Stormy start for Star Midwinters
Published on January 9th, 2020
Miami, FL (January 9, 2020) – The opening day of the Star Midwinters began with a dismal forecast, and after several hours of postponement due to winds gusting to 30 knots, the AP was lowered and fleet was sent out for the first race.
After a fast ride to the racecourse, teams were treated to a double triangle course, which had a wire to wire win by Denmark’s Jørgen Schönherr, sailing with Germany’s Markus Koy. Close behind was the American team of John MacCausland and Arnis Baltins.
After the two leaders was a significant gap that prevailed for the entire race. The next pack was a tight group with the Swedish Team of Tom Loftstedt and Johan Tillander and Miami’s Augie Diaz sailing with Brazilian crew, Henry Boening neck and neck at the finish. All teams and masts remained upright at the end of the day. Only one race was sailed.
Schønherr and Koy started at the boat end and leveraged the left side of the course which was favored with slightly more breeze and benefited by a left-hand shift during the first upwind. The team demonstrated excellent speed upwind in the training races before the start of the Championship and they did not disappoint today. After dominating the upwind, they were launched amid full spray on the first reach.
Reaching in most classes seems to be a rarity these days, but double triangles can allow some fleets to get off good races in breeze that would otherwise be too much to sail downwind and it also minimizes jibes. It was obvious from some top notch crew work in the fleet that reaching is a skill and that those who have it, go into the passing lane. Notable performances were given by crews Arnis Baltins, Henry Boening, Jon Van Schwartz, and Phil Toth.
After two laps in wind ranging from 15 to 22 knots, the fleet suffered only one broken tiller and every mast was intact. However, of the 41 teams, nearly half opted to sit out due to the excessive conditions.
Tomorrow’s forecast is for even stronger winds. The Race Committee, headed by Carl Shellbach, exhibited great patience today, and will do their utmost to get off more quality racing tomorrow if the weather permits.
Racing for the Midwinters continues through January 12, with the winner from January 9-10 to be the Walker Cup, and results from both events to be the final two stages of the 2019-2020 Winter Series.
Day One Results (Top 10 of 41 teams; 1 race)
1. African Queen, Jørgen Schönherr / Markus Koy , DEN – 1 ; 1
2. Stella, John MacCausland / Arnis Baltins , USA – 2 ; 2
3. 8535, Tom Lofstedt / Johan Tillander , SWE – 3 ; 3
4. Danilu, Augie Diaz / Henry Boening , USA – 4 ; 4
5. 8129, George Szabo / Kevin Heatherington-Young , USA – 5 ; 5
6. Star, Arthur Anosov / Andrey Shafranyuk , USA – 6 ; 6
7. 8440, Jim Buckingham / Phil Toth , USA – 7 ; 7
8. Swedish Blue, Ante Razmilovic / Brian Hammersley , GBR – 8 ; 8
9. Big Jim, Mike Hecky / Stuart MacIntosh , USA – 9 ; 9
10. Moods of Belgium, Manu Hens / Joost Houweling , BEL – 10 ; 10
2019-2020 Winter Series schedule
Nov. 9-10 – Schoonmaker Cup
Dec. 7-8 – Commodore’s Cup
Jan 9-10 – Walker Cup
Jan 9-12 – Star Midwinters
Scoring: Only the best three Winter Series weekend regattas will count toward the SWS Championship. The Star Winter Series Champion will be the skipper with the lowest total score to be calculated as follows: The sum of your overall place in the Star Midwinters multiplied by 2, plus your lowest three scores from the four SWS weekend regattas. Series Championship ties will be decided by your place in Midwinters.
Source: Kathleen Tocke