Big wind shifts from the Northwest to the East with winds ranging from 8 to 20 knots were accommodated with two start line resets and a change on the course after the second weather mark today in the 2008 Star World Championships at Coral Reef Yacht Club.
and crew Andrew SIMPSON
(GBR) took first place and sailed like the world champions they are. However, their black flag in race two and a disqualification in race four, put them out of the running for anything but a mid-fleet finish overall. Diego NEGRI
and crew Luigi VIALE (ITA) finished second and John DANE and Austin SPERRY (USA) came in third.
"We had a good race today and sailed like we should have sailed the rest of the week,"
said PERCY. "It was tricky with no wind and big shifts all the way around the course, but we got the right side on the first shift and did better than our disasters earlier this week."
SIMPSON added, "We finally got it right."
The Polish team of Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ
and Dominik ZYCKI, current holders of the number one ISAF ranking for the Star Class, finished fourth today and moved into first place overall after the fifth race in the six race series. "Everyone near us on the start got a black flag,"
said KUSZNIEREWICZ. "It was a difficult beginning and we started late, but safe."
Deep in fleet rounding the first weather mark, the Poles picked up great speed, changed their tuning three or more times, and made their way to the top of the fleet. "The communication between me and Dominik was great. When I didn't know what to do, he did and when he didn't know, I did,"
By the second leeward gate, the Poles had passed almost 30 boats and were in 10th and striking distance for the beat to the finish line.
and crew Luigi VIALE (ITA) took second place in today's fifth race in the series and moved into second place overall. "This was the best birthday present, I couldn't have asked for better,"
said the now 37-year-old.
The very first time NEGRI and VIALE sailed together was the 2006 European Star Championships where they came in fourth. Their boat was old and literally taped together and they said they actually had to call some friends to figure out the rigging. That's when they decided to name their boat "Lady Mianda," Mianda, which literally means old underwear, but in their Ligurian dialect means old sails or not very good sails.
NEGRI has been to the Olympics twice for Lasers and was at one time ranked 4th in the world. He decided to switch to Stars when he wasn't having fun anymore. "Racing Stars was like going home for me,"
he said. "At our first competition I saw Hamish PEPPER, Robert SCHEIDT, Mark Mendelblatt, guys I used to race against in Laser."
The Japanese team of Kunio SUZUKI
and Daichi WADA, which is trying to qualify its country for the Olympics, finished 19th today and jumped from 23rd to 11th overall. "There was a lot of wind and it changed all the time. It was very difficult for us,"
said ZUZUKI. Other countries still racing for the four available Olympic slots are Austria, Ireland, Croatia and Switzerland.
DANE and SPERRY had a solid day today sailing in the top 10 for the entire race. Marc PICKEL
and Ingo BORKOWSKI
(GER) moved into the top 10 at the second weather mark and finshed in fifth place.
and Mark STRUBE (USA) moved up two slots to sixth overall. At the first leeward mark the team moved into the top 10 and dropped down to an 11th place finish at the second leeward gate.
Day Five Overall Top 10 Standing after five races and lowest score discarded:
1. KUSZNIEREWICZ, Mateusz and ZYCKI, Dominik (POL) 1, 1, (44), 3, 4 TP 9.00
2. NEGRI, Diego and VIALE, Luigi (ITA) 3, 3, (25), 9, 2 TP 17.00
3 SCHEIDT, Robert and PRADA, Bruno (BRA) (37), 12, 2, 1, 14 TP 29.00
4. PEPPER, Hamish and WILLIAMS, Carl (NZL) 12, (105 and BFD), 3, 2, 15 TP 32.00
5. PICKEL, Marc and BORKOWSKI, Ingo (GER) 5, (105 and BFD), 6, 18, 5, TP 34.00
6. MENDELBLATT, Mark and STRUBE,Mark (USA) 2, 6, (32), 17, 11 TP 36.00
7. MARAZZI, Flavio and DE MARIA, Enrico (SUI) 6, 14, (47), 10, 8, TP 38.00
8. ROHART, Xavier and Rambeau, Pascal (FRA) (26), 21, 1, 4, 20 TP 46.00
9. LÖÖF, Fredrik and EKSTRÖM,Anders (SWE) 27, 8, 9, 5, (49) TP 49.00
9. MURRAY, Iain and PALFREY, Andrew (AUS) 11, 11, 5, 24 (31) TP 51.00
For daily results, photos and video visit www.starworlds2008.com or www.starclass.org