1960 Championship of Europe and North Africa (results)
The 1960 European Silver Star was held by the new fleet of Provence (France) off the small island of Bendor, owned by the Club Nautique de Bendor, with a private harbor, club—house, retaurant and accommodations for housing all contestants and officials.
Forty-five entries were received but unfortunately some of the best European sailors did not arrive, among them Straulino, Ciappa, Bello, Fiuza and Splieth. On the other hand the majority of the European officers had voted not to allow non-European Star sailors to enter, which deprived some experts from sailing at Bendor on their way to Naples.
The weather was on the very strong side during three of the five races. The famous mistral, a north-west wind of the French Mediterranean coast, blew up to 30 and 35 knots during the first and the re-sailed second race. One Moroccan boat sank; Salata’s Nuvola Rossa was badly damaged; and many masts broke. The result was that only 27 of the original 36 boats were able to sail the last race.
The Silver Medalist Mario Quina from Portugal was one of several who met with very hard luck, breaking a stay in the fourth race and hitting a mark in the last one. Nevertheless the series was a most interesting one, with the heavy going for three races, one day of very light air and a day with a nice moderate wind. All the spectators were amazed by the way the Stars were sailed in the high wind and the huge seas with waves not less than seven feet high and breaking.
Georges Pisani and N. Desaubliaux of the Angers Fleet (France) showed once more that they are excellent heavy weather sailors. They got the title by the narrow margin of one point ahead of Philippe Chancerel’s brand new Gam. Philippe took his first start 24 minutes after the gun; he was tuning his boat in the huge swell four miles from the committee boat. He did well to finish 12th, but it cost him the title and a ticket to Naples. Albert Debarge began very well in the rough weather but was not happy in the fluky winds of the third day. Schrauder from Switzerland sailed a consistent series and showed great improvement in the fresh wind.
1961 European Championship (results)
By Bengt E. Melin
The twenty-second Championship of Europe and North Africa was arranged by the Kieler Flotte and sailed August 3-9, 1961, on the well-known course on Kiel Bay. The boats were harbored at Strande, at the same anchorage used during Kiel Week, and crews and officials were quartered nearby.
The 35 entries included most of the best known skippers of Europe.
During the whole summer northern Europe had too much wind and rain, and this held good during this event too. During most of the races a southwester blew up to 25 or 30 knots and several rigs suffered damages, none of them severe.
There was only one protest, with the resulting disqualification of 4215, Juvelen, from Sweden, which cost her a safe series sixth. Bello in Faneca improved daily through the week and was leading the last race until, just before the final windward mark, after which she would have been able to run safely to the finish, Faneca developed spreader trouble and had to withdraw, thereby also losing series fifth.Pinegin sailed an excellent series to finish third, failing only in the second, light weather race. Debarge and Calone in 4201, Candide, came off with the best average taking the championship by six points over Bruno Splieth in Bellatrix. Third and fourth places were booked by Pinegin’s Tornado and Paul Fiscer’s Illusion.
In the last race Sune Carlsson took his Mari away on a perfect port tack start leaving the nearest starboard boats some 50 meters behind—quite a show for the spectators. Evidently he was the only one to see that the starting line was in favor of port tacking. With the aid of this start he finished the race third.
The arrangements were first class in all respects, except possible one: inasmuch as the courses were the permanently laid out Kieler Woche courses, which take up the whole space between the point and the steamer channel, there were some complaints about having to sail too close to shore on the lighthouse leg. Therefore after two races the course was moved 700 meters to seaward for the rest of the week. Of the two difficulties, the contestants preferred dodging the steamer traffic to playing tag
along the beach.
1966 Championship of Europe and North Africa (results)
By Birger Andersen
For the first time in history this, the only European Silver Star event, was open also to contestants from other parts of the world. The organizing fleets, Kattegatt, Onsala and Vinga applied for the change in order to draw top notch participants from the World’s
Championship about to be sailed at Kiel only a few miles and days away from Varberg. Of course it was also intended that unless this arrangement would give American participants a welcome opportunity to meet John Albrechtson on his own waters.
Fifty-one entries turned up at the starting line for the tune-up race with everybody thinking the same question: how would the Americans perform in Scandinavian waters? Well, the old trump cards came up again. Lowell North won, followed by James
Schoonmaker and Durward Knowles. During the entire series the weather was excellent with light winds from northeast to southeast, actually much too light for the Scandinavian taste. Not that it would make any difference, but some of them like to have a real “go” now and then. . . . They got it at Kiel.
Records tell that Joe Duplin, seldom a single race winner, is one of the most consistent skippers in the Class; this series was no exception. With two thirds, one fourth, a fifth and an eighth, he and his crew Fritz Riess took the title with eleven points to spare.
A few minutes before the start the wind turned ten degrees counterclockwise. Albrechtson made a quick decision, went all the way to the outer end, and crossed the line on the port tack—unfortunately about two seconds early. He was the only one recalled
but was unable to see the recall number because of the mass of sails between him and the committee boat. When he finally did it was too late; he had lost more than five minutes. Schoonmaker sailed a perfect windward leg, as did North. The conditions suited
Angelo Marino, who took third, followed by Duplin and Blattmann.
This day will live in memory as the day when almost as long was spent on starting as on racing. Eleven starters were recalled as about half the fleet was over the line every time. Light winds and a slight favoring current pushed the boats over the line. Finally the
fleet, after two hours of practice, actually got started. The noise at the committee end of the line was tremendous, the only calm and quiet man being Bert Williams who with gentle hands carefully pushed away some stems aiming into his cockpit. North took an early lead which he kept until the final downwind leg. Here Pinegin started to work his way up, gradually closing the gap on North Star. At the same time Duplin appeared on the scene to make the finish a spectacular, Taifun managed to pass North Star to take first by inches, Duplin’s Goldstar finishing third just behind North Star’s transom.
In light shifting winds this became a tricky affair. Schoonmaker displayed his ability to keep speed al the time and to tack at exactly the right moments. Albrechtson made his best performance of the series with a second, with the ever-present Duplin third.
This was a curious race. The wind, blowing off the shore, curved across the racing area. All except Rolandi, Pinegin and Bernet went out on a long port tack that proved to be very unfavorable. The other three tacked at the right moment for a tremendous lift that
took them around the weather mark far ahead of the rest. With a lead of about four minutes the race was over as far as the top positions were concerned. On the second round the wind became shifting and tricky again but the leading boats managed not only
to increase their distance over the rest but to keep their relative positions. Nygren from Finland moved up from 30th to 4th on the last run, finishing just ahead of Duplin and Tallberg. Schoonmaker dropped out of the contention for the title with a 39th.
This was probably the best day, offering a steady breeze of perhaps 15 knots. The Scandinavians apparently felt more at home and took a threefold lead, Tallberg, Alberchtson and Petterson holding those positions to the finish. Duplin did not take any chances: wherever North went, there was Duplin. At first this seemed to be a dangerous tactic. At the weather mark Goldstar was seventeenth and Tallberg was only three points away from the title. But on the reaches Duplin started to pick off boats in his usual way, finishing eighth, eleven points ahead of the many runners-up: for Talllberg, Pinegin and North were bound up in an unresolvable three way tie. All had the same points; North had defeated Tallberg three times, Tallberg Pinegan three times, but Pinegin North three times.
According to the rules there should be a sail-off in such a case. As there were only a few days left before the World’s, none of the three skippers liked the idea, and accepted with thanks Commodore Smart’s proposal to split the series second. The small ceremony of confirmation was indeed a pleasant sight: broad grins and handshaking and everybody happy with the solution. In retrospect one wonders whether they would have been just as happy if it had been ruled that they should all be series fourth, with no second and third?
The major part of the sea and shore organization and operation fell to the sponsoring Varbergs Segelsallskap, who did a wonderful job, always willing and able to give assistance where needed. The Silver Star Banquet seemed highly appreciated, but the pig barbecue in the quadrangle of Varberg’s medieval fortress was probably the event that will be best remembered for a long time. The sky was clear, the night was soft, and Bert Williams sang: and can he sing.
1967 Championship of Europe (results)
By M.J. Castanha
The European Championship took place in Cascais once again. Conditions were the normal ones encountered here during the summer: heavy, choppy seas, wind force 4 and 5 in the puffs, a NW wind that tended occasionally to veer slightly to N/NW,
especially on the shore tack. During the third race, wind, though from the same direction, was somewhat less—force 3 to 4 in the puffs.
The races were held about 4 miles South of Cascais; at the start, one inevitably had the option of taking the north tack to shore, where winds might be weaker and seas certainly calmer, the west tack to sea with wind possibly slightly stronger, but seas
heavier, or of trying for a middle course in order to benefit from every slight variation in the wind’s direction.
During the first tack to windward for the first race Fritz Riess took his Goldstar, crewed by Joe Duplin, through the middle and was first round the buoy, Relative positions remained the same during the first reach, though the leaders did increase their
advantage from the rest of the fleet. Jibing at the end of the first reach, Victor Skachkov’s Mars, luffing hard on the port tack, ploughed into Erich Schrader’s Merry at backstay level. She promptly sank. So far, under 40 metres of sea, she has not been found.
The third race had the weakest and most changeable winds of the series. Riess, Wennerstroem and Larsson all started the race to seaward, while Quina headed shorewards, finding himself at one stage well to the rear of the fleet. This leg depended entirely on the ability to reap maximum benefit from wind changes: at the windward buoy, Vasilyev was ahead, followed by Quina, Wennerstroem, de Denaro and Meier respectively.
During the first reach both Quina and Wennerstroem overtook Vasilyev. During the second reach Wennerstroem overtook Quina, and Riess overtook Vasilyev. The entire second beat was a hard fight between Wennerstroem and Quina, won by Wennerstroem who placed first. Quina, Riess, Vasilyev, and Franco Cavallo followed. The start of the fourth race was frankly favourable for those who took the westward tack to sea, led by Wennerstroem and Riess. Quina took the shore tack. However, near the first buoy the wind dropped completely. Everyone was becalmed for several minutes, and waited tensely for the new north wind to make its undecided way from shore to fleet. It ultimately favoured those who had taken the shore tack.
The first buoy was rounded by Riess, Vasilyev, Larsson, Quina and Rolandi, in that order, with Wennerstroem in 13th. Vasilyev and Quina sailed the first reach considerably more to windward and benefited from the stronger shore winds, so that they jibed for the second reach in first and second. These positions were maintained during the second beat but in the final run Riess overtook Quina, ending in second, while Wennerstroem, improving his position all through the race, finished fifth.
At the start of the final race, the Quinas were first with 159 points, Goldstar second with 155, and the two Swedes Wennerstroem and Larsson in third with 153 points. The Quinas’ winch gave out right at the start of the last race and after lying in 22nd place at the end of the first windward beat, finished 15th. Wennerstroem, however, gained a lead which he increased most impressively all through the race, reached the finish line with an extraordinary lead to win the championship in a blaze of glory.
1974 Championship of Europe (results)
By Rene Luedi, in Swiss Yachting
a beautiful Spanish resort lying almost exactly midway between Bilbao
and Santander on the Bay of Biscay, had graciously offered to host both
the European and World’s Star Class Championships of 1974. For
both these occasions the Laredo Yacht Club arranged excellent harbor
and shore facilities. The entry list of 51 boats from 10 nations was
shown very friendly hospitality, and to further enhance the quality of
the sailing this European Championship brought boats of three nations