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Winter Stars shine in Miami

Published on February 14th, 2022

Paul Cayard and Firthjof Kleen

The 2022 Star Winter Series concluded with the Walker Cup / MidWinter Championship consisting of six races on Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida over February 10-13. Paul Cayard and Firthjof Kleen won the event with an impressive scoreline of all top three finishes. Allan Terhune and Ian Coleman finished with a strong second place finish, while there was well-fought fight for third place that was won by the Swedish team of Tom Lofstedt and Johan Tillander.

A perennial favorite, the Star Midwinters saw a steep rise in numbers this year with the opening of the US borders. Familiar faces returned from South America and across the pond including sailors from the Bahamas, Argentina, Brazil, Great Britain, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Portugal, and a large contingent from Sweden. For many, the Midwinters is the first stop on an American circuit leading up to the 2022 Worlds being held in Marblehead in September.

One of the most notable returns to the Miami Star Winter Series was German Olympian, World Champion, and SSL Finals winner, Frithjof Kleen. Frithjof spent a lot of time during the COVID-19 pandemic racing in the Dragon Class, but was not off his game this week in Miami. He and skipper, Paul Cayard, dominated the event sailing consistently, while most of the other top teams were playing a game of Chutes and Ladders with their results.

While the pair led the first race of the series wire to wire, they had to grind their way to the front in most of the other races. Their speed and tactical skill was most apparent on the downwind legs, where they sailed through the fleet again and again.

After two races on day one in a northwesterly breeze of nine to thirteen knots, Kleen commented, “I am sailing with the legend Paul Cayard. It’s amazing, I can learn a lot. We had a fantastic day, scoring a first and a third, champagne sailing, and a fantastic job by the Race Committee. Just great to see all the competitors back, forty boats. It’s just great to be back here at Coral Reef Yacht Club.”

Day two saw the wind shift a little more to the right and a slight decrease in pressure from the day before. The fleet tested the Race Committee on the starting line, resulting in general recalls, and finally U Flags and a Black flag to get the three races off in a timely manner.

Cayard and Kleen sailed a very consistent second day with three third places. There was a good mixing in the fleet at the top. Allan Terhune and Ian Coleman easily won race three in their purple boat “the Grimace”. The Midwinters is Terhune and Coleman’s first time in the boat together since 2019. They have their sights set on the podium at this year’s Worlds Championship in Marblehead.

Race four winner, Jud Smith, sailing with Miami-based crew Rob Scrivenor, is also looking forward to the Star World Championship which is being hosted by his home club, Eastern Yacht Club, September 8 -17, 2022.

Danish sailor and multi-class World Champion, Jørgen Schønherr and German crew Markus Koy won the third race of the day. After repeated attempts to sail in Miami last winter, Schønherr is thrilled to be back and looking forward to battling it out at the Bacardi Cup in three weeks and then hosting the European Championship at Royal Danish Yacht Club in Denmark this July.

The Race Committee postponed the fleet on land in the morning of day three. Race six was started around one o’clock in an unstable northeasterly wind. Cayard and Kleen won the lone race of the day by a significant margin after stretching out on the final downwind.

By the time sailors arrived at the club on the last day for the final two races, a storm had blown in with pounding rain and gusts to thirty knots. A patient race committee finally sent the fleet out just before noon to attempt a seventh race. The wind gods, however, did not cooperate.

The fleet started in about six knots of breeze, but the wind vanished as the race leaders, Jack Jennings and Pedro Trouche came around the first mark. The merciful Principal Race Officer, Carl Schellbach abandoned the race after the front pack began to wallow on the downwind.

The Star Winter Series Overall Awards were giving at the end of the Midwinters. One event was allowed to be discarded, but not the Midwinters, which counted for double points.

Top 5 finishers, Star Winter Series
1. Paul Cayard with Luke Lawrence & Frithjof Kleen
2. Jim Buckingham & Phil Toth
3. Augie Diaz with Bruno Prada, Phil Toth, & John Von Schwarz
4. Jud Smith with Guy Avellon & Rob Scrivenor
5. Jack Jennings & Pedro Trouche

Star Winter Series DetailsStar ClassFacebook

Source: Kathleen Tocke

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