A spectacular fleet is lining up for the Star Sailors League Finals. The event will be held in Nassau, Bahamas, from November 28th to December 4th 2016. It’s hard to remember an event with a similar quality: past Star world and european champions and almost all the medallist from Rio 2016 Olympics will join sailing stars like Torben Grael, Paul Cayard and Jochen Schuemann in a not-seen-before line up.
Among them the iconic Nacra 17 Gold Medallist Santiago Lange from Argentina, Laser Gold Medal Tom Burton from Australia, croatian 470 gold medallist Sime Fantela, slovenian Finn silver medallist Vasilij Zbogar, Laser silver medallist Tonci Stipanovic and bronze medallist Sam Meech, US Finn bronze medal Caleb Paine.
Five olympic medals winner Robert Scheidt will also be part of the Finals. He got a fourth place sailing the Laser in Rio, just missing an unprecedented sixth medal. Now, at age 43, Scheidt is already sailing a 49er in his european training home, Lake Garda, with Tokyo 2020 in his mind. Scheidt won the first edition of the Star Sailors League Finals in 2013 sailing with Bruno Prada.
“It will be different this time. In 2013, I was sailing with Bruno and we were fresh from the London Olympics in a Star, where we’ve earned the bronze medal. I’ve trained very little on a Star in the past three years and I have to pick up the pace now.” Scheidt also declared that he will be sailing with Brazilian crew Henry Boening (Maguila) this time around, due to being a lighter weight to compete in the Laser at the Rio Games.
“We’ll have a full week of intense training in October in Rio de Janeiro. I’ve sailed a few times with Boening and he is an excellent sailor: we can do well in Nassau.”, Scheidt added.
Given the short time to train, Scheidt hopes to have his favorite conditions in Nassau “We like strong wind, and it usually happens in the Bahamas, that would be ideal for us. We will face some very good sailors and I am sure it will be a super SSL Finals this year, with many medalists coming straight from Rio, particularly my opponents in the Laser class. It will be a fantastic event and I am very excited!” declared Robert Scheidt.
“SSL is gaining more international recognition every day. The level of sailors confirms its evolution and it is very important for the Star Sailors League to become an ever more global event, in favour of not only the Star class, but for sailing itself”, says Scheidt.
At the SSL Finals there is a $ 200,000 prize purse, $ 40,000 to the winning team.
Sailors confirmed are:
Some thoughts by Luca Devoti about the magic Star with one new idea…
The first time ever I raced a Star was in the italian nationals in 1979, in Bari crewing for Tullio Fioranvanzo. I was 16 years old, could not afford my own boat and struggled to get my father to allow me to go away and racing. We finishd in the middle of the fleet and the big guns were Dodo Gorla, Albino Fravezzi, Flavio Scala. The Star is a magic boat, with a lot of sail area and capable of sailing in big winds.
Years later in 1989 I crewed for Gorla, a double olympic medallist, after a couple of years in the Finn. We got up to 5 in the world rankings and had a chance at winning the Cleveland worlds, but we started early the second last race and that killed us. More than one hundred stars, what one unbelievable fleet… Bill Buchan and his son Carl, Mark Reynolds and Torben Grael, Doreste and Abascal, Griese and Hagen and many many more. Fantastic racing. I have a friend in the America’s Cup, if ever the Star would get back in the Games he would dump AC racing and start campaigning immediately.
Star sailing has no age, is never and will never be old fashioned. It is just magic, and you might think so is in any boat or in any way of being at sea. Yes and no… boats have a soul and attract different people. Why not use the Star to have the first multi medallists in sailing, as all sailors can race the Star from Nacras to 49 to Lasers to 470 to Finns, with fairly equal chances… (Luca Devoti)