So closely following the Athens Regatta 2003, the Star European Championship starts tomorrow and will see 71 crews from 22 nations battle for the prestigious title of European Champion.
Italy leads the list with 15 boats followed by Germany and Russia with five entries each. Australia has entered four teams and of the three Great Britain entries is the World Champion crew Iain PERCY and Steve MITCHELL, recently arrived from a difficult event at the Athens Regatta.
Current European Champions Frederick LOOF and Andreas ELKSTROM (SWE) will also sail the 2003 Europeans together with an impressive list of former Olympic, World and European Champions and some of the current top sailors in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings.
Portugal will enter 2 crews and both Olympic Sailors. Patrick Monteiro de BARROS will sail his new delivered Star "One More Time" after a few years competing in the calmer Dragon Class. Patrick will sail along with Henrique ANJOS, son of his late Star crew, also Henrique, a dearly remembered Club Naval de Cascais sailor.
The other Portuguese Olympic entry is Afonso DOMINGOS and Bernardo SANTOS, currently ranked twelfth in the ISAF ranking, and part of the Portuguese Olympic effort for Athens 2004.
With the ISAF World Championship following this event almost immediately, all crews will, as well as competing for the title, be aware of the perfect timing of the event as a real test of the top sailors against one and other. Highlighting this is the presence of a number of non-European entries, including legendary Star sailors such as Torben GRAEL (BRA), Colin BEASHEL and Iain MURRAY (AUS) and Mark REYNOLDS (USA).
Racing starts on Thursday following the final day of registration and measurement tomorrow, followed by the opening ceremony.