Seeing Stars to school on my deficiencies and, frankly, rubbing my hands together thinking about beating Eric and the other good guys at the World Championships.” The expected influx of around 200 people will increase Oxford’s population by 30 percent. But it won’t be the first time Oxford has seen Stars. TAYC was quietly asked to bid on the Worlds because of the slick job the club did running the Star North Americans in 2014. That regatta attracted 45 boats and provided a good test. “We had room for lots more,” says former TAYC Commodore RJ Cooper, who has been racing a Star for eight years (he’s registered). We’ll see about that. But those who were in Troense, Denmark, for the 2017 Star World Championship report that the clubhouse was one fourth the size of TAYC’s, and the parking lot and launching area were very much smaller. And everything went smoothly in Troense. If the TAYC is worried about hosting, it doesn’t show. They’ve been working on it since their application was approved in March, 2016. A certified PRO (Principle Race Officer) and five international judges have been approved by World Sailing and the Star Class. As many as 100 volunteers will be on the job every day, from mark and chase boat operators to parking lot attendants.
The efficient TAYC staff will be at full cry. Andrew Parrish, a Star sailor (he’s registered) from TAYC and the club’s chairman of the regatta, knows the town of Oxford will definitely feel the event. “Our annual Oxford Regatta that brings in 700 people,” Parrish says, “but that’s just a weekend. The Worlds will run 10 days. Having the Worlds here, only the fourth time it has been on Chesapeake Bay, is a feather in our cap, for the area and for the community. Oxford has been very responsive about it.” When she was asked about the effect of such a large event on Oxford, town manager Cheryl Lewis smiled. “Oxford’s overall economy revolves around the boating world,” Cheryl said, “so we’re happy to be seeing the Stars.” There will be inconveniences, for sure. RJ Cooper predicts that on race days there probably won’t be many sandwiches left at the Oxford Market. But it is just a short boat ride out to the course, where observers will have the unusual treat of seeing 70 or more of the stately Stars lined up on the starting line. Just that image alone will be worth having to make one’s own sandwiches. Roger Vaughan has lived, worked and sailed in Oxford since 1980.