Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Star Crews

Andrew Campbell, usually seen at the helm of a Star these days, was crewing on a Star last weekend in the Zagarino Masters Regatta, while his father steered. He says he has always appreciated how tough the crew's job is on the Star but "the fresh soreness and bruises of a breezy weekend of Star crewing" have inspired him to pay homage to the crew's role.

Here is just a snippet of his hilarious description of what is involved in crewing a Star...

Part masochist, part water-breathing fish, all super-human, Star crews must love sailing in a way that not many others possibly can ever dream of. Star crews spend upwind beats with their feet going numb and ribs getting squeezed by their vests, all the while trying not to drown because of their heads are barely six inches above the water. Every tack is a technically demanding dance as they jump up out of the droop-hike, uncleat the old jib sheet, kiss their knee-caps as they squeeze under the low boom and explode up to the new rail yanking the new jibsheet into the cleat as they take a leap of faith over the new windward rail, hanging upside down by their knee ligaments until they can hook into the new rail and “relax” as they get fire-hosed down by the next wave.

There's much more at 50 Rules to Sail by in 2012 - Week 7.

Star hiking techniques have changed somewhat over the years. Check out these two images from the Mid-Connecticut Star Fleet's website.

Lowell North and Jim Hill on their way to win the 1957 Star Worlds

1940 cartoon spoofing the hiking methods of the top crews


Baydog said...

I love how Andrew writes. His last paragraph I enjoyed most:

"The weekend affirmed my appreciation not only in for the camaraderie of the Star class, but also for how lucky I am to have a family that can enjoy our sport together. Very few other sports provide the same sorts of opportunities. I challenge you to take advantage of every opportunity if you have the chance. Think about what sailboat racing means to you. Then go grab some family or make time with friends and go sailing. That’s what keeps you coming back for more."

Tillerman said...

Well said Baydog. As the first sailor in my family I never had the opportunity to sail with my own father, but I do appreciate the rare occasions when I can go out boating with my sons. Even powerboating or kayaking as a family are good.

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