Racing for the iconic and coveted Star World Championship trophy has been delayed until day two of the event. Sailors arrived at the venue anticipating a light air racing and were unfortunately met with glassy waters on the Choptank River. All sixty two teams remained on shore all afternoon rehashing strategies on dealing with the current and watching weather forecast for the week.
The 2018 Star World Championship proudly features one of the most diverse yet well rounded fleet of sailors in its recent history. In total, sixty-two teams from twelve countries represent 13 out of the total 15 districts of the International Star Class and 41 out of its 79 total fleets. The youngest member of the fleet is Max Hetherington-Young at a mere 16 years old, a total of 65 years younger than the oldest sailor in the fleet, John Chiarella 81. However, with a large portion of younger members racing, the average age is 48 years old.
Class President Hubert Merkelbach’s mission in office is to help encourage that growth. “For me, I am happy that there are younger people in the class. The big subject for the future and my personal mission as president is to get new people in,” said Merkelbach. “Providing the boats, organizing clinics and having heroes such as Paul Cayard (USA) and Torben Grael (BRA) racing alongside should encourage new sailors to join our events, or at least we hope so”.
The entry list includes one brand new International Star Class member Manu Hens from Belgium sailing with Edoardo Natucci (ITA). This will be Hens’s first regatta ever in the Star. “I have been to one regatta in the Star, last weekend in Lake Garda,” said Manu Hens. “I have been dreaming about sailing Stars since I was 16 when I saw them for the first time at Keiler Woche. I was amazed by these boats. I think the Star is the most beautiful One-Design boat I ever saw. I talked to Augie [Diaz] for some information about the boat and told him I wanted to start properly with a good crew and he introduced me to Edoardo Natucci. I crave to be one of the Star sailors and I am so happy to be sailing with all of these legends. It’s a dream come true.”
Follow along this week to see how the competitors fare against Oxford’s challenging conditions, if the “young guns” in the class will take up the leaderboard, and to see who will be crowned the 2018 Star World Champion. Race Day 2 is expected to begin at 12:00 (UTC -4) with Race 1 of the series. All amendments to the racing schedule will be published on the event website as soon as they become available.