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Historic Star Racing Fleet Gather for Vintage Gold Cup in USA

3rd October 2019
Vintage Star racing Vintage Star racing Photo: Walter Cooper

The third annual Vintage Star Gold Cup will officially open tonight on Gull Lake, Michigan, USA. With 26 entries, seven nations and five gold stars on the main sails, the regatta is hosted by the Gull Lake Yacht Club and is reserved for restored Star boats. The event has been growing since the first edition in 2017, when 11 boats were on the starting line.

The Vintage Gold Cup is open to any wooden Star boat that has been restored to approximate original specifications with modern equipment that may include hiking straps and aluminum mast and boom. Also featured is a Classic Vintage Cup category for the boats that will include a wooden mast and boom.

Racing starts tomorrow, Thursday October 3rd, and will go on until Saturday October 5th. Three races are scheduled on the first two days and two for the last one. The 2019 Vintage Gold Cup champions, skipper and crew, will be awarded the perpetual “Robert M. Boudeman Family Trophy” and the class honor of the gold wreath.

The trophy has been won at previous editions by the same skipper: Paul Cayard (USA) who is the one to watch out for on the Gull Lake racecourse. Cayard took first in 2017 with crew Brian Fatih and last year with his son Danny Cayard, with whom he will defend the title this week.

On the podium with Cayard last year there were Greg Smith with crew TC Belco, and Joe Londrigran with crew John Wysockey. All of them are on the starting line again this year among other great sailors. Five Star World Champions are here including, Paul Cayard, who won it in 1988. Lars Grael, from Brazil to sail with American crew Arnis Baltins; Eivind Melleby has come from Norway with US crew Josh Revkin. The two-time Olympic champion Mark Reynolds, arrived from San Diego, with his lifelong crew Hal Haenel, and from San Diego is also the 92 year-old Malin Burnham, who won the Worlds in 1945 with crew Lowell North, sailing on Gull Lake with his son John. Another American gold star is John MacCausland, here with Rick Burgess. Finally, the reigning “Under Thirty” World Champion Luke Lawrence.

There is a packed social schedule, with dinner parties every night, starting tonight with the Opening Ceremony presented by Harken Derm, hosted by Don and Ann Parfet. Thursday dinner will be hosted at Bells Eccentric Cafe, famous Michigan brewery. Regatta partner, MAP Strategic, is presenting the Legacy Night on Friday, where the public will be able to see the boats from the newly built dock. On Saturday, the final awards ceremony hosted at the impressive Gilmore Car Museum.

The sail numbers are low in this fleet, with the youngest being a 5808, and the oldest an amazing 1010, helmed by Don Parfet, co-chair of the event with Jon VanderMolen, but the level of the competition will be very high.

Published in Star, Historic Boats
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The Star keelboat is a 6.9 metres (23 ft) one-design racing keelboat for two people designed by Francis Sweisguth in 1910.

The Star was an Olympic keelboat class from 1932 through to 2012, the last year keelboats appeared at the Summer Olympics at which Ireland's representatives were Peter O'Leary and David Burrows.

Ireland has performed well in the class internationally thanks to some Olympic campaigns including a bronze medal at the Star World Championships in 2000, won by Mark Mansfield and David O'Brien.

The boat is sloop-rigged, with a mainsail larger in proportional size than any other boat of its length. Unlike most modern racing boats, it does not use a spinnaker when sailing downwind. Instead, when running downwind a whisker pole is used to hold the jib out to windward for correct wind flow.

Early Stars were built from wood, but modern boats are of fibreglass and carbon construction.

The boat must weigh at least 671 kg (1,479 lb) with a maximum total sail area of 26.5 m2 (285 sq ft).

The Star class pioneered an unusual circular boom vang track, which allows the vang to effectively hold the boom down even when the boom is turned far outboard on a downwind run.

Another notable aspect of Star sailing is the extreme hiking position adopted by the crew and at times the helmsman, who normally use a harness to help hang low off the windward side of the boat with only their lower legs inside.

At A Glance – Star Specifications

Designer Francis Sweisguth
Year 1910
Crew 2 (Skipper + Crew)
S + 1.5 C ≤ 250 kg (550 lb)[1]
Draft 1.016 m (3 ft 4 in)
Hull Type keelboat
Hull weight ≥ 671 kg (1,479 lb)
(including keel)
LOA 6.922 m (22 ft 9 in)
LWL 4.724 m (15 ft 6 in)
Beam 1.734 m (5 ft 8 in) at deck
1.372 m (4 ft 6 in) at chine
Hull appendages
Keel/board type bulb keel
401.5 ± 7 kg (885 ± 15 lb)
Rig
Rig type sloop
Mast length 9.652 m (31 ft 8 in)
Sails
Mainsail area 20.5 m2 (221 sq ft)
Jib/genoa area  6.0 m2 (65 sq ft)
Upwind sail area ≤ 26.5 m2 (285 sq ft)

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