TO THE YACHT CLUBS
THE STAR AS THE AMERICAN STANDARD SMALL ONE-DESIGN CLASS
It is conceded that the future of Yacht Racing rests with the small one-design classes. We must, however, go further and standardize these small classes and by 90 doing establish a common interest among the Yacht Clubs throughout the country, for not until then will the future of Yacht Racing be secure and the sport brought up to the same standard of organization as other sports.
The first step is to select a boat that meets the requirements of the majority; then for the club's to build such a boat and make intersectional and International competition possible.
The Star by its past record of eleven years has earned the right to be selected. It is already the most popular small racing boat in existence. It is inexpensive to build and maintain. It is easily transported, safe, fast, easily handled, a real racing machine designed by America's foremost designer; always marketable and an asset; and the Class is already organized and supported by as keen a body of active racing men as there is in the country.
Every Club is faced from time to time with the problem of what its next one-design class will be.
Consider the fate of the hundreds of small classes that have been built in the past, few have outlasted their first year, none have increased in size or popularity; why, therefore, add to the grave-yard of yachting by building additional Classes that are doomed to failure.
The Star has not only increased in popularity over a period of more than ten years but during this period has increased to ten times its original size and new boats are being built each year in every section of the country with the original boats still active and in perfect racing trim.
Is this not proof of the Star's right to become your selection as the one-design class of your Club? Give this your careful consideration and adopt the Star and by so doing you will be adding one more link in the chain that is already binding together the yachting interest of the country so firmly that the future of the sport we all love, shall continue to flourish.
Builders in every section are prepared to build Stars quickly and at a low figure, plans can be obtained from William Gardner or from the Association, both boats and sails can be obtained at a moment's notice as they are carried in stock as can be seen by consulting the advertisements herein.
There is no reason, therefore, to hesitate, individual Stars or fleets of Stars can be secured quickly, there is a class for them in all regattas, they offer better competition than any other class and they can always be disposed of at a fair price.
Through the efforts and help of our members and the support and cooperation of our advertisers, this book and the purchasing of the National Championship Trophy has been made possible. Our advertisers by their help have done much towards furthering the future of Yacht Racing and have earned the everlasting appreciation of every member of the Star Class Yacht Racing Association.
HISTORY OF THE STAR CLASS
THE ORIGIN OF THE STAR
The Star made its first appearance on the yachting horizon in the Spring of 1911 on the waters of Long Island Sound. Being launched at an opportune time, it was a success from the start.
This period marks the turning point in yachting history, the racing of the large yachts was losing favor, and yachtsmen were beginning to see that the small craft provided better competition, developed Corinthians instead of professionals, and in fact, offered the only healthy course for the future development of the game.
George Corry, known as "The Father of the Stars" was responsible for the creation of the Class.
Captain Corry realized the great need of a class of small yachts that were real racing yachts and still could be built at a sufficiently low price to enable anyone, even of very moderate means, to afford one, and with this in view, he persuaded William Gardner to design the Star. The Star was a copy on a larger scale of the "Bug Class" the smallest keel boat ever raced on the Sound and by far too small to ever be popular. A few years later the "Fish" a still larger boat of the same model was produced but was a failure. The Star struck a happy medium and was destined to succeed, while its two cousins one larger and one smaller failed.
William Gardner has become Americans foremost designer. He has produced many famous yachts, including defenders of the America's Cup. The Star was then only one of many minor jobs to him, but in the last analysis when the others have gone and been forgotten, the Star will remain and go down in history as having done more for the game than any other racing class ever designed.
The Star Class though originating on Long Island Sound spread rapidly to other waters. Probably the main reason for its great success is due to the fact that the Star has always been an open or inter-club class and not restricted to one club as other classes have been, and in reading its history it will be seen that the only instances where the Class has failed to prosper is where it has been treated as a local proposition. Wherever it has been looked upon as an open class, rat ed in open regattas and in return regattas held in which Stars of other Clubs were invited to compete, it has without exception become the favorite class of that locality.
FIRST FLEET BUILT ON LONG ISLAND SOUND
The original twenty-eight Stars were built by Isaac E. Smith at Port Washington in 1910-11. Half of these went to the American Y.C., Rye, N.Y., the other half were distributed among the other Clubs of western Long Island Sound.
The group at the American Y.C. aeon dissolved anyway wiped out as a unit when several of the boats were lost in the American Y.C. fire. These boats gradually were taken in by other clubs who joined in the open racing on the Sound where the other half of the Class was having such huge success.
Of the original lot, it is interesting to note that every Star (not destroyed) is in racing trim today, many of the original owners are still sailing them and they are each year among the winners.
New, these boats cost $250 in 1911, today the same boats, eleven years old, are selling second-hand for from $450 up, as high as $600, nearly three times their cost. Another strange fact is that old Stars are in even greater demand than new ones and bring about the same price.
The early Racing History of the Class can be told in four words, George Corry, "Little Dipper". For in those days "The Father of the Stars" won everything in sight. He has won more Championships with No. 17 than any one man will ever win again in the Class as can be seen by the records. As the Class grew and better sailors were developed a different story can be told of the later years' racing when no one man has been able to win the Championship more than once, but the old record of "Little Dipper" is a glorious one and will stand out above the rest for many a year to come.
THE NEW MAVEN STARS
1913 saw nine new Stars at New Haven, Conn. built by Irving R. Versoy of that City. At first the New Haven boats were raced enthusiastically and they sent boats to Larchmont Race Week and met with fair success. This brought up the question as to whether Versoy or Smith built Stars were the faster. Even though built to the same specifications the boats could be easily distinguished and this question of superiority still remains undecided, for it is a question of the man and not the boat in the Star Class. New Haven, being at the extreme easterly end of the Long Island Sound racing area, soon ceased competing in open events and made the mistake of keeping to its own waters. 1917 saw the Class on its last leg and the last survivor was bought from New Haven in 1920. At its height, this fleet numbered fifteen boats.
THE LOST FLEET
About 1913 a fleet of nine Stars went up the Providence River. Attempts were made to bring them down for Larchmont Race Week but these attempts failed. Strange to relate this group has been absolutely lost, no record of what became of these boats or where they went has ever been obtained though many inquiries have been made concerning them. The whereabouts of the original Providence River boats remains a mystery to this day.
The class became a fixture in Lower New York Bay among the Clubs of the Gravesend Bay Yacht Racing Association in 1914. Three of the original Smith boats and five new Versoy boats made up this fleet. The Versoy boats had self bailing cockpits as they were designed for ocean racing. This addition has never been particularly popular and was soon done away with.
Additional boats were added to the Fleet awl it soon became the leading class of these waters. The boats were divided evenly between the Bensonhurst Y.C. and Atlantic Y.C. They visited the Sound annually for the Larchmont Classic and the Sound boats invaded their waters at Atlantic Race Week. The Sound boats usually managed to win but the spirit of friendly rivalry was intense.
Wm. Inslee in the "Shadow" and Raymond Finley in the "Meteor" were the most consistent winners among the local boats.
Heavy traffic and the War broke up the Class as it did all sail boating on the Lower Bay; Atlantic Race Week, however, is still a feature and the Stars from the Sound still race at this the most hospitable of Clubs where Race Week is one continual round of pleasure ashore and afloat, but the local boats are missing. It is to be hoped that the Class will soon revive and yacht racing again flourish in Gravesend Bay.
THE GREAT LAKES
Some of the eastern boats found their way to the Great Lakes in 1916 with new ones built by Versoy and local Stars were built by Liggett & Sons of Wyandotte, Mich. Toledo came out with a fleet of four boats. Cleveland Y.C. and Vermillion Y.C. soon followed and the Stars again became the leading Class of another racing center. There are now 15 active Stars on Lake Erie and many more to be built and in 1921 the Stars had a larger number of starters in the large Regattas held on this Lake than had any other Class. They joined the Association in 1922.
1921 saw a new branch of the Class develop on the Detroit River where the four boats organized the Detroit Star Club and soon after this joined the Association as a new Fleet.
About 15 Stars were built at Rochester and were raced there. This group never seemed interested in the rest of their Class and little could be found out about them. Rumors were heard that they did not conform to the Class specifications but the committee that was to investigate this had not reported up to this writing, although recent rumors would indicate, if indeed they varied from the standard that this variation was not sufficient to bar them from the Class.
THE NAHANT BUG
Accounts of Stars in Massachusetts waters reached our ears for several years finally it was discovered that eleven stars were racing at Nahant Mass. and were known as the Nahant Bug Class since 1911. Built by Green, Chelsea, Mass., these boats are true Stars and have just joined the Association as the Massachusetts Coast Fleet.
Providence yachtsmen formed a new racing Association in 1922. They sought a suitable class around which to develop this new Narragansett Bay Yacht Racing Association and very wisely chose the Star. They are our youngest fleet and only now in the making: but enthusiasm runs high. Many have pledged themselves to buy or build boats for the 1922 season and it promises to be one of our liveliest fleets from the start.
FOREIGN COUNTRIES, ETC.
Isolated Stars have sprung up at many distant points. Jacksonville, Florida built one in 1921 and expects to have a class by 1922. In England, Lord Egerton, an ex-Star sailor of the Sound, has one and will develop the Class across the Atlantic. Inquiries from South America and Australia have been received and plans sent. Rumors of a Class already built in Panama have reached us and everything points to the Class spreading to every corner of the world within the next few years.
THE MARCONI RIG and other innovations.
The Marconi rig was first tried in 1919 on Long Island Sound by the Moria No. 46. It had a regular spreader rig and was barred from the regular races. Five of the best sailors took this boat and four gaff rigged Stars and sailed a series of races changing boats. The Marconi was not a success. 1920 found no other Marconi Rigs among the Stars though the Rig was then permitted, being optional. The use of a club on jib was also optional and was tried out by several with varied results. On the wind in a blow it helped but in light air or running it was a disadvantage, the majority never adopted the jib boom, but several still use it in heavy weather. It was allowed back in 1913-14 on Gravesend Bay where Aria did well with it. It was then barred until 1920 when it was again permitted.
1921 found a sudden change in sentiment regarding the Marconi. All the good boats on the Sound made the change during the year. Those that did not were out-classed. Every type.of Marconi was tried (of course all solid sticks), but spreaders were used by some and not by others. Bent and straight masts were tried with and without double shrouds. The majority favored towards the end of the season the straight mast without spreaders and got from this the best results.
The Marconi Rig has improved the Star greatly. It is a better sea boat, easier to handle and safer and does not bury in a blow.
The other Fleets have not tried the rig yet but from reports it will be universally adopted by 1922.
No change in sail plan is necessary in changing from gaff to Marconi Rig. The same mainsail can be used and gives excellent results. The same jib can also be used but with a mast raking aft the angle forward is changed and the rules permit of a differently cut jib if desired.
The great latitude allowed by the class in rigging and rig creates an incentive for individual effort and adds greatly to the interest taken by owners in developing minor changes (within the limitations) which will tend to make his boat handle better or increase her speed.
THE STAR CLASS ASSOCIATION
To return to Long Island Sound, it will be noted that while all these Fleets were springing up, some to stay and some to die out in other waters, the Sound Fleet kept steadily increasing year by year. 1915 found nearly 50 Stars on these waters, nearly every Club had a Fleet of them. The Sound bought up every available Star from other sections and finally on the last day of Larchmont Race Week, July 19th, 1916, twenty-five Stars crossed the Starting Line breaking all records for a one-design start in the yachting history of the world.
1915 saw the forming of the Star Class Association presumably a national affair but unfortunately presenting no attractions to Stars other than the Long Island ones. A few from other points belonged but the Association offered them nothing and therefore the majority did not.
THE STAR CLASS YACHT RACING ASSOCIATION
The tremendous growth of the Class, which now numbers over 126 Stars, known to have been built, made it necessary to revise the organization and make it a national one, in fact and not in name only. At a meeting held at the Hotel Astor, Jan. 20th 1922, the S.C.Y.R.A. was formed and a new Constitution adopted. Five fleets were granted charters including one at the extreme Easterly end of the Sound where five boats from Black Point built by H. B. Nevins in 1920 and one from Madison, Connecticut will form a nucleus for a large class there and in Fishers Island Sound. Officers were elected from the various Fleets and the holding of an Annual Star Class Championship series to be known as the National Championships was decided upon.
Delegates were present from all of the Five Fleets to whom charters were granted and now the Association is a truly national, even international, affair with uniform rules for all sections and so organized as to be able to properly control the Star Class irrespective of how large it may grow or in what countries it may be developed.
THE CHAMPIONSHIP OF THE STAR CLASS
The individual who first succeeds in actually winning the championship of the entire Star Class, will indeed be a fortunate one, for he will have established a greater racing record than any Professional or Corinthian sailor has yet established during any one yacht racing season.
Although the Star Class has been in existence over eleven years, up to the present no one can rightfully claim to have held the crown of Champion of the Class. As to local Champions, yes, there have been many and this in itself should be honor enough for any man, but in 1922 for the first time, when the Star Class Yacht Racing Association holds its Championship series on Long Island Sound, will a true Championship of the entire class be won.
Heretofore, there never has been a method of comparison, for intersectional races of a representative nature have never been held. The winner, of the Star Class Association season's series or the winner of the Championship of the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound have usually been considered as the Class Champions for the reason that the largest portion of the Class was located in these waters. The Great Lake Stars and those at other points throughout the country have had an equally good claim to this honor in the past.
When this Championship is won in 1922 and thereafter, it will mean that the winner has not only defeated every Star sailor in his locality but has also defeated the pick of such sailors from every other section of the world. He will have fought his way through the entire class, the largest one-design class that ever existed, a class that contains more expert small boat sailors than any other, and he will have won, not by virtue of a better boat, more money to out-build the other fellow or procure a better professional crew, but by superior skill, better judgment and by being a better sailor. Such a title is well worth winning, for no other yachtsman, in any other class or in any country has ever been called upon to meet and defeat such an array of competitors.
One chief feature of the Star Class Championship Races is that though the Class may spread and in fact already has spread into other countries, these races will not be looked upon as International events. It will not be one country against another but Fleet against Fleet no matter where they are located. Each group of Stars that are separated 90 that they cannot compete regularly against each other will pick their best men and these will meet once each year to determine which is the Champion of the Class.
The trophy emblematic of this championship will be a model of 2 Star Yacht in relief on a mahogany panel. The name of the winner will be inscribed on the trophy each year. The rules governing this series of races are to be found in this book.