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7 July 2007, 03:36 pm
The Star, Sailing History and Cascais
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ISAF Sailing World Championships 2007
Cascais, Portugal

The Star, as one of the oldest one-design classes and as one that thrives and prospers under its Olympic status, has been at the forefront of new ideas since the first 22 boats were built during the winter of 1910-1911 in Port Washington, New York. The design and the sail configuration changed quite a bit during the Star's first decade of existence.
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Cascais Photo Galleries

During that first decade, the Star's popularity had grown enough so that the Star Class Yacht Racing Association was formed in 1922 at a meeting at the Hotel Astor in New York City. The first national championship was held 1922 also. The winners, W. L. Insslee and Harry REEVE (USA), hailed from Western Long Island Sound.

The Star and the Olympics

The Star made its Olympic debut in 1932 in Los Angeles. Star sailors stole the show that year in Los Angeles. Three out of the four yachting events were won by Star skippers. Aside from the Star series, Jacques LE BRUN, of France, won the little single-handed one-design (Monotype) crown and Owen CHURCHILL, of the USA, won the Eight Metres at the helm of Babe. In contrast to other yachtsmen at the event, Star members were old friends and spent much of their time ashore together. It was the first time that the rest of the yachting world was able to witness the comradeship already developed within the International Star Class Yacht Racing Association (I.S.C.Y.R.A).

Laser Radial

Gilbert GRAY (USA), of New Orleans, sailed the best series of is career and steered Jupiter to a decisive victory. With Andrew LABINO as crew, he won five of the races in the series and was never seriously threatened. While GRAY and LABINO gave the USA its first Olympic Star champions, the US has won the gold medal at the Olympics six other times.

The USA's most recent Olympic victory came in 2000 when Mark REYNOLDS and Magnus LILJEDAHL won.

Star Camaraderie

Appearing 17 times at the Olympics and sailed by many of the most famous names in sailing history, the Star has demonstrated that it presents mental, physical and tactical challenges to the best in the sport throughout the world. This year, 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais, there are 19 former and current Star World Champion skippers and crew present. While many of them are competing, some of them are coaching. Since 1992, skippers REYNOLDS and Torben GRAEL (BRA), of the USA and Brazil, have traded the Olympic gold medal. REYNOLDS, the consummate sportsman, and the class's foremost sail maker, is singled out by many skippers and crews as being the individual who has helped them the most with their development in the Star class. The camaraderie in the class that was noteworthy at the Star's Olympic debut remains characteristic of the class. As skippers and crews mature from single-handed dinghies such as the Finn and the Laser and take on the challenge of sailing with a partner and sailing against the best who have graduated from their class and other classes, they move to the Star class.

Many of today's newcomers to the class have competed for years on the international sailing circuit and known their competitors a long time before they sail their first Star regatta. As a matter of fact, national allegiances are often dispensed with and oftentimes crews are not from the same country as their skippers.

The Star and Cascais

Nearly 60 years ago, hosting the 1948 Star World Championships was as important to Cascais as this year's ISAF Sailing World Championships. Back then, the predecessor to Clube Naval de Cascais was barely complete. In 2007 we are enjoying the benefit of the newly dedicated yacht club during the World Championships. Back then the winds screeched down from the Sonoras so strongly that four Stars parted their mooring lines and drifted out to sea one night. The Star returned to Cascais for its World Championships in 1952, 1954 and 1962. For the fifth time in Class history, some of the world's best sailors are demonstrating their sailing prowess, physical and mental stamina, tactical wizardry, joy of competing against and socializing with one another. The Star

Class - a galaxy of talent, come join us.

About The 2007 ISAF Worlds

Over 1,300 sailors from 76 nations are competing at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships, from 28 June-13 July in Cascais, Portugal. 'The Wind Is Calling' is the official motto for the 2007 Worlds. The Championships are the principal qualification regatta for the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, with 75% of all national places to be decided.

Watch the Medal Races live on Sail.TV

Read our fleet by fleet reports by clicking on the links below:

Finn - Tornado - Yngling - Star - 49er - 470s - Lasers - RS:Xs

For all the news on the ISAF Sailing World Championships 2007 CLICK HERE.

Lynn Fitzpatrick. Image, Torben GRAEL is one of the famous Stars racing in Cascais:© FRIED ELLIOTT/
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