JØRGEN SCHÖNHERR / MARKUS KOY MAKE NO MISTAKES TO WIN RACE 2 AT THE STAR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
An impressive run of form gave the race 2 win to Jørgen Schönherr (DEN) and Markus Koy (GER) who controlled the fleet from start to finish and end the day in 4th overall.
Headlining the leader board though are Italy’s Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi, who now count two second places, to lead over Paul Cayard (USA)/Frithjof Kleen (GER), with Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic/Tudor Bilic in third.
A postponed start, followed by a general recall saw racing get underway at 1409 hours. The 6-knot breeze remained steady with a short chop, significant current, super close racing and some supreme performances throughout the 8 nm race. A frustrating day though for the five teams who gave themselves a points mountain to climb after adding a UFD penalty to their scorecards.
Anticipating the wind would go left, Schönherr/Koy opted for the port pin end start. While the shift didn’t materialize, their positioning and boat speed kept them ahead, with Negri/ Lambertenghi on their tail the whole race.
“We had a great day today,” grinned Schönherr on the pair’s ability to hold off a fleet packed with World Champions. “We had a super start and then we had a tough fight with all the gold Stars breathing on our necks. We managed to stay ahead, so we are proud of that.”
A racetrack fact revealed by Schönherr is that today’s win marks only the second time he has won a race at a Star Worlds, the previous time being the final race at last year’s Worlds, where the pair finished 4th overall.
“From the start we were leading the race and we could finish it also leading which was great,” added Koy. “The key to success was that we had very good upwind speed, plus good downwind speed. We were never really under pressure speedwise, so we could sail tactically in front of the others a little bit and control them.”
Negri/Lambertenghi were ever present in attack, building on every puff in the final leg to hunt down the race leaders, as Schönherr acknowledged saying, “Diego is always fast. If we can stay connected to him we are super happy.”
Negri has a battle on his hands to defend his 2021 Star Worlds title, with a fleet full of former World Champions hoping to add another gold star to their trophy cabinet, as well as plenty of rivals wanting to claim their first at this 100th Anniversary event. In a strange twist to his title defense, Negri has been forced to take a punt on some borrowed sails as his are stuck in Ireland, although so far the loaner set are not disappointing!
2009 Star World Champion George Szabo is one of those many rivals enthused about the event, “It’s the big wigs, its always so much fun.”
Reflecting on the change in approach when racing such a large fleet, Szabo commented, “You can’t go up the middle so much, you need to stay to the edges and also with so many boats, the water is more choppy, so you have to set the sails a little more full and a bit more loose to get out of the way sometimes. We have a two-mile plus beat, it is so much fun you can’t even find the mark for a long time. Every little shift magnifies itself across the leverage you have across this massive racecourse. It’s epic.”
Post-race the racetrack rivalries turn off and the deep-rooted camaraderie turns on, with the usual Star Class spirit and socialising boosted by tonight’s party sponsored by Doyle Sails.
Race 3 is scheduled to get underway at 1230 hours on Tuesday, September 13.
Provisional Top 10 Results – after Race 2
1. Diego Negri / Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA 2021) – 4 pts
2. Paul Cayard / Frithjof Kleen (USA 1988) – 6 pts
3. Tonci Stipanovic / Tudor Bilic (CRO 1991) – 8 pts
4. Jørgen Schoenherr / Markus Koy (DEN 8532) – 13 pts
5. Eric Doyle / Payson Infelise (USA 1999) – 15 pts
6. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Bruno Prada (POL 2019) – 15 pts
7. Augie Diaz / Brad Nichol (USA 8509) – 18 pts
8. Jim Buckingham / Phil Toth (USA 1958) – 21 pts
9. Jud Smith / Remi Hutchins (USA 1957) – 31 pts
10. Larry Whipple / Anders Ekstrom (USA 1922) – 33 pts