current out on the Choptank River and for many, the practice days leading up to the event are their first taste of the challenges that lie ahead. Said reigning World Champion Eivind Melleby, present with crew Josh Revkin to defend their World Championship title, “We like shifty difficult conditions so we’re looking forward to this event. We’re going to have fun… as long as we can get the current right.”

The Tred Avon Yacht Club hosted the 2014 Star North Americans where many of these sailors experienced the dynamic current and unstable breeze for the first time. None of the top five overall teams in the fleet were able to pull off a race win, in fact the average finishing place per race for the 2014 Champion was 8th.

“The race course is really challenging,” notes past World Champion Augie Diaz. “Regardless of where the wind is coming from we’re going to be really pressed to not just go fast but position ourselves properly. I think that with the level of competition that we have here and depth, consistency is going to be key and I think it’s going to be really hard to be consistent. The wind is shifting and the current is running but not consistent across the course so you have to read and react.”

The Chesapeake Bay area has played host to over fifteen International Star Class Championship events in the 95 year history of the Class, three of which have been hosted by the Eastern Shore’s own Tred Avon Yacht Club. The 2018 Star World Championship will be the first World Championship the club has hosted.

Racing will be held Monday October 8th through Saturday October 13th with one race scheduled each day at 1200 EDT (UTC -4).

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Source: Laura Beigel

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