2022 Star Worlds gets underway
Published on September 11th, 2022
Marblehead, MA (September 11, 2022) – The 100th anniversary of the Star World Championship got underway today with Tonci Stipanovic/ Tudor Bilic (CRO) taking the first bullet in the 83-boat fleet. Light winds required a lengthy postponement before the 8 nm race got underway at 3:30pm in 7 knots. Six races are scheduled for September 11-17 (layday on 14th), with one long race planned for each day as per tradition.
Report from Star Class:
The 2022 Star Class World Championship presented by Bacardi was officially declared open by Tom Londrigan, International Star Class President, on the morning of Sunday, September 11 accompanied by a parade of nations and gun salute at Eastern Yacht Club.
The opening day was plagued by a light and shifty breeze, with a major left shift forcing the race committee to postpone the start and reset the course, with the second attempt abandoned. At 1530 hours, race 1 got underway with a 2.2 mile upwind leg, featuring breeze of around 4 knots and big shifts. The leading pack read the course well, but it was a dice roll for many of the 84 teams in the fleet with the changing pressure, dropping to 2 knots and up to 6 knots at times, with a strong current proving tricky.
Getting settled into their lane straight away and holding the advantage skillfully to the windward mark were Paul Cayard (USA)/Frithjof Kleen (GER), with defending Star World Champion Diego Negri racing with Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) in second, and Tonci Stipanovic/Tudor Bilic (CRO) in third. After the front third of the fleet rounded, the wind shifted and dropped leaving the rest with nowhere to hide as they struggled to make gains towards the mark.
By the second windward mark, it was the same three boats controlling the lead but a different order, with Stipanovic/Bilic gaining a critical edge in front, Negri/Lambertenghi close behind and Cayard/Kleen in third. A change of course for the final downwind leg, saw Stipanovic/Bilic remain focused with their eyes on the finish to take the first win of the Worlds.
Hugely experienced, the partnership convincingly won the 2022 Star European Championship in July, and three-time Olympian Stipanovic owns silver medals in the Laser Standard from Tokyo 2020 and Rio 2016.
“It was very hard to decide where to choose to start,” commented Stipanovic. “It was a really huge starting line and then the wind was changing all the time. I had some feeling that if the wind were to start to drop it would move to the left and in the end it happened like that, so we had a good start and played with the pressure all the time.
“It was for us just important to stay in the pressure, and then in the end on the left side there was more pressure. On the second upwind we were just a bit more patient than Diego and Paul. They tacked immediately on the first shift and we proceeded just a little bit to catch some more pressure and then it was game over.”.
Three-time Bacardi Cup Champions Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada worked hard to turn round their start, riding their luck in the unpredictable conditions to work through from around 20th to finish 10th – not a position they are used to.
Provisional Top 10 Results – after Race 1
1. Tonci Stipanovic / Tudor Bilic (CRO 1991) – 1 pt
2. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA 2021) – 2 pts
3. Paul Cayard / Frithjof Kleen (USA 1988) – 3 pts
4. Marin Misura / Tonko Barac (CRO 1952) – 4 pts
5. Jim Buckingham / Phil Toth (USA 1958) – 5 pts
6. Augie Diaz / Brad Nichol (USA 8509) – 6 pts
7. David Watt / William Siemers (USA 1992) – 7 pts
8. Ingvar Krook / Christoffer Thunberg (SWE 1928) – 8 pts
9. Joshua Powell / Mark Strube (USA 8522) – 9 pts
10. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada (POL 2019) – 10 pts