The Star Western Hemisphere Championship, held at the San Diego Yacht Club from May 22-25, 2019. Photo courtesy of the San Diego Yacht Club.

Carl Buchan prevailed over a field of 26 competitors in the Star Western Hemisphere Championship Saturday, hosted by the San Diego Yacht Club.

After four days of competition, Buchan, sailing with his son Jamie Buchan, won the last race to secure the overall series win. Finishing second was Brian Ledbetter, sailing with Magnus Liljedahl, and in third Eric Doyle, sailing with Payson Infelise.

“It was a hard fought series. The last couple of breaks went our way and being consistent was our main strategy,” Buchan said. “The first race today we took off after the start and then just couldn’t get out of our own way. The second race we needed to pass a couple of boats and thankfully we did. Both races had a lot more position changes today and the racing was really close.”

The sailors faced challenging conditions, including shifting winds, spotty clouds, and a 5-8 knot breeze.

“I try to look at the variety of conditions as a benefit. You have to take each challenge and try to make the best of it, looking at it like an opportunity,” Buchan said.

Other sailors with titles and Star boat successes also competed in the championship. George Szabo sailed with Guy Avellon, and started off the regatta with a 6, 10, 9 and 8 before taking two bullets and a third, bringing him into fifth place overall.

“We got up to speed and hit some shifts in the first race, finishing first. We finished third in the second race. It was a lot of fun with a few battles going on between the boats on the course … a ‘who beat who’ match race,” Szabo said. “We got over our jet lag, got used to tuning the rig again and setting the boat up. It took us a little more time than we wanted to.”

– Staff reports