'There are no favourites' was the clear message coming from some of the world's top Star sailors at the press conference held ahead of the start of racing at the 2010 Star World Championship in Rio on Saturday.
The Star World Championship will officially begin at 13:00 on Saturday in Guanabara Bay. The participation of the world's top Star sailors will ensure such a strong race that it is practically impossible to name any favourites. That was the general consensus of top Star sailors, such as current World Champions George Szabo
and Rick Peters
(USA), reigning Olympic Champion Iain Percy
(GBR) and Brazilian sailors Marcelo Ferreira
, two-time Olympic and World Champion, Alan Adler
, first South-American Star World Champion in 1989, and Robert Scheidt
and Bruno Prada
, World Champions and Olympic silver medallists, at the press conference on Thursday morning at the Yacht Club of Rio de Janeiro
"Except for the Polish and New Zealand teams, everybody is here. I could name some 15 possible World Champions. The competition level will be very high," confirmed Scheidt, holder of four Olympic medals and nine World Championship titles (eight in the Laser class).
"I think the biggest challenge will be to compete against the excellent Brazilian teams at home," said Percy, who left behind temperatures of 5 degrees below zero in Great Britain, "that is experiencing the coldest winter of the last 10 years", and arrived in Rio de Janeiro where it is 40 degree. "It's a good thing that I am used to training outside of England in the winter."
For crew member Ferreira, who will be competing once again with Torben Grael
(BRA), winning the World Championship is a lot harder than winning the Olympic Games. "At the World Championships you race against more than a hundred opponents, with some countries entering at least three or four excellent teams. At the Olympics, there are just 16 boats, only one entry per country."
According to Adler there is another challenge in the World Championship, "The tournament only consists of six regattas so nobody can afford any mistakes. One bad race may end any chances of winning the title. That's why it's very important to have a good start and some luck."
Szabo, 2009 World Champion in Sweden with Peters, also believes that luck is essential. "Of course you have to be well prepared, but luck always plays a key role. Our goal is to always finish among the first 10 in each regatta. That's the secret to surprising people once again."
Star World Championship Page
Get all the news, photos and more on the 2010 Star World Championship on our dedicated regatta page via the link below.
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The Star World Championship 2010 is sponsored by Banco do Brasil, Transpetro, Governo Federal, Gol Linhas Aéreas, Santa Constanza, Wollner and Secretaria Estadual de Turismo, Esporte e Lazer do Rio de Janeiro. The event is organized by Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro, International Star Class Yacht Racing Association (ISCYRA), Confederação Brasileira de Vela e Motor (CBVM) and Federação de Vela do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FEVERJ).