The final races of Star Sailors (SSL) League Five 2018 will take place from 3 to 8 December in Nassau, capital of the Bahamas. Twenty-five twin teams on yachts «Star» will take to the starting line-up, featuring only the best sailors from around the world.
All crews will participate in qualifying races during the first four days of the competition. The final elimination races for the top 10 teams will start on December 8. «The results of the last race for four survivors» will determine the winner of SSL, who will take home the lion's share of the $200 000 prize fund.
The only competitor fromthe CIS will be the duo of Russian Georgy Shayduko and Ukrainian Vitaly Kushnir. Shaiduko is the 1996 Olympic silver medallist in Atlanta, USA, who earned his award as part of the crew of three in the «Soling class». He also won the world title twice in that class. In the current SSL competition, he is one of the oldest competitors. Last year, the team of Georgy Shayduko andAlexander Zybin, participating in SSL for the first time, won the 12th place in the last qualifying race, it was the best result of the Russians. In general, they took 25th place after all the races of the qualification and didn't get to the final.
Among the SSL participants the organizers single out at least 15 «dark horses»- steers who participate in these competitions for the first time and whose result can be absolutely unpredictable. In 2017, one such «joker», International Moth World Championship champion and 2008 Olympic champion «Laser» Paul Goodison won the SSL, beating his rivals in the last race by just one second.
This year, for example, Cypriot Pavlos Kontides, London 2012 Olympic silver medallist, has a similar background to Goodison's experience.), 2017 and 2018 World Champion and«Yachtman of the Year - 2018» by Rolex. Kontides will be paired with Germany's Markus Koy on SSL.
Contides' friend and training partner Tonči Stipanović, a Croatian, nearly won gold at the2016 Rio Olympics. In addition to the silver medal, he has two wins at the European Championships. Stipanović will be partnered by Frederico Melo of Portugal.
He can also be claimed by Francesco Bruni (Italy) and Hamish Pepper(New Zealand) - participants of Olympics and America's Cup «» . Pepper not only competed, but won the «America's Cup» in Auckland,New Zealand in2000, as well as the world championship in the «Star» class in 2006. Pepper will be paired with Briton Steve Mitchell and Bruni will be paired with fellow Italian Nando Colaninno.
There will be an interesting struggle among Swedish participants of the current competition. Freddy L ööf, Max Salminen and Anders Ekström who used to go to«Star» inteam and even won a gold medal at the2012 London Olympics, will now appear in three different crews.
Lööf and Salminen will be at the helm, with Italy's Edoardo Natucci and Sweden's Johan Tillander at helm. Ekström will be skipper for Britain's Iain Percy, London 2012 Olympic silver medallist. The SSL will be Percy's first in this class in five years. He hasn't raced in them since his best friend and teammate Andrew Bart «» Simpson (Andrew Bart «» Simpson) was killed in a boat rollover while preparing for the America's Cup «» in 2013.
Also participating in SSL will be Brazil's Robert Scheidt, the bronze medallist from the London 2012 Olympics. He will be paired with his compatriot Henry Boenig. Scheidt's former skipper, Brazilian Bruno Prada, will go in the team of American Augie Diaz - World and European champion in the «Star» class.
The competition will be possible to watch online on the race website. A bonus for spectators will be expert comments from invited guests.