Posts Tagged ‘star winter series’
After being kicked out of the Olympics, our friends down at Coral Reef Yacht Club knew they didn’t have much time to act if they were going to save the area’s Star boat racing. Series founder Stu Hebb shares the latest from the Star Winter Series. (and follow the Star Worlds, which starts any day now, over here.)
It was clear at the end of 2012 we were going to have a problem, with far more than just Olympians’ boats rapidly disappearing from the area. So rather than watching our existing regattas die a slow death with the Bacardi trailing the trend by a year or two, we looked at ways to package the existing Star regattas and provide something special to keep everyone engaged, and maybe even bring in the next generation of Star sailor.
CRYC member, big boat racer, Opti mom, and Ironman athlete Kenia Roche is a financial advisor with EFG International, which has a good track record of sponsoring interesting regional and continental events, and she jumped aboard from the beginning as more than a sponsor, but a partner. This allowed us to go from somewhere around 1950 to the 21st century almost immediately. We moved to electronic registration and scoring thanks to Yachtscoring, we created a website and Facebook page and brought in Blocksail for all our imagery and PR/marketing work, we spent some money on advertising and logos and apparel and signage, and we worked with CRYC and locals to make sure everyone could keep their boat where they wanted and get easy info on housing, logistics, and whatever else anyone needed. And then we kept at it even when we didn’t want to, and even when it looked like the series wouldn’t catch on.
The first event attracted 14 boats. This year’s final event, the Walker Cup attracted a record 43 boats, with more than 65 having sailed the full Series. That fed the Bacardi with 68 boats and now the Star Worlds has an 81-boat scratch sheet with a more international fleet than any other non-Olympic Class in the world.
We’ve spent a lot of time and energy trying to make sure we support younger Star sailors, and we’ve been lucky to have guys like Luke Lawrence and Josh Revkin and Thomas Hornos and a bunch of other young studs sailing in our events. But we’re even happier to see even younger sailors getting excited about the Star. That’s the pic you have above from Marco Oquendo – it’s the Coral Reef, last weekend, where 3 past Star World Champs – George Szabo, John MacCausland, and Lars Grael spoke with a group of enthusiastic Opti sailors about the Class, and took them on the boats to show them the many, many ropes. They’re all sitting on Lars’ 2015 Worlds-winner Renata, which was crewed by Samuel Goncalves, one of the 4000 kids who learned to sail thanks to the Grael Project in Rio. Now, those 4000 kids – many of them from impoverished favelas like Samuel – have a World Champion from their ranks).
We don’t think we changed the world, but we definitely saved a fleet, and we want the sailing community to know that there’s more to be excited about than just foiling cats and skiffs - Star boats are making plenty of waves, too.These kids of efforts – especially with the really young and excited kids - keep feeding the pipe for the next 50 years, and we salute these Star sailors, these kids, and the hundreds of sailors who’ve come to play with us in Biscayne Bay these past few years. Come back soon.
Star District 20 Fleet Captain
April 8th, 2016 by admin
Like pretty much everything in sailing, it took three years of good management from the Star Winter Series to go from nonexistent to nearly 100% growth, thanks to series founder Stu Hebb’s hard work and an early partnership with Sailing Anarchy, EFG International, and Blocksail. Stu’s embrace of the modern era for his website, social media, and scoring helped move this sometimes-ancient class into the 21st century with predictable results: It’s now got a 24-year old champion for the first event of the season and more buzz than quite a few more modern classes. Not something you hear often in the Star!
Fresh off one standout performance after the next, 2014 J/24 World Champ tactician Luke Lawrence was stoked to take this one. ”After a really fortunate year as crew, it’s great to get one as a driver, especially in such wildly varying and hairy conditions. Huge credit to my crew Josh Revkin, who will hopefully help get me around the course in good fashion again in a weeks’ time in Nassau.
Wind from 8 to 28 knots meant a rig or two went for a swim, but the rest had a blast. Marco Oquendo photo with loads more here.
November 23rd, 2014 by admin
Like Colin Kaepernick in the frozen Midwest last week, Sailor Chick of the Week Laura Beigel (Annapolis, MD) shows off her guns despite a chilly and wet Saturday at Star Winter Series event number 3. Beigel, along with her aunt and longtime Star skipper/Class Exec Barbara Vosbury-Beigel pulled a nice midfleet finish of 14/22 on the weekend despite tipping the scales at about half the weight of most of the fleet. One-legged Brazilian badass Lars Grael/Sam Goncalves finally knocked Augie Diaz off the top spot in a regatta, but only on a tie-break; Augie continues to dominate the Series as the biggest event - the 26-boat, 8-nation, world champ and medal-filled Midwinters kicks off on Thursday. Hit up the Series Facebook Page for event reporting from our boy Clean, with more photos like this one from Meredith Block.
January 8th, 2014 by admin
Longtime Newport Beach, CA Star sailor Jim Buckingham with Austin Sperry may have taken the first Star Winter Series event in perfect Miami breeze this weekend, but devoted SA’er Philip Carlson took the spotlight, the 23-year old Swede taking two bullets on the final day to jump ahead of Augie Diaz/Arnis Baltins for the second-place spot. Fellow 23 year old Finn sailor and Rio 2016 hopeful Luke Lawrence kept it tight with Philip until he blew a block up on Sunday. Carlson said he just kept the boat going, while ‘the German Mr. Clean’ a/k/a superstar Star crew and Weymouth Olympian Frithjof Kleen, made it go fast. Betcha didn’t know there is a German Mr. Kleen…Here’s a look at ours and Germany’s at the same time.
Now that the Star fleet is firmly out of the Olympics, is this the first look at a younger US-based fleet? ”If I am going to pay for my own sailing, this is the Class I will choose every time,” said Carlson. The second SWS event is December’s Commodore’s Cup; register here and check the Series’ Facebook Page for interviews, photos, and more coverage from the team. Meredith Block Photos.
November 25th, 2013 by admin
Nearly 50 teams participated in the inaugural Star Winter Series (SWS) Presented by EFG International last year, won by Augie Diaz and Arnis Baltins. The Miami-based series was such a success that both its Event Director and Presenting Sponsor are back, with more excitement and more action planned for the 2013-14 season. Let’s take it over to that Director, our old Anarchist friend Stu Hebb.
“After wallowing around in ultra-light air at the San Diego Worlds, every Star sailor I know is pumped up for the amazing conditions we get in Biscayne Bay, week in and week out,” said Hebb. “Over the five events of last years SWS – 12 days of racing – we lost just half of one morning to light air, with the rest being perfection; 8 knots to 18 knots, 75-85 degrees; any questions? Anyone with a Star, or thinking about getting a Star, we’ve made the decision really easy for you: Get your boat down here before the first event in November and you’ll have the time of your life.”
Hebb says interest in the 2013-14 Series has surprised even him, with multiple teams from California and New England making their way to Coconut Grove next month to join the already-established fleet, as well as committed entries from Germany, Brazil, and several other nations. As everyone is rediscovering, Miami has become the new “place to be” for winter sailing in this hemisphere. Here’s the schedule: Get registered! Meredith Block photo.
October 8th, 2013 by admin
Can’t get the proxy server for the Youth AC running and tired of looking at “YOU CAN’T WATCH THIS HERE” messages? Like us, ESPN3′s app ain’t working for ya? Or maybe you just hate children and catamarans? Well we’ve got something for you too.
The Star Sailors League is sponsoring live 3D race tracking from the San Diego Star Worlds, which starts in a few minutes. Click the pic to go to the live viewer.
Title inspiration to the incredibly cheesy, somewhat obscure TV show that most stoners will remember…
September 1st, 2013 by admin