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18 April 2008, 02:27 pm
Gold Star for KUSZNIEREWICZ and ZYCKI
Star Worlds - New World Champions
Matuesz KUSZNIEREWICZ and Domink ZYCKI (POL) - 2008 Star World Champions

Star World Championship 2008
Miami, Florida, USA

Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ and Dominik ZYCKI (POL) won the 2008 Star World Championships at Coral Reef Yacht Club with a fifth place in the sixth race and a total of 14 points overall. "We sailed and fought with the best sailors in the world today'" said KUSZNIEREWICZ.
"We made a great decision on the downwind leg and used every opportunity to stay close to the Italians," he said. According to his crew ZYCKI they have dreamed of putting a gold star on their sails. "One of our dreams came true today," he said.

Second place went to Diego NEGRI and Luigi VIALE (ITA) who crossed the finish line 18 seconds behind the leader with a total of 23 points. Both Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ and NEGRI started at the signal boat end of the line and went after the start. Unfortunately, the wind went left and they got hosed. With 100 boats racing, they rounded mid-fleet at the first weather mark.

Third place went to Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA (BRA) who finished the Star Worlds in fourth with 33 points.

Today's sixth race was won by the Irish team of Patrick O'LEARY and Stephen MILNE who could be deemed the comeback kids of the series. They were a solid candidate for a top five finish in race four but they lost their mast on the second downwind run.

"We never gave up at any time during the race today or during the entire week," said O'LEARY. "We chipped away at every opportunity after an awful start and we are absolutely delighted to have won today's race," he said.

Flavio MARAZZI and Enrico DE MARIA (SUI) not only finished in second place today, but qualified Switzerland for one of the four remaining Olympic slots in the Star Class event.

MARAZZI and DE MARIA sailed together in the Athens Olympics and placed fourth. They were also fourth in the 2007 European Championships. Said MARAZZI, "We're always fourth but we hope to change that at the 2008 Olympics."

Rick MERRIMAN and Brian SHARP (USA) took third place today, their best finish in the series. "Being at the top of fleet today felt great the last couple of days," said MERRIMAN. "We had a good start mid-line and we stayed high around the weather mark and went left. We had great pressure and clear air around three quarters of the way down where we got ahead of the fleet," he said.

Today's final race got off in 10 knot winds with seven boats black flagged. Carl BUCHAN and Jamie BUCHAN (USA) were leading with Mark MENDELBLATT and Mark STRUBE (USA), Hamish Pepper and Carl WILLIAMS (NZL) and Marc Pickel and Ingo BORKOWSKI (GER) just behind them at the first weather mark.

At the first leeward gate, Flavio MARAZZI and Enrico DE MARIA (SUI) jumped to first place followed by Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA (BRA). O'LEARY and MILNE moved up to third place followed by Rick MERRIMAN and Brian SHARP (USA). Joining the top 10 were the two teams holding first and second overall, KUSZNIEREWICZ and ZYCKI and NEGRI and VIALE.

O'LEARY and MILNE grabbed the lead at the second weather mark and never let it go. MARAZZI and DE MARIA stuck to the leader from the second gate to the finish.

Day Six Overall Top 10 Standing after five races and lowest score discarded:
1. KUSZNIEREWICZ, Mateusz and ZYCKI, Dominik (POL) 1, 1, (44), 3, 4, 5 TP 1400
2. NEGRI, Diego and VIALE, Luigi (ITA) 3, 3, (25), 9, 2, 6 TP 23.00
3. SCHEIDT, Robert and PRADA, Bruno (BRA) (37), 12, 2, 1, 14, 4 TP 33.00
4. MARAZZI, Flavio and De MARIA, Enrico (SUI) 6, 14, (47), 10, 8, 2 TP 40.00
5. PICKEL, Marc and BORKOWSKI, Ingo (GER) 5, (105 and BFD), 6, 18, 5, 11 TP 45.00
6. PEPPER, Hamish and WILLIAMS, Carl (NZL) 12, (105 and BFD), 3, 2, 15, 19 TP 51.00
7. MENDELBLATT, Mark and STRUBE,Mark (USA) 2, 6, (32), 17, 11, 20 TP 56.00
8. MURRAY, Iain and PALFREY, Andrew (AUS) 11, 11, 5, 24 (31), 18 TP 69.00
9. ROHART, Xavier and RAMBEAU, Pascal (FRA) (26), 21, 1, 4, 20, (27) TP 72.00
10. MERRIMAN, Rick and SHAP, Brian (USA) (58), 20, 29, 19, 6, 3 TP 77.00

For daily results, photos and video visit www.starworlds2008.com or www.starclass.org

Janet MAIZNER
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