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11 September 2003, 04:45 pm
Runners And Riders - Star
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Defending Champions

2003 ISAF World Championship
Bay of Cadiz

Measurement has started for two classes here in Cadiz, the Yngling and Europe classes have started the essential process prior to their racing kicks off in the next few days.

There will be more news from the dinghy park later but in the meantime, the Star Class has any of a number of sailors who can walk away with the World Champions Title and accolades.

Keelboat Men - Star

The Star fleet includes such legendary sailors as Enrico CHIEFFI (ITA), Fredrik LOOF (SWE), Paul CAYARD and Mark REYNOLDS, (USA), and of course last year's World Championship winners, Iain PERCY and Steve MITCHELL (GBR). This year's event promises to be one of the most spectacular ever, with a huge depth of talent and competitive spirit.

Olympic Gold medal winners at both the 2000 and 1992 Olympics Games, Mark REYNOLDS and Magnus LILJEDAHL (USA), will want to regain their World Championship crown from Percy and Mitchell, and have every opportunity to do so. The Star is a notoriously difficult class in which to dominate, evidence being that in the past 10 years only one skipper has claimed the World Championship title more than once, being Reynolds in 1995 and 2000.No ALT tag specified

Challenges to the title will also come in the form of Mark MANSFIELD and Killian COLLINS from Ireland, who are fresh from a popular victory at the Star European Spring Championship, and ranked second in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings for the class. However, they still have the added challenge of qualifying Ireland for an entry to the Olympic regatta at this second hurdle.

Perhaps one of the strongest assaults on the trophy will come from veteran athlete Fredrik LOOF (SWE), who won the worlds in 2001. Or maybe even Torben GRAEL (BRA), Olympic Bronze medallist in Sydney and Gold medallist from the 1996 Games in Savannah, as well as a famous victory in the just finished Star Europeans, held in Cascais, Portugal.

Veteran America's Cup skipper and past Star World Champion, Paul CAYARD (USA) will be making an assault on the Championship title. However, with a world ranking of 45, whilst Paul may place highly in Cadiz, he will have a way to go to merit Olympic selection by the US over some of his higher ranked American teammates. Paul does have an impressive track record, as the first American skipper to win the Whitbread Round the World Race, in 1998 on EF Language, together with being a seven-time world champion and a five-time America's Cup veteran. However, it is the Star World Championship title from 1988 which is his most coveted prize.

Having spent the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Regattas helming a Finn the men's single-handed dinghy event, Hans SPITZAUER (AUT) has teamed up with Andreas HANAKAMP, to successfully work their way past some of the Star legends, currently ranking 6 in the world, a career best. With their highest World Championship result being a 10 in 2001, who knows what these two could produce in Cadiz.

The Star is the `old lady' of the Olympics, having first seen competition more than 80 years ago at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, USA.

Nations Already Qualified for the 2004 Olympic Regatta from results at the 2002 Star Class World Championship:

Great Britain (GBR), Brazil (BRA), France (FRA), United States of America (USA), Bermuda (BER).

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To see details of all the Olympic sailors, or to upload your own profile, be sure to visit ISAF Sailor by following the link above.

Runners and Riders - previously published articles
Keelboat Women - Yngling
Single-handed Dinghy Women - Europe
Double-handed Dinghy Open - 49er
Windsurfer Men and Women - Mistral
Single-handed Dinghy Men - Finn

Single-handed Multihull Open - Tornado
Single-handed Dinghy Open - Laser
Double-handed Dinghy Men and Women - 470

Online Information Resources

ISAF World Sailing Rankings - http://www.sailing.org/rankings/

Historic Olympic Results 1900-2000 - http://www.sailing.org/olympics

Overall Medal Tally 1099-2000 - http://www.sailing.org/olympics/medal_tally.asp

Olympic Medallist by Country 1900-2000 - http://www.sailing.org/olympics/medallists_by_country.asp

Olympic Medallists by Class 1900-2000 - http://www.sailing.org/olympics/medallists_by_class.asp

Olympic Qualification System for the 2004 Olympic Games - http://www.sailing.org/olympics2004/ISAF%20OQ%20system.pdf

2004 Olympic Games, Athens, Greece - http://www.athens2004.com

Results of ISAF Graded events for the classes sailed at the Olympics are available via the ISAF Calendar - http://www.sailing.org/isafcal/calsearch.asp

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