sail-world.com -- Canada’s Star Sailors – Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn

Canada’s Star Sailors – Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn    

'Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn on way to winning the 2010 Star Western Hemisphere Championship in Nassau.'    Fried Elliott ©    Click Here to view large photo

Canada's Star Sailors - Have you ever arrived at an event and seen familiar faces on a new team and said, 'Ah ha! They’re going to be tough to beat. I wonder what took them so long to team up?'

That’s what happened when Richard Clarke, four-time Canadian Finn representative to the Olympics and Tyler Bjorn a long-time Star crew and member of the Canadian Olympic sailing team, arrived at the Star North Americans last year on Long Island Sound.

Bjorn was determined to put together a first class team and devised a plan to that was too good for Clarke to refuse. He secured charter of a PStar, a Star boat design that has only been available since the 2008 Olympics, and asked Clarke to take the helm for the 2009 Star North American Championship.

Both Clarke and Bjorn are well known in various sailing spheres, but the North American Championship was the first time that they showed up at a Star regatta together. Long Island Sound served up crisp, bright autumn days as well as cold and treacherous easterlies with huge swells. Through it all, Richard and Tyler managed to stay among the leaders. They finished second in the regatta and narrowly missed winning a Silver Star, an honor awarded to Star skippers who win a hemispheric championship. Some people sail Stars for a lifetime and never win a Silver Star.

The next opportunity for Clarke and Bjorn to win a Silver Star was at the Star Western Hemispheres in Nassau in the spring of 2010. They had a little practice at the Bacardi Cup in Miami where they finished fourth in a large fleet. The Bahamas was a different story. Each and every day was windy and a lot of boats damaged their rigs in the warm up regatta. Bjorn and Clarke had one disastrous day in which they got tangled up with other boats, sent someone to the hospital for stitches and Richard was swept out of the boat. It just made Clarke realize how much he had to learn about Star sailing.

Knowing how much damage they could do, Clarke and Bjorn’s strategy for the Western Hemisphere’s was to sail conservatively and not put themselves in a position where they were forced to react quickly in the heavy air. It worked. They won the regatta and their first silver star.

Both Clarke and Bjorn are very busy with other sailing campaigns and their young families. When Wind Athletes Canada, an organization that promotes the sport of sailing in Canada, supports training programs, funds and supports members of the Canadian Sailing Team recognized Clarke’s and Bjorn’s potential, they assisted with sponsorship.

Tyler Bjorn (L) and Richard Clarke (r). -  Lynn Fitzpatrick   Click Here to view large photo


Off to Europe Clarke and Bjorn went for the Star European Championship, the largest regatta that the Star Class has ever held. In the light and humid air, Clarke and Bjorn were early regatta leaders. As time went on, others who had a little more time in the Star and were used to sailing wide angles in light or no wind, managed to squeak by the pair. They tied for second on points, but lost the tiebreaker to take third in the regatta.

Their chartered PStar was already in Europe and they had had great results for the season, so why not go to the grand finale of the Olympic Class sailing circuit for the year, Skandia’s Sail for Gold Regatta.

Clarke and Bjorn’s reports during the regatta were along the lines of 'It may be a small fleet gathered here, but there ain’t no slouches!' and 'We still have a lot to learn.'

Keep an eye out for them, because the newlyweds have had remarkable performances at just about every regatta in which they have competed. If they pursue a well-funded Olympic campaign for the next two years, Canada is not only likely to qualify for the Olympics in the Star; it will be a medal contender. If they do qualify for the Olympics, Tyler will join his father and his brother as Canadian Olympic Star sailors. How cool is that?

Richard Clarke and Tyler Bjorn are also racing the new Reichel-Pugh 52, Vela Veloce, where Clarke is the helmsman and Bjorn is a grinder. Clarke is also managing Wind Athletes Canada’s Open 60 program. Their fall and winter plans include a beauty makeover on their PStar, a training clinic In Miami, big boat sailing in the Caribbean and more.

www.worldregattas.com



by Lynn Fitzpatrick
- 11:58 PM Sun 26 Sep 2010 GMT





Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.
If you want to send this story to a friend, please use link below
http://www.sail-world.com/indexs.cfm?nid=75142

Based on your current download speed Sail-World has delivered large images (660 pixels long side.)  If you would like to see only small images (300 pixels long side) click here .  For medium sized images (500 pixels long side) click here .  If you would prefer to see text only (without pictures) click here

Click for further information on
Olympic class regattas

Related News Stories:
22 Nov 2012  470 Olympic champ Mathew Belcher names Will Ryan as new sailing buddy
21 Nov 2012  Belcher and new crew to begin Rio Games build-up on Thursday
07 Nov 2010  The REAL challenges for Olympic Sailing
02 Nov 2010  Kiteboarders make strong claim for 2016 Olympic inclusion
16 Jun 2009  Entry for Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta opens
03 Jun 2009  Elliott 6m debuts on the world stage at Kiel Week
01 Jun 2009  Medal day at Delta Lloyd Olympic Classes Regatta
01 Jun 2009  Finn Focus - Wright does it again
30 May 2009  Day 3 - Finn Focus at the Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik
10 May 2009  Expert Olympic Regatta - Italy wins four events

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW AUS
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT