Over 80 of the world's top Star teams are in Rio de Janeiro ready for the start of this year's Star World Championship next week.
and Rick Peters
(USA) won the 2009 Star World Championship in Varberg, Sweden just a few short months ago and toted all of their silverware home to Southern California - soon it will be on display at Ilate Clube do Rio de Janeiro.
This January, Szabo and Peters will defend their World Championship title against a fleet of 80 other teams from all over the globe. In addition to taking home the Star World Championship Trophy, one of the most coveted in all of sailing, the winning skipper is awarded the honour of displaying a gold star on his main sail.
Over 80 teams are registered for the 2010 Star World Championship, which takes place from 12-23January. International teams have been training in Rio for months and are praying to the statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado mountain that theirs will be the team to wrest the title from Szabo and Peters.
If November's "friendly" Star regattas in Rio are any indication, holding off hungry Europeans such as Flavio Marazzi
and Enrico De Maria
(SUI) and Freddy Loof
and Johan Tillander
(SWE) and the locals, which include Lars Grael
and Ronald Sieifert and past Star World Champions, Torben Grael
, Marcelo Ferreira
, Robert Scheidt
, Bruno Prada
and Alan Adler
will be more difficult that beating back a hungry school of piraña.