Diaz/Prada win Star Schoonmaker Cup
Published on November 13th, 2022
The 2022-23 Star Winter Series got underway November 12-13 on Biscayne Bay with the Schoonmaker Cup in Miami, FL. Typically, the smallest of the Winter Series events, teams enjoyed fabulous conditions for training on the day before racing and then the shorter courses, closer to the club, afforded close racing. Despite the smaller fleet, top crews from around the world were in attendance and there were quite a number of new team pairings, mixing things up a bit.
Day one of racing brought light winds and after a postponement onshore, PRO Carl Schellbach sent the fleet out for two races. The perennial team of Augie Diaz and Brazilian crew, Bruno Prada won both races, but the American-German “big boys” duo of John Dane and Markus Koy were always on the hunt close to them displaying amazing speed, despite their extra kilos. Larry Whipple, sailing with TC Belco, relished the lighter winds and narrowly edged out Dane & Koy to take second in race one.
The wind diminished further for race two. The last two laps, particularly the final downwind, tested the patience and skill of every team and placed an emphasis on well executed roll jibes and dialog coming from the crew about wind and positioning on the final stretch. Young Miami skipper Nic Pro with crew Dave Martin sailed an excellent second race holding their own in second position until the last few meters of the race when Dane & Koy slipped by them.
“The second race today, you had to stay in pressure, follow the shifts loosely and keep your head out of the boat,” said Pro. “The final downwind was brutal. Dave was my eyes for the course, just telling me where the pressure was, no higher, no lower and keeping it in the grove.”
On day two, the first race sailed five to six knots saw some teams leveraging hard on both sides of the course. This risky, but fruitful strategy worked out for the top three teams while the regatta leaders, who sailed more in the middle, found themselves further back.
Race winners Fabiano Vivacqua & Pedro Trouche, sailing together for the first time, started on the left and kept to the left side of the course for the first upwind leg. Paying attention to the current was key, according to Trouche who said, “We had a lot of current today, so we choose the sides based on the current and in the final downwind, just played the pressure on the right side.”
The wind filled to about eight knots for the final race and crews were able to get over the side and stretch out. Diaz/Prada and Dane/Koy battled it out again at the front of the pack with Diaz and Prada being victorious by a small margin at the downwind finish.
For Diaz, the Schoonmaker Cup has a lot of significance. He said, “Ding Schoonmaker was a very important member of our Star fleet and the sailing community worldwide as he did so many great things for sailing and for the Star Class. We should really have five or six events in his name and it would still not be enough.
“The Coral Reef Yacht Club Race Committee, led by Carl Schellbach, did an outstanding job of running our races in little or no wind. We had four pretty good races and they were all hard fought and tight finishes with the whole fleet finishing together. It shows once again the incredible range that the Star has for sailing in very little wind.”
Final Results (4 races)
1. Danilu, USA8509 GM, Augie Diaz / Bruno Prada – 1 – 1 – 6 – 1 ; 9
2. Zoom Zoom Zoom, USA8555 EGM, John Dane III / Markus Koy – 3 – 2 – 5 – 2 ; 12
3. 8275, USA8275 GM, Nick Madigan / Mark Strube – 5 – 4 – 2 – 3 ; 14
4. 8504, USA8504 GM, Scott Barnard / Guy Avellon – 6 – 5 – 4 – 5 ; 20
5. 8573, USA8573 GM, Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter – 4 – 9 – 3 – 6 ; 22
6. baraka blue, Usa8484/1922 EGM, Larry Whipple / TC Belco – 2 – 6 – 11 – 7 ; 26
7. 8153, USA850 Y, Nicolaus Pro / David Martin – 10 – 3 – 9 – 4 ; 26
8. Dragonfly, BRA8208, Fabiano Vivacqua / Pedro Trouche – 9 – 10 – 1 – 11 ; 31
9. CB2, BRA8495, Fabio Prada / Arthur Lopes – 8 – 7 – 7 – 10 ; 32
10. GEM, USA1988 Y, Danny Cayard / Jack VanderMolen – 7 – 11 – 8 – 8 ; 34
11. Pichon Pichoni, ARG8285, Erich Mones / Diego Peisajovich – 11 – 8 – 10 – 9 ; 38
12. 8077, USA1959 GM, Ken Woods / Jonathan Shore – 12 – 12 – 12 – 12 ; 48
2022-2023 Star Winter Series
Schoonmaker Cup, November 12 – 13, 2022
Commodore’s Cup, December 03 – 04, 2022
Levin Memorial Cup, January 07 – 08, 2023
Walker Cup, February 09 – 10, 2023
Star Midwinters, February 09 – 12, 2023
The best three Winter Series weekend regattas will count toward the Star Winter Series (SWS) Championship. The Star Winter Series Champion will be the skipper with the lowest total score to be calculated as follows: the sum of overall place in the Star Midwinters multiplied by 2, plus the lowest three scores from the four SWS weekend regattas. Series Championship ties will be decided by finish place in Midwinters.
Source: K. Tocke