The finals of the Star Sailors League, the premier regatta of the «Star»- Theexperienced Brazilian pair of Robert Scheidt / Henry Boening were defeated by their young compatriots Jorge Zarif and Pedro Trouche.
Zarif and Truce, both under thirty, managed to win each of the three elimination races.
In the final, the standings leaders Scheidt and Boening regarded Diego Negriand Frithjof Kleen as their main rivalsrather than their compatriots. As it turned out, that was a mistake. Zarif and Trouche won the final race with more than 150 meters to go.
«This is amazing! Ever since I was a kid, Robert has been my biggest idol. To be here, to compete with him and others is an amazing experience.» And for this opportunity I have to thank this guy»," Zarif said, pointing to his friend Truche, who he's known for 15 years and who «put him up to this year's SSL.
Scheidt and Boening still managed to beat Negri and Klin to finish second. The Italian-German crew won only bronze in these events. The victory of Zarif and Trouche was «totally deserved.»Schaidt acknowledged after the race.
«They won three races by a wide margin. They went fast and well both upwind and downwind. Jorge has a bright future ahead of him»," said Scheidt.
According to Schaidt, the spinning and pumping during the last races really wore him out. It is hard to imagine how hard it was for his helmsman Truche, who had to overcome not only physical but also mental stresses: unlike Zarif, it was his first, not his fourth SSL championship.
«This is the biggest award I ever won. I've never competed at this level before. And I beat Robert Scheidt. What a feeling! He's a legend. I'm very happy»," Trutsche admitted.
Apart from the joy of defeating the masters, Zarif and Truce will take home $40,000 - a fifth of the League's $200,000 prize fund.
The Russian-Ukrainian crewof Georgy Shayduko and VitalyKushnir unfortunately did not make it out of the qualification. Just like last year, the duo under Shaiduko's skipper took the last, 25th place. The Russian flag boat skipped the first race due to the rudder's poor health. The best result our crew achieved in this regatta was 11th place in the second race.
«We are disappointed, because finals turned out to be uneventful. The result is certainly not what we hoped for, what we expected», - said George Shaiduko.
Not only Shaiduko and Kushnir had to miss some of the competition.The British-Swedish team of IainPercy andAnders Ekström missed two of the three days of qualifying (the helmsman had to fly home on urgent business), but managed to climb to 22nd place in the remaining four races. This, however, was not enough to reach the quarterfinals, where teams were allowed to start from 10th place.
The Hungarian/Czech crew ofZsombor Berecz andMichaelMeier were especially disappointed not to get in the cherished ten. They got the same number of points as LarsSchmidt Grael and Samuel Gonçalvesbut overall the Europeans' results were worse than the Brazilians'.
However, their offence is hardly commensurate with the disappointment of Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening. At the end of the qualifying races, the crew were closer than ever to defending the title «champion» class «Star»: they finished in the top three eight times out of eleven.
«Taking first place in qualifying still doesn't mean much. We are happy to be in the finals, but we are up against the best teams and they still need to be beaten. It will be hard»," Robert Scheidt said before the quarterfinals.
As we know, these words proved prophetic.