Torben Grael returned to Brazil after claiming his ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award in Korea and has taken an early lead at the Star South American Championship in Rio de Janeiro.
(BRA) is teamed up with his long-time crew Marcelo Ferreira
, with this pairing already counting a Star World Championship title and two Olympic gold medals together.
Poised one point behind the Brazilian superstars are Flavio Marazzi
and Enrico De Maria
(SUI). The Swiss are eager to win their first Star World Championship and are at the top of the ISAF World Rankings
. They have been in Brazil training for the 2010 Star World Championship, taking place in Rio in January, and the South American Championship is proving to be a good tune-up regatta. The Swiss trail the Brazilians in the regatta standings by one point after three races. They have 13 points.
The 70-boat fleet at the 2009 Star South American Championship, hosted by Iate Clube du Rio de Janeiro is an exceptional turnout. Reigning Star World Champions George Szabo
and Rick Peters
(USA) and past Star World Champions competing include Fredrik Loof
(SWE), Xavier Rohart
(FRA), Robert Scheidt
(BRA), Bruno Prada
(BRA), Ross Macdonald
(CAN) and Alan Adler
(BRA). They experiencing moderate to windy conditions.
and John Vonswhartz (USA) top the North American entries. They are in third place, with 25 points, following the completion of three races. Rick Merriman
and Phil Trinter
(USA) are in fifth with 33 points.
(BRA) is teamed up again with Ronal Siefert (BRA). After taking third place in the 2009 Star World Championship in Varberg, Sweden, the pair sits in fourth place in this week's championship.
Racing continues through until 29 November.
Results - click here