In the Battle Between Man and the Elements at the 2014 Star North Americans, Man: 1
Oxford, MD 08 October 2014
Race Day 1 of the 2014 International Star Class North American Championship delivered all of the tough competition and tight racing as anticipated however it was the elements that ultimately fueled the strife instead of the all-star packed list of sailors. Races 1, 2, and 3 were completed today in remarkably different breeze than forecasted and while the fleet struggled to successfully manage the shifty, unstable conditions, a few sailors dominated them, namely Arthur Anosov & David Caesar (USA 8000), John MacCausland & Rick Burgess (USA 8490), Keith Donald & Kevin Elterman (USA 8087), and Carroll Beek-McCallum & Jock Kohlhas.
Race 1 began with a general recall, followed by a clean start in the second sequence. Six time International Star Class North American Champion John MacCausland and his crew Rick Burgess (USA 8490) took a commanding lead early on in leg 1, rounded each mark in 1st, maintained their lead throughout all 4 legs by protecting the favored left side of the course, and won the race with apparent ease.
Dan Phelps, SpinSheet
In Race 2, the fleet saw the wind shift further left at the start and had set up for the controlling, seemingly persistent left phase but was rocked by a 45° right shift as it approached the top ¼ of leg 1. District 2 locals Keith Donald and crew Kevin Elterman (USA 8087), who had been working up the right side of the course since the start, were the first team to the new breeze and proceeded to round the windward mark in 1st. USA 8087 Donald/Elterman continued to lead the fleet around the course for the remaining 3 legs and crossed the finish line in 1st place, earning their first Silver Star honors: 2 Silver Chevrons and 2 Silver Bars, respectively.
Race 3 began in the right phase wind that slowly shifted back left as the race progressed. After the start, the Star sailors headed straight to the right side of the course without hesitation. Paul Cayard and crew Brian Terhaar (USA 8460) rounded the weather mark in 1st with the 1996 Bahamian Olympic Star team Mark Holowesko and Miles Pritchard (BAH 8406) close behind, who after taking full advantage of a 15° left shift downwind, eventually passed USA 8460 Cayard/Terhaar and rounded the leeward mark in 1st. Despite the now left phase breeze, BAH 8406 Holowesko/Pritchard began heading upwind on the right side of the course again and the entire fleet followed suit, except for one team. On their way downwind, Carroll McCallum and crew Jock Kohlhas (USA 8420) saw more pressure on the left, rounded the right leeward gate mark, and sailed away from the fleet chasing down the breeze. USA 8420 McCallum/Kohlhas’s bold strategy paid off big time putting them in 1st place around the windward mark with a comfortable lead and they defended their position all the way downwind to the finish to win Race 3. McCallum, one of the 5 novice skippers competing this week, earned her first Star Class honors ever today: 2 Silver Chevrons.
Arthur Anosov and crew David Caesar (USA 8000) proved today that above all else, consistency is the key to overall success, especially in unsteady conditions. With a 3rd, 10th, and 2nd place finish in Races 1, 2, and 3 respectively this afternoon, USA 8000 Anosov/Caesar tops the leaderboard with 15 points total and a 9 point lead.
Top 5 after 3 races (preliminary):
|| Race 1
|| Race 2
|| Race 3
||Arthur Anosov & David Caesar
||Larry Whipple & Mike Wolfs
||Mark Passmore & Simon Van Wonderen
||William Watson & Roger Sharp
||Jack Jennings & Jessee Fielding
Quotes of the Day
Carroll McCallum, USA 8240: "When you are trying to move up in the fleet, some times you just have to try something different. Jock [Carroll's crew] saw more breeze on the left so we went left. This race win today was for Dodie Beek, my mother, for over 70 years of loving Stars and Star sailors!"
Dave Caesar, USA 8000: "Based on the forecast, we left the dock with flat, heavy air sails and when we got to the racing area it was clear that the conditions were different than the prediction. We did everything we could to power up and stay powered up all day. Transitions and changing gears smoothly was also key today with the shifty breeze, especially in the last two races."