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2021 Bacardi Cup winners stake defence of Star Class Worlds with support of Bacardi

by Luissa Smith 2 Sep 11:25 BST 4-11 September 2021
Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Bruno Prada claim an all-win scorecard to triumph at 94th Bacardi Cup © Matias Capizzano

Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) and Bruno Prada (BRA) triumphed at the 2021 Bacardi Cup and are now heading to the 2021 Star Worlds supported by Bacardi.

The partnership between Bacardi and the Star Class sees each year's Bacardi Cup winners invited to compete at the next Star Class World Championship with sponsorship support from Bacardi. Launched as a natural evolution of their ninety-four year partnership, 2021 marks the third time Bacardi and the Star Class have dovetailed their support.

Kusznierewicz and Prada earned their Bacardi sponsorship from an overwhelming display of dominance in March this year, winning the 94th Bacardi Cup and successfully defending their 2020 title. The duo also went down in history as the only team to have ever rolled an all-win scorecard.

"Thanks to Bacardi for support, it is important," said Kusznierewicz, who will be proudly displaying the Bacardi logo on his mainsail and hull.

"Together with Bruno we are looking forward to sail again. Bruno travels from Brazil and I'm driving to Kiel from Poland. Our SSL boat comes from Switzerland and new sails from the USA. It is expensive and we need support. Thanks Bacardi, it will be our honour to represent you at the 2021 Star World Championships."

Kusznierewicz and Prada's roll of excellence extends beyond back to back Bacardi Cup wins, with their punishingly accurate partnership also delivering victory at the 2019 Star World Championship.

The covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 Star Worlds in Miami, so their title defence will unfold on the waters of Kiel, Germany from 4-11 September 2021. The Star Class line-up is back to full strength, with the provisional entry list counting a field of 166 sailors from seventeen nations across Europe, North and South America and Oceania. Racing gets under way from Monday 6 September with the traditional Star Class format of one race per day for a total of 6 races, with 5 to count.

"Athletes need the right support at the right time to ultimately help them achieve their ambitions, and we know Bacardi's sponsorship makes a difference," commented Eddie Cutillas of Bacardi USA. "I am delighted that we can shoulder some of the costs of competition and further enhance our long standing collaboration with Star Class sailors and the Star Class."

Kusznierewicz has high hopes of retaining his crown, but knows there is plenty of talent to lock horns with as they prepare to measure up against the best. Inevitably, the 2021 Star Worlds title is unlikely to be claimed until the last second of the last race on what will be a precision fuelled and high octane track.

Reflecting on the challenge ahead, the five-time Olympian said, "We have a plan how to approach this Championship and crucial will be practice days and the first two races. Every World Championship is a great competition and a challenge. I'm impressed how many boats are registered, so it is going to be a great battle.

"We must tune our boat to have good speed upwind. Down winds have always been our strong weapon, so I'm not worried about it. Sailing smart with good communication with Bruno will be helpful too. Because of my Olympic duties helping Zsombor Berecz win a medal in Tokyo [Silver medal in the Finn], I had not much time to focus on the Star. But Bruno is on fire and he has this incredible ability to take me to the best level in a short time."

Follow the 2021 Star Class World Championship at 2021worlds.starchampionships.org.

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