Please select your home edition
Edition
Rooster GETSEASMART 728x90

Paul Cayard reports from Star European Championships and Star Sailors League Breeze Grand Slam

by Paul Cayard 21 May 07:16 BST 13-19 May 2019
Podium - 2019 Star European Championships and Star Sailors League Breeze Grand Slam © Marc Rouiller

After five days of racing with 12 races, 4 of which were yesterday, Arthur "Tutu" Lopes(BRA) and I got the Bronze in the European Championship.

Robert Scheidt(BRA) showed once again why he is the athlete of our era. With his crew Henry Boening, Robert came from behind on the final run of the final race to pass Xavier Rohart (FRA) and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot to take the win. Mateusz Kusznierewicz(POL) with Federico Melo(POR) crewing, were fourth in the Final. A four finalists are Star World Champions.

It was a very physical 5 days with 12 races, mostly in 15 knots and above and with free pumping for the final three races. The temperature of both the water and air was older than usual and the rain at lake level produced snow in the surrounding mountains. This meant a lot of layers of neoprene and that much more to fight against. I will be tired for a few days!

The European Championship, an International Star Class sanctioned event, was combined with the Star Sailors League(SSL), and titled the Breeze Grand Slam. The SSL has brought so much to the Star Class and Sailing in the last five years. This event was another example; 90 competitors from 16 nations, live coverage on the internet, You know the SSL from the Finals we race in the Bahamas every December. The idea is to have 3 Grand Slams per year followed by the Finals at the end of the year.

While I should be thrilled to get bronze against a fleet of 92 competitors, including some of the most decorated sailors in the world, I have a bit of remorse today. After winning the semi-final over Scheidt and Rohart. Tutu and I had the lead, albeit a small lead of 30 meters, for the first lap of the two lap Final. However, after rounding the gate at the end of the first lap, we chose to go left initially while Rohart and Scheidt went to the right. The next time we came together, they were 50 meters ahead. We chose to keep it close rather than splitting and looking for a significant wind shift. We were hoping for them to fight a bit and create an opportunity. That chance never came.

The remorse comes from knowing how hard it is to get in a position to win one of these championships, especially in the "knock out" era. There are so many chances to lose... and yet we had made it to the final race, and we had the lead and we had the speed to win. As an athlete you don't remember all the brilliant things you did that allowed you to qualify for the final, you only remember the final result. But that is the fuel that drives an athlete. Yesterday also happened to be my 60th birthday!

So for me, I will take that fuel into the Star World Championship, June 17-23 in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. The format will be different. Six races over six days, longer courses and one race per day. It has been 31 years since I won the World Championship. Last year I placed 3rd. I am still at the top of this game. To win another World Championship would cure the blues I feel today. I am driven! I can't wait to get to the gym tomorrow!

For complete results go to: www.starsailors.org or www.starclass.org

Related Articles

Relive the Star European Championships
One of the best and highest attended Star class events in the past few years It was the union of both the International Star Class Yacht Racing Association and the Star Sailors League that attracted so many sailors on the start line. Posted today at 2:49 pm
Back for more. Much more…
Advanced Wing System's double luff mainsail and rig, again We first saw Advanced Wing System's double luff mainsail and rig in "It's all about wings (again)". In the intervening time, Greg and Patrick Johnston have been working with American Magic on their converted MC38, The Mule. Posted on 9 Jun
Coast to coast Memorial Day Weekend racing
Take time to remember those who fell protecting our values and freedoms As we look toward the summer ahead, it's important to take time to remember those who fell protecting the values and freedoms that so many of us take for granted, and whose sacrifice continues to facilitate the lives and lifestyles that we live and love. Posted on 28 May
Star Western Hemisphere Championship overall
Carl Buchan wins the title in San Diego The Star boat is often seen as one of the finest, most challenging classes to compete in. It requires dedication and hard work to be successful. This weekend, 26 sailors made their way out to the Pacific for the Star Western Hemisphere Championship Posted on 26 May
Star Western Hemisphere Championship day 3
Carl Buchan leads at Day 3 One piece of advice that sailors can typically agree on is the more time spent on the water, the better you'll do. While that may be true for the majority of sailors, Carl Buchan has been proving so far at the Star Western Hemisphere Championship Posted on 25 May
Star Western Hemisphere Championship day 2
A slow start in San Diego It's been a slow start for the Star Western Hemisphere Championship as unfavorable conditions swept through San Diego yesterday, postponing the start of the regatta due to high wind and seas. Posted on 24 May
Star Western Hemisphere Championship day 1
All races were canceled due to inclement weather All races were canceled today for day one of the Star Western Hemisphere Championship due to inclement weather. The decision was made by the Race Committee and supported by Regatta Chair John Burnham. Posted on 23 May
Star European Championships overall
Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening's downwind pace seals victory by seconds The Brazilian pairing had been the dominant force for much of the week at the Star Sailors League Breeze Grand Slam and European Championship, but they did not have it all their own way. Posted on 20 May
Star European Championships day 4
Shiftier conditions shake up leaderboard as sailors focus on Super Sunday With only one day of racing remaining, Robert Scheidt (BRA) and Henry Boening (BRA) have lost the lead for the first time this week at the combined Star Sailors League Grand Slam Breeze and European Championship in Riva del Garda, Italy. Posted on 18 May
Star European Championships day 3
Risk management and damage limitation order of the day Very light winds with patchy cloud coverage made for tough conditions on the third day of the SSL Breeze Grand Slam and Star European Championships in Riva del Garda, Italy, which saw many top teams suffer a big score. Posted on 18 May