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9 April 2007, 04:03 pm
LOOF And EKSTROM Win Fifth Silver Star
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Star Western Hemisphere Championship 2007
Tampa Bay, Florida, USA

Fredrik LOOF and Anders EKSTROM (SWE) took the honours at the ISAF Grade C1 Star Western Hemisphere Championship, with the wind deserting Tampa Bay on the final day. LOOF collected his fifth Silver Star Championship with a comfortable ten point win.
Day four in Tampa Bay began with flat water, wind at 10-20 degrees at noon, clouds on every shore. At one point, the anemometer read 6.9 miles per hour. There was a pile up at the pin for the first start and a general recall was signalled. The wind went further right and most boats tried to get a pin end start because it looked like a little more of the dying breeze would stay with them on the left side. Another general recall. The Z flag went up for the third start and the fleet spread out and hung back from the line. There was a clean start, but the wind got completely fickle.

Peter BROMBY and Bill MCNIVEN (BER) and Andy MACDONALD and Mike WOLFS (USA), who had match raced each other to claim the pin, had to have looked up to weather at one point in despair. LOOF and EKSTROM sailed conservatively up the middle of the course. Several competitors chose to go right toward the port entrance and caught the fleeting zephyrs that just could not carry them all of the way to the weather mark.

Race Abandoned

George SZABO and Andrew SCOTT (USA) approached the weather mark just as the last grains of sand were tumbling through the hour glass. The general consensus from all of the skippers and crews who were seated on the leeward side was to call the race off, and that was before the wind backed so that many found themselves tacking to make it around the offset mark. The leaders, SZABO and SCOTT, John DANE and Austin SPERRY (USA), Rohan LORD and Miles ADDY (NZL), LOOF and EKSTROM were nearly half way down the run when the wind readings dropped to one mile per hour and the race committee fired off three guns.

The 2007 Star Western Hemisphere Championship ended with former World Champions LOOF and EKSTROM claiming the Silver Star with 11 points. BROMBY and MCNIVEN were second with 21 points. Iain MURRAY and Andrew PALFREY (AUS) were third. LORD and ADDY were fourth and MACDONALD and WOLFS were fifth. Only four points separated the second place finishers from the fifth place finishers.

Davis Island Yacht Club pulled out all of the stops on the water and on shore for the Star Class. By using Format C, which provided for short courses, they took into account almost everything - except that sometimes no matter what you do the wind will not cooperate.

Lynn Fitzpatrick (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Winners Anders EKSTROM and Fredrik LOOF:© Gil Williams
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