Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT /


e-December Starlight

December 24, 2018

President's Message

Dear Star sailors,

While the year 2018 comes to an end and the majority of the sailors have already finished their sailing season, the Star Class was running their most important events during the last weeks.
Here are the headlines:
Jorge Zarif and Guilherme de Almeida from Brazil are our new  STAR WORLD CHAMPIONS. In Oxford/Maryland 60 boats were fighting for the title beginning in soft and ending in very strong wind conditions with lots of current. 2nd place öast years champions Eivind Melleby/Joshua Revkin, 3rd Paul Cayard/Arthur Lopes. Thanks to regatta chairman Andrew Parish and his team for the perfect organization and the members of Oxford Yacht Club for their outstanding hospitality.
The South American Championship was won in Rio de Janeiro by  Robert Scheidt/Artur „Tutu“ Lopes in a close finish ahead of our  former president and world championship Lars Grael/ Samuel Gonçalves in a high competitive fleet.
3rd Highlight were the SSL finals: 25 best of the best  world sailing teams racing against each other in the premium waters of the Bahamas, some might call it a  „substitute“ for the Olympic games:  winner of the thrilling knock-out finale  was -again- Jorge Zarif, this time sailing with Pedro Trouche.  2nd Robert Scheidt/Henry Boening, 3rd Diego Negri/Frithjof Kleen. Perfectly presented  on video by the SSL crew.  Thank you Michel Niklaus and your whole team for organizing this outstanding event!
Congratulations to all the winners! Find more exiting details in this e-starlight by our media manager Rachele Vitello.
For some of us the  season just continues :
The well established   winter series in Miami has already started again and in Europe the famous Christmas Race in Nice will take place soon.
I want to point out our new „Under 30“ Junior World Championship, which will take place for the first time in February 2019 in Miami. Up to now there are 30 entries from all around the world. Find more details in this issue and on our homepage for this exiting event.
At the end of the year I want to thank the team of the Central office, our Executive Director Jon van der Molen and all ISCYRA officers for their  excellent work and the great cooperation with you!
Finally I wish all of  you and your families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Hubert Merkelbach  


Election Results
The following are the results of the recent balloting of ISCYRA voting members:
VICE COMMODORES: Sune Carlsson & Christoph Gautschi
REAR COMMODORES: Hal Haenel & George Szabo
Resolution 2018-01: Electronic timers: Did not pass by 2/3 majority
Resolution 2018-02: Wood Construction: Passed
Resolution 2018-04: Vintage Gold Cup - Special Event: Passed




This morning when the 62 teams arrived at the Tred Avon Yacht Club with two races scheduled, the discard coming in play after Race 5, and a very windy forecast, anything was possible. Jorge Zarif and crew Guilherme de Almeida had a comfortable eight point lead over the second place team Paul Cayard (USA) and Arthur Lopes (BRA), and even more over the third place Class President Hubert Merkelbach and Markus Koy (GER). After a DNF in Race 5 for Cayard / Lopes, and a discarded DSQ for 2017 World Champions Eivind Melleby (NOR) and Joshua Revkin (USA) the window of opportunity opened back up for either of the three teams to take the Championship title at the start of a thrilling Race 6.

Jorge Zarif and Guilherme de Almeida fought a tough battle, always sailing within top 10 boats, losing some points in the second upwind beat, then regaining them in the last downwind to finish fourth behind race winner Tomas Hornos and Pedro Trouche, just meters before Melleby / Revkin, Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise in third. The Brazilians narrowly clinched the fourth spot from George Szabo (USA) and Roger Cheer (CAN) by half boat length.

Olympic Finn sailor Jorge Zarif at 26 years old is the youngest World Champion since 1981 when Alex Hagen (GER) won as a skipper at the same age.

“I feel really happy! The Star is such a traditional Class full of good people - said Jorge Zarif - and good sailors. It feels really good to have the opportunity to put my name on that trophy.”
“It’s a wonderful experience to sail with Jorge - said crew Guilherme de Almeida - He is amazing. I started sailing with his father when I was 14. He took me to the club and he got me sailing Stars and now I am here winning with Jorge at the World Championship, which is a dream!”

Eivind Melleby and Joshua Revkin had a fantastic week that started with two wins in the first day, and they are among the best Star sailors of all time wining in 2017 in Denmark and as runner up this year. 

“We wanted to defend the cup of course - said Eivind Melleby - so it is a bit disappointing that we finished in second. But we are pleased with the week because we had two 1st places and a 2nd and all top 10 finishes otherwise. So we are very happy with the results and the sailing. This was a very tough week to sail with light wind and then on the last day with pressure that was up and down and very shifty.”

Paul Cayard sailed in his first Star World Championship 40 years ago as a crew in his hometown, San Francisco. He won the prestigious trophy back in 1988 in Buenos Aires, and since then he has engaged in many more adventures, winning some of the most epic challenges of our sport. Now he is back competing in the Star class with his Brazilian crew Arthur Lopes.

“We had great results and of course we hoped to win - said Paul Cayard, Vice President of the Star Class - But Arthur and I won a race and had a second, and 3rd is a great place overall. We are always excited to have the youth in the Class, Jorge is the son of a Starsailor and Josh [Revkin] and Arthur [Lopes] are both young. What we are most interested in is seeing the next generation coming along, so to see Jorge Zarif win the Star WorldChampionship is fantastic. It says a lot for the Star Class.”
“This is my best result in the Star class and I am very happy - said Arthur ‘Tutu’ Lopes - It was great to sail with Paul, I learn a lot from him."

The week has not been easy, with the weather being greatly affected by Hurricane Michael, but in the end we had an epic last day.
The highly anticipated final race day of the 2018 Star World Championship began early this morning in an effort to complete all scheduled races on time. The fleet embarked on the most challenging day of racing yet and battled 40 degree shifts, an 8-10 knot breeze that built to over 20 knots by the end of the day, and the heaviest current they have seen all week. 
Race 5, originally scheduled to begin at 11:00 EDT (UTC -4), took over three hours to begin due to remnant unstable wind conditions. With a now 15-20+ knot north westerly breeze, a heavy ebb current on the course, and an aggressive fleet at the start, 9 teams were forced over the line early and earned a black flag penalty. Greek team Emilios Papathanasiou and Antonis Tsotras took a commanding lead early on but after two major right shifts and a hard fought effort downwind, Italians Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi worked their way into first place and won Race 5. After Race 5 was completed, all teams dropped the worst finishing place from their scoreline and for many of the regatta leaders that was their Race 5 finish. The leaderboard and the point spread between them had officially become unclear and the fleet began the 6th and final race in the 2018 Star World Championship blind.

With the great unknown scoreboard in mind, the top teams took a conservative approach to Race 6, started at 16:00 EDT (UTC -4), and kept to the center of the race course. Tomas Hornos and Pedro Trouche took an early lead on the first weather leg with reigningStar World Champions Eivind Melleby and Josh Revkin hot on their trail. Race 6 was the ultimate showdown between Hornos/Trouche, Melleby/Revkin, and Szabo/Cheer fighting every inch around the race course with Jorge Zarif and Guilherme de Almeida tailing behind them. Tomas Hornos and Pedro Trouche took the final race win of the 2018 StarWorld Championship in a photo finish with Norwegian team Eivind Melleby and Josh Revkin. Jorge Zarif and Guilherme de Almeida finish in 3rd, narrowly beating American’s George Szabo and Roger Cheer across the line, and solidifying their 2018 Star WorldChampionship win.
2018 Star World Championship top 10

1 - Jorge Zarif - Guilherme de Almeida BRA
2 - Eivind Melleby NOR - Joshua Revkin USA
3 - Paul Cayard USA - Arthur Lopes BRA
4 - Diego Negri - Sergio Lambertenghi ITA
5 - George Szabo USA - Roger Cheer CAN
6 - Jørgen Schönerr - Jan Eli Gravad DEN
7 - Tomas Horno - Pedro Trouche USA
8 - Hubert Merkelbach - Markus Koy GER
9 - Eric Doyle - Payson Infelise USA
10 - Peter Vessela - Phil Trinter USA


SSL Finals


For a second time a Brazilian crew claimed victory in the Star Sailors League Finals, but on this occasion it was not the bookies' choiceOlympic legend Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening were favourites going into this event and completely dominated the last four days of Qualifier rounds off Nassau, but this time it was Star World Champion Jorge Zarif and Pedro Trouche who won every stageAged 26 and 27 respectively, Zarif, the reigning Star World Champion and 2013 Finn Gold Cup winner, and Trouche, are the first crew younger than 40 to win the annual event that aims to determine the top ‘star’ of the sailing world.

We are surprised we had this kind of dominance, because the level is so high,” admitted Zarif. “We sailed our best especially on the last day. We gave 100%, hiking and pumping the whole time and that definitely made the difference. It is a privilege to be here and a privilege to beat those guys.”
Racing on the final knock-out day took place under an overcast sky with the course moved back inside Nassau’s Montague Bay. The brisk easterly was blowing directly into the Bay with gusts at times reaching 20 knots.

The day kicked off with the eight quarter-finallists doing battle. Zarif and Trouche won this with the bottom three – Paul Cayard/Arthur Lopes, Lars Grael/Samuel Goncalves and Freddy Lööf/Edoardo Natucci eliminated; Cayard so dominant on the day before tha last hampered after picking up a penalty on the first beat.

The young Brazilians next won the Semi Finals. In this Mark Mendelblatt/Brian Fatih, whose second place at the end of the Qualifiers had fast tracked them directly to the Semis, lost out despite finishing the race overlapped with Norway’s Eivind Melleby and Joshua Revkin. Mendelblatt and Fatih, the two time Star Sailors League Finals winners, were eliminated along with French duo Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot and Polish Olympic legend Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Życki.

Up the first beat of the Final, Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening made what the Olympic sailing star admitted was in retrospect a mistake: he tacked on Italian-German duo Diego Negri and Frithjof Kleen, instead of having continued on to the right to take on his fellow countrymen. In the end the two teams fought it out for second and third spot, with Scheidt/Boening crossing the line ahead of Negri/Kleen. 

“If we had crossed and gone all the way to him, then we would have got the leftie, butthey are decisions you have to make in a second,” admitted Scheidt. He added of the winners and his compatriots:  “They fully deserved. They won three races on the last day by a large margin. They were fast and sailing well both upwind and downwind. Jorge has a bright future ahead of him.”

While Paul Cayard managed to turn on the afterburners on the last day of the qualifying series having made rig adjustments the previous night, so Zarif and Trouche also had given their slender spar and rigging a thorough going-through last night. Zarif said this made all the difference: “We had good starts, with great upwind speed and that made the job less difficult. We could put ourselves into a position where we could control the fleet a lot of the time.”

While they had speed, it had also been a huge physical effort for the young Brazilians: “We hiked super hard and we pumped super hard and that made a difference on the three last races. I am super tired now.”

While this was Zarif’s fourth participation in the Star Sailors League Finals, this was his crew Pedro Trouche’s first. Remarkably it was also the first time he and Zarif had sailed together, although they have known each other since they trained together in the Laser in 2005. Zarif’s World Championship winning crew Guilherme de Almeidawas tied up this week with his wedding.

It is the biggest thing I have won,” admitted Trouche, who next intends to compete in February’s inaugural Star Junior World Championship in Miami. “I have never sailed at a level like this before. It is the first time I have beaten Robert [Scheidt]. That is a nice feeling! He is a legend. I am very happy.”

For winning the Star Sailors League Finals, Zarif and Trouche not only gained the credo of beating many of the world’s top sailors, but also won US$ 40,000 of the total US$ 200,000 prize pot


Jorge Zarif (BRA)

Pedro Trouche (BRA)


Robert Scheidt (BRA)

Henry Boening (BRA)


Diego Negri (ITA)

Frithjof Kleen (GER)


Eivind Melleby (NOR)

Joshua Revkin (USA)


Mark Mendelblatt (USA

Brian Fatih (USA)


Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL)

Dominik Zycki (POL)


Xavier Rohart (FRA)

Pierre-Alexis Ponsot (FRA)


Paul Cayard (USA)

Arthur Lopes (BRA)


Lars Grael (BRA)

Samuel Gonçalves (BRA)


Fredrik Loof (SWE)

Edoardo Natucci (ITA)







Twenty wooden Star boats took part in the Vintage Gold Cup hosted by the Gull Lake Yacht Club - Richland, MI

Three races were sailed, father and son team of Paul Cayard and Danny Cayard won ahead of Greg Smith / TC Belco and Joe Londrigan / John Wysockey.

Don Parfet, one of the organizers with Jon VanderMolen, ISCYRA Execeutive Director, says “ The 2nd Annual Vintage Gold Cup was filled with great camaraderie, excellent social events, lots of golf but very little wind.  The first two days of racing were cancelled and the three races sailed on the final day were in light breezes.  Congratulations to Paul and Danny Cayard for their superb sailing and successful defense of last year’s victory.  Plans have already started for next year’s event.  We will announce the date the 3rd Vintage gold Cup soon.  We welcome all sailors with restored wooden star boats.  Let us know if we can assist in your planning for this fun-filled event.”

From Paul Cayard’s report on the regatta.

No wind for two days then 3 races yesterday made up the second annual Vintage Gold Cup. GEM IX belonged to a mentor of mine, Sir Durward Knowles, when he won gold in the ‘64 Olympics. GEM IX is now part of the Cayard family and It was extra special to share this year with my third generation Star sailor son.  Winning made it that much more special.

Gull Lake Country club has both sailing and golf. Golf was heavily subscribed on Thursday and Friday.

Don Parfet and Jon Vandermolen continue to grow this classic Star event with the addition of 9 boats making a fleet of 21 for this years Vintage Gold Cup. The Star class is over 100 years old and Vintage Gold Cup is for wooden Stars that are 50+ years old. A big thanks to those two men for their passion and efforts!

The Vintage Gold Cup-Honoring the past!






Robert Scheidt and Arthur Lopes (BRA) are the 2018 South American champions of the Star class. The two-time Olympic champion won the first race on Sunday, last day of the event, at the Yacht Club in Rio de Janeiro, and finished second in the last, giving him the Championship. However, the duo Lars Grael / Samuel Gonçalves (BRA) obtained the same results on the last day of the competition, but reversed, andfinished at equal points. The title was decided only on the third tiebreaker. They were equal in number of victories (two) and second places (one). The third position obtained on Saturday gave the cup to Scheidt / Lopes. It was quite thrilling!!
"It was a good Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, with strong wind and sunshine. Honestly, it feels so special for me to win this title. We started the last day far from the first place and I was pushing for a spot on the podium, more that the actual win. But it was a good day. I am happy and surprised on how we managed the last races. And it was also the first major win with Arthur 'Tutu' Lopes. We won the Paulista Championship together, butwinning at the South Americans is important for us”, said the five-time Brazilian Olympic medalist, sponsored by Banco do Brasil and Rolex and supported by COB and CBVela.
Scheidt and Lopes won the Star class Brazilian title in April at the Yacht Club Santo Amaro in São Paulo. The Rio waters bring good memories to Robert. A year ago, he won the Royal Thames Cup, a competition played at the Yacht Club in Rio de Janeiro. At the time, his crew was Henry Boenning.
The weather did not help sailors in Rio de Janeiro in the early days of the South Americans. On the first day, Thursday the 8th of November, the races were canceled due to lack of wind. On Friday, although the weather remained difficult, there were three races. Scheidt and Lopes were improving performance throughout the day. They started with a ninth place, climbed to seventh in the next race and finished crossing the finish line in the lead in the last race. On Saturday, they kept in average with a third place and on Sunday they had their best performance with one victory and a second spot in the final.
Brazil dominated the South American Championship of Rio de Janeiro, which also had competitors from Europe. Among the 20 participating boats, 16 were Brazilians, two were Argentine, one Italian and one Dutch. On the podium withRobert Scheidt and Arthur Lopes, and runners up Lars Grael and Samuel Gonçalves, there was Star Class World Champion Jorginho Zarif with Ubiratan Matos. Overall, the top eight were Brazilians.


Calling all sailors under 30!  Make sure to sail the first Star Junior World Championship in Biscayne Bay, Miami, February 3-6!  Crews need not be under 30. See the website for details. Boat charters, crew contacts, housing and regatta details. Don't miss the epic event!


Fleet Growth: Spotlight on District 4
Promotion thru Participation

The 4th District Ranking event was developed as a “Beta” test due to the increased interest being seen thru SSL and Winter Series formats. Through open District discussions with fleet officers, we decided to leverage that enthusiasm and determined that “Promotion thru Participation” would be our focus. We determined that promoting events locally and then to not have significant participation was doing more harm than good. The district team then determined to choose a limited # of district events to support. The agreed upon criteria was set and the fleets would support 1 event in each quadrant of the Great Lakes Region with the final event being our District Championship. Four events as a district with each fleet committing one (1) traveler would guarantee 8 out of town boats and this strategy would be the catalyst for our “Promotion thru Participation” focus.


Now, how to create incentive to travel?. Well, an idea was tabled to create a series based on the four chosen events. In the past we discussed a “Travelers Series” but it really never took hold. And then, an idea tabled by Richard Wilbur that he (Sobstad Midwest) would commit a prize of value to the series podium as an award.  With this idea and commitment, the “Ranking Series” was born. We then determined that if we could obtain additional awards of value, we just might have something that could assist in our participation quest. Well, we received a call immediately from Jon Vandermolen and Don Parfet offering a fully sponsored position in the annual VINTAGE GOLD CUP as the top prize of the Ranking Series. This meant a fully restored wood boat would be provided as would the entry costs and position in the event. This was significant to our series as Vintage participation would be quite an honor and an unprecedented motivator. Additional calls went out to key Star Class supporters and received additional significant sponsorship. We could not have had a successful series without this commitment and we cannot thank them enough. The Sponsors were:

North One Design  -  New Headsail
Quantum One Design -  Regatta Cover
Sobstad Mid West  -  Travel Cover 

We realized a gain of 49% in District participation. We now hope to ensure this is a sustainable concept and will be implementing in 2019 with 100% new venues within the District so that each fleet has the greatest opportunity to promote their local growth. All in all, we believe this effort achieved its goal and has provided a path for the 4th Districts growth and future.

                                     AGAIN, WE CAN NOT THANK OUR SPONSORS ENOUGH –
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!    


2019 Dues

The database is now accepting 2019 dues payments.

  • Star Class members - click here and follow the instructions for Returning Star Class Members.  As this is a new database, you will need to first send yourself a new password, then access the database, renew/pay your dues and update your profile.
  • For NEW members - click here and follow the instructions
  • Check Membership through this link

Dues remain at:

  • Active & Isolated Active: $90
  • Associate & Isolated Associate: $35
  • Junior Active (20-30 or under 20 & skippering): $45
  • Junior Member (under 20): $22.50


Boat Registration Update

The new Star Class database is giving the office a chance to clean up past records.  Many Star Class owners have noticed missing or incorrect information in the 2018 LOG.  If you need to make changes, please use this link to update the Star Class records, or through your member profile.


2019 & 2020 Fixtures List
Approved Events for your calendar
World Championship - June 13-23, Porto Cervo, ITA
Junior World Championship - February 3-6, Miami, FL, USA
European Championship - May 11-19, Riva, Garda, ITA
Eastern Hemisphere - September 1-7, Attersee, AUT
Western Hemisphere - May 20-25, San Diego, CA, USA
North Americans - September 9-14, Tom's River, NJ, USA
South Americans - Argentina