Lake Sunnapee – Yesterday was a forced lay day for the 33-boat fleet gathered on Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire, for the 2022 Star Western Hemisphere Championship. The wind was light and a storm was predicted to arrive in the early afternoon, so after an attempt to get one race in, the Race Committee had to send the teams back for safety reason and call it for the day.
A fourth race was much needed to validate the championship and two very challenging and tactical races were sailed today, with 5 to 8 knots of wind from the north. The first race started on time at 10 am and was open to the first windward mark, but from the downwind gate, Star World Champion – among other titles – Paul Cayard with Brad Nichol (USA), moved into first place and kept it until the end. John Dane/Timothy Ray (USA) scored a second place and another Star World Champion, Eric Doyle with Payson Infelise (USA), finished third.
With race four in the bag, the 2022 Star Western Hemisphere Championship was valid, but a fifth race would have counted a discard, much wanted by many teams. Cayard/Nichol particularly wanted to drop the 13th from the first day and proved to deserve that by winning both races today in very light and shifty conditions that only lakes can provide. Second in the fifth race were Doyle/Infelise, also back to form, and Keith Dodson with Myles Pritchard finishing third.
“We had a great day, but you need to have luck on your side to win in Sunapee Lake. It’s been a great Western Hemisphere Championship, it was good to race with many people who don’t usually go to World Championships or the Bacardi Cup but were able to come here and race. It is great for the Class, it keeps them motivated! We had John Dane and Eric Doyle fighting with us, but again, this lake is not Garda lake, it is super shifty and we had the best this time. I am really looking forward to the 100th Anniversary World Championship in a couple of weeks in Marblehead, it’s going to be a great event!”
All the star sailors now will turn the focus on the imminent 100th Anniversary Star World Championship to take place in Marblehead, MA, from September 8th to the 17th.