Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT /

2018 Western Hemisphere Championship

April 10 - 15, 2018



Biscayne Bay Yacht Club    
2540 South Bayshore Drive
Coconut Grove, FL 33133 USA


Regatta Chair : Bruce Harper
Regatta Chair : Ken Batzer
March 22, 2018
Author: Rachele Vitello - April 15, 2018

What a finish for the 2018 Western Hemisphere Championship! On this last day, everybody feared there may be no racing due to predicted weather conditions, but the thunderstorms arrived later in the evening and the morning was just perfect for racing, with winds from south - south east with great velocity.

Two races were sailed today, just like every other day of the week, but today the big battle was between Lars Grael /Samuel Goncalves (BRA) and Paul Cayard / Arthur ‘Tutu’ Lopes (USA/BRA): only five points separated the teams last night, both had a chance to win the championship.

They were fighting for positions on the racecourse and finished in second and third in the first race and in fifth and second in the second. Brazilian Finn sailor Jorge Zarif with Guilherme De Almeida were on fire today, winning both races.

Paul Cayard and Tutu Lopes were fast enough to cut the margin down to only three points, but could not match the consistency of Lars Grael and Samuel Goncalves in this regatta.

Third on the podium are Jorge Zarif with Guilherme De Almeida, making Cayard the only non-Brazilian among the top six sailors.

“It was a tough competition with Paul, and in strong winds - declares an enthusiast Lars Grael after the price giving ceremony - we are glad of the result! It’s the seventh Silver Star event win in my life, and the second Western Hemisphere, the first one was in 2014. Yesterday we changed the mast and chose one more suitable for strong winds and itproved a very good choice especially downwind.” 

Lars Grael is also the winner in the Master category, followed by Paul Cayard second and John MacCausland in third position.

Augie Diaz / Bruno Prada (USA/BRA), fourth overall, are the winners of the Grand Master, John Dane III / Tim Ray (USA) are second and Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter(USA) third.

In the Exalted Grand Master, the winners are Larry Whipple / Antonio Tsoras (USA), with Ingvar Krook / Christoffer Lundgren (SWE) are second and Bob Teitge / Thad Brej(USA) third.


The next Silver Star event scheduled for 2018 is the Eastern Hemisphere Championship, in Trieste in two weeks’ time.

Author: Rachele Vitello - April 14, 2018

The Star Western Hemisphere 2018 keeps getting better!!

A beautiful sunny day with winds blowing at 15 knots from East - South East welcomed the 37 teams at Biscayne Bay Yacht Club on this Saturday morning. By 10am they were all on the water, for an ‘on time’ start of race 5 at 11 o’clock. Augie Diaz / Bruno Prada (USA/BRA) got a good upwind and were the first one to round the mark, followed by the very consistent Lars Grael / Samuel Goncalves (BRA). At the gate the sailors have a Charlie flag because the wind shifted to the right at a 110°, the first three boats at the gate are still Diaz, Grael and Tomas Hornos / Phil Toth (USA). These teams will be the leader of race 5 until the end, where the American duo will take the final win over Diaz /Prada in second place, with the Danes Jørgen Schönherr / Jan Eli Gravad slipping in in third position and Grael / Goncalves finishing fourth - but still leading the overall ranking.

Before the starting procedures of race 6 the wind is back from south east and it's lighter at about 8-10 knots. Five boats are over early and have to come back, among them there is golden star Lars Grael / Samuel Goncalves, they will recover from the bad start but will only finish 10th. Tomas Hornos / Phil Toth are in great shape and round the windward mark in first place followed by Nicolaus Pro / Chad Easley (USA) and John Dane III / Tim Ray (USA). Paul Cayard / Arthur ‘Tutu’ Lopes have very good speed on the downwind leg and they are third at the gate, but will do even better in the second upwind to gain the lead at the windward mark to stay on top until the finish. Tomas Hornos / Phil Toth followed in second spot and Jack Jennings / Frithjof Kleen (USA/GER) in third.

Lars Grael / Samuel Goncalves are still leading the 2018 ISCYRA Western Hemisphere after 6 races, Paul Cayard /Arthur Lopes keep the second position cutting down margin from the leader to only 5 points, and, at a safe 10 points distance from the second, Augie Diaz / Bruno Prada are third after a very good day on the water.

The weather conditions for tomorrow might not be as bad as they were forecasted at the beginning of the week, but winds from the south at over 20 knots are expected, and they might affect the schedule of the last day of racing of the 2018 Western Hemisphere Championship.

Author: Rachele Vitello - April 13, 2018

Another great day of sailing on Biscayne Bay for races 3 and 4 of the 2018 Star Western Hemisphere in Miami, hosted and organized by Biscayne Bay Yacht Club. Partially cloudy with winds ranging from 10 to 12 knots from east, a little lighter than yesterday and more challenging because of shiftier condition.


Race 3 started a few minutes after 11am with a couple of boats over the line with a wind direction of 105° for a 1.5 miles long upwind beat. The first to the weather mark were John Dane III / Tim Ray (USA) who were also leading at the gate, but then Luca Modena (ITA) /  Marcello Sansone (BRA) overtook them on the second beat and were able to maintain the whole fleet but one boat behind them until the end. That boat was the one skippered by Paul Cayard (USA) with crew Arthur Lopes (BRA) who got in the race nicely on the last two legs to get the win. The third team to cross the finish line was Lars Grael / Samuel F M Gonçalves (BRA), last night overall leaders remain in the top spot today after 3 races.


After a bit of adjustment of the racecourse with the wind shifting a little to the left to 90° and then back to the right at 110°, race number 4 started. Good pace was shown by the Danish sailors Jørgen Schönherr / Jan Eli Gravad on the upwind leg, arriving first at the mark rounding followed by Cayard / Lopes and Grael / Goncalves. From then on it was all about Lars staying in the lead until the end and Cayard losing a couple of spots to the Danish and American Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter, only to regain them back on the last downwind leg to the finish just behind former ISCYRA President Grael and ahead of the Danes Schönherr / Gravad.


In the overall ranking, before the discard, Lars Grael and Samuel Goncalves are leading with a 8 points margin over the second Paul Cayard and Arthur ‘Tutu’ Lopes and 12 points over the third place Jorge Zarif and Guilherme De Almeida (BRA) who were a little less consistent than yesterday with a 5, 10 in today's races.


Tomorrow’s first start is scheduled for 11, with a forecasted southeast breeze around 11-15 knots. Sunday still looks tricky with with winds ranging from 18 to 23 knots from south.

Author: Rachele Vitello - April 12, 2018

Star Western Hemisphere 2018. On the first sunny day of racing two races happened with a great easterly breeze from 15 to 18 knots. The first race started at 11.05am just as planned with a couple of OCS as the fleet was so eager to get the championship going. Since the beginning Brazilians Lars Grael / Samuel Goncalves with American-German duo Jack Jennings / Frithjof Kleen were in the leading group alongside Italian Luca Modena sailing with the Brazilian flag for his crew Marcello Sansone. On the second bit Finn sailor Jorge Zarif with crew Guilherme De Almeida (BRA) surprisingly joined the leaders and finished third overall. Second spot for Jennings / Kleen and the winners of the first race are Lars Grael with Samuel Goncalves.

Right after 12,30 and the arrival of the last of 37 boats, race number 2 got underway with three OCS. The wind is still blowing from east at 15-18 knots, and once again Lars Grael has a great start and is leading at the first mark rounding, with him American teams Tomas Hornos / Phil Toth and Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter. In the downwind leg Brazilian young skipper Jorge Zarif comes in and is second at the gate, conquer the lead on the second upwind and keeps it until the finish. Grael / Goncalves are second and Paul Cayard with Arthur Lopes are third.


On the cumulative results the leaders are Grael / Goncalves, followed by Zarif / De Almeida with a good margin already on Vessella / Trinter.

Similar weather is forecasted for tomorrow with the start of the first of two races planned at 11am.

Author: Tom Londrigan, Jr. - January 26, 2018

The IGC has approved the Western Hemisphere's request for test event status as detailed below. 

Appoved: Grant the 2018 Star Class Western Hemisphere Championship authority, as a "test event", to modify ISCYRA Rule 34.3.1 as follows, " course may be shortened using RRS 32.2 (the Flag S rule) but a course leg or legs may be shortered or lengthened utilizing RRS 33 (b) (Charlie "+" or "-" ) within the parameters established by ISCYRA Rule 34.3.7."


Tom Londrigan, Jr.