Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Star Crossed: A couple opinions on the Star Past, Present and Future!

Collapse
X
Collapse
  •  

  • Star Crossed: A couple opinions on the Star Past, Present and Future!



    Stearns, Elvstrom, Conner, Melges, North, Buchan, Grael, Kostecki, Haenal, Cayard, Blackaller, Reynolds,the list is long and and filled with legends….And that’s just the Star Sailors who made it to theOlympics aboard a Star.

    Recent World Champions include Szabo, Loof, Pepper, Grael, Buchan, McDonald, Doyle, Percy, and Reynolds, with names like Etchells, Schoonmaker, Burnham, Twist, Beattie, Mull, Trask, Kriesler, Dewitt that might catch your eye if you are a S.F. sailor. The history and the lore behind the Star Class is rich, it has been the barometer of sailing talent for decades. The competition is fierce and to rise to the top of the heap take enormous dedication and skill.



    John Kostecki fine tunes in the morning, circa 1992

    The Star has been the ultimate test of keel boat talent in the Olympics since 1932 and was briefly replaced by the Tempest for the 1976 games. The recent decision for the Star not to be represented in the 2016 games came as a shock to multitudes who felt is place in the Summer Games was as sure Sun returning north after the Winter Solstice. We queried a few participants in the class who have recently participated, Andrew Vare a local SF Sailor who spent some time on the Star while residing in San Diego, Paul Cayard a local kid done good who represented the USA in the 2004 games, Won the Star Worlds in 1988 and has finished in the top 5 in 2004, 2002,1996 and 1992.



    Oh and Mark Reynolds, the only US Athlete to win the Star Gold twice, in 1992 with Hal Haenel, and with Magnus Liljedahl in 2000 and also won the Star World Championships in 1995 with Hal and 2000 with Magnus!


    Stearns, Elvstrom, Conner, Melges, North, Buchan, Grael, Kostecki, Haenal, Cayard, Blackaller, Reynolds,the list is long and and filled with legends….And that’s just the Star Sailors who made it to theOlympics aboard a Star.
    Recent World Champions include Szabo, Loof, Pepper, Grael, Buchan, McDonald, Doyle, Percy, and Reynolds, with names like Etchells, Schoonmaker, Burnham, Twist, Beattie, Mull, Trask, Kriesler, Dewitt that might catch your eye if you are a S.F. sailor. The history and the lore behind the Star Class is rich, it has been the barometer of sailing talent for decades. The competition is fierce and to rise to the top of the heap take enormous dedication and skill.

    The Star has been the ultimate test of keel boat talent in the Olympics since 1932 and was briefly replaced by the Tempest for the 1976 games. The recent decision for the Star not to be represented in the 2016 games came as a shock to multitudes who felt is place in the Summer Games was as sure Sun returning north after the Winter Solstice. We queried a few participant s in the class who have recently participated, Andrew Ware a local SF Sailor who spent some time on the Star while residing in San Diego, Paul Cayard a local kid done good who represented the USA in the 2004 games, Won the Star Worlds in 1988 and has finished in the top 5 in 2004, 2002,1996 and 1992.

    Oh and Mark Reynolds, the only US Athlete to win the Star Gold twice, in 1992 with Hal Haenel, and with Magnus Liljedahl in 2000 and also won the Star World Champinships in 1995 with Hal and 2000 with Magnus!

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Obviously you have an opinion one way or the other, but having trained mercilessly to climb to the top of a very unique platform like the Star, with all its quirks and subtleties, is it the right move at this time, as is the cats taking over the monos in the Cup?


    Andrew Vare: I windsurf a fair bit and think that the transition to cat sailing is going to be a lot easier and more fun than people think. We will all become more well-rounded sailors, most certainly. Twice the hulls and none of the lead? Tastes great AND less filling!


    Paul Cayard: I am not sure drawing a parallel with what is right for the America's Cup and what is right for the Olympics is proper. However, I understand that if either events wants to attract a large audience, going with higher performance boats on shorter coursers is appropriate. I would question if that is the stated goal for all Olympic's when it comes to the boats. Why are there 10 events in sailing? Is it that all are to be fast exciting boats? Or is it to represent a cross section of the sport. If it is the later, the Star definitely has a place among the 10 events for all the reasons that have been stated over the years that this debate has gone on.




    Mark and Magnus sailing to the Olympics

    Mark Reynolds: It will be exciting to see how the whole new AC program will work out, I have a lot of respect for the guys that are working out all the details right now. Fortunately with the Olympics we don’t have to pick just one type of boat, in fact the IOC requests as much diversity as possible with our “events”. I do know how important it is to keep the Men’s Keelboat in the Olympics. This is the event that the most accomplished sailors in the sport compete. It fits a huge range of physiques, twice as large a weight range as any other Olympic boat. This allows so many good sailors of different sizes to compete against each other in one class of boat. You will find many previous medal winners along with Volvo and AC winners all competing in the Olympic keelboat. The IOC wants the Olympics to be the pinnacle event in each sport. One reason Baseball was dropped from the Olympics is that the best in the sport were not competing in the Olympics. Let’s make sure our best sailors stay in the Olympics, certainly if we want more media coverage that’s who the fans and the media are most interested in!


    Do you think the natural progression for the better overall health of the sport lends itself to bid a fond farewell to the old and embrace the new, faster, sleeker boats?

    Andrew Vare: Stars are exciting to sail, they are completely powered up at 12 kts TWS and start to get overpowered at 15 (The same thing is true of a C-Cat, for reference). The tuning skills required to differentiate yourself in a fleet of 75 boats are very intricate, and transfer directly to any keel boat from a Macgregor 26 to a J/V 72 like RAN. So boat speed differences are attainable with a high degree of skill or effort. In boats such as the Soling, however, boat speed edges are virtually nonexistent and the tactical aspect predominates.



    Phil Trinter (left) and John MacCausland at 2000 Oly Trials

    Newer faster sleeker? I don't know. If you are talking about the Olympics maybe, but in the grand scheme of things the Olympics aren't what they used to be. The real goal in a Star Campaign is to win a Worlds, which is much harder I think, if you ask some of the top guys who have done both. A Worlds takes the top 3 to 5 guys from each district, and piles up over 75 of the best sailors you have ever gone against where anyone in say, the top 15 can bullet on any given day. The Olympics don't get that kind of big fleet depth.

    No question that the Star Class contributes significantly to the overall health of the sport, and further contributes greatly to mankind.


    Paul Cayard: I don’t think faster, sleeker is the best recipe for all of sailing. As I said above, for a television audience and an event that wants to attract people who are not sailing knowledgeable, the faster/sleeker boats on shorter courses will provide a more exciting product.



    Paul pays a visit to the gang while recuperating from shoulder surgery


    Mark Reynolds: Classes like, skiffs, boards and multihull’s are exciting to sail and certainly contribute to the health of the sport but the healthiest thing for the sport is to have diversity. We need boats that interest everyone and not just boats that can be overly difficult to sail. Not everyone is going to get on a kite board, a skiff or a foiling moth so we don’t want that become the only face of our sport. Look how windsurfing got less and less popular as the boards got shorter, harder to ride but a lot more “exciting”. The sport should promote exciting on the edge sailing but sometimes that may not be the most accessible sailing either. People are also interested in watching sports that they participate in and can relate to.

    For spectators 15mph or even 30mph of speed isn’t exciting in itself, it’s exciting to watch competition that is close with a position changing, and that generally happens in slower boats. In the 2008 Olympic Men’s Keel boat medal race the whole fleet finished within 55 seconds and medals were changing hands throughout the race. I watched it from the water live but on TV it wasn’t well presented. There weren’t even onboard cameras! Get some good camera work and commentators and you couldn’t get much better action. My belief though is the best presentation of our sport is going to be heavily edited highlights shown via the internet. I’ve seen the Farr 40 look exciting done this way! It’s important to have the camera on the boat, not just from the sidelines.



    The competition at the 1992 Worlds

    Was there anything specific to the Star that attracted you to compete in it vs something else like the Finn or Soling?

    Andrew Vare: The technicality of the tuning is an order higher than any other class. Finns were an option at one point and I was heavily suggested by Vince Brun some time ago to get a Finn, but I made career and family choices against full time sailing.

    Mark Reynolds: I started my Olympic quest in the FD which was a very technical boat. I had sailed the Laser before it was Olympic and learned a lot about tactics and pure boat handling but was also interested the other aspects of our sport, improving the boat where the rules allow and having more control over the rig and sails on the water. The Star was a natural for me coming from San Diego where we had many Star World Champions including Lowell North and Dennis Conner. My dad won the 1971 Worlds crewing for DC and I was there watching the races with Carl Buchan.


    Star Worlds vs Star Class in Olympics, which was the harder to reach the top in?



    Paul takes notes at the 2004 Summer Games


    Paul Cayard: For me, the Olympic was tougher. In fact, in the Olympic year that I won the World Championship as well as the Western Hemisphere, I finished third at my Olympic trials and therefore could not go to the games. Strange in most sports.



    Will you continue to sail the Star regardless?
    Andrew Vare: I was brought up in the San Diego Star fleet during college, where I sailed with Don Whelen, and against the Driscolls, Brun, Cayard, Reynolds, DC etc. In an era where the J24 predominated, and yelling and screaming at mark roundings was the norm (along with physical threats to one's well being in the parking lot, etc.), the Star fleet lacked all of the negatives and had some truly talented folks battling it out on a very civilized basis. There was and still is tremendous camaraderie in the class, unlike any other I have seen elsewhere.

    I learned that the pinnacle of competition was not about yelling at competitors or attending 3 protests after each race. We were forced to have manners, so that one could retain the respect of other competitors. In no other class is this ethic as predominate. Frivolous protests are virtually unheard of in Stars. So the class has distilled a lot of life lessons for me. Of course I will sail Stars, they are the best class in the world.



    Mark and Magnus

    Mark Reynolds: Yes! There is nothing like the Star and the Star class. I love the boat, the huge sail area makes it a great boat to sail in the light winds of San Diego and the same huge sail area makes it quite a challenge in the strong winds of San Francisco bay. There is also the constant challenge to improve the performance, either the speed or the handling of the boat. I can pull the boat in the garage and fiddle around with it or talk to one of the many builders about trying something a little different for my next boat. The class itself has a culture unlike any other, not sure if the culture is the way it is because the class has been around for so long or if that is just one of the reasons that the class is still around! There are very few protests, people take their penalties when they break the rules. The regattas are all very well organized and everyone has a great time ashore after the racing. It’s just a great group of people to be with.


    http://www.starclass.org/index.shtml
      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • A Quad Of Ultims Ventures Out Into The North Atlantic
      by Photoboy



      Top start for Finist?re Atlantique -
      CHILDHOOD ACTION Challenge Good weather, beautiful sea, and light airs.


      This Friday the conditions are almost perfect on the magnificent lake of Concarneau for the start at 1 p.m. sharp of Finist?re Atlantique - Challenge ACTION ENFANCE. Only a few knots of wind are missing to allow the four Ultims to take off and express all their spectacular potential. But, in the light south-westerly flow which sets the tempo,
      ...
      Today, 02:42 PM
    • Unhappy Ending After Powerboat vs Sailboat Collision Near Angel Island
      by Photoboy
      One person died Thursday in a boat collision on the San Francisco Bay that resulted in one of the vessels spinning out of control, police said.



      Person Killed Following Boat Collision in San Francisco Bay – NBC Bay Area


      Authorities at the scene of a boat collision in the San Francisco Bay. (June 30, 2022)
      Provided by NBC Bay Area


      Authorities at the scene of a boat collision in the San Francisco Bay. (June 30, 2022)
      The
      ...
      Today, 11:15 AM
    • J-Class Jumpstarts The 2022 Superyacht Cup
      by Photoboy
      Superyacht Cup Palma 2022 got off to a flying start today with a quartet of J Class yachts conducting a superb symphony of sail racing out on the Bay of Palma to launch the latest edition of Europe's longest-running superyacht regatta.Two windward-leeward races in near perfect sailing conditions of 10 to 14 knots, saw the awe-inspiring 40m-plus J Class yachts – Ranger, Svea, Topaz and Velsheda –...
      06-29-2022, 12:56 PM
    • Powerful Porto
      by Photoboy





      ...
      06-29-2022, 11:17 AM
    • Mighty Merloe On A Clipper Cove Beach Break
      by Photoboy
      The ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe was spotted beached up in the lee of Yerba Buena early this week, creating quite a bit of speculation as to the reason.

      The now owner of the former Franck Cammas's Groupama 2 is now the property of Donald Lawson, an African American sailor with high aspirationsfor the trimaran...






      Hello everyone! We had no idea so many people around the world were following us and making assumptions about the boat being abandoned and...
      06-29-2022, 09:34 AM
    • A Big Breeze Conclusion In Lagos
      by Photoboy


      The GC32 Lagos Cup, the pre-Worlds for next month’s GC32 World Championship, concluded in big breeze. Despite the flying catamaran fleet heading out an hour early, by the end of the first race, the sea state was still relatively flat but with the wind averaging 22 knots and gusting to 27 it was ‘survival’ for some of the 10 teams, so PRO Stuart Childerley made the welcome decision to abandon racing.

      Otherwise the historic maritime port on Portugal’s
      ...
      06-27-2022, 11:45 AM
    Working...
    X