Lars Grael (right) and Sam Goncalves (left)
Star Western Hemisphere 2018, Lars Grael and Goncalves champions
Biscayne Bay, Miami (FL - USA). 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 it proved 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.