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11 January 2005, 10:35 am
Lars GRAEL Wins
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2005 Star South American Championship
Buenos Aires, Argentina

The 2005 Star South American Championship concluded on Sunday 9 January and it was Lars GRAEL who won the title from Laser legend Robert SCHEIDT. The regatta was hosted by the Club Nautico Olivos and sailors from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Italy and the USA comprised the 25 boat fleet.
Racing got underay on 6 January with two races completed in a breeze of 6 knots from the NE, swinging to the ESE in the afternoon. First blood went to four time Olympian and double bronze medallist in the Tornado, Lars GRAEL with crew Marco LAGOA (BRA) followed by Laser legend Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA. Race two was won by Julio LABANDEIRA and Valentin THOMPSON (ARG) with second again being Scheidt and Prada.

Racing on Day Two, 7 January, was cancelled in the morning due to strong winds and thunderstorms. The Race Committee attempted to get a race underway in the afternoon when the wind dropped to 5 knots but following a 30 degree windshift shortly after the start racing was abandoned for the day.

Conditions on Day Three were much better with 9-10 knots from the South East and the series continued. Conditions were not easy with the wind shifting between ESE and SSE and fluctuating between 6 and 10 knots but this did not stop Grael and Lagoa who took their second bullet. In second place was the Argentine crew of Alejandro CHOMETOWSKI and Hernan CELEDONI.

Race 4 was completed that afternoon with 6 knots from the East but still very shifty. Fabian MACGOWAN and Federico CALEGARI (ARG) eventually took the bullet after more than two hours racing with the Italian team of Antoino TAMBURINI and Renzo RICCI taking second. MacGowan commented, 'It was a very shifty race, I am very happy to win because it was not easy'.

The final two races were sailed on Sunday and Grael and Lagoa finished off their championship with a first and a second to take the title with just eight points after one discard. In second place was double Olympic gold medallist and two time ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Robert SCHEIDT with crew Bruno PRADA whose nine point discard from Race Three was good enough to leave them ahead of Julio LABANDEIRA and Valentin THOMPSON (ARG) who were discarding a 26 from Race One.

Lars GRAEL, like his brother Torben, is a sailing legend himself. After competing in the Tornado in four Olympic Games, Lars suffered a terrible accident with a motor boat in 1988 in which he lost a leg but this has not stopped him. Just three and half months after the accident he was competing again and has been doing so ever since. At the 2004 ISAF Annual Conference, Lars GRAEL joined the ISAF Equipment Committee and Regional Games Committee.

Top Ten - Final Results

Pos Helm Crew Nation R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Pts
1 GRAEL Lars LAGOA Marco BRA 1 3 1 10 2 1 8
2 SCHEIDT Robert PRADA Bruno BRA 2 2 9 6 1 4 15
3 LABANDEIRA Julio THOMPSON Valentin ARG 26 1 3 3 6 2 15
4 CHOMETOWSKI Alejandro CELEDONI Hernan ARG 5 8 2 8 3 3 21
5 FICKER Peter JORDÁO Marcelo BRA 13 5 11 4 5 5 30
6 MAC GOWAN Fabdian CALEGARI Federico ARG 6 13 6 1 16 8 34
7 WHIPPLE Larry STRUBE MARK USA 4 4 16 5 18 6 35
8 PASCOLATO Alessandro SEIFERT Ronald BRA 8 11 5 7 17 10 41
9 CALEGARI Guillermo ROSAS Nicolas ARG 3 7 15 12 12 11 45
10 CRAMER Brian GREENSMITH Ian CAN 11 9 8 19 4 13 45
ISAF (Source Fernanda Sesto), Image: © Bienvenido a Bordo Magazine
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