Hubert Merkelbach with Markus Koy of Germany are the 2014 Star European Champions.
The Star European Championship of 31 boats from 12 nations is over at Balatonföldvár. Final results came after four valid races of very mild wind. The different weather fronts avoided the Balaton region during the world regatta. The organizers could only hope in the morning breeze coming from the Tihany straits.. It did arrive the first and second day but in vain did the participants wait for any wind on the third and fourth day. Fortunately though four races make a European Championship valid, thus results after these races became the final results..First place was won by German Hubert Merkelbach with Markus Koy with exceptionally balanced and steady accomplishment, resulting in two second, one fourth and a third place.The followers all had one or two worse than tenth place. It is interesting to know that this was the skipper, Merkelbach’s first European Championship, whereas the crew, Koy, became fourth time Continental champion. They got together for this race the first time, with great result.
„I have been sailing startboats for the past thirty years, but this is my first European Championship, From now on I can wear a silver star on my sail” said the skipper, Hubert Merkelbach. „The worst nerve game was the waiting, and the most difficult was to stay ahead in these quickly changing circumstances. It is my fifth time racing on Lake Balaton, I am sure this helped a lot”. „We were very fast, and we achieved the best form for the boat for these winds” added the crew, Markus Koy.
Béla Erdélyi, the Principal Race Officer, summerizes with a releived heart: „ I had an easy task, the fleet was fair, only one start had to be repeated. It is very rare in an international regatta in this class. We only knew from the weather reports and projections that there would be not much wind. Preparing for this we took the course w able to accomplish three races the second dayhere we never set a course, very close to the Tihany Straits close to the south shore. It is here where the easterly stays longest. Due to this we were lucky to be able to have three races the second day. In retrospect it was wise to have a race on he first day in the diminshing wind. It was a Marathon of a race and half the fleet could not finish it within the four hour time limit. If we did not have this race we could not have had a valid European Championship of four races.”