Barnegat Bay – The Star North American Championship was hosted by the Toms River Yacht Club on the Barnegat Bay in New Jersey this year. A star-studded list of competitors arrived for four days of scheduled racing including Gold Star world-champions USA’s John McCausland, George Szabo and Augie Diaz. Silver star continental champions Tomás Hornos and Brian Ledbetter from the USA. Local favorites included Allan Terhune Jr. having grown up at the host yacht club and rock star crews from Brazil like European Champion Henry Boening, Pedro Trouche, reigning Star Sailors League finals winner and American Joshua Revkin, a North American and World Champion.
Also in attendance: five 2019 District champs including Andrew MacDonald with seasoned crew Mark Strube, Shane Zwingelberg, and Jack Jennings.
All of the competitors were challenged by day after day of 15-20 knots of breeze on the water and on-land activities at the club and with one of the sponsors – hatchet throwing with sponsors Stubby’s Hatchet House.
The last day of racing, spectators witnessed three races. Having yet another day of 15-20+ breeze, it seemed like the team that could keep their boat in one piece and their heads in the game would shake out to the top of the leader board. Hornos and Revkin got tripped up with an OCS in the penultimate race, but manage to pull of a 7th place in the race. An impressive feat, but one that put them on their back foot going into the last race.
With pens and paper scribing on the film boat factoring in the single drop, it came to light that George Szabo, who had been leading the scoreboard the whole week had been slowly, but surely reeled in by Augie Diaz and his Brazilian crew Henry Boening. The two gold stars went into the last race tied on points with Tomás Hornos and Josh Revkin a mere 3 points behind. Not only was the championship on the line, but the coveted “Rooster” was as well. All week long, individual race winners signed a rooster flag, a tradition for the Barnegat Bay Yacht Racing Association. Whoever won the last race got to keep the flag and the buzz amongst the skippers of who would be so fortunate was palpable. At the first top mark of the race, John MacCausland, who’d had an up and down week with both a bullet and a breakdown, led the race with Diaz and Hornos in the mix. Szabo and crew Heatherington-Young weren’t able to keep up with the scramble and ended up taking 3rd overall. Hornos and Revkin took home 2nd place and Augie Diaz with Henry Boening who with an early gybe on the downwind leg won the rooster and the overall championship.
“This was a very tough event for me – said NAC and EHC Augie Diaz – not only because I had just come back from Europe, but because the competition and conditions were really tough. Toms River Yacht Club did a spectacular job of organizing and giving us a great event and again the people there are what makes the difference. We had a tough first race when we got 13th and we were hoping to make that our throw out but with the varying conditions we were not sure. In the end it came down to the last day when we had three races in 15 to 18 knots and a tough battle between George Szabo, Tomas Hornos and ourselves. Maguila (aka. Henry Boening) and I were very fortunate to be able to prevail.”
“The North Americans was a tough event with very good level and tough conditions – said his crew for the NAC, Brazilian superstar Henry Boening – The Race Committee did a great job for us and we were very welcomed by the Club. It was nice sailing again with Augie and getting another good result.“