Light wind for Star Winter Series # 2 >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News
The Commodore’s Cup, the second event of the 2021-22 Star Winter Series, drew 18 teams on December 4 and 5 in Miami, Florida. The Race Committee had their work cut out for them to complete four quality races in very light conditions, ranging from two to seven knots. Augie Diaz and Bruno Prada won the event with a top two scoring line.
Conditions on day one looked upbeat as the teams warmed up happily above the rail, but as the race began the wind gradually eased throughout the race. Paul Cayard, who was sailing his first Winter Series event of the season with crew Luke Lawrence, maintained a solid lead for most of the race, until the second windward mark, where they ended up, even with Diaz and Prada in the last tailwind. It was an uphill battle, as both teams proved throughout the event that they have a downwind speed advantage over the rest of the fleet. Cayard and Lawrence won to win the first race.
The pressure rises again for the second race, but remains light. A number of boats were called up early and Cayard and Lawrence got off to a bad start. Peter Vesella and Phil Trinter had excellent first two stages, but on the second upwind the breeze started to weaken again. Diaz and Prada and George Szabo and Guy Avellon largely won on the second close by playing on the privileged left side, overtaking Vesella and Trinter. Both teams continued to the end with a significant lead over the fleet taking the first two places with Vesella and Trinter in third.
The third race was the most difficult of the day. Diaz / Prada led in the first mark with Bert Collins in second, sailing with Will Harding, a high school student from Annapolis, competing in his first Star event. The wind almost completely cut off on the first downwind. A huge shift to the left made the course completely to the left for the second upwind climb. A weak breeze line on the left side prompted the teams to go even further to the left, with the risk of overtaking the port tack layline.
The first boats around the second windward mark did not put sticks due to both the left shift and the need to sail at warmer angles to maintain speed in extremely light wind and choppy water. Biscayne Bay. Cayard and Lawrence managed to make their way to fifth place at the second windward buoy and then did a masterful tailwind, taking a more direct line to the finish. They passed three boats to finish second behind Diaz and Prada who won the race. Collins and Harding were third, a great Winter Series result for Collins.
Biscayne Bay was a mirror when the sailors arrived at the club on day two. The race committee decided to delay and time. A break from the usual was a meeting between the sailors, who discussed maximizing the limited wind that was to fill up at noon. The sailors, together with the race committee, decided to have the fleet towed to be ready to race at noon, rather than waiting for the wind to pick up as was customary in the past. The wind picked up as expected around noon.
The first start was recalled, the line was adjusted and a black flag followed. The pin end was still heavily favored. Cayard and Lawrence won the start at the hairpin and led easily to the first mark. The leaders of the regatta, Diaz and Prada, crossed a fourth place. As expected, the wind calmed down and the skippers found themselves seated inside the boat upwind.
Despite the almost total absence of wind, Diaz and Prada passed two boats on the first downwind to reach second position. After a very hard downwind, the breeze picked up more for the second ascent, which shortened. At the second windward mark, all the gold stars were leading, Cayard followed by Diaz, then John MacCausland / Rick Burgess and Szabo. Cayard and Lawrence won the race, but the main fight was between MacCausland and Szabo for third position. Szabo and Avellon won the battle, enough to give them third place in the event, as no more races were contested due to the lack of wind.
Final results (4 races)
1. Augie Diaz / Bruno Prada, United States – 2 -1 -1 -2; 6
2. Paul Cayard / Luke Lawrence, United States – 1 -7 -2 -1; 11
3. George Szabo / Guy Avellon, United States – 4 -2 -5 -3; 14
4. Peter Vessella / Phil Trinter, USA – 9 -3 -4 -9; 25
5. John MacCausland / Rick Burgess, United States – 3 -10 -10 -4; 27
6. Scott Mason / Phil Toth, USA – 6 -12 -7 -5; 30
7. Mat Johnson / Isao Toyama, United States – 8-14-6-8; 36
8. Bert Collins / Will Harding, USA – 7-21 / UFD -3-6; 37
9. Scott Barnard / Craig Moss, USA – 16-6-8-11; 41
10. Josh Powell / Pedro Trouche, United States – 10 -5 -12 -15; 42
11. Larry Whipple / Rob Schendier, USA – 11-15-9-7; 42
12. Kevin McNeil / Jake Doyle, United States – 5-11-13-14; 43
13. Aaron Smith / Charlie Koules, USA – 13 -4 -16 -17; 50
14. Shane Zwingelberg / TC Belco, USA – 14-8-15-13; 50
15. Robert Lippincott / Matthew Rajacich, USA – 12-16-14-12; 54
16. Jock Kohlhas / Arthur Anosov, USA – 17 -9 -11 -19 / DNC; 56
17. Zachary Hansman / Luke Morton, USA – 15-13-17-16; 61
18. Fabio Prada / Andreas Perdicarls, United States – 19 / DNC -19 / DNC -19 / DNC -10; 67
Winter Star Series 2021-22
Schoonmaker Cup – November 13-14, 2021. (up to 5 races)
Commodores Cup – December 4-5, 2021. (up to 5 races)
Levin Cup – January 8-9, 2022 (up to 5 races)
Walker Cup – February 10-11, 2022 (up to 5 races)
Star Mid-Winters – February 10-13, 2022. (includes Walker Cup, up to 8 races total).
SWS Score: Only the top three races of the Winter Series weekend will count towards the SWS Championship. The Star Winter Series champion will be the skipper with the lowest total score to be calculated as follows: The sum of the overall Star Midwinters place multiplied by 2, plus the three lowest scores from the four SWS weekend regattas. The playoffs championship ties will be determined by your place at Midwinters.
Source: Kathleen Tocke