Mateusz KUSZNIERWICZ and Dominik ZYCKI (POL) had a game plan and they stuck to it. With the black flag hoisted they set up right near the boat and timed it perfectly so they were right on the money at the gun.
The Polish team took a quick hitch onto port, realized that they were in control of the right side and flipped back onto starboard to head for the left side of the course. Their game plan put them in third around the top mark behind Marc PICKEL
and Ingo Borkowski (GER) and kunio SUZUKI
and Daichi Wada (JPN). It was only a matter of time before the Polish team was able to reel in the Japanese on the 10.5 mile course.
The race started under mostly sunny skies with clouds building over the mainland. Winds were out of the southeast at 130 degrees at 10-12 knots. The 104-boat fleet looked spectacular as it lined up for the start. The top guns were fairly evenly dispersed down the line, but those who could keep clear air in such a large fleet and get left were rewarded on the first beat. The fleet was all too eager to make sashimi out of the Japanese leaders. Although they held the lead to the first leeward gate, they chose the right hand gate. As Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ
put it, "we had a smile on our face as we set up to round the left gate. They were dead at the mark." MARK MENDELBLATT
and Mark Strube (USA) rounded the left gate just behind Kusnierewicz/Zycki while Pickel/Borkowski, Iain PERCY
and Andrew Simpson (GBR) went to the right gate. The leaders played the left and middle left up the second beat.
Kusnierewicz/Zycki rounded the second weather mark a couple of boat lengths ahead of Mendleblatt/Strube and Pickel/Borkowski trailed by the distance between the weather mark and the offset mark. Flavio Marazzi and Enrico de Maria (SUI), in fourth, were the first among the teams and countries that have not yet qualified for the Olympics. While the teams set off on the second run, the wind had shifted to 120 degrees and had slackened off to 8.5 to 9 knots with white caps here and there and nothing to surf.
Kusnierewicz/Zycki went into the left gate ahead of Mendleblatt/Strube by six boat lengths The Americans had extended their lead on the Germans by eight boat lengths. Flavio MARAZZI
and Enrico de Maria (SUI) had closed the gap on Pickel/Borkowski to be within two boat lengths, Diego NEGRI
and Luigi Viale (ITA) and Ian Percy and Andrew Simpson (GBR) were nipping at the heels of the Swiss.
Kusnierewicz/Zycki got to sail their own race all the way up the final beat. They played the middle of the course and kept an eye on Mendleblatt/Strube and Pickel/Borkowski who were slightly to the right of them during the leg. It's difficult to claw your way back in this fleet, just ask reigning World Champion, Robert SCHEIDT
or the 2003/05 World Champions Xavier ROHART
and Pascal Rambeau. That said, there was some excitement to the finish as Diego Negri and Luigi Viale (ITA) and Marc Pickel and Ingo Borkowski (GER) shot the pin end of the finish line together (and finished in that order).
There are five more races to go before we find out which countries will be the final four to win the right to go to the Olympics, but after today's results, Peter BROMBY
and Lee White (BER), Flavio Marazzi and Enrico de Maria (SUI), Maxwell TREACY
and Anthony Shanks (IRL) and Kunio Suzuki and Daichi Wada must be happy with their top ten performances.
2008 Star World Championships -Results following the completion of one race
1. Kusnierewicz/Zycki (POL)
2. Mendelblatt/Strube (USA)
3. Negri/Viale (ITA)
4. Bromby/White (BER)
5. Pickel/Borkowski (GER)
6. Marazzi/De Maria (SUI)
7. Treacy/Shanks (IRL)
8. Percy/Simpson (GBR)
9. Kunio/Wada (JAP)
10. Dane/Sperry (USA)
Follow the racing at www.StarClass.org
Star World Championship - www.starworlds2008.com