Loof and Ekstrom win 2007 Western Hemisphere Stars
by Lyn Fitzpatrick on 6 Apr 2007
Anders Ekstrom and Freddy Loof win their fifth Silver Star Gill Williams
Let’s see if I’ve got this right. Flat water, wind at 10-20 degrees at noon, clouds on every shore. At one point, the anemometer read 6.9 miles per hour. There was a pile up at the pin for the first start and a general recall was signaled. The wind went further right and most boats tried to get a pin end start because it looked like a little more of the dying breeze would stay with them on the left side. Another general recall. The Z flag went up for the third start and the fleet spread out and hung back from the line. We had a clean start, but the wind got completely fickle.
Peter Bromby and Andy Macdonald who had match raced each other to claim the pin had to have looked up to weather at one point in despair. Freddy Loof sailed conservatively up the middle of the course. Several competitors chose to go right toward the port entrance and caught the fleeting zephyrs that just couldn’t carry them all of the way to the weather mark.
George Szabo and Andrew Scott approached the weather mark just as the last grains of sand were tumbling through the hour glass. The general consensus from all of the skippers and crews who were seated on the leeward side was to call the race off, and that was before the wind backed so that many found themselves tacking to make it around the offset mark.
The leaders, George Szabo and Andrew Scott, John Dane and Austin Sperry, Rohan Lord and Miles Addy, Freddy Loof and Anders Ekstrom were nearly half way down the run when the race committee when the wind readings dropped to one mile per hour and the race committee fired off three guns.
The 2007 Star Western Hemisphere Championship ended with former World Champions Freddy Loof and Anders Ekstrom claiming the Silver Star with 11 points. Peter Bromby and Bill Mc Niven from Bermuda were second with 21 points. Australian’s Iain Murray and Andrew Palfrey were third. Rohan Lord and Miles Addy were fourth and Andy Macdonald and Mike Wolfs were fifth. Only four points separated the second place finishers from the fifth place finishers.
Davis Island Yacht Club pulled out all of the stops on the water and on shore for the Star Class. By using Format C, which provided for short courses, they took into account almost everything – except that sometimes no matter what you do the wind won’t cooperate.