THE BIRTH & EVOLUTION OF THE STAR
The first Stars were built in 1911. In 1906, there appeared in Manhasset Bay and on Long Island Sound a little keel one-design called the Bug.The Bug lines were drawn by Curtis D. Mabry in William Gardner's office. Another young designer working there at the time was Francis Sweisguth, who was later to draw the lines of the Star.
After five years of racing in the Bugs, George Corry and others came to the conclusion that these boats were too small and uncomfortable to become popular as a serious long-term proposition. He went back to his friend William Gardner and asked him to produce a design for a boat of the same type but a little larger The new design was at first called the Big Bug, or "the new Bug Class of 1911."
After George A. Corry, who is considered the founder of the Star Class, the most significant member the Class has ever had is George W. Elder, who first appeared on the scene in 1914 as an unknown young sailor out of New Haven, Connecticut.When George Elder first sailed a Star in 1914 there were 49 Stars in existence, including the 11 in Massachusetts that were still unknown to the New Yorkers.
At the end of 1925 the yacht list carried 329 boats registered in 30 fleets.
The Star's rig had now gone through two changes in ten years, the first to eliminate the gaff in 1921, the second to adopt the tall mast and shorter boom in 1929. The Class continued to expand. The total boat roster was increased by 137 boats built in 1930 and 87 in 1931, despite the worldwide Depression.
The Olympic races were sailed off Los Angeles early in August.. The decision to include Stars was not announced until late in 1931, leaving little time to plan qualification races.
In 1906, Walter von Hutschler was born in Brazil of German parents. He would become the inventor of the "flexible rig" that was to revolutionize sail control not only in Stars but throughout the sailing world.
The big revelation came at the 1937 World's Championship. Thirty-six of them came away reeling under the impact of the exhibition put on by Walter von Hutschler and Joachim Weise. Although they did not win the championship, they did win four straight races by large margins in all kinds of weather. After that, "flexible rig" was the one topic of Star conversation everywhere.
Excepts from "A History of The Star Class, The First Eighty Years" by C. Stanley Ogilivy, published by the International Star Class Yacht Racing Association.
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