Chief Star Class Measurer, John Koopman led an eager band of helpers of all ages in doing a complete measurement of over 100 Star boats, equipment and crews from over 30 countries.
Fried Elliott, Star Class Photographer and John Koopman, Star Class Chief Measurer (Photo: Marco Oquendo)
The final bell tolled late in the afternoon and skippers and crews who had resorted to making weight by subsisting on green tea and salad greens had to face the facts. As they gingerly stepped on the scale and the register settled down they had to decide weather the exhale of their sigh of relief would be enough to tip the scale in their favor or whether they would have to shed some more clothing.
When asked how many teams measured in, the sunburned and scrapped up Koopman, who had been clambering in and out of every boat at the venue said, 'I don’t know, I’ll add the measurement sheets up in the morning, but it sure was nice to have so much help and have measurement so organized. It really sets the tone of the regatta for everyone, especially the sailors.' Koopman, who had scrapes and bruises on his shins and his forearms from climbing up on the trailers, reaching into inspection ports and squeezing into tight spots under the decks of the Star was also impressed with his youngest helpers, 11-year old Ian and his sister, Abbey Rafael, . 'They were small enough to crawl up under the deck and turn around without having to back out and they were quick learners.'
Sharon Bivens, who organized Coral Reef Yacht Club’s measurement crew, said of the Rafael helpers, 'They’re my new heroes. They worked tirelessly.'
Electricity was in the air as all of the amply fed teams rushed to get into racing mode and lined up to launch their boats from three adjacent facilities, the US Sailing Center, Coral Reef Yacht Club and Biscayne Bay Yacht Club. We had sunny skies sprinkled with some puffy cumulous clouds a building 6-8 knot breeze out of the east as the fleet set out for the practice race for the 2008 Star World Championships on Biscayne Bay.
The teams will have to watch their weights throughout the regatta, because 10% of them will be asked to step up and weigh in each day after racing.
www.2008StarWorlds.com and www.StarClass.org www.WorldRegattas.com