Scheidt extends lead at Star Europeans

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Rival del Garda, Italy (May 16, 2019) – Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening (BRA) delivered another masterclass on the second day of racing at the Star European Championship and Sailors League Grand Slam Breeze, stretching their lead after posting a 3-5-2 in the 90-boat field.

In winds that hovered around the high teens, and variable conditions predicted later in the week, the race committee took advantage of today’s weather to provide flexibility later in the series.

With good winds and 1.5 mile beats, which consistently saw a drag race to the right hand side of the course, it was a conveyor belt towards the windward mark and a hiking contest to get there first.

With the right side of the course favored, the race committee added some port bias to the start line to reduce the crowds at the committee boat end. It certainly saw a spread in the field with many fighting for the pin end and several teams coming unstuck in doing so.

Scheidt’s day looked as though it would get off to a bad start when a port tacker managed to make a mess of the bunch of boats queuing at the pin in Race 1, of which the five-time Olympic medalist was one. Scheidt showed his class, however, and by the first mark had miraculously hauled his way up to seventh picking off a few extra positions to finally end up third.

Consistently fast, he was always near the front and was usually able to pick off a few spots downwind, showing once again why he is considered by many to be the best downwind sailor in the world.

Diego Negri (ITA), sailing with Frithjof Kleen (GER) also had a good day picking up a 1, 10, 3. With another win on their scorecard from day one and a discard in play after four races – allowing them to drop a UFD (over the startline) in yesterday’s second race – they now sit at 2nd overall and, like Scheidt, are looking consistently strong downwind.

“I think downwind I have often been quick and I think that comes from sailing a Laser all those years,” Negri explained. “It has been a while for me since I sailed a Laser, but the years sailing that boat put you in touch with the waves and that was very important today. But Frithjof was also doing a great job working the boat today.”

Another sailor showing their form was 2012 Olympic Star gold medalist, Freddie Lööf (SWE), who improved throughout the day to take the win in the final race by a country mile. Lööf was one of those who struggled near the raft of boats at the pin end in race one.

“The first race was difficult as the left side of the startline was really biased, so it was hard to get out of that side,” noted Lööf. “Then they changed things later on and it was great for the rest of the day. It was still hard to get off the line and get over to the cliffs in space but that is the same for everyone.”

Lööf’s 11, 3, 1 is particularly impressive as his crew, Brian Fatih (USA), is nursing an injury after being hit in the back by another boat yesterday.

One of yesterday’s top performers, Paul Cayard (USA), looked set to continue his form, taking a second in the first race of the day. But bad starts in the second and third races saw him struggling to break into the very top placings. His 2, 24, 10 slides him down from second to fourth overall.

Sitting in third overall, Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) and Frederico Melo (POR) were looking fast all day taking a sixth in race one and victory by a big margin in race two, and were fighting for a podium position on the final run of the day when their mast snapped in two leaving them to drift towards the finish, dropping to 27th.

Racing is planned from May 15 to 19 with two races planned tomorrow. The qualifying series continues to determine the top ten overall that advance for the final elimination series on May 19 to be crowned Star European and Sailors League Grand Slam Breeze champion.

Day Two Results (Top 10 of 90; 5 races, 1 discard)
1. BRA Robert Scheidt/ Henry Boening, 9
2. ITA Diego Negri/ Frithjof Kleen, 15
3. POL Mateusz Kusznierewicz/ Frederico Melo, 15
4. USA Paul Cayard/ Arthur Lopes, 17
5. SWE Fredrik Lööf/ Brian Fatih, 21
6. USA Eric Doyle/ Payson Infelise, 21
7. FRA Xavier Rohart/ Pierre-Alexis Ponsot, 23
8. ITA Roberto Benamati/ Alberto Ambrosini, 30
9. GER Ubert Merkelbach/ Markus Koy, 40
10. CRO Marin Misura/ Tonko Barac, 41

The 2019 Star European Championship, held in conjunction with the Star Sailors League (SSL) Breeze Grand Slam, has attracted 94 teams to complete on May 15 to 19 in Riva del Garda, Italy.

With 22 nations represented, the field will be vying for not just the European title but also motivated by the 2,500 SSL Ranking points and the lion share of the $100,000 US prize pot. The ranking points determine the competitors that advance to the SSL Finals which last year offered a $200,000 US prize pot.

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: sailingscuttlebutt / Rachele Vitello

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