Diego Negri, Sergio Lambertenghi retain pole position at 100th anniversary Star Worlds
Negri and Lambertenghi retain pole position at Star Worlds
Wednesday day dawned sunny and breezy at the 100th Anniversary Star Worlds, in a perfect change of fortunes after Tuesday's fog, rain and lack of wind forced racing to be cancelled.
Italy's Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi retain pole position after a solid 5th place score, whilst the race win to George Szabo/Guy Avellon (USA) rockets them eight places up the leader board to 7th overall in the eight-four boat fleet.
Watched by a flotilla of spectator boats, the racetrack served up classic Star Class conditions, with a 12-knot offshore breeze and chop greeting teams as they took on the 2.2nm windward leg on the first of 5 laps of the 10.8nm windward/leeward upwind finish course format. After two general recalls, not the best of starts for the five teams who struggled with the shifts off the start to earn a BFD penalty.
Intercepting the shifts
Breezy and shifty conditions offered plenty of opportunity for position changes. The intensity required was huge though, as the 20-degree shifts played through the fleet, with gains and losses as teams tried to keep with the pressure and make adjustments to stay in the chess match. The unpredictable breeze demanded a frequent pace change and racing style along with two course changes in a textbook challenge for Star sailors.
Whilst race 3 was for the strong wind players, control of the lead was only ever about who intercepted the shifts better between Jack Jennings (USA)/Pedro Trouche (BRA) and George Szabo/Guy Avellon (USA).
Jennings/Trouche are boosted by an impressive season, 2nd at the 2022 Star Europeans and 1st at the Star North Americans, while Szabo has the kudos of a gold Star on his mainsail from victory at the 2009 Worlds. Szabo/Avellon have been working together for the past three years and most recently finished third at the 2022 North Americans.
"We had a great day. Winning that race was really interesting," said Szabo. "We started the middle weather end of the line and just getting through that chop was tough, just keeping that bow down and get through the waves."
The shifts were key, as Szabo explained, "We were fortunate the first three shifts put us in the right spot to be in the contention at the weather mark, and we got away on the first shift on the run. The next beat was tough, Guy was watching the numbers and watching the angles and a huge part of that was making sure we were in the right place.
"Going into the finish Jack was going to have us," continued Szabo, "but he made one manoeuvre to cover Tonci which looked like the right call at the time. In the end the guys lifted so much that they overstood and reached in, and we got to the mark and got them by maybe a boat length. It was a pretty entertaining day!"
Laughing, Avellon added, "It was fun when we heard the gun!"
Putting pressure on behind to finish third were the 2022 Star European Champions Tonci Stipanovic/Tudor Bilic (CRO), who move up into 2nd overall. Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL)/Bruno Prada (BRA), who count seven Star World Championship titles between them, translated the crazy narrative of the racetrack, which saw them around 11th at the first mark, into a 4th place finish and step up to third overall.
Prada reflected on a tough day, "We did a really bad start. We held a little bit to be a little bit more conservative. It was not good, we got passed from other boats. We didn't do the right decisions upwind. We really sailed super well downwind."
"But we have reached our goal," chipped in Kusznierewicz. "Every day we are climbing two places!"
After a lacklustre start, series leaders Negri/Lambertenghi fought back with a determination as fierce as their talent, steadily finding advantages to get back in the game and claim a 5th place finish.
Leading the charge amongst the U30 teams are Daniel Fritz/Alberto Ambrosini (GER) in 18th overall.
Race 4 is scheduled to get underway at 1230 hours on Thursday, September 15.
Provisional Top 10 Results – after Race 3
1. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA 2021) - 9 pts
2. Tonci Stipanovic / Tudor Bilic (CRO 1991) - 11 pts
3. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada (POL 2019) - 19 pts
4. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise (USA 1999) - 23 pts
5. Paul Cayard / Frithjof Kleen (USA 1988) - 25 pts
6. Jørgen Schoenherr / Markus Koy (DEN 8532) - 36 pts
7. George Szabo / Guy Avellon (USA 2009) - 41 pts
8. Jim Buckingham / Phil Toth (USA 1958) - 45 pts
9. Augie Diaz / Brad Nichol (USA 8509) - 45 pts
10. Jud Smith / Remi Hutchins (USA 1957) - 45 pts
You get a real feel for the history of Star Cass in the boat park, and amongst the many big names at the Eastern Yacht Club is Star legend Malin Burnham. He won his first Star Worlds at 16 years old as crew for Gerald Driscoll in 1944 and scooped the honour again in 1945 as skipper with Lowell North. Burnham will be sharing some of his memories and anecdotes at this evening's Gala Dinner.
Tonight, Bacardi will host the 100th Anniversary gala dinner for around 300 guests, including sixteen former world champions. Amongst the highlights of the evening will be a video presentation by Bacardi, a look back at the past 100 years with the Star Class, a silent auction, plenty of fun, entertainment and Bacardi cocktails.
Follow the Star Worlds
Eight-four teams from thirteen nations are racing for the 2022 Star World Championship title, trophies and prizes. Daily racing continues through to Saturday, September 17, with a lay day scheduled on Wednesday, September 14.