Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT / friedbits.com
The 2016 Star World Champion team of Augie Diaz (USA) and Bruno Prada (BRA) added another notch on their collective belt by winning the 2017 Star North American Championship in Marblehead on Sept. 10 after building up a 14-point lead in the seven race series.
The team bested Luke Lawrence (USA) and Ian Coleman (USA) by 14 points, and George Szabo (USA) and Ed Morey (USA), who placed third with 34 points.
“This was a spectacular event for many reasons as sailing in Marblehead is a great challenge with a beautiful setting,” said Diaz who is originally from Cuba. “Further, it is the level of competition in the Star Sailors League that has brought the best Star sailors in the world here this week. This represents an opportunity for the best sailors to meet.”
The Star Sailors League is an international regatta circuit, and was formed in 2013 to both protect the interests of professional sailors and promote the athletes and the sport in an innovative and simple format.
The Star boat had traditionally been an Olympic-class boat until 2016 when keelboats were eliminated from the Olympics, but many Olympians old and young are drawn to the Stars, as both are physically challenging, nimble and fast, and it is hoped one day they will return to the Olympics.
2017 Star North American Championship Top 10 of 46 results:
7 races, 1 discard
Augie Diaz / Bruno Prada, 20
Luke Lawrence / Ian Coleman, 34
George Szabo / Ed Morey, 34
Jack Jennings / Frithjof Kleen, 34
Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter, 38
Andy Macdonald / Brad Nichol, 50
John MacCausland / Roger Cheer, 50
Doug Smith / Brian O’Mahony, 55
Tomas Hornos / Josh Revkin, 55
Jim Buckingham / Craig Moss, 55
“It was great to have this level of sailors here, and it’s so good to compete against friends from around the world,” said Tomas Hornos of Marblehead, who was one of the regatta co-chairs, along with Jud Smith.
Hornos, who came in ninth, works with Jud Smith in the one-design department of Doyle Sailmakers in Salem. Having both the Eastern and Boston Yacht Clubs involved in this event was also a highlight.
The regatta wrapped up after four difficult days of racing in a light, oscillating breeze that frustrated the race committee that were left hunting for wind during much of the regatta.
“It was incredibly shifty and unpredictably light for all four days, and although we got in seven races out of eight the sailors had to make decisions to go in or out of the tide/current,” said the head of the Eastern Yacht Club race committee Susie Schneider.
“It was not typical conditions, and the sailors really had to have their heads out of the boat, looking at the current and tides to have an edge.”