The Bahamas hosted the Star Sailors League Finals that saw Scheidt, Kusznierewicz and Mendelblatt on the podium. A relentless Robert Scheidt with Bruno Prada were the undisputed leaders of the first Star Sailors League Finals.
2013 Star Sailors League Finals - Robert Scheidt (BRA) and Bruno Prada (BRA)
Even if Scheidt and Prada had literally dominated the three days of qualifying races, they had to restart from scratch as in the final day the racing schedule included three knockout races. Each race started with a clean score sheet and points were not carried over to the next one. For the first time ever in the sport of sailing, the winner of the third and final race of the day was also the winner of the event.
Nassau, Bahamas 7 dec 2013 Star Sailors League Finals Xavier Rohart FRA-Pierre-Alexis PonsotFRA Photo: Â©SSL/Carlo Borlenghi
In the quarter final, the first race of the day, France's Xavier Rohart took the lead at the second leg and crossed the finish line ahead of the two Germans, Johannes Polgar and Robert Stanjek.
In the semi-final, Mateusz Kusznierewicz from Poland took the early lead but Scheidt showed again his extraordinary downwind skills, got the upper hand at the bottom gate and went on to claim the race. Italian Diego Negri had a fantastic last run and climbed to second place. Mark Mendelblatt closed the podium places.
Nassau, Bahamas 7 dec 2013 Star Sailors League Finals Mateusz Kusznierewicz POL-Dominik Zycki POL Photo: Â©SSL/Carlo Borlenghi
In the grand final, in order to make the race fairer, the race committee decided to stretch the race course to five legs, finishing upwind. Scheidt had a great start at the pin end of the line, chose the favoured left-hand side and was ahead at the first mark but with a paper-thin advantage on Kusznierewicz. The Brazilian and the Polish skippers engaged in a fierce fight in the first downwind leg but Scheidt managed to hold on to his lead. At the same time Diego Negri and Mark Mendelblatt were holding their own race within the race for third place. As the breeze built up, Scheidt found better pressure on the left and stretched his lead over Kusznierewicz. In the last beat Mendelblatt overtook Diego Negri after the Italian split to the left, in search of better breeze. Scheidt secured the first ever Star Sailors League Finals with a 24-second advantage over Kusznierewicz. Mendelblatt took the bronze medal ahead of Negri.
This inaugural event was a stepping stone for a bright future for the Star Sailors League and it is also the first ever that awards 4.000 SSL Ranking points to the winning skipper and his crew.
Dennis Conner, 4-time America's Cup Winner: It was clear that the Brazilians were the class act of the fleet, in a league of their own, and the rest of the places were determined by who got a good start and got around the weather mark first. The ones that went to the right on the run did well and the ones who went to the left not so well. All in all there is a lot of very good sailors in the fleet, and the results were not clear until the very end except for one and that was for sure. Robert Scheidt is the best in the world!
Bill Allen, Star Class President: This has been an outstanding week for the Star Sailors League put on by Star sailors to develop a kind of a Gran-Prix overlay over the Star Class events. As a Star Class, we have been very happy to be part of the event and basically provide the equipment for it. It has been a really good combination of working between the Star Sailors League and the Star class and we are very pleased, we endorse what they are doing and we are happy to be a small part of it.
Star Sailors League Finals – Final Results after nine qualifying races (one discard), Quarters, Semis and Finals
1. Robert Scheidt (BRA) / Bruno Prada (BRA) – 2,(4),1,3,1,2,2,1,1 – 13 / QF 4 / SF 1 / F 1
2. Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) / Dominik Zycki (POL) – 4,(14),4,6,12,11,3,8,9 – 57 / QF 6 / SF 4 / F 2
3. Mark Mendelblatt (USA) / Brian Fatih (USA) – 6,2,3,5,3,7,(9),3,3 – 32 / QF 5 / SF 3 / F 3
4. Diego Negri (ITA) / Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) – 1,1,6,9,2,13,6,(15),11 – 49 / QF 7 / SF 2 / F 4
5. Johannes Polgar (GER) / Markus Koy (GER) – 11,15,(17),15,5,5,1,11,4 – 67 / QF 2 / SF 5
6. Xavier Rohart (FRA) / Pierre-Alexis Ponsot (FRA) – 7,6,5,10,6,1,11,(17),5 – 51 / QF 1 / SF 6
7. Robert Stanjek (GER) / Frithjof Kleen (GER) – 13,5,2,(16),7,10,5,5,8 – 55 / QF 3 / SF 7
8. Michael Hestbaek (DEN) / Claus Olesen (DEN) – 5,11,12,17,16,9,(16),6,2 – 77 / QF 8
9. Eivind Melleby (NOR) / Mark Strube (USA) – 3,8,10,4,(14),3,4,12,7 – 51 / QF 9
10. Augie Diaz (USA) / John Von Schwarz (USA) – 8,7,7,13,8,(19),12,9,10 – 74 / QF 10
11. Andy Maloney (NZL) / Tyler Bjorn (CAN) – (17),12,11,7,11,8,14,4,15 – 82
12. Paul Cayard (USA) / Austin Sperry (USA) – 9,16,14,12,4,15,(18),2,13 – 85
13. Flavio Marazzi (SUI) / Renato Marazzi (SUI) – 14,(18),13,1,13,14,15,10,6 – 86
14. Ed Wright (GBR) / Petter Morland Pedersen (NOR) – 10,9,(15),14,15,12,7,7,12 – 86
15. Jonathan Lobert (FRA) / Pascal Rambeau (FRA) – (18),3,8,11,18,4,17,16,18 – 95
16. George Szabo (USA) / Craig Moss (USA) – (16),10,16,8,9,16,10,14,14 – 97
17. Tomas Hornos (USA) / Joshua Revkin (USA) – 15,17,9,(18),10,6,13,13,16 – 99
18. Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) / Edoardo Natucci (ITA) – 12,13,18,2,17,(19),8,18,17 – 105