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Star Sailors League 2016

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Star a Viareggio
Star a Viareggio

We are back in Nassau for the 4th Star Sailors League Final. The Star Sailors League (SSL) is the creation of Michel Niklaus, a Swiss Star sailor who has a dream.  Michel’s dream is to bring together the best sailors in the world and have them compete against each other.  The boat that seems best suited for this is the Star. So far, beyond the 3 Finals of the years past, there have been two “Grand Slam’s”, one in Berlin this year and one in Grandson, Switzerland in 2015.

For this years Final, the fleet has been increased to 25 competitors.  The 25 teams are composed of the top Star sailors in the world, most of the Olympic medalists from the Laser and Finn classes in Rio, the World Match Race Champion. You can check the sailing resumes at www.starsailors.com.

I am sailing with Josh Revkin at this years final. Josh is not only a very keen Star sailor but he is very accomplished at the young age of 26.  He finished third at this years’ Star World Championship crewing for Brian Ledbetter and recently won the Star North American Championship in Chicago crewing for Eivind Melleby.  Josh wanted to use his boat here, (his fathers boat) which is identical to mine.  But Josh is trying  new mast made by Burton and  some sails cut specifically for that mast, by Doyle.  It is all a bit new to me but we have had good speed the last three days so it seems to be working.

Today was Day 1 and two races were held in 12-15 knots from the East.  The conditions were typical of Nassau…nice rolling waves, warm water, and moderate winds. In both races, we got caught on the wrong side of the first shift and ended up in the high teens at the first marks.  In the first race we made some good moves and got up to 13th.  In the second race we again made up some ground to round the final mark about 13th but sailed slow down the final run and lost four boats.  Those scores put us in 14th place overall.  Everyone is very good here so there are no easy point to be had.

Diego Negri(ITA) and Sergio Lambertenghi has the best day with a 3, 2 and Mark Mendelblatt(USA) with Brian Fatih had a solid 2, 4 for second place.  Robert Scheidt(BRA), the winner of the first SSL Finals in 2013, is in third place.

The format is for the entire fleet to race together through Friday, with up to 4 races per day.  On Saturday morning, the top 10 will move forward to the finals portion of the regatta.  The winner of the fleet racing will be qualified straight into the final while the runner up will be qualified into the semi final.  The remaining 8 will race the quarter final with the top 5 meeting the runner up in the semi final.  The top three from the semi will meet the fleet race winner in the final, a single race, winner takes all.

The forecast for the week has been quite windy but today was 3 knots less than forecast and tomorrow looks lighter than today at about 12 knots from the east southeast.