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9 July 2007, 03:00 pm
Brazil's New Star
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ISAF Sailing World Championships 2007
Cascais, Portugal

Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) caught the attention of the sailing world in 1985, when aged 11 he became the South American Optimist Champion. He repeated his performance again the following year and gave up his aspirations of becoming a tennis star in favour of sailing. SCHEIDT, a dedicated athlete, is also an outstanding swimmer.
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Cascais Photo Galleries

Now aged 34, SCHEIDT's sailing resume is long and impressive, with his principle achievements in the single-handed Laser class. In 1991 he beat defending champion Dean BARKER (NZL) to win gold at the ISAF Youth Worlds in Scotland, serving notice of his unique talent by posting ten bullets in the eleven race series.

Eight World Titles

Back in 1993 he was third at the Laser World Championships. The following year he was second, and in 1995 he won the Laser World Championship title. SCHEIDT went on to win the Laser World Championships title another seven times; most recently on his home waters in 2005. He also has a collection of Olympic medals having won the gold medal in Savannah and Athens and the silver in Sydney.

The 2001 sailing season marked SCHEIDT's transition year into the Star. He learned a lot from his crew, Bruno PRADA (BRA), who was campaigning a Finn and cross training in the Star. In 2002 the team got their first Star boat. They continued to pursue their Laser and Finn campaigns while at the same time participated in South American Star regattas.

Results
49er
Men's 470
Women's 470
Finn
Laser
Laser Radial
Men's RS:X
Women's RS:X
Star
Tornado
Yngling

PRADA, who has been the first to cross the finish line more times than any other Star sailor at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships, has been sailing against many of the regatta leaders for longer than SCHEIDT. A bit heavier that SCHEIDT, PRADA began his sailing career in the Laser and quickly moved into the Finn class. Following the Athens Olympics, the pair completed their transition to the Star Class and started competing in Star events around the world. The team has been on fire since early 2006 and has not had a finish below third place.

Racing in Cascais
© FRIED ELLIOTT - www.friedbits.com

Relaxed Approach

SCHEIDT appeared to be very relaxed immediately before this World Championship. On the day preceding measurement, he was on the water in a Laser coaching some of the members of the Brazilian team. By qualifying the country for the 2008 Olympics, SCHEIDT and PRADA have 'achieved [their] major goal for the year.' According to SCHEIDT, they are 'very pleased' with their performance leading up to the Medal Races of the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais, Portugal. When asked about the Medal Race, ever thoughtful SCHEIDT commented, 'In survival conditions the technical part of the race will suffer. It will be up to who can handle the conditions best. We [referring to all Star sailors in windy conditions] must be very careful not to break such a soft mast.'

Brazil will have a Star team at the next Olympics, but which team will represent Brazil in Qingdao will be decided in February 2008 at their Olympic trials. Will SCHEIDT and PRADA keep the Torben GRAEL (BRA), the star gold medallist in Athens, from his seventh Olympic appearance? No matter who wins the Brazilian trials, the country will be represented by seasoned veterans and dedicated professionals.

About The 2007 ISAF Worlds

Over 1,300 sailors from 76 nations are competing at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships, from 28 June-13 July in Cascais, Portugal. 'The Wind Is Calling' is the official motto for the 2007 Worlds. The Championships are the principal qualification regatta for the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, with 75% of all national places to be decided.

Watch the Medal Races live on Sail.TV

Read our fleet by fleet reports by clicking on the links below:

Finn - Tornado - Yngling - Star - 49er - 470s - Lasers - RS:Xs

For all the news on the ISAF Sailing World Championships 2007 CLICK HERE.

Lynn Fitzpatrick. Image:© FRIED ELLIOTT - www.friedbits.com
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