2014 Star World Championship - It was a long Monday here at Fragile Vela Meclizine on beautiful Lake Garda for the start of the 2014 International Star Class World Championship. A ferocious storm during the previous night hindered the afternoon wind. After an hour and a half delay, a stable Oar developed, but the over-eager fleet of 87 teams required two general recalls and a Black Flag before the fleet got away. Even then Race One was festooned with disqualifications.
At the finish, the German pair of Robert Stance and Frithjof Kleen took the gun after a tremendous battle with the Greek team of Emilios Papathanasiou and Antonis Tsotras. Hubert Merkelbach and Garrit Bartel sailed consistently well during the five legs to take third.
The starting signal found Greek pair Emilios Papathanasiou and Antonis Tsotras flying off the pin end. Starts are key in this championship, and their strategy was to head left up the course, which was a winning tactic all day.
Germans Hubert Merkelbach and Garrit Bartel also went left, battling with American Mark Reynolds and Italian Beppe Oggioni. The Greeks set the pace for much of the race, before being overhauled by Robert Stanjek and Frithjof Kleen at the very last bottom mark, when Stanjek and Kleen forced Papathanasiou and Tsotras round the unfavoured gate mark.
Stanjek and Kleen reached the better pressure on left and took the lead, which they held all the way up the final beat to the finish, always under attack by the Greek pair.
This spectacular italian location, is a world class venue for sailing and paragliding, thanks to the cableway of Monte Baldo. The Star Sailors League was broadcasted live, online with race commentary and Virtual Eye’s 3D video, a first time for a Star Class World Championship.
Quotes of the day from Robert Stanjek: 'Just before the downwind gate, we took up a smart position to Emilios' and blocked him from the right mark, so we were able to round to the right and won the left side, which was more favoured. It gave us a very good lead but it became very close at the end. Emilio was underneath us, parallel with good speed and he could climb up, but at the end I think we beat him by almost two boat lengths.'