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By George


By George

Who knew that young punk would one day be a Star World Champion? But he certainly is – George Szabo and long time crew Rick Peters won the 2009 Star World Champs in Varberg, Sweden, coming from behind going into the last race to solidly win the regatta. The boys overcame a disastrous opening race 54th place to sail a very consistent series to grab the win. We’ll have an Innerview with George asap, in the meantime here’s Phil Toth’s on the water report.

After sitting and waiting on the water all day Friday for the wind to fill in, race 6 was postponed till Saturday.  Today started out with 8-10kts as we were sent out to the race course so we could get the final race under way. At the start there was the usual confusion and jockeying for position to get right with clear air. Off the start we were on the line pretty early and had make a quick maneuver to port and then immediately back on to starboard so as to position ourselves higher up the gap in the line. After the gun we got squeezed out by Diego Negri and were forced to tack onto port, which is the direction we wanted to go any how. Andrew (Landy) Landenberger with crew Beat Stegmeier came in and tacked right in front of us, not leaving us much room to survive. It did not take us long to decide that we could not live there and were about to tack when Landy tagged a starboard crossing boat with his bow and had to peel out from in front of us and do his turns. This only left Scheidt/Prada giving us bad air as we headed out right.

Again we were trying to decide if we could live there much longer when they tacked and went left, where that side was starting to look better with more pressure and boats that were a bit more bow up. At this point the world opened up for us and we were clear. I kept a nervous eye on the left but kept telling myself that this situation had happened almost every race before at these worlds and that eventually the right is where you want to be in a big way, and that I would not be fooled again. Sure enough we rounded the top mark in 9th and were half a leg ahead of Loof  who rounded in the deep 70s as he came out of leading the boats from the left. It was then that we saw George Szabo and Rick Peters round in 3rd place and second overall. George later said that as they tacked on the lay-line and went for the top mark ”it was looking better and better as we crossed all those boats. I was a nervous wreck, I could hardly keep the tiller straight” On the down wind run we looked back and could see that the Kiwis and all of the other contenders were so far back that we could not see them. The rest of the race was just like NASCAR circle track racing, hard right up wind and hard left down wind. Paul and I had our best race thanks to our best start and a bit of luck (not so lucky for Landy) and eventually crossed the line 4 places behind George and Rick who finished in third place and became the 2009 Star Class World Champions. Congratulations boys, a job well done!!!!

See you in Rio,
Phil Toth
AUS 8107