100th anniversary Star World Championships to bring 85 teams from 13 countries to Marblehead

Laurie Fullerton
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The 2022 Star World Championship (Sept. 11-17), hosted by Marblehead’s Eastern Yacht Club, is a prestigious sailing event that will include 170 competitors (85 teams of two) from 13 countries who will not only will be taking part in six days of intense competition but will also be gathered to mark the 100th anniversary the first world championship of the historic class.

The 100th anniversary Star World Championships, to be hosted by the Eastern Yacht Club Sept. 11-17, will bring 170 competitors from 13 countries to Marblehead.

Designed in 1910 by Francis Sweisguth, the Star Class was founded the following year at Port Washington, Long Island, and was also raced by the Nahant Dory Club. The Star Class held its first world championship in 1922.

Fifteen past Star Class world champions are expected to be in Marblehead for this special 100th anniversary event.

The popularity of the class’ design led to its Olympic debut in 1932 in Los Angeles, and it then sailed in the next 20 Olympiads.

The historic Star Class was a fixture at the Olympics from 1932 to 2012.

A long list of sailing legends have won a title in the Star Class, from Lowell North to Dennis Conner, from Paul Elvstrom to Mark Reynolds, from Valentin Mankin to Torben Grael, Paul Cayard, Robert Scheidt, and Iain Percy.

“They are the longest single class in the history of the Olympics, and this is a very old
and historic class,” said Eastern Yacht Club member Stephen Jeffries, who is co-chairing the event with Edward G. Jasaitis. “It is also one that continues to enjoy a worldwide interest.”

The Star is a two-person boat with a very tall mainsail, Jeffries explained.

“The shape is a little bit like an E-Scow, and crew must continually hike over with their knees at the
gunwale to keep the boat as flat as possible,” Jeffries said. “They are not only a really majestic boat, but they are fun to watch.”

With 85 boats racing, the starting line will be a half-mile long, the length of the Marblehead
causeway. Each leg will be 2.5 miles long.

This makes for dramatic starts and, particularly because the Star Fleet has one, long race a day, there will be the opportunity for lead changes throughout the long course in what is a true endurance test.

The 85 teams will include 15 past Star World champions as well as Marblehead’s top
contenders, including Tomas Hornos and crew mate Mauricio Bueno; EYC member Jud Smith
and crew mate Remi Hutchens, along with other locals, including sailors Will Hundahl, Jim Da
Silva, Luke Buxton among others.

Hundahl, 25, could be one to watch in the Under 30 division, which is a fast-growing, youth-oriented component of Star Class racing.

According to Jeffries, the club has been working on the event with the Corinthian and Boston yacht clubs, as they will be sharing all their trained race committees and volunteers. Thomas Patrick “Tom” Duggan, an International Race Officer and PRO for Tokyo 2020 Olympics, will oversee the Star Boat racecourse as its principal race officer.

“There have been thousands of volunteer hours by the time an event like this is done, and we
have 30 volunteers (not limited to the EYC) over six days who will be working on the event,” Jeffries said.

One of the key events is the opening ceremonies on Sunday, Sept. 11, as flags will
be posted along the Eastern Yacht Club pier and will fly there for the duration of the regatta.

“Honoring the flags of different countries is a matter of respect when a visiting country comes
to race,” Jeffries noted.

Jeffries added that the competitors will range widely in age, from in their 20s up to age 85. In addition to the Under 30 division, there will be a Master (over-50) division and a Grandmaster (over-60) division, as well as an Exalted Master division (over the age of 75).

“We will be giving out over 70 prizes,” Jeffries said, noting that this is just another testament to the class’ longevity and importance.

The starts are scheduled for 12:30 each day from Sept. 11 through Sept. 17 (with Sept. 14 a lay

The organizers recommend that viewers might get a chance to see the boats leave the
harbor each day from Chandler Hovey Park. Most boats will probably be sailing out to the
starting line about 11 a.m. and returning sometime after 4 p.m.

There are 19 sponsors for this event, including Bacardi, Rolex, the Moorings and Jeep Wagoneer;
along with local sponsors Shuble’s Marketplace, Doyle Sailmakers and RIBCRAFT, among

Local restaurants and shops should be ready for more business than usual during this
week with visitors coming from Europe, South America and around North America.

“The Eastern Yacht Club is honored and thrilled to be hosting this milestone event for the
legendary Star Class,” said Henry Brauer, commodore of the Eastern Yacht club. “These
competitors embody what we all aspire to as sailors: excellence, camaraderie, and a deep
respect for the history of yachting.”

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