Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT / friedbits.com
The Zürcher Yacht Club (ZYC) on Lake Zurich, Switzerland, hosts the „Old Fashion Race“, an annual classic boat race every August together with the local Oldtime Boat Club (OBCZ). There is a long tradition of Starboat racing on the lake since 1946, and of competitive boat building like Portier (ex Portier & Suter) and Steinmayer.
ZYC offers an own class rating for wooden starboats and supports a gathering of theses classics with great enthousiam.
Come to Zurich on August 18 and 19!
Entitled for participation are all boats with wooden hulls built to ISCYRA specifications
For the first time in Europe, vintage starboats meet for racing on August 18 and 19 at Zurich Yacht Club, on the occasion of the Old Fashion Race together with the Oldtime Boat Club Zurichsee. Boats have entered from 4 nations already, and more participants are highly welcome! Traditional and modernised boats are eligible alike, hulls must be built from wood to star class specifications. The unique setting of a floating boathouse, looking out on the swiss alps, provides a sociable atmosphere before and after races.
Vintage Starboats in Zurich, Switzerland
On August 18th and 19th, a promising begin was made with the first ever Vintage Star event on European waters. Zürcher Yacht Club and the Oldtime Boat Club Zürichsee honoured their invitation to be fabulous hosts. The location: a floating boathouse and large pond settings in front of the city lake front, looking out on the swiss alps. The event was part of the “Old Fashion Race” hosted every year for classic and modern boats. From a group of 8 vintage boats from 4 European countries which had registered for the Zürich Vintage Star race, 3 had to retire on short notice for various reasons. The remaining 5 however nicely represented the variety of styles that appeal to aficionados of the wooden boat tradition. Painted or varnished, all sported wooden hulls built to ISCYRA specifications. Equipped to various levels of technology, the outfit ranged from original 60’s layout and rigging to modern style performance.
Oldest entrant, also travelled the longest distance from Helmond, Netherlands, was Star 1294 “Bem II”. A real celebrity: built by Caesar Fuhlendorff, won a Bronze Medal at the 1936 Kiel Olympics, participated in the infamous 1939 Kiel Worlds shortly before the outbreak of WWII as well as the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. The current owner Harm Adriaans saved it from a sure death at the scrapyard and extensively rebuilt the hull over a period of 5 years before it’s first re-appearance – in Zürich! On the other end of the spectrum: Star 6904 “Rainbow”, built beautifully from Western Red Cedar by master shipwright Wilhelm Wagner from Lake Constance. He sailed the boat again - and fast! - after many years in the shed. Starboat tradition on the lake was represented by another Master of starboat building, Josef Steinmayer with 4677 “Monique-Anne II”. Initiators Raoul Laimberger on 4440 “Trilla” and Christoph Kempermann on 4929 “Thetis” made up the pack with their 1960’s originals.
Sadly, the wind failed during the entire weekend so sailing was limited to individual matches while waiting for conditions stable enough to allow a race to go through. That didn’t work out and the entire event had to be cancelled by Sunday afternoon without rankings.
On the upside, this left more time for network talks, discussions about the best ways to tune wooden masts and plans for future events. Everyone said they’d like to return. Most importantly, spread the idea to other boat owners and to clubs throughout Europe who would like to host such an event. Together with the Vintage Gold Cup which evolves in the US, the entrants and initiators hope that a new tradition begins that honors the past and leads the Vintage future!