Thursday, 3 June 2010
International Star competitors. Image copyright Fried Elliott/www.friedbits.com
by Star Europeans media
A great result that exceed the best expectations, the one about registrations to the Star Class European Championship 2010, planned in Viareggio from 5th to 13th june. Participant boats are 149, for total 298 sailors coming from all over the world.
The number is really impressive and never equalized in this class, not even for a world championship: the one in 1998 at Punta Ala had had about 130 boats, while the European Championship Star 2009, in Germany, stopped at only 96 registrations.
Moreover, racers are from 27 different countries, 9 of which non-European, being an “open” championship. So, the best crews in the world for the Olympic Star Class are coming in Viareggio, and they are from Australia, United States, Russia, Brazil, Canada, Argentine, Japan, New Zeland, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, Croatia, Greece, Ukraine, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Poland, Serbia, Great Britain, France, Hungary, Germany and obviously Italy.
Between crews there are big names of the sail world history: for example, just to give some names, Torben Grael, brazilian sailor that won two gold medals with Star Class at Savannah’s Games in 1996 and at Athens in 2004, a bronze at Sydney in 2000 and the world championship in 1990, in addition to winning the Louis Vuitton Cup with Luna Rossa at Auckland in 2000.
His brother, Lars Grael, unfortunately without a leg in an accident during a race, won 2 bronze medals at the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988 and Atlanta in 1996, and is five times South American Champion, ten times Brazilian one.
Robert Sheidt, current Luna Rossa’s helmsman, with the Star won the gold world medal in 2007, the silver one in 2008 and 2006 and the Chinese Olympics in 2008. Still, George Szabo, from Usa, four times champion in the Usa for the Snipe Class and world champion for the Star Class 2009 in Sweden with Rick Peters.