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This Article Last Updated: Oct 14th, 2010 - 15:13:49
All photos by Lynn Fitzpatrick
The wonderful thing about the year after the Olympics is that there are a lot of new faces in all classes, particularly in the Star class. Skippers who had been successful in the Tornado, Finn sailors, even 470 skippers and crews are testing their mettle in the Star class. America's Cup sailors with time on their hands are teaming up and joining others who have some history in the Class. There are some newcomers who have never sailed a Star before and others, such as one of the Polish teams, who purchased a boat on a whim so that they could sail against one of their country's superstars. The following is an overview of many of the Star teams registered for the Delta Lloyd Regatta. |
BRA - Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada – This Brazilian team is hot, hot, hot. They won the 2007 Star World Championship. They were third at the 2008 Star World Championships in a borrowed boat and they had a fantastic Medal Race at the 2008 Olympics in Qingdao and won the Olympic Silver Medal. Scheidt has two Olympic Gold medals and am Olympic Silver Medals for his performances in the Laser at the Atlanta, Athens, Sydney Olympics, respectively. Scheidt was the flag bearer for the Brazilian Olympic Team at the Opening Ceremonies in Beijing. He is also recently married to the 2008 Olympic Laser Radial Silver Medalist, Gintare Volungeviciute.
BRA Lars Grael and Renato Moura – Lars Grael and the Grael family are ambassadors for the sport of sailing in Brazil. Whether as Minister of Sport for Sao Paolo, Brazil, working with the Grael Project, Idea Argo or Brazil’s future Volvo Ocean Race campaign, the man has won the Snipe World Championship, two Silver Stars and the Olympic Bronze Medal in the Tornado during 1988 and 1996, Grael is at the forefront of major trends in sailing. Grael has been sailing with Renato Moura since January 2009. The pair finished 8th at the Star Eastern Europeans and plan on competing in the Star European Championship in Kiel following this regatta.
CRO - Dan Lovrovic and Marin Lovrovic Sr. – This father son team has been sailing together since Marin Sr. realized that he did not have what it took to qualify his oldest son, Marin Jr., for the Olympics. What he had was the foresight to find Marin Jr. a young, strong, motivated crew. Since then Marin Sr. has been in the bow of his youngest son’s Star boat. Now that Marin Jr. has had his Olympic experience, the family’s goal is to have Dan qualify for the Olympics. Marin Sr. recently became the President of the Croatian Sailing Federation.
CRO Marin Lovrovic Jr. and Sinsia Mikulicic – This was the come from behind team at the 2008 Star World Championships that managed to qualify for the Olympics. They continue to sail Stars. Marin is looking forward to married and family life later this year.
FRA - Xavier Rohart and Pierre Alexis Ponsot – Xavier Rohart was the winning Star skipper of the 2003 ISAF World Championship and the 2005 Star World Championship. Rohart sailed with Pascal Rambeau through the 2008 Olympics and the pair won the Bronze Medal at the Athens Olympics. Rohart's first Olympic appearance was in 2000 where he finished 5th in the Finn. Pierre Alexis Ponsot has campaigned the Finn Dinghy. He won the European Championship in Monotypes and has won French national championships in many monohull and multihull disciplines. He has been a member of Mathieu Richard’s winning match racing team. The pair recently started sailing together and put in a great performance at the 2009 Eastern European Championships last week, despite Rohart’s injuries suffered in a cycling accident earlier in the week. Rohart is still recovering.
GBR David Tabb and Tom Payton – David Tabb had an illustrious Olympic classes sailing career back in the 1970’s and 1980’s. He sailed 470’s, FD’s and Solings and missed out on the opportunity to go to the Olympics twice. Once during that non-Olympic year, 1980, and the other when he ran out of funding for his Soling campaign in 1992. Business has been good for him and during this decade he has been doing some match racing. He has been thinking about sailing Stars since 2002. Tom crewed for him in a match race and the pair hit it off. Tom, a physical education instructor until a few weeks ago, sailed Lasers, J24’s, Melges 24’s, Farr 52’s, TP 52’s and trained with the Russian Volvo Ocean Racing Team. The two look forward to their Star campaign.
GBR John Gimson and Ed Greig – John is a 29er Open World and European Champion. He is a top Farr 45, Mumm 30 and Melges 24. He has campaigned a 470 and a Tornado. Ed has sailed Optis, Laser Radials, Lasers and Finns. He became a member of the Skandia GBR Transitional Squad in 2005. The pair started sailing Stars in 2009 and has posted admirable results at the Hyeres Olympic Classes Regatta, the Star Western Hemispheres, the Expert Olympic Classes Regatta, the MOCR, the Bacardi Cup and the Star Eastern Europeans. They are campaigning for an Olympic Gold Medal in 2016.
GER Johannes Babendererde and Timo Jacobs - Members of the Heinz Nixdorf team, the pair met sailing Pirates. Babendererde has sailed Optis, 420’s and Pirates and has won the Pirate German Youth Championship twice and the European Championship once. Timo has sailed Europe Dinghies, X 35’s and big boats. They are new to the Star class.
GER Alexander Schlonski and Frithjof Kleen – Schlonski spent years in the Laser and transitioned to the Star in 2008. He teamed up with expert Star crew, Frithjof Kleen, Vice President of PICA, and the two won the Expert Olympic Regatta in Garda, Italy in April 2008. Kleen has crewed for various Star skippers had has had some great results that match his fun-loving attitude.
GER Robert Stanjek and Markus Koy – have been campaigning together for the past few years. They won a Silver Star at the 2008 Star Europeans. They won the Princesa Sofia Regatta in Palma in April and their District Championship in Germany.
GER Johannes Polgar and Tim Kroger – Johannes Polgar and Tim Kroger – Jojo sailed Tornadoes for over a decade and represented Germany in the Tornado at the 2008 Olympics in Qingdao. His Olympic Tornado sailing came to a climatic close during the Medal Race in Qingdao when one of his rudders sheered off after colliding with a log in the middle of the racecourse. Polgar is an avid multihull sailor and enjoys sailing F18’s. Kroger has done a fair amount of match racing. The pair finished well in their first Star regatta, the 2009 Princesa Sofia Regatta. Tim Kroger was the pitman for Shosholosza in 2007 and was a member of the Areva Challenge team in 2003. He sailed the Whitbread in ’93-’94 and again in ’97-’98. He finished second in Germany’s Soling Trials in 1988 and has some “unfinished business.” He is also part of the TP52 Platoon campaign. Jojo Polgar (l), Tim Kroger (r)
NZL Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk – Hamish Pepper is the 2006 Star World Champion. Pepper was 7th in the Lasers at the 2004 Olympics and has been involved in a number of America's Cup campaigns. He is a member of BMW Oracle's afterguard. Craig Monk won the Bronze Medal in the Finn in 1992 and a Gold at the Goodwill Games in 1994. He was part of Team New Zealand America’s Cup team in 1995 and 2000; One World in 2003; BMW Oracle in 2007 and is involved with TEAMORIGIN at the moment. This will be his first Star regatta. The pair is gearing up for the 2009 Worlds in Varberg, Sweden.
POL Maciej Grabowski and Norbert Wilandt – Maciej was the Polish Laser representative at three Olympics. He was the 2001 Laser Eastern European Champion; finished 2nd in the Laser Europeans in 2006 and third in the Laser Europeans in 2003 and 2004. Norbert sailed Lasers for five years before transitioning to the Finn. He was 3rd in the Finn Youth Worlds and the Finn Youth Europeans in 2005. Norbert is still a student. The pair sailed three times together before the 2009 Star Eastern European Championship last week. Their coach, Andy Zaweija, sees a lot of promise in them and is impressed with Maciej’s downwind technique.
POL Arkaduisz Wierzbicki and Krzysztof Pawlowski – You’ll love this story. Arkanduiz has sailed Optis, Cadets, OK Dinghies and 420’s. He got a little tipsy at one of his parties and he and his crew got into a heated discussion about what boat they should sail. 2008 Star World Champion, Mateusz Kusznierewicz’s popularity in Poland is like that of a movie star. They said to themselves, “Let’s sail against Mateusz Kusnierewicz.” They went online and found a boat for sale. The following day they drove to Italy and purchased it. Last week’s Star Eastern European Championships was the first time that they had ever raced the Star. They are doing it just for fun and appreciate the help that they are receiving from Andy and Barbara Zaweija and the rest of the Star sailors.
SWE Frederik Loof and Johan Tillander – Freddy Loof has competed in three Olympics. He won the Bronze Medal in the Finn in Sydney and the Bronze in the Star in Qingdao. He also is the 2001 and the 2004 Star World Champion helmsman and won the Finn Gold Cup in 1997 and 1999. Johan Tillander has spent 50 days training in the Star with Freddy, and the Delta Lloyd Regatta will be the first regatta that they sail together. Johan was Sweden’s Finn representative at the 2008 Olympics and has had an admirable Finn career.
SWE Tom Lofstedt and Anders Ekstrom – Tom Lofstedt always has a smile on his face and he is persistent in the Star and in big boats. Initially registered with a crew TBA, he may have had a ringer waiting in the wings. Anders Ekstrom, was on the bow of the Swedish Star at the Athens and Qingdao Olympics and even returned from China with a Bronze Medal around his neck. This will be Ekstrom’s first Star regatta since the 2008 Olympics.
IRL Peter O’Leary and Tim Goodbody – O’Leary jumped into the Star with Stephen Milne early in 2008 and by the summer he was steering the Irish Star at the Olympics in Qingdao. O'Leary is from the famous Irish O'Leary sailing family and he was Ireland's sailor of the year in 2007. O’Leary and Milne won the final race at the 2008 Star Worlds. O’Leary is sailing with his lifelong friend, Tim Goodbody, who sailed the Finn for the Irish at the 2008 Olympics. They have both been bulking up and are finally at max weight in the Star. They won their first Silver Star at the 2008 Eastern European Championship in Hyeres last week.
SUI Flavio Marazzi and Andrew Palfrey - Flavio Marazzi, sailing with compatriot, Enrico DeMaria, took fourth place at the Olympics in Athens and fifth at the 2008 Olympics, losing the tiebreaker. Marazzi won the 2007 Star European Championship and the 2008 Delta Lloyd Regatta. Andrew Palfrey was the Australian Star crew at the 2008 Olympics and has been breathing life into the Pittwater Star fleet at home. He sails big boats and small keelboats and put in a great showing at the 2009 Etchells World Championship where he finished fourth sailing with John Bertrand and Ben Ainslie.
USA Andrew Campbell and Brad Nichol – Andrew Campbell was the 2006 College Sailor of the Year in the United States and the 2008 Laser representative for the USA at the Olympics. He is the head coach of the CISA clinic, is employed by Georgetown University and has secured Sperry Top-Sider as a sponsor. Nichol has been sailing Stars for years and campaigned for the 2008 Olympics with Andy Horton.
USA Andrew Macdonald and Brian Fatih – Andy MacDonald carves time out of his family and business life for plenty of cycling, skiing and sailing. MacDonald teamed up with Brian Fatih for the last Olympic quadrennium and the pair was one of five Star teams named to the US Olympic Sailing Team leading up to the US Trials in 2007. We may as well congratulate Andy now for winning the 2009 ISAF World Cup in the Star, because he’ll win on attendance. Andy was an America’s Cup and top Flying Dutchman crew.
USA Mark Mendelblatt and Mark Strube – This Florida duo has been sailing together since 2003 as part of the One World America’s Cup team. They won the 2005 Bacardi Cup and won a Silver Star at the 2006 Star Europeans. They also won Kiel Week in 2006. Medelblatt has been a key player on the Prada America’s Cup team and the 2008 Audi Med Cup winning team, Quantum Racing.
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