The Star was designed in 1910 by Francis Sweisguth - draftsman for William Gardner's Naval Architect office - and the first 22 were built in Port Washington, New York by Ike Smith during the winter of 1910-11.
Since that time, over 8,400 boats have been built. The Star has been an Olympic class since 1932. Although far from a modern design, the class remains popular today, with about 2,000 boats in active racing fleets in North America and Europe.
As a result of the 2011 Mid-Year Meeting in St. Petersburg, keelboats were removed from Sailing at the 2016 Summer Olympics, and therefore the Star class will not be in competition in Rio de Janeiro. It is sloop-rigged, with a mainsail larger in proportional size than any other boat of its length. Unlike most modern racing boats, it does not use a spinnaker when sailing downwind. Instead, when running downwind a whisker pole is used to hold the jib out to windward.
The best UK Olympic result was Gold in 2008, China - Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson – who also won Silver in 2012 at Weymouth.
For Cowes Classics Week 2015
Fine Arts Sails have produced a set of sails with designs by renowned artists and are coordinating events for the class. They will be bringing the boats and the sails to Cowes for a demonstration sail at Cowes Week, but will be joining CSCCW for some proper racing.
The main UK fleet is based in Norfolk and it is hoped that a number of boats will come over from Europe to join them as there are new sail designs which resulted from a Schools competition. Fine Art Sails and the National Schools “Sail Art” Competition is in support of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation (ASSF). After Andrew Simpson’s tragic death, the Foundation was established by Iain Percy OBE, Sir Ben Ainslie, and Andrew’s wife Leah.
Photos: Class association.