Monday, April 19, 2010

Clarke and Bjorn Win the 2010 Star Western Hemisphere Spring Championships


Picture from CYA news article, and article from SCUTTLEBUTT 3073 - Monday, April 19, 2010 (www.sailingscuttlebutt.com)- Ralph, Montreal Sailing

BIG BREEZE, BROKEN MASTS, HOLED BOATS, RIPPED SAILS
Nassau, Bahamas (April 17, 2010) - Strong winds characterized the Star Class Western Hemisphere Championship on Wednesday through Friday, claiming five masts among the 29 entrants. The breeze eased to 10-16 knots for the final races on Saturday, providing "conditions that are more usual for this time of year," explained Regatta Co-Chairman Paul Hutton. Early event leader Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn (CAN) posted their worst scores in these final two races, but had enough margin to take the title over second place Augie Diaz/ Bruno Prada (USA) and third place Mark Mendelblatt/ John von Schwarz (USA). But it didn't all come easy for the winners, as Clarke share this story from the second to last day on Friday:

"Now it wouldn't be a natural day if we didn't have a little drama to make things interesting. While we lined up to start the second race the taper on our jib sheet failed and as Tyler pulled the jib in all he managed to do was milk the cover off the rope. He quickly dived down to leeward grabbed the sheet by the core and quickly wrestled it into the cleat. This was going to make it very hard to play the jib as his choices were to use the very thin core that would barely cleat and would chew up his hands or the quickly fattening cover that was like trying to pull on a snake that is shedding its skin.

"Time to man up and play the jib by the core. So we stick to the play book lead left off the pin wait for the fleet to tack and tack, but wait when we tack the core won't un-cleat and we flounder with the jib backed in 20+ while Tyler frantically tried to un-cleat it. Thankfully Tyler got it un-cleated quickly and the damage was not that bad. We found our jets again on the first beat and rounded 1st, extended on the reaches while trying to baby the tiller the best we could and then cruised the rest of the way to win comfortably."

Full results: http://star2010.nassauyachtclub.org/results/star_2010.htm
Daily event reports: http://tinyurl.com/y37naqp
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