Star Racing at Home – Winning the 5th District Champs at SDYC


My crew John von Schwarz flew in from Charleston a few days early to practice this week on his way through to Cowes and the Fastnet Race. But our racing breeze couldn’t have been much different from our practice in typical San Diego summer conditions: 10-12 knots and mostly clear. The conditions for the District 5 Blue Star regatta were light, lumpy and foggy at times (not that we can’t remember them, we just might choose not to). Saturday we almost delayed racing as a rare summer fog kept visibility to less than a half mile. Just at noon the fog opened to just about a mile, and we could see the top mark. By the end of the race we could see Point Loma and more normal 6-9 knots came through from 250 degrees, but we never even threatened to mini-hike. For that we would have to wait. New dad, George Szabo and his crew Craig Moss led after three races. John von and I were third waiting on a throw-out after a 1, 13, 2 in the first three.

Slightly better conditions prevailed Sunday getting a little hiking breeze in early: 6-10 knots out of 270, but the afternoon got fickle. John and I got out to an early lead (probably thanks to some amazing breakfast burritos), winning the first two races of the day. The penultimate race 6, proved to be the funky one. We started right thinking the breeze was trending that way, and we were one beat early in our thinking. George and Craig rounded only three boats ahead of us (they needed 5 between us) but started to gain quickly. By the end of the race they were leading and we were 6th behind Mark Reynolds and Hal Haenel as well as the new Green star earners Alejandro Bugacov and Eugenio Cingolani. The breeze swung 30 degrees right, but John von and I were able to cut a small slice of leverage in our final approach to the finish. Despite big leverage from Jim Buckingham and Austin Sperry, we were able to slip across the finish in 4th and win the event. George and Craig were second, and locals Ben Mitchell and Julian Busch were third.


It was fantastic to see 21 boats racing on Coronado Roads and hopefully this fleet will be a good indicator for the Worlds next month. SDYC is setting up for a great Championship, so if anybody needs any convincing… Give me a call and I’ll sort you out.

Results from the weekend here and at


Heading to Cyprus to Coach the US Youth Worlds Team this week.

It’s been 11 years since I was won at the Youth Worlds in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia in 2002, and 13 since my first one in Syndey in 2000, but I’m really excited to be heading to the island nation of Cyprus tomorrow to escort the 2013 US Youth Worlds. Along with Zach Brown (who went to two Youth Worlds in ’03 and ’04), we can hopefully impart some of our experience to help our team get during a great week of sailing off the south coast in Limassol. I think we’ve got a strong team, so watch out!

Keep track of what we’re doing through as well as updates and results from:



3rd at Star North Americans

Practice was paramount to our success this week at the Star NAs. John von Schwarz and I had the opportunity to get almost a week of sailing together in San Diego before we headed to Newport Harbor for the Baxter Bowl for a tune regatta to the North American Championships.


We felt like we had consistently good boatspeed and in general made good decisions. I had a slight mishap in Race 4 with an OCS, and had we finished well in that race, as things were looking before we had to sail off the course, things might have gone differently. What is certain is that we probably got a little too conservative after the OCS hit the scoresheet. Our starts were less aggressive and our sailing style was much more of a ‘comeback mode’ as opposed to the aggressive mode we had been in earlier.

Regardless, we learned heaps about our boat and each other this week, and I think are well positioned to make a nice run at the District 5 Championships in San Diego in July and the World Championships in San Diego in September. Lots more racing to come, and the good news is: thanks to the result at the NAs, we’re qualified for the Worlds! That’s no easy task, and was certainly a major priority this week.

I want to commend the NHYC membership and staff for putting on a fantastic week of sailing. They were wonderful hosts and hopefully the Star Class comes back there soon! Our host family the Kelly’s pulled out all the stops for us and were as instrumental in our victory as anything! Thanks to them as well. Congrats to Brian and Gregg on a great regatta.

Results are below. I’ll get back with photos of the event if I can find some.

Star NAs 2013

Snagged a win at the Baxter Bowl. NAs to follow at NHYC

John von Schwarz and I benefitted from a good week of training off San Diego before we headed north to friendly Newport Harbor for the Baxter Bowl. NHYC hosted 28 teams for their annual star regatta that will play as a tune up for the North Americans which start Thursday.

Friday we lucked into a little “Basin Racing” with a few local teams before Saturday’s strange WSW breeze confused just about everybody except local hero Jim Buckingham sailing with Austin Sperry. John and I sailed quietly into a tie for 4th and floated under the radar until the breeze came up Sunday. June Gloom came in, right on schedule, and the southerly breeze picked up nicely. We squeezed a 1, 2 to finish the series, and with a throwout were able to leapfrog class legend Augie Diaz and Fritjof Kleen, as well as Jim and Austin, and win the 2013 Baxter Bowl.

Sailing this weekend was a great reminder as to how lucky we are to be able to race against great sailors and people in this class. San Diego Bay’s fleet is mourning the losses of George Szabo II and Lee Kellerhouse, and the class is still grieving Andrew Simpson. They were on the sailors minds this weekend and will continue to be while we are together for the North Americans.

Full results can be found at NHYC’s Website