Prize money now for Star Class Titles

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Over 90 teams from over 20 countries are preparing for the 2019 Star European Championship, held in conjunction with the Star Sailors League (SSL) Breeze Grand Slam, on May 15 to 19 in Riva del Garda, Italy.

“As Star Sailors League Sport Director for the Grand Slams and responsible of the SSL Training Centre right here in Riva del Garda, I am very proud to see this event coming to fruition – the first combined Star Class Championship and SSL Grand Slam, it’s going to be huge,” said German Star World Champion crew Frithjof Kleen.

The entry list reads like a Who’s Who of the racing world, with at least 20 Star World Champions, five Olympic medallists and ten Olympians among the field set to take part. Beyond the European title, attendance is motivated by the 2,500 SSL Ranking points and the lion share of the $100,000 US prize pot.

“This will launch the first step of the next eight years of challenges together,” reports Kleen. “We are planning the next events well in advance, merging the Star Class classic Silver or Gold events with SSL Grand Slams. The Star Sailors League is pleased that the Star Class agreed to do this together.”

Five-time Olympic medalist Robert Scheidt (BRA), who lives and trains for his renewed Olympic campaign in the Laser class right here on Lake Garda, will sail with Brazilian crew Henry Boening; Slovenian three-time Olympic medallist Vasilij Zbogar, now coach of the Irish Olympic team, will get back on the tiller and race for the European title and SSL Ranking points; Paul Cayard (USA) will sail with young Brazilian Arthur ‘Tutu’ Lopes – together they finished third at the Star World Championship last year.

“It’s already proven to be successful as this is a record turnout for the Star Class in this post-Olympic period,” notes Kleen. “All the sailors are looking for events like this, combining the tradition of the Star class and the exciting new SSL format with live coverage. And now, with the SSL Ranking, sailors are looking to gain points to join their national team in the SSL Gold Cup in 2021.”

Olympic Bronze medallist and sport role model, Lars Grael (BRA) will conclude his international sailing career in Riva del Garda at the combined Europeans and SSL Grand Slam – a sad end but at the same time a joyful moment for the sport of sailing. From the USA alongside Cayard, three other World Champions will attend: Augie Diaz with Olympic medallist Bruno Prada (BRA); George Szabo plus the freshly crowned 2019 Bacardi Cup winner Eric Doyle sailing with Payson Infelise.

The format will follow the SSL template with a qualifying series that advance the top ten to a knock-out series that determines the champion.

Source: Rachele Vitello / sailingscuttlebutt

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