2017 Eastern Hemisphere Championship
May 30  - June 4, 2017
Viareggio, Italy

2017 Western Hemisphere Championship
June 13 - 18, 2017
Cleveland, Ohio USA

2017 North American Championship
September 5-10, 2017
Marblehead, MA USA

Newest Star Number



European Championship Reports: 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000

1988 Championship of Europe  (results)
Yacht Club Italiano, Genova, Italy
By Giulio C. Carcano

    Hosted by the Genova Star Fleet of the Mid-Mediterranean District, the 1988 European Championship was sailed during October 25th to 30th on the Gulf of Genova of the Ligurian Sea by sixty-one Stars of thirteen nations, representing nearly thirty Fleets worldwide. The normally excellent sailing conditions were greatly altered by a weather front throughout Europe, which caused the fleet several light air races and the use of the reserve day to complete the six races series. Across the regatta the shifty and mixed air conditions were trying to both competitors and the Race Committee.

    The planned, initial race day, October 24th, was a loss to an absolute lack of wind throughout the day, yet allowed to the competitors to prepare more fully and to enjoy the Yacht Club Italiano and Genova. A moderate southerly on October 25th allowed the first race for the regatta to be started, however, this race was eventually abandoned to a lack of wind, to further frustrate all participants. Finally on October 26th the initial race was completed in a fresh northerly, among fifty-seven yachts, to be won by Paul Cayard and Steve Erickson, with Michael Nissen and Gerrit Bartel in second, Vince Brun and Hugo Schreiner finishing third, and Riccardo Simoneschi and Sergio Pochini in fourth. Although in only moderate conditions, five yachts did not complete the race.

Race two, October 27th, started in a moderate northerly with a calm sea to complete the race within the time limit, with Albino Fravezzi and Giuseppe Davoti taking the first in a popular win. Second went to Vince Brun and Hugo Schreiner, with Werner Fritz and Charly Zipfer placing third, and Hans Vogt, Jr. and Jorg Fricke finished fourth. Of seven yachts with premature starts, Michael Nissen and Gerrit Bartel were over early to seriously threaten their contention in the series.

Again, on October 28th, the changes in wind conditions caused an abandonment when the wind totally faded during the second windward leg, although the race was started in a northerly much like the day prior. Resailed the next day, with still light winds from the southeast to south, the third race was completed with Uwe von Below and Franz Wehofsich taking the first, with Hans Wallen and Bengt Andersson in second place, Ingvar Bengtson and Torbjorn Hansson finishing third, and in fourth were Michael Nissen and Gerrit Bartel, making an outstanding recovery from the prior day’s premature start. The Race Committee decided to hold the fourth race in the afternoon, as the winds were holding-up, although still light from the south and southeast. Hubert Merkelbach and Peter Hecker took the fourth race first over Vince Brun and Hugo Schreiner, placing second to take the series lead through for races. In third were Paul Cayard and Steve Erickson, who also sustained their position in the series, and finishing in fourth were Hans Wallen and Bengt Andersson.

Going to the reserve day, October 30th, the Race Committee was able to complete the six race series with arrival of a stiff Northerly, called a tramontana, that picked-up as the fleet sailed both final races in relatively heavy conditions. Noted for their abilities in heavier conditions, Paul Cayard and Steve Erickson took the fifth race first place, followed in second by Werner Fritz and Charly Zipfer, the third to Anders Geert-Hensen and Mogens Just, and fourth to Aldo Migliaccio and Nicola Menoni. Vince Brun and Hugo Schreiner in finishing fiftth narrowly continued in the series lead with the final race positioning against Paul Cayard and Steve Erickson to determine the championship.

The afternoon, October 30th, final race in increasingly heavy conditions was won by Anders Myralf and Soren Kaestle, in second were Anders Geert-Jensen and Mogens Just, in third place were Roberto Ferrarese and Sergio Argenti, and fourth went to Michael Nissen and Gerrit Bartel. Sailing a covering, tactical race, Vince Brun and Hugo Schreiner bested the Paul Cayard and Steve Erickson yacht with a fifth place, to their sixth, deciding the series.

Overall first and the 1988 European Championship at 31.7 points went to Vince Brun and Hugo Schreiner, with Paul Cayard and Steve Erickson in second place with 36.4 points in third position with 44.4 overall points were Anders Geert-nsen and Mogens Just, and in fourth were Werner Fritz and Charly Zipfer at 50.4 points. The 1988 Championship of Europe was a true test among all concerned and interested, as the windy and windless conditions frustrated both contestants and Committee members throughout the week, with only the final day being typical of the judged perfect Star sailing conditions off Genova.

Many appreciated social events, from the flag-raising ceremony on October 23rd to the cocktail parties during the week, to the final evening dinner and awards ceremony on October 30th, where hosted by the Yacht Club Italiano at the clubhouse. Dr. Giovanni Novi, President of the Yacht Club Italiano, and his charming wife, Nucci, were gracious host and hostess of all the Club’s excellent functions, as deeply appreciated by all present. Chairmen Pino Zucchinetti and Sergio Gaibisso of the Race and Jury Committees worked hard to ensure a successful regatta, in more than trying conditions, and their efforts are also appreciated. Although delayed in its beginning because of unusual conditions, the 1988 Star European Championship was a resounding success in all respects.


1989 European Championship (results)
By Uwe v. Below (HF)

    The Norddeutscher Regatta Verein and the Lubecker yacht Club hosted the 1989 European Championship in Travemunde, West Germany, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Travemunde Week, and important festival period. Withi the two measurement days, 83 of the 96 entered yachts were checked-in by Frederich Krieger, assisted by Oscar Weckerle (Gub), each of whom did a perfect job. The opening ceremony was held I the clubhouse of the Lubecker Yacht Club, and uwe v. Below, Contietal 1st Vice President for Europe, greeted the field of Star sailors and Dierk Thomsen, ISCYRA Vice Commodore and a former International President, expressed thanks to the organizing Clubs and Fleets on behalf of the Star Class.

    On the first race day, Sunday, July 30th, a good southerly of 4 to 5 Beaufort held throughout the race. With the pin end favored, Star 7400 with Todd Cozzens and Philippe Rinaldi (SLM) got a good start and finishe first, followed by 7420 Torben Grael and Marcelo Ferraira (Gua) in second, and 7200, Gastao Brun and Andre Lekszycki (RdJ) taking third using three year old North sails. Following the race the Hamburg Fleetinvited everyone to a party, with a swinging jazz band to add to the festivities. On Monday, July 31st, westerly winds of 5 to6 Beaufort were blowing, increasing in gusts to 7, and the race was canceled to conditions. In the evening the group gathered aboard the four masted bark Passay for a cocktail party hosted by the Senate of the City of Lubeck.

    Two races were scheduled for Tuesday, August 1st, with the first race start to be at 11:00am, however, at 10:00am the Race Committee elected to postpone the start to increasing winds. In the delay, the Star sailors were able to watch the parade of Tall Ships leaving Travemunde, which was a true highlight of the day, and an unforgettable experience or all. At 2:00pm the Stars left the harbor for the race course with a westerly wind gusting to 7 Beaufort. Race Chairman Carl Schott detected beginning wind damages to many Star sails to cancel the race and to send the fleet back to the harbor. That evening and into the night many local sailmakers were busy making repairs. Following the return to harbor the Lubeck Bay Fleet invited all to attend an excellent Bavarian Party, which eased tensions and concerns about repairs.

    The Wednesday, August 2nd, races were postponed and later canceled because of just too much wind. That evening the Star sailors and guests enjoyed a dinner party in the Casino, with free entrances to the gambling table. During the early evening, I greeted the group and pointed across to the visible border of East Germany, and empty beach with no people and activities, which Stars and perestroika may be changing at this very time.

    Finally, on Thursday, August 3rd, the Stars got out and completed two races with westerly winds of 4 to 6 Beaufort. The left side of the course was favored at the start and in the tacking legs. The first race was won by, 7420, Torben Grael and Marcelo Ferraira (Gua), with 71\412, Paolo Semeraro and Sergio Lambertenghi (BAR) taking second, and 7043, Hans Vogt, Jr. and Robert Stark (CBM) finishing third. In fourth was 7373, Giorgio Gorla and Alfio Peraboni (LdC), who had a DNF in the first race. Star 7373, Gorla and Peraboni took the third race first, followed in second place by 7417, Anders Geert-Jensen and Mogens Just (DF), and in third 7113, Peter Peet and Dolf Peet. After the races the Star Fleets of Nordrhein Westfalen invited the entire group to a splendid party, managed by “Hacki” Luxa.

    Friday, August 4th, started with a moderate wind in the morning, however as the Stars reached the starting area it began to blow again from the west at Beaufort 7, causing the Race Committee to return all yachts to the harbor and to eventually cancel the fourth race. Many were concerned about getting in the fourth race, since the weather forecast predicted that heavy winds were to continue. On the reserve day, Saturday, August 5th, a moderate wind allowed all to hope that two races could be scheduled, however, at starting a stormy westerly wind had reached Beaufort 6 with gusts to 7. At 11:00am only 40 yachts started the heaviest conditions race of the Championship, with several Stars capsized and many masts broken. Through these conditions, Star 7420, Grael and Ferraira took first, with 7417, Jensen and Just in second, ad Star 7353, Victor Soloviev and Alexander Zibin (Mosc) taking third, as they ranked in the Championship series. The fifth race was not started to conditions, as 12 yachts did not finish the fourth race.

    The awards were made at the hoist area of the Club by Norddeutscher Regatta Verein Commodore Baron von Schroder, who greeted the participants and emphasized the great interest of his organization in the Star Class. He pointed out that a past Commodore Laeisz had helped establish Stars in Germany in the ‘30’s through building many boats with Abeking und Rasmussed and in founding the Hamburg Fleet. Race Chairman Carl Schott awarded the prizes to the leading yachts’ crews, and Peter Peet (Hol), finishing either, was awarded the European Youth Championship Trophy for the best finish by a helmsman over 50 years of age, by finishing in 26th pace. Hans-Otto Engel, Captain of the Hamburg Fleet, concluded with thanks to the International Jury, headed by Wilhelm Dwars, and to all of the supporting staff people of both the Clubs and Fleets. Interestingly, on Sunday, August 6th, the weather was sunny and with the moderate breezes the sailors had looked for during the entire series.


1992 Championship of Europe (results)
By Bryn Vaile
Only a month before the Olympic regatta in Barcelona, Spain, the cream of European and many world lever Star sailors gathered at Hyeres, France, to further hone their skills in high winds and keep competition. The Championship was declared open by Peter Erzberger, European Vice President, who noted with pleasure that Georges Pisani, European Champion of 1960, was attending the event as a most welcome visitor.

    The opening beat of the first race was in fresh to strong southerly winds of 18 to 20 knots that remained steady throughout. The leading pack of Mansfield, Raudaschl, Reynolds, Beashel and Benamati stayed closely packed at the front, each keeping a watchful eye on various position attacking moves. In the final run, Ireland’s Mark Mansfield and Tom McWilliam pulled away for two boat lengths lead and covered soundly to record a fine victory in only their second season of Star sailing. Their improvement in a breeze this season has been helped by dieting and training throughout the winter, which included an extensive period of training in Florida, USA. At the finish Raudaschl followed Mansfield with Reynolds and Beashel next. Premature starts were a problem to a number of top contenders as Benny Andersen, Hans Wallen and Spain’s Fernando Rita. Others were hit by gear failures, including Torben Grael and Jose Doreste, and caused to retire.

    The second day was without a satisfactory wind, causing the Race Committee to schedule a double-header of two races the next day. The second, morning race was held in a 12 to 16 knot breeze that brought Benny Andersen and Mogens Just into conetention with a fine demonstration of sound upwind tactics and excellent offwind speed and boat handling. The early leading group were pegged back by the reaching experts, who showed that in light conditions big distances and many places can be exchanged. Andersen with Just held a comfortable lead throughout, and at the finish Mark Reynolds and Hal Haenel took second on the last beat from Fernando Rita and Jaime Piris, followed by Torben Grael and Marcella Ferreira.

    Race three, held immediately following the second race, found the wind rising to 16 to 20 knots and a developing, long and regular swell and chop on the left side of the course. Torben Grael and Marcello Ferreira showed their mastery of the conditions to schore a fine victory. Following in excellent heavy air performances were Colin Beashel and Davis Giles of Australia, Jose Doreste and Jose Castells of Spain, Han s Wallen and Bobby Lohse of Sweden.

    Race four in again 12 to 15 knots of southerly breeze. The fleet made a clean start in brilliant sunshine and the right side of the first leg favored, but not to the extent of reaching the layline as there were many wind shifts. The fleet was very tightly packed at the top mark, when 1991 World Champions Robert Benamati and Mario Salani got their act together to show the form that won them the World title in Cannes. They moved through the leading pack on the reaches to overtake the early leaders. Place changes occurred as each of the leading boats hit the shifts, but the real drama occurred on the final run and beat. Hans Wallen’s gooseneck failed at the end of the final run and in turning up for the last beat he was forced to take a port tack that covered 250 meters as temporary repairs were completed. Hen then tacked onto starboard to cover those close behind to, despite the breakage, benefit from the wind shifting to the right to take the second place behind Benamati and Salani. In a further drama just meters from the finish line, Torben Grael’s stern mainsheet block failed to cause a quick recovery of unblocked, extra line to finish just ahead of Mansfield and Beashel.

    The mid-series prize awarding were hosted at a nearby hotel. The mid-series leaders Mark Reynolds and Hal Haenel received an additional, unusual prize of Mark’s weight in quantity of an excellent, local wine, which was a fine and greatly appreciated prize.

    The fifth race provided a total change from the previously strong breezes, to have the fleet start in a five knot southerly and to allow the light air experts to show their skills. Benny Andersen pulling up from an average start followed Hubert Raudaschl to the right, with Reynolds, Wallen and Grael favoring the left, and Mansfield playing to the center. A tight pack rounded the first mark, but the wind faded on the first reach to cause the leading group to split in search of the new wind. Those who went high did benefit, but not those who went low and suffered badly in losing ten to fiteen places. This wind caused split cost series leaders Mark Reynolds and Hal Haenel their overall lead. The upper, leading group of Anderson, Raudaschl, d’Ali and Beashel had some new faces, Patrick Haegel of France, Swiss Lake sailing ace Jean-Claude Vuithier and Jochen Schwarz of Monaco, all of whom trained at Hyeres last winter. Andersen held off all of the challenges to record his second win, followed by Raudaschl, d’Ali, Mansfield and Haegeli.

    Going into the final, sixth race the overall positions were Mansfield leading by five points, with Andersen, Benamati and Raudaschl next followed by four boats with a few points. The series was tight! The 20 to 22 knot winds and sea conditions began a thrilling challenge and tough tactical battle for the final race. From the start Mansfield worked the center with Reynolds, while Andersen went hard right and turned the first mark in first place followed closely by Benamati, Wallen, Beashel and Reynolds. From this mark rounding, Benny Andersen and Mogens Just were not seriously challenged as excellent offwind and upwind speed mixed with solid tactics kept them ahead and clear of all opposition. Roberto Benamati and Mario Salani went through numerous place changes, as far back as fourth at one stage, but they managed to pull back to second on the final beat. At the finish Hans Wallen and Bobby Lohse placed third, Colin Beashel and David Giles in fourth followed by Reynolds and Grael. Mark Mansfield and Tom McWilliams had a less happy time after a good first beat, losing out in the chasing group and finishing the last race in eigth place.

    For Benny Andersen and Mogens Just, the worthy winnners of the Silver Star, it was a fine series especially after the first race PMS, as they could not make a second error. The final race second tied Roberto Benamati and Mario Salani with Mark Mansfield and Tom McWilliam at 40.0 points overall, dropping Mansfield and McWilliam to third place after the eighth place finish in the final race. Even in taking the third on the tie-breaker, it was a great result by the two Isolated Members from Ireland.

    Thanks and gratitude from the crews of the forty-four yachts representing twenty-three countries goes to the Yacht Club Hyeres for their hosting of and running a fine series, giving all a warm welcome and extending fine hospitality. So au revoir to Hyeres until next time.

1993 Championship of Europe (results)
The Reigning European Champions Keep their Title

    The 1993 European Championship of the Star Class was held in Denmark by the Kalovig Badelaug, near Aarhus, as recognized internationally by its excellent facilities and considered very efficient as a racing organization. Fifty-two boats from eleven nations were competing, and the series of six races was held in a variety of wind and sea conditions.

    Regardless of the varied conditions, after five races it was clear that members of the Kalovig Badelaug, Benny Andersen and Mogens Just had well defended their 1992 title and elected not to sail the final race to 1-3-1-2-3 finishes in the series.

    The fact that Benny and Mogens sailed in waters well-known to them was a factor their winning, since they were never in doubt of finding their way around the course. Also, they sailed a newly developed main from Paul Elvstrom that gave them an advantage in speed, especially in conditions with small waves, and their new, stiffer boat completed the trim.

    Second place was a dual between Jose Doreste and Javier Hermida of Spain and Joachim Hellmich and Dirk Schwartzel of Germany. Placing first in the final, sixth race took second honors for Doreste and Hermida, and a sixty in the last race placed Helmich and Schwartzel in third place overall.

    Kalovig Badelaug was pleased to have been the organizer to host the 1993 European championship of the Star Class and is looking forwad to the return of Star Sailors for major events in the future.


1994 Championship of Europe (results
By Hans-Otto Engel

    The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda had invited the Star Class to Porto Rotondo to Compete, May 27 to June 5th, and the considered cream of European sailors and a few world leve sailors of the Star Class enetered Seventy-five boats from seventeen nations arrived, expecting sunshine and good winds for the 1994 European Championship. All got the sunshine, espeically enjoyed by those sailors from northern Europe, but the wind conditions were not as expected. The Championship was declared open at the ceremony of Sunday, May 29th, followed by an excellent pasta dinner party at the Piazetta Marina Located in the beautiful marina area.
    The first race was in light, 1-2 Beaufort conditions and quite unsteady winds. The young team of Michael Hesbaek and Martin Hejlsberg from Denmark managed to overtake the Italians Enrico Chieffi and Roberto Sinibaldi on the finishing beat to take the first place, with Benny Andersen and Mogens Just taking third, and Fernando Rita and Javier Augado in fourth place.

    In race two the wind failed wihtout a finish within the time limit. A day on the sea without a result. The next day was no better, with the entire fleet being towed back to the marina, after having waited a number of hours for winds. The pasta party at the Yacht Club Costa Smeraldo that evening with music and good drinks was the highlight of the day.

    Thursday morning’s winds were promising for the two races to be sailed. The first gun sounded at 11:30 a.m. for the second race and the winds and conditions built from a 3 to 6 Beaufort with Alexander Hagen and Kai Kalkenthal winning, Michael Hestbaek and Martin Hejlsberg in second, and Mark Reynolds and Hal Haenel placing third. The race committee Planned for race three, but the building 8 Beaufort conditions caused the fleed to see the safe marina, a wise decision.
    In again, light to medium winds, very shifty, very tricky, the third race was sailed on Friday and won by Torben Grael and Norman McPherson, with Alexander Hagen and Kai Kalkenthal in second, and Michael Hestbaek with Martin Hejlsberg in third place. There reamined three more races to be sailed in just two days with a mistral forecasted for Saturday. A tight situation.

    Race four’s starting procedures were difficult, caused by a badly set starting line. Sixteen DSQs rsulted to premature starting and only forty-seven boats finished the race in building 6-7 Beaufort conditions. Mark Reynolds and Hal Haenel took the first followed by Alesxander Hagen and Kai Kalkenthal, then Roberto Benamati and Giuseppe Devoti. Many sailors decided that conditions were uncertain and started to gather for hauling, forgetting the second race scheduled.

    Race five was sailed in more than rough, 7 to 8 Beaufort conditions. Excellent seamanship won this survival race for Michael Hestbaek and Martin Hejlsberg, with Australians Colin Beashel and Divid Giles placing second, and third place going to Benny Andersen and Mogens Just. The spectators ahore saw Stars flat on the water, real overpowered conditions, Stars in distress, mains and jibs simply blown away, not to mention cracked masts, booms and whisker poles. Only thirty-six boats reached the finish line!

    Nothing could be sailed on the Reserve Day, Sunday, June 5th, as the mistral had increased conditions to 9-10 Beaufort. Hoisting the boats under such conditions was still another experience, just as was taking down a mast before hauling, as four people were needed on the deck and two attending lines off the boats. Alex Hagen and Kai Kalkenthal tried to bring their mast down in the conventional manner, but broke the mast and also cracked the deck. Hauling was just not a simple or pleasant task for all boats.

    Michael Hestbaek and Martin Hejlsberg, a very talented, young Star team, handily won the series with 1-2-3-1 counted placings for seven points. Alexander Hagen and Kai Kalkenthal placed second at 14 points, Mark Reynolds and Hal Haenel took third with 22 points, and in fourth Vincent Hoesch and Vincent Geysen at 26 pointes. In fifth at 27 points were Benny Andersen and Mogens Just.

    As a result of the regatta the spar builders and the sailmakers could smile. In all, the week resulted in eighteen broken masts, several broken booms, numerous broken whisker poles, and roughly sixth sets of sails blown-away or dropped into waste. The question- is it worth it? Should races really be started in and sailed in more than 6 Beaufort conditions?
Overall, it was a week Sardinia pure.


1996 Championship of Europe (results
European Championship Won by Rasmussen and Harsberg of Denmark
By Ben Staarrtjes

    On August 12-18 in the picturesque environment of the medieval city of Medemblik, Netherlands, the 1996 Star European Championshop was sailed. The Dutch Star fleets of Loosdrecht and Holland and the Royal Yacht Club Hollandia made a great effort to organize this event and as a reward for their efforts they presented a fantastic and exciting championship with sixty boats on the starting line from 12 different countries.

    Medemblick, forty miles north of Amsterdam, is an old, friendly, fishermen’s village. The inimate atmosphere of the in0town harbor and the excellent facilities for Internationalregattas have been proven successful numerous times (World Championship in 1982, and European Championship in 1986) and again nobody was disappointed. On the contrary, the organization and weather were perfect, the races were exciting with wind varying from 10 to 20 knots and sunny weather.
    The Championship was a competitive and sportsmanlike event with a mixture of professionalism at the races and social events with the typical Dutch flavor. The happy hours every day after the race and an exclusive dinner “Ardennes à la Luxembourg”, honored by Wil Beuel (and yes, prepared by himself) were highly appreciated by everyone, as was the marelous prize-giving dinner sponsored by Paul and Robert Jan Staartjes.

We are fortunate that the Royal Yacht Club Hollandia has one of the most experienced and respected race committees in yachting. Commodore Michiel Erkelens and Principal Race Officer Marinus Blickman did a great job. When it was felt that a race was unfair, they called it off, if they felt that the starting line was not correct at the very last minute they canceled the start. It showed that both were very determined to make this even absolutely and A-1 class event and they did. Thanks to them and all the volunteers.
    With the good racing conditions, the winning team of Christian Rasmussen with crew Kasper Harsberg from Denmark, showed very clearly their outstanding performance; four straight wins!! Christian and Kasper made an all out effort to go to the 1996 Olympics, hoever they did not succeed. During the 1996 Spring European Championship in Torbole, they finished second but they took their just reward here at the Europeans. Well done Christian and Kasper, our congratulations!

    Christian and Kasper were each awarded a Citizen Titanium, radio-controlled Eco-drive Watch for winning the event. Second place clearly wne to Silvio Santoni (NG) and Sergio Lambertenghi from Italy with Halvor Schoyen (OS) and Asmund Tharaldsen, Norway, placed third.

    We are grateful for the support of our main sponsors Contender Sailcloth (Guss Bierman), Taxameter Centrale in Amsterdam, O’Neil Sportswear and Citizen Watch Benelux. Also to the various Dutch Star sailors who sponsored happy  hours, like Albert Ekels, Peter Peet, Peter Loef, Rob Douze and last, but not least Cafe Brakeboer. Thank you to all. Daily, Citizen sponsored a lottery for a pair of Eco-drive watches which were presented to the recipients by the President of the Jury; a great succes.


1997 Championship of Europe (results
By Mark Reynolds

I had the pleasure to compete in the 1997 Vattenfall Star European Championships held in Varberg, Sweden. The summer of ’97 has been a sunny one for Sweden and there are few places as nice to be during a beautiful summer. I had spent half the summer in Sweden as a 14 year old in 1970 before the Star Worlds in Marstrand. I was anxious to get back to see the beautiful coastline and enjoy a Swedish Varm Korv once again. Varberg, just south of Gothenberg, last hosted the Europeans in 1966. It’s a great summer vacation spot featuring an very impressive half a century old castle fortress. I was fortunate to be able to sail with Magnus Liljedahl who is originially from Gothenburg. Magnus and I were treated to more than a few very fun evening parties before the regatta and I enjoyed meeting all of Magnus’s old friends. I can tell you that with all of Magnus’s friends we had an incredible amount of shore support during the regatta. Magnus and I were excited to arrive in Varberg and get out sailing after a short trip to Olso to borrow a boat. The regatta was lead off by a quick and fun Star Match racing exhibition in front of the town, fully narrated for the race fans. The regatta started on Tuesday, after Monday’s races were abandoned due to strong winds.

Day 1- The winds for the first day were 16-18 knots with big chop and waves left over from the previous day. Two Course O races were run with very fun and exciting planning and surfing reaches. Race one was lead all the way around by Marc Pickle and crew Carsten Witt. Magnus and I finished close behind. In race 2 Frank Butzmann/Jens Peters took the lead on the 2nd reach and enver had to look back. Pickle/Witt were 2nd and we were 3rd.

Day 2- On the second day of racing the wind was quite a bit lighter just enabling mini hiking but still with a fair amount of leftover chop. The windward mark was set too far to the right and at the gun the entrie fleet tacked to port. Even though you could lay the first windward mark off the starting line on port, the boats that stayed to the left slightly sailed over the fleet and spread out the fleet. Marc Pickle/ Carsten Witt once again figured it out and lead at every mark with Frank Butzmann/ Jens Peters 2nd. We got caught on the wrong side on the first beat and rounded the first mark in 3rd from last and moved part way up the fleet and finished 17th.

Day 3- By race 4 the chop and waves had died down and matched the wind strangth a bit better. The wind was about 6 to 8 knots. Thomas Jungblut/ Peter Oerstedt lead at the fist mark and held off a few different challengers all the way around the course finishing ahead of frank Butzmann/ Jens Peters as the wind died off on the last leg. We lost 5 boats toward the end of the last beat finishing 8th and Mark Pickle/ Carsten Witt had a tough race finishing 20th.

Day 4- The 5th race was  postponed for a few hours waiting for a bit more wind and finally started in very light air. The race was the regulation length therefore pressing the time limit and ended up taking 3 hours and 9 minutes. Marcus Reger/Thorsten Helmer and us traded off for the lead a few times with Reger in the lead at the windward mark the fist 2 times and we lead at the leeward mark each time. At the finish it was very close with Alex Hagen/ Haymo Jepsen and Reger/Helmert from the left and us and Jens Olbrysch/Jakob Joest from the right but we got it. Pickle/Witt was 21st and Butzmann/Peters 10th.

Day 5- Going into the last race we were the only boat that could mathematically overtake Butzmann/Peters. After one general recall the last race took off in 12 knots of wind with Pickle taking the pin with us up on his hip and we both battled up the first beat with Riccardo Simoneschi/Corrado Cristaldini showing excellent speed joining in at the windward mark. Fortunatly for us, Butzmann/Peters were unable to get off the line cleanly and rounded 13th. Olli Johansson and Dag Hansson, back in the Star after a quite a few years away, moved into the lead on the 2nd beat. We rounded the last leeward mark in 2nd but in the dying breeze found quite a few boats closing in on the final beat. A 5th place finish for us would have given the Championship to Butzmann/Peters regardless of their finish. We crossed the line in 3rd behind Johansson/Hansson and Pickle/Helmert just seconds ahead of Mats Johansson and Marcus Reger who would later be disqualified for rule 42 infractions by the jury. We looked for Butzmann/Peters who would have to finish 9th to beat us but they were unable to move up to 9th.

It was a bit of a shock to Mats and Marcus to be disqualified in the last race costing them noth top 10 finishes. It’s great to have an attentive jury on the water to make sure all boats are sailing properly but there is always some question of what they did wrong. I think that with the advanced and inexpensive video tape cameras available now they could easily show her the disqualified of their illegal actions and help the rest of the fleet understand what is considered illegal rocking and pumping and everyone would go home more happy.

For Magnus and me it was of course a terrific honor to win our first European Championships. It was a trip I’m very happy that I was able to make. To have great racing, see old friends and make many more new friends, what more can you ask for!


1998 Championship of Europe (results
By Tatjana Pokorny

    Once again Mark Reynolds (Sand Diego) and Magnus Liljedahl (Miami) were in a class of their own. At the International Star Class 1998 European Championship, the US team achieved and outstanding series of 24-2-1-3-1-2 and won the very well deserved trophy. Apart from a rotten result on the first day, when Reynolds/Liljedahl were adjusting their brand new Folli design, they never left a doubt about their determination to win their second consecutive European title.

   Reynolds, the 1992 Olympic Champion (whose father Jim was a famous starboat sailor too and crewed for Dennis Conner when he won the 1971 World Championship) was happy and satisfied. Liljedahl said, “Look, Mark still is very, very good and everything worked out fine—our boat speed, our sails. Since we have sailed together we have probably won 75 percent or more of our regattas. Mark is just making less mistakes than others.”

    To those sailors familiar with Kiel’s Fjord from former visits, the beautiful sunshine and perfect weather conditions most days were quite surprising. The old question raised by the American team of Metcalf/Waterhouse in the 1936 Olympics “is it true what they say about Kiel weather? Does the sun never shine here at all?” had to be denied. It was one of those series yachties dream about. Apart from day five, when – as Peter Bromby from Bermuda put it, “we had all four seasons on the course”, Kiel’s Fjord showed its nicest face.

Sixty four boats and 128 sailors from 19 nations made their way to the nroth of Germany. There were almost 150 percent more entries than in last year’s Europeans in Varberg, Sweden, when the Star Class did not have Olympic status. The number of entries proved that the oldest Olympic class (in the program since 1932) is not simply in good shape, we’re more alive than ever!

    “Hey, look at this list of competitors”, said organizer and former president of the International Star Class, Dierk Thomsen who put in a tremendous effort to prepare and run the Europeans in such a stylish way, “doesn’t it look like the ‘Who’s Who’ of international sailing?” Indeed, it did. Three Olympic Champions (Torben Grael, Mark Reynolds, Jose Maria van der Ploeg), five World Champions and five European Champions created the strongest European Championship competition in the history of the class.

    It was a regatta full of action, surprises and drama. In a pre-start collision between two Italian boats Luca Maffezzoli, crewing for 1991 World Champion Roberto Benamait, broke the thumb of his left hand. He was immediately rushed to the hospital, only to be told by the doctor he could not sail for at least six weeks. In tears cause by more than pain, Maffezzoli realized that he would not only miss the finish of these Europeans, but also the Worlds in Portoroz. What a price to pay for a few seconds and a risky maneuver.

    The Swedes, Mats Johansson and Leif Moller, might regret their broken mast in race three for long time. A first and a second in races four and five displayed the real potentil aof the Scandinavians, but the moments of triumph came to late attack the leaders. Still, Johansson amd Moller finishing sixth overall, produced thrilling moments on the course in a spectacular match race against reynolds/Liljedahl in race five—which they lost by only 15 centimeters to the later Champions.

    Current world Champion, Alex Hagen, suffered from a lack of fortune and some tactically wrong decisions. Together with his new young crew, Thorsten Helmert, Hagen ony finished tenth, admitting that, “This was not my series.”

    Olympic Gold Medallist, Torben Grael, from Brazil and his crew, Rodrigo Meireles, might have had the day same thoughts before the last day when they came in third and did exactly what their boat name- “Vida Bandida” – promises. As bandits they “stole” Bronze from two young Germans whose names might become more famous soon. Marc Pickel (26) and Thomas Auracher (28) finished fourth overall. Chamion Mark Reynolds was no the least bit surprised at the results of this dynamic team’s efforts: “I did expect them to do well. They have huge potential.” Pickel/Auracher are one out of at least five Starboat crews in Germany trying to qualify for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

    While discussions ashore were controversial, the race committee and the four umpires on the course gave and almost flawless performance. Aparet from protests, three dismasted yachts and some collisions, racing was demanding but fair.

The sun was truly shinging on the class once again!


2000 Championship of Europe (results
September 1-9, Balatonfoldvar, Hungary
By Dierk Thomsen

    The 2000 European Championship as organized by the Spartacus Yacht Club and sailed on the Lake Balaton in Hungary. The scheduled date was just before the Olympics, so the top sailors were in Sydney. Nevertheless, 40 crews came to the Balaton, but the organizers had expected a bit bigger fleet.

    Spartacus Yacht Club, and especially Gabor Gereben (and old Starist) and the very nice club secretary, Zofia, had set up a fine regatta. They arranged a very effective measurement prodedure over two days, had perfect organization on land and in the harbour and finally a very hard working race committee led by chairman Bela Erdelyi.

Balaton is one of Europe’s biggest lakes with shallow water, difficult wind conditions. The peninsula, Tihany, in the middle of the lake, sometimes splits the wind into two totally different systems. If there is perfect wind east of Tihany it will not be on the west side. This makes everythihng complicated for the race committee.

    The races were scheduled from Sunday September 3 until Friday September 8 with one additional reserve day.

    Race #1, on Sunday, was a light to medium wind regatta and the first test for all, because the tune-up could not be sailed. Hubert Raudaschl took the lead from the beginning; Vincent Hoesch climbed up steadily and finished second; and the local best, Tibor Tenke, in third place. If I were to study the mark rounding diagram of this regatta, it would indicate many changes in the positions throughout the race. Everybody was waiting for the race committee to start a second race because the wind seemed acceptable, but only one race was sailed.

    Monday was a windy day. When sailors sailed to the race course, the wind increased up to more than 20 knots. Race #2 saw the Austrian Hollerweger first on mark one, followed by Vincent Hoesch and Garbor Gereben, the home team. After fights during the race finally Vincent wond the race, with German Hubert Merkelbach sailing into second place, followed by Garbor, who was first at the last mark. The lake was not nice to him.

    This time the race committee decided to trust the wind and started Race #3. The wind was the same as in Race #2. This race was dominated by Vincent Hoesch, and Hubert Raudaschl easily held on to second place. Merkelbach, who was first at makr one, finished with a solid third place. At this regatta some boats lost 10 to 20 places during the race, while othersclimbed up permanently. It was very tricky on the lake and tested each sailor’s ability to concentrate and adapt to the tough conditions.

    Tuesday morning we were awakened by the noise of harsh wind, so it was clear, that on this day there would be difficulty sailing even one race. Relatively early, at 13:00 hrs, the race was posponed until the next day.

    Wednesday everything returned to normal and we had much less wind. After a late start of Race #4, Vincent Hoesch took the lead at mark 2 and won this race. The Italian, Graciotto sailed perfectly and finished in second place. Hubert Merkelbach had a soft start, rounded mark 1 in 11th, mark 2 in 13th, and finally finished 3rd. This brought him up to the top group.

    Thursday we had light wind, a postponement for some time, and then, in bright sunshine, we sailed Race #5. The light wind specialists were in front this race. Hubert Raudaschl again took first, followed by Cristoph Gautschi from Switzerland and Hans Spitzauer from Austria, a former top Finn sailor.  This was the last completed race, but it was not the end of the regatta.

    On Friday, again we had a postponement before we sailed out ina light breeze. Shortly after the start, the wind began to slowly die. As often happens when it gets too warm, the wind then 180˚. We had a clear leader in this race, Carlo Loos from Austria, who finally had a lead of more than 15 mins. ahead of the second boat. However, when the Race Committee realized that he could not finish the race within the time limit, the race was abandoned. Initially, the RACE COMMITTEE kept the fleet outside at the RACE COMMITTEE vesssel, hoping that a new wind was coming. Eventually, with no wind in sight, we were towed into the harbour.

    On Saturdya, the official reserve day, there was absolutely no wind in the morning. It was getting warm on this day and at 13:00 hrs, the Race Committee decide there would be no race and the Campionship as over.

    Dramatic at the end, but how often we had similar situations on regattas in our long history. We had a champion: Vincent Hoesch and his crew Florian Fendt with 3 points ahead of Hubert Raudaschl and Herwig Haunschmied. In third place was Hubert Merkelbach and his crew, Oliver Vitzthum. These three teams had the championship clear in hand.
    In fourth place was the Italian team of Vincenzo Graciotti and his well known crew, Corrado Cristaldini. Fifth place was earned by the were th former Finn sailor, Hans Spitzauer, and crew Wolfgang Brenner. Last, but not least, the local Hungarian team of Tibor Tenke and Josef Bendicsek won sixth place.

    Although there were were there to sail, we all felt from the beginning the warm hospitality of our Hungarian hosts. The Spartacus Yacht Club is a small, traditional yacht club. It works effectively and does a lot for regatta sailors. The village of Balatonfured built and addition to the sailing harbour, including new buildings for showering, dressing rooms and small restaurants. There was also a new moorings, where all out boats were kept free of charge. In front of the mooring was a small peninsula where we parked our trailers during the regatta.

Following each race, out hosts had events planned. There was fine, cool beer and snacks; sometimes we were treated to grilled food, and on one occasion and entire grilled ox! That was a great night, with a band of young club members, which made “hot” music. And unforgettable evening.

Another special time was the Hungarian night. A special horse show as performed for us, followed by a typical Hungarian dinner. Hungarian folk music and dance rouded out of the seemingly endless hospitality tour. The Opening and closig ceremonies at the Yacht Club were celbrated with charm, warmth and a number of interesting guests from the sailing community.

Thank you friends for a fine regatta.

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