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16 September 2007, 11:36 am
Switzerland Win Star Europeans
Image of Flavio MARAZZI and Enrico DE MARIA crossing the finish line
Flavio MARAZZI and Enrico DE MARIA win the Star Europeans

Star European Championship 2007
Malcesine, Italy

Switzerland's Flavio MARAZZI and Enrico DE MARIA won the ISAF Grade C1 Star European title on Lake Garda.
The European Championship ended with Flavio MARAZZI and Enrico DE MARIA (SUI) winning the title by a single point. Fredrik LOOF and Anders EKSTROM (SWE) claimed second ahead of Iain PERCY and Andrew SIMPSON (GBR).

There was a good showing for the Italians on their home waters, who placed three teams in the top ten - fifth for Francesco BRUNI and Gilberto NOBILI, seventh for Alberto BAROVIER and Ferdinando COLANINNO, and ninth for Diego NEGRI and Luigi VIALE.

After a very tough and tightly contest series, in the end the regatta was won in a sprint in the last race. With three teams separated by a single point it was the final leg that would have been able to change the overall standings. Emotion was not lacking from this regatta.

The new European champions are the Swiss team of MARAZZI and DE MARIA, their first win of this continental title. The pair are absolutely worthy winners, especially considering the calibre of two teams finishing just behind them - led by LOOF (three-time European Champion, twice World Champion) and PERCY (one-time European Champion, one-time World Champion). Double Olympic Champions Torben GRAEL and Marcelo FERREIRA (BRA) finished fourth.

The sixth and deciding race started on Friday with a north wind scarcely more than 10 knots. The start was good at 08:00 with no general recall. Well, almost good, because the letter X stayed up on the race committee boat to indicate that someone has a premature start. There were two boats over early, one of which was NEGRI.

MARAZZI went all out from the start and was already leading at the first buoy (where NEGRI, in third place, was stopped by the jury). MARAZZI did not lose the lead the whole race (which, surprisingly, was a four-legged course ending downwind). LOOF and PERCY, the dangerous competitors, were behind, around tenth place.

They had time to recover and they tried, succeeding in getting back to third place (LOOF) and fifth (PERCY). But it was not enough. They both finished with 20 points, against MARAZZI's 19 points. The Swiss had a scare in the end, when the Portuguese Afonso DOMINGOS nearly passed him. But he did not succeed (finishing second in the race) and MARAZZI, for the first time in the history of the Star class, won the European Championship title for Switzerland.

For the Italians, three in the top ten is remarkable. The title has escaped Italy since 1985. But NEGRI, with two first places in the six races, does not seem too distant from winning it eventually. BRUNI, Italy's last Olympic representative (seventh of 17 participants in Athens) seems stimulated from the Italian competition, even if, although he says the contrary, he remains for the moment behind NEGRI in the Italian standings. And it is remarkable the constant progress of the Veneziano BAROVIER, finishing in the top ten.

Full Results - http://www.starclass.org/search.cgi?Action=view&Event_id=1147

Fabrizio Prandini (As Amended By ISAF)
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