Classics gather at Star Vintage Gold Cup

Published on October 15th, 2022

The 2022 Star Vintage Gold Cup was held from October 13-15 on Gull Lake in Richland, MI. The sixth edition hosted a fleet of 24 wooden Star boats, none originally built after 1975, that have been acquired, restored, and maintained by the local team of Don Parfet, Jon VanderMolen, and Mike Ward.

Some of the boats have found individual owners, and the team members pour their hearts and souls into those as well as their own, as they all stay in Richland year-round. This year’s event included seven Star World Champions and two Olympians.

True to indications, the opening day dawned cloudy and threatening, with breeze settling in at the top end of the stated velocity range for the event. The Race Committee completed one of the three scheduled races of the day, won by the team of Arthur Anosov (an Ian survivor) and Dave Caesar, before the squalls arrived.

The forecast for day two saw a window of opportunity of moderating breeze in the morning, so the RC moved the scheduled first warning ahead 30 minutes. The scheduled three races were completed with the team of Ross MacDonald and Jon Klerk taking the gun twice and the Anosov/ Caesar team the middle frame.

After two days it was past Star World Champ Lars Grael with Isao Toyama at the top with the defending VGC champs Paul and son Danny Cayard in second.

The first race on the final day prompted the regatta’s only general recall, as the RC had overcompensated for the fleet’s desire to head left. A minor line adjustment later and the fleet was off in a relatively stable westerly that started really building after Anosov and Caesar posted yet another bullet in the race.

One more race was planned to get the fleet into discard-land. A quick course and line shift to the right and the fleet was off on a clear start, but around the top mark for lap number 1, the next puff came in. And then some more. And yet more. In the interests of safety, both of sailors and of boats, the decision was made to abandon the race and safely head to shore to conclude the event.
The annual Meet the Boats Display, where these classic wooden yachts are gingerly put to bed and offered for viewing by all comers, was held later that chilly afternoon. The awards dinner followed at the Yacht Club with the team of Lars Grael and Isao Toyama crowned as new VGC Champions.

Barely off the pace (by 1 point) was the team of Ross MacDonald and Jon Klerk, with Paul and Danny Cayard filling out the podium.

As a sanctioned Special Event of the Star Class, the winner is awarded a Gold Wreath Honor Award. It has been sailed annually since 2017, with the COVID year of 2020 open only to the local fleet.


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