May 2019

A Slow Start for the Star Western Hemisphere Championship

It’s been a slow start for the Star Western Hemisphere Championship as unfavorable conditions swept through San Diego yesterday, postponing the start of the regatta due to high wind and seas. Today, twenty-six sailors launched their vessels and eagerly headed out past Point Loma to the ocean venue ready to sail. However, the extremely light winds didn’t help pick up the pace.

The current overall standings show Carl and Jamie Buchan in first with 5 points, Allan Terhune and Ian Coleman in second with 7 points, and Ben Mitchell and Patrick Powell in third with 12 points.

Star sailing legend Carl Buchan has quite the extensive sailing background, proving his experience by standing in first place overall. Fellow Olympians John Dane and Brian Ledbetter did not stray too far behind, all making it in the top five on the scoresheet at the end of day two. However, their sailing resume and success didn’t stop them from facing the other intense competitors on the water.

Behind Buchan in race one was Ledbetter followed by Chuck Driscoll and Jim Oberg. After race two, Ledbetter currently stands in fifth. “Today we had a second in the first race and a 12th or 13th in the second. It was really light, but at least the sun came out unlike the last couple of days. Hopefully we’ll try to be a little more consistent tomorrow.”

As race two began, the breeze settled down to about five knots, making for extremely slow and tough sailing. Finishing race two in first was Mitchell, followed by Allan Terhune and Ian Coleman in second and Jim Buckingham and Craig Moss in third.

Mitchell, holding third place overall, also commented on today’s races. “During race one, we came in 11th which was okay because we were OCS at the start and had to turn around. [Race two] was a long, light aired and frustrating race for everyone. We were about third or fourth most of the way around the race course… We got just about six lengths from the finish line before we heard the race committee announce the two hour mark in the race.” Fortunately for Mitchell and his crew, it was decided by the jury to include race two on the scoresheet.

After the races, sailors enjoyed cold beer and sandwiches at the hoist, followed by a buffet dinner on the Front Deck and a Legends Talk featuring Malin Burnham, Mark Reynolds and Eric Doyle, hosted by John Dane.

The forecast for the next two days shows conditions improving, promising more exciting racing for the competitors. Tomorrow, sailors can enjoy a complimentary breakfast, a keg at the hoist following racing, and an evening social before preparing for the final day of the regatta.

Rachele Vitello

SSL Press Officer since 2015