Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT / friedbits.com
MARINA DEL REY, CALIFORNIA - After four days of combat on the waters of Santa Monica Bay, Eric Doyle has earned his second Silver Star, winning the 2018 Star North American Championship regatta at California Yacht Club.
Doyle, representing San Diego Yacht Club, and racing with Payson Infelise of Newport Harbor Yacht Club, defeated 35 rival teams in eight races over four days of competition. The 50-year-old sailmaker previously won the Star North Americans and the Worlds nearly 20 years ago, in 1999. He compared this win to his victory 19 years ago, saying, “It hurts a little more to hike out; but the competition is still great, and Bill Stump (PRO) is still out here running great races.”
With a podium placement in every race but one (when he was OCS), Doyle added, “The big key to the regatta is to be consistent. You’ve just got to be conservative and chip away at it. Try to stay fresh and focused, always looking out the boat.” He credited “good teamwork” and gave a nod to his crew Payson Infelise.
Doyle continued, “You’d better be on your toes, and on your game every second, or there are people passing you from every angle. Because everybody’s fast and everybody’s tough.”
Giving Doyle the toughest time was the St. Francis Yacht Club team of Paul Cayard/Arthur Lopes who finished second, just five points astern; while Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s Charlie Buckingham/Jamie Buchan finished third.
Competitors from the US, Canada and Argentina enjoyed breezes ranging from 6 to 12 knots over the course of the four-day event; plus toasty temps and the warm hospitality of Cal Yacht Club.
Doyle had launched an early lead in the championship regatta which began August 16. On a roll – winning last weekend’s King of Spain regatta, and on the heels of an impressive victory at the Lipton Cup Star regatta in Santa Barbara – he appeared set to dominate: until Cayard sprung to the top of the leaderboard Friday. That day’s prickly racing saw several general recalls, leading PRO Bill Stump to hoist the U pennant for the start of the second race. With 36 boats on the line, starts were testing, and that black flag snared seven racers – including Doyle, dropping him to second overall.
But Saturday’s races, held in 6-8 knot zephyrs and sloppy seas, saw the leaders flip-flop again; putting Doyle over Cayard.
By midday Sunday the building breeze was already an improvement over Saturday’s trying conditions.
Doyle was seated at the top of the leaderboard, but the situation was no longer like Thursday’s initial race: where Doyle led the fleet from pole to pole. After three days of hard racing the competition was tuned up, and Doyle had to fight for every inch of victory.
Derek DeCouteau/Jamie Stewart had a brilliant start in today’s Race Seven, and led the pack to the first mark. But by the final lap, racing twice around on 1.3nm legs, they had succumbed to the persistent Doyle, who finished first; with Cayard, second, hot on his trail.
At the start of the final race Sunday the breeze freshened, and racers were faced with significant chop. Cayard continued to put pressure on Doyle, and initially got several boats between them. But Doyle chipped away ‘til nearly parked on Cayard: the two holding their own private match race on the final two legs. In the end, Doyle overtook Cayard to place third in that race and clinch his grip on the title. That final race was won by Mark Reynolds/Roger Cheer.
Reynolds was one of many challengers with lofty reputations. He is a 1995 and 2000 World Champion, and a 1989 and 1992 North American winner. Another, John MacCausland, was the 2013 World Champion, and six-time North American champion.
“There are a lot of people who have been in the class a long time,” Doyle conceded. “They’re as good as it gets, so it’s really great to race against them.”
Cayard admitted to 41 years as a Star sailor, while Grand Master racer Benny Mitchell added, “We’ve all been racing Stars against each other for many, many years – more than we want to admit! But we are all friends, and it makes it fun.”
It would be fascinating to add up the centuries of experience these competitors have, sailing Stars. And one racer was working on a century of his own! Saturday, Doug Steele celebrated his 80th birthday at the regatta. To the comment that he was an ‘Exalted Grand Master’ in the Star community, he replied: ‘Exhausted Grand Master perhaps!” Steele and Isao Toyama finished 30th.
The Stars recognize sailors over 50 (Master), 60-plus (Grand Master), and 70-plus (Exalted Grand Master). Stephen Gould received top honors in the latter division. Reynolds was recognized for best finish in the Grand Master division, while Doyle received the Master trophy, in addition to first place overall awards.
Competitors lauded Cal Yacht Club for superb race management and hospitality, while others commended the beautiful weather and fair conditions, and camaraderie. “No one can say Santa Monica Bay and Cal Yacht Club doesn’t deliver,” added Mitchell. Event chairs for this event were Denise George and Monica Antola.
Host California Yacht Club is located in Marina Del Rey, Calif. and has been a mainstay of the yacht racing community since 1922: a modern organization steeped in tradition. Its 1,250 members range from neophyte juniors just gaining their sea legs, to Olympic champions, and compete in major regattas around the globe.
Cal Yacht Club is a three-time recipient of US SAILING’s St. Petersburg Trophy for “excellence in race management,” including the year 2005, when their running of the Star North Americans earned this revered award.
For full race details and results please visit: https://starclass.org/calendar/details/2018-north-american-championship
For more information on Cal Yacht Club, please go to: http://Calyachtclub.com
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Eric Doyle 13
Paul Cayard 19
Charlie Buckingham 35
Mark Reynolds 37
Peter Vessella 40Author: Rachele Vitello / Paul Cayard - August 19, 2018
Marina Del Rey - Race 5 and 6 were held today in 7-8 knots of wind and very sloppy seas. On weekends, Marina Del Ray gets a lot of chop from all the recreational boats that come out of the harbor and head up to Santa Monica and Malibu.
In Race 5, Tutu and I had a great start and good speed. We managed to win the race with Eric Doyle in a close second and Steve Gould with Greg Seek in third.
Race 6 did not go so well for Tutu and I. We weren’t fast and I went the wrong way almost all the legs. We finished 12th. Mark Reynolds with Roger Cheer crewing won the race. The left side of the course was good and Nick Madigan of Newport got over to that side on the second windward leg, sailed well and finished 2nd. Eric Doyle again was strong with a third place.
After 6 races, Doyle/ Infelise are leading by 4 points over Arthur and I with Vasella/Trinter 9 points back in 3rd. Mark Reynolds is in 4th wirth Carlie Buckingham sailing well today to move up to 5th.
Races 7 and 8 will be tomorrow to close out the Championship.
This post Star North American Championship-Day 3 appeared first on Cayard Sailing.Author: Rachele Vitello / Paul Cayard - August 18, 2018
Marina Del Rey - Races 3 and 4 of the Star North American Championship were held today in 8-11 knots of wind from the southwest. The sea was quite a bit more choppy than yesterday which made for some challenging steering for the helmsmen.
Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise continued their winning ways in race 3. They were fast and smart, which is deadly. I on the other hand, sailed not so smartly in race 3 and we finished 6th. Chrlie Buckingham, fresh off qualifying the USA for the 2020 Olympics in the Laser class, sailed a great race to finish second and Peter Vessella and Phil Trinter rounded out the top 3.
The start to Race 4 had two general recalls before the fleet finally got off under a black flag. As we rounded the first mark, a few to the top contenders were notified of their disqualification for starting early under the black flag. Among them were Eric Doyle, Mark Reynolds and John MacCausland, all three being past world champions.
Arthur and I sailed very fast down the first run to pass Jim Buckingham and grab the lead. We kept it simple up the second windward leg and stretched out to a comfortable lead for the run to the finish. Vasella/Trinter were very fast today and grabbed second from Buckingham/Moss who finished 3rd.
So after four races, Arthur and I have the lead by 2 points over Vasella/Trinter. But this lead is tempered by the fact that Eric Doyle made a mistake in race 4 that carries a hefty penalty. After tomorrows racing, each team’s score will be summed after discarding their worst race, which will help Doyle a lot obviously.
Arthur and I need to keep working on all aspects of our sailing. We have moments of greatness but not consistently enough.
This post Star North American Championship appeared first on Cayard Sailing.Author: Betsy Crowfoot - August 16, 2018
MARINA DEL REY, CALIFORNIA 16 AUGUST 2018 - - Champion Star sailor Eric Doyle took an early but slim lead today over the 34-boat fleet competing in Day One of the Star North American Championship regatta, which runs through Sunday at California Yacht Club. Two races were held on Santa Monica Bay, where a fresh south-westerly breeze offered a cool breather from steamy conditions ashore.
Race One got off cleanly, with Doyle and crew Payson Infelise controlling the fleet from pole to pole, and Paul Cayard/Arthur Lopez in close pursuit. Rick Merriman/Rick Peters finished third in that race
Race Two got off to a rocky start, with two General Recalls. The third start was a charm, with the I flag flying, and only one competitor OCS. With a westerly shift, the fleet split evenly. Benny Mitchell and Patrick Powell took the lead, trading places briefly with Doyle and Cayard at the second windward rounding. “We were playing the shifts and angles and Eric passed us. He opened up the lead, then he and Paul jibed away,” said Mitchell. Able to extend on the right side of the shift, Mitchell crossed the finish line first. Doyle and crew, close astern, were the first to should out congratulations.
Cayard took third. “Marina del Rey has always been a great place to sail Stars,” he said, crediting moderate winds but adding, “it was a little sloppy out there.”
Finishing the day with a 2-3 record, he acknowledged, “It was challenging, but we had a good day. Eric Doyle had a slightly better day; but we’ve got six more races to go.”
With several past North American and World champions in the line-up, and three more days of sailing, the 2018 title remains up for grabs.
Cayard, who the North Americans in 1994 and 2003 and the Worlds in 1988, has been racing Stars since 1977. “I love the Star,” he declared. “It’s the boat of my life.”
Doyle last won the North Americans in 1999 – the same year he triumphed at the Worlds.
Although that was nearly two decades ago, he’s currently back on a winning streak: triumphing in last weekend’s King of Spain tune-up here, following a win at the Santa Barbara Lipton Cup.
Overall, Doyle stood on top of the leaderboard with three points, followed by Cayard at five, and the team of Peter Vessella and Phil Trinter, with nine points. Racing continues through Sunday, August 19, with two matches daily starting at 12:25PM. Competitors, from the US, Canada and Argentina, can expect more of the same great weather, and superior race management and organization from California Yacht Club.
1. Eric Doyle 3
2. Paul Cayard 5
3. Peter Vessella 9
4. John MacCausland 11
5. Andrew Macdonald 12
ABOUT THE STAR
The Star is one of the greatest one-design racing classes in the world, demanding a superior level of competition. Fast and unforgiving, with massive sail area and just 23-ft LOA, they sail comfortably in light air. Mid-breeze requires some adjustment, and heavy breeze demands guts. One wrong jibe can result in the snap of a mast and loss of the massive main sail: NASCAR wrecks have nothing on a Star boat race! Introduced over 100 years ago, it has undergone various incarnations and innovations, yet this long-standing and elite class of racing keelboat remains one of the most widespread and professionally sailed craft in the world, with over 8,524 boats built; actively raced in 19 districts throughout 27 countries.
ABOUT CALIFORNIA YACHT CLUB
California Yacht Club is proud to have been selected to host major Star Class championships over the years: 1983 World Championship; 2002 World Championship; 2005 North American Championship; 2008 Olympic Sailing Trials; and 2010 North American Championship.
California Yacht Club is a three time recipient of the prestigious US Sailing St. Petersburg Yacht Club Trophy for Excellence in Race Management, including their performance hosting the 2002 Worlds and 2005 North Americans.
Located in Marina Del Rey, California, California Yacht Club has been a mainstay of the Yacht Racing Community since 1922. A modern organization steeped in tradition, its 1,000 members, ranging from neophyte juniors just gaining their sea legs to former Olympic champions, compete in boats ranging from Optis to Mega Yachts in major sailing regattas around the world.
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