At the Bahamas' first Star Sailors League Finals three races, light conditions but very close competitions marked the second day.
Robert Scheidt was in commanding form, retaining the overall lead in the qualifying races with 11 points after seven races completed. Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi kept their second place (25 points) as well as Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih (26 points) preserve himself from the attack of Melleby (32), that climbs into fourth from yesterday's fifth, Xavier Rohart (35), followed by Mateusz Kusznierewicz (40) and Robert Stanjek (42).
In the opening race Negri won the pin end at the start and sailed upwind on the left side of the course, coming in leading position at the top mark, when Scheidt, in the middle of the line, didn't go into a great start for the day. But the Brazilian superstar erased the gap just before the first bottom mark. In the third leg Scheidt chose not to cover the fleet, but his speed and correct root were enough to control the 30m advantage. In the meantime it was exciting to watch the newcomers Postma and Maloney ahead star medalist. The victory was taken by Scheidt after a super close end where the blond South American sailing ace fought with Negri, Mendelblatt and Cayard until the last meters.
At the beginning of race 6 an individual recall was unfortunately misunderstood from Wright and Szabo when the 'guilty' was Postma, which continued his race for a while going into a certain disqualification. In the leg 1 Rohart took the lead and went into a very crowded mark rounding when the following three teams did it simultaneously: Melleby, Hornos, Stanjek. Rohart held on for first as well as Melleby for his second seat. But Scheidt climbed before the third mark advancing four positions and concluding his race after Rohart and ahead Melleby, Lobert, Polgar, Hornos, Mendelblatt, Maloney, Hestbaek and Stanjek.
A few while the initial part of race 7 a big group went to the right and for many tacks Mateusz Kusznierewicz was in front of the fleet letting him turning the weather mark in the lead. Later the polish skipper couldn't master the momentum to defend his position then Scheidt swept ahead his longtime rival and got the first ranking. The third leg's protagonist Johannes Polgar taken aback the recent Star World Champion without giving him a chance to set the tone for another dominant race as the german cutted the line first celebrating a big resurgence after a faded beginning day.
Seven out of nine races now are completed and some of the best ranked in the provisional leaderboard are not anymore afraid of the top 10 cut as they are already mathematically qualified to Saturday's Finals.
Quotes of the day
Diego Negri: 'The races so far have been really though and the fleet is always very short. Any mistake could be lethal and can put anybody at the back of the fleet. On the other hand distances between boats are so small that it is possible to jump some boats ahead especially crossing the finish line. We had a very good start yesterday with two bullets and two other good races thinking that the goal was to be in the top ten to sail the finals on the last day. Also today we began on the top group leading at the top mark and finishing second in the first race of the day. The second one was a little bit more difficult for us and we passed suddenly from 5 to 15 finishing 13. Better in the last where after sailing the whole race in the top group, we have been the last of three boats on a photo finish arrival finishing in sixth. We are anyway really happy so far of our performance and mathematically sure to be qualified for the finals.'
Star Sailors League Finals – Results after 7 races (1 discard)
1.Scheidt Robert (BRA) / Prada Bruno (BRA) – 2,(4),1,3,1,2,2 – 11
2. Negri Diego (ITA) / Lambertenghi Sergio (ITA) – 1,1,6,9,2,(13),6 – 25
3. Mendelblatt Mark (USA) / Fatih Brian (USA) – 6,2,3,5,3,7,(9) – 26
4. Melleby Eivind (NOR) /Strube Mark (USA) – 3,8,10,4,(14),3,4 – 32
5. Rohart Xavier (FRA) / Ponsot Pierre-Alexis (FRA) – 7,6,5,10,6,1,(11) – 35
6. Kusznierewicz Mateusz / (POL) Zycki Dominik (POL) – 4,(14),4,6,12,11,3 – 40
7. Stanjek Robert (GER) / Kleen Frithjof (GER) – 13,5,2,(16),7,10,5 – 42
8. Polgar Johannes (GER) / Koy Markus (GER) – 11,15,(17),15,5,5,1 – 52
9. Diaz Augie (USA) / Von Schwarz John (USA) – 8,7,7,13,8,(19),12 – 55
10. Lobert Jonathan (FRA) / Rambeau Pascal (FRA) – (18),3,8,11,18,4,17 – 61
Four times America's Cup winner, Bronze medal in 1976 Olympics and two times Star World Champion Dennis Conner will be live today at 11.00ET (16.00 GMT) in Digby's studio talking about the third day of racing in the inaugural edition of the Star Sailors League Finals. View it here:
by Alex D'Agosta
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1:25 PM Fri 6 Dec 2013GMT
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