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European Star Championship: Rain of Stars in Cannes!

by Yacht Club de Cannes 20 Oct 2023 10:02 BST 24-29 October 2023
European Star Championship © Yacht Club de Cannes

From 24 to 29 October 2023, the Yacht Club de Cannes is organising the European Star Championship. Nearly 45 competitors are expected in the harbour of Cannes, with an exceptional line-up.

IRC European Championship, 12M JI European Championship and now European Star Championship In addition to the 45th Royal Regattas, the Yacht Club de Cannes continues a season that is as dense as it is brilliant in the organisation of prestigious regattas, where its know-how is unanimously recognised. The Star, designed by the American architect William Gardner in 1910, remains an incredibly innovative boat, often copied, never equalled with its seven-metre hull with sharp chines, its keel equipped with a bulb and its rig as slender as it is thin and fragile. An Olympic sailboat from 1932 to 2012, the Star has seen the greatest champions, including the Finn specialists, who, after having won everything on the former Olympic solitaire, have passed with the same success on this double-handed keelboat of rare complexity. It should be noted that the Star is a boat that requires weight at abseiling.

Double quintal!

Most of the crews are close to 200 kilos on the scales! Multiple world and European champion in Finn, with four participations in the Olympic Games, Hans Spitzauer is the perfect illustration of these sailors pursuing their careers in Star. Together with his faithful accomplice Christian Nehammer, the Austrian is undoubtedly one of the favourites. He will have to count on a pack of Italians who have won countless European and world titles. Diego Negri, three Olympians, double Star World Champion in 2021 and 2022, double European Champion, is undoubtedly the man to beat, especially as he is still as formidable as ever in "his" Mediterranean waters. Enrico Chieffi, former CEO of the Nautor Swan shipyard, now at the head of Slam, was 470 world champion with his brother, before racing in Star as a more than wise "amateur". European Champion 2021, he is an exceptional helmsman. And what about Flavio Favini, his two America's Cup campaigns, his nine world titles in Melges, Mumm 30, 6 M JI and Farr 40! He, like the vast majority of competitors, continues to sail at the highest level after more than fifty years of racing. In the setting of Cannes, where the weather is often blessed at this time of year, we will also find the Franco-Argentinian architect Juan Kouyoumdjian, who not only designed many of the winning boats of the crewed round the world race, but also reworked the hull of the Star, exploiting the rules, and who in all the major international championships shines with his touch at the helm and his tactical vision. Two French crews will defend the French colors in Cannes, including Raoul Dabry, captain on long-haul Airbus and trainer at Air France, associated with his accomplice Tristan Cotte.

An exceptional season for the Cannes Yacht Club

Jean-François Cutugno, President of the Yacht Club de Cannes, said: "This European Championship is the end of a fantastic season, and it is a great honour to be able to host one of the most prestigious series there is, and with so many champions. It should not be forgotten that in addition to the organisation of major events in Cannes, the club's racers have had an exceptional year in regattas, such as Matisse Pacaud and Lucie de Gennes, once again junior world champions in 470 for the third year in a row, Maxime Nocher, European vice-champion in Kitefoil, or Julien Rattotti, world champion in Wingfoil... Not to mention all our young riders and future "starists" who have won a string of national titles..."

For more information visit euro.starchampionships.org.

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