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8 June 2008, 10:36 pm
Brazilians Win Star Eastern Hemispheres
Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA
Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA triumphed in Split

Star Eastern Hemisphere Championship 2008
Split, Croatia

Brazil's Robert SCHEDIT and Bruno PRADA took overall victory following a weather-curtailed series at the ISAF Grade C1 Star Eastern European Championship in Split.
Everything went as scheduled on the final day of the 2008 Star Eastern European Championship. The Dalmatian sun shone during the morning and heated up the land enough so that the Bora, the sea breeze, started to fill. The winds reached 8 knots and brought a gentle chop and white caps. Clouds built over the shore and once again the ridge behind Split disappeared.

With the wind at 250 degrees, the weather mark was positioned between the northeast tip of Solta and the island of Drevenik. Further to the right, the coastal community of Mavaricica was stacked up on the sloping shore of Clovo.

This was an important day for the Croatians. Many of them came dressed in their red and white chequered jerseys and caps, showing their allegiance to their country and to their national football team, which was scheduled to play Austria in the European Championships later in the afternoon. The Committee rolled into sequence shortly after 13:00.

Iain PERCY and Andrew SIMPSON (GBR) boxed Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA (BRA) out at the start leaving PRADA to fend off of the RC boat and giving the fleet a jumps start. SCHEIDT and PRADA's only option was to do their circle and tack onto port immediately. They banged the right corner while Flavio MARAZZI and Enrico DE MARIA (SUI), Alexander SCHLONSKI and Frithjof KLEEN (GER), Eivind MELLEBY and Petter Morland PEDERSEN (NOR) and PERCY and SIMPSON played the shifts up the middle and mid-left side of the course. PERCY and SIMPSON rounded with a handful of boats ahead of them and SCHEIDT and PRADA had even fewer behind them.

Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ and Dominik ZYCKI (POL), who were tied with PERCY and SIMPSON going into the day, were one of the boats ahead of PERCY and SIMPSON. KUSZNIEREWICZ and ZYCKI went low down the run and PERCY and SIMPSON went high. PERCY and SIMPSON gained a little ground and rounded the right leeward gate as KUSZNIEREWICZ and ZYCKI were finishing their turn around the left gate.

MARAZZI and DE MARIA sailed conservatively and loosely covered the largest group behind them as the fleet tacked upwind to a new weather mark set further to the right. MARAZZI and DE MARIA rounded first and gybe set with MELLEBY and PEDERSEN, Hamish PEPPER and Carl WILLIAMS (NZL), KUSZNIEREWICZ and ZYCKI and PERCY and SIMPSON following. PERCY and SIMPSON were the first to bear away and passed KUSZNIEREWICZ and ZYCKI. KUSZNIEREWICZ and ZYCKI spent the rest of the race trying to pass PERCY and SIMPSON and let PEPPER and WILLIAMS get between them. In the meantime, SCHEIDT and PRADA were busy picking off boat after boat.

MARAZZI and DE MARIA won the final race and PERCY and SIMPSON sailed a tactically brilliant race, but were unable to control SCHEIDT and PRADA's appetite for passing boats and winning the 2008 Eastern Hemisphere Championship. SCHEIDT and PRADA finished eighth in the race and held on to the series, finishing just one point ahead of PERCY and SIMPSON and three points ahead of KUSZNIEREWICZ and ZYCKI. Croatian sailors, Marin LOVROVIC JR and Siniša MIKULICIC, who are also on their way to the Olympic Games in the Star, demonstrated their skill in predominately light air conditions on their Dalmatian seas. All in all, the regatta was a productive final battle of the Titans before they meet again in Qingdao, China for the Olympics in August.

J. K. Labud did an excellent job of hosting the regatta and making the most out of the unusual wind conditions for this time of the year. The Club had the support of Joker, a developer and operator of Croatian supermarkets, shopping malls and hotels and the City of Split.

Results - click here
Lynn Fitzpatrick - www.worldregattas.com
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