The Keane 2005 Star Class North American Championship competition begins this week in Marina del Rey.

California Yacht Club is hosting the event.

More than 45 international entrants are expected on Santa Monica Bay Thursday, August 18th, through Sunday, August 21st. Six races will determine the North American victors, who will be announced during a Sunday afternoon event at California Yacht Club.

“We have always had a great, close relationship to the Star Class,” said regatta chairman Alex Benson.

“An old-time (California Yacht Club) member, Owen Churchill, was one of the original Star sailors in the 1920s and a lot of our members have continued to race in the class,” Benson said.

“We have a very active local fleet with Star boat races every Thursday and the group likes to compete against the higher-level people,” Benson said.

The Star is an Olympic Class boat, first built in 1911.

“It requires physicality and fine tuning on the part of the two-person team,” Benson said. “It has a sleek, lightweight hull and powerful sail plan, which combine for exhilarating and competitive racing.

“Several thousand Stars have been built and are raced today on four continents.”

Benson said the close relationship between California Yacht Club and the Star boats has led the Marina yacht club to compete for hosting several North American Championship regattas in the past and the World Champion-ships in 2002.

A two-day King of Spain Regatta last weekend served as a prelude to this week’s Star championships.

A Mississippi team of John Dane III and Austin Sperry won the King of Spain trophy by one point, taking victory in the final 400 yards of the last downwind leg Sunday, August 14th.

The event is being supported by Keane, Inc, a Boston-headquartered international business and information technology services firm.

Information, California Yacht Club, (310) 823-4567.