Star Western Hemisphere Championships 2010
Montagu Island, Nassau, Bahamas
Canadian duo Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn had a fifth and sixth place finish on the final day of the Star Class Western Hemisphere Championships held in Nassau last week, but their top finishes on days one and two were enough to hold on and clinch the title
Sharp changes in weather conditions over three days of sailing meant all teams had to sail outside of their comfort zone for at least some of the races.
"The weather wasn't kind to us at the beginning of the week, giving very windy conditions on Wednesday that forced us to postpone sailing for the day. Thursday was still blowing pretty hard, but nonetheless we went out and got two good races in.
Again, racing on Friday the wind was still blowing hard but on Saturday we had the kind of conditions that are more usual for this time of year,"
explained Regatta Co-Chairman Paul Hutton.
Top Skipper Richard Clarke
says that had the weather conditions played out differently over the course of the series, he might not have finished up in first place.
"It was definitely more of a struggle for us on the last day. I think that when it's windier the guys who are stronger in the breeze have a bit of an advantage, but then the weather acts as a bit of a neutralizer. Everyone can be competitive and Saturday was quite tricky for us with the big wind shifts, and it allowed for some passing and shuffling in the fleet and some guys who hadn't had good results had an opportunity to shine at the front,"
Two American teams - Augie Diaz
and crew Bruno Prada
and Mark Mendelblatt
with crew John von Schwarz finished second and third respectively.
Bahamian brothers Mark Holowesko
and William Holowesko
had consistent finishes over the course of the series to end up in 16th place overall.
Twenty-eight pairs competed in the series, but a few teams opted out on the first day of sailing in rough conditions.
The Nassau Yacht Club hosted the rregatta which was sponsored by the Nassau branch of private banking firm Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch. The week went so well that already Hutton says the Star class is talking about coming back to Nassau again soon.
Results at www.star2010.nassauyachtclub.org