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This Article Last Updated: Oct 14th, 2010 - 15:13:49 

Delta Lloyd Regatta Report
By Lynn Fitzpatrick, WorldRegattas.com
May 31, 2009, 10:20

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All photos by Lynn Fitzpatrick.
Racing results


Day Five - Medal Race: Scheidt and Prada win the Delta Lloyd Regatta

The Delta Lloyd Regatta came to a close today, but not before an exciting Medal Round unfolded. Star sailors slept in this morning and had their first afternoon start of the regatta.

“We wanted to sail our own race and not match race because the Swedes and the Swiss had a chance,” said regatta winner and 2007 Star World Champion, Robert Scheidt.

Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) had a clean start and went left, yet there was more pressure to the right. Ultimately they finished third in the Medal Race. Said Scheidt, “It was not a great race for us but it was enough to win the regatta. We are very happy because the practice that we have been doing is paying off.”

Scheidt/Prada had over a week of 4 to 5-hour per day training sessions on Lake Garda prior to the Star Eastern European Championship, which preceded the Delta Lloyd Regatta. They trained with Freddy Loof and Johan Tillander (SWE) and Alexander Schlonski and Frithjof Kleen (GER), who won the Silver and the Bronze Medal in the regatta, respectively. “Freddy and Johan won the last regatta and we won this one. Schlonski and Kleen trained with us and they also did very well here,” commented Scheidt on his recent success.

Kleen spoke for his team when he said, “We are very happy to have done so well in such a strong fleet.” Schlonski/Kleen’s hopes for the Gold were dashed shortly after the first leeward mark when they tried to cross Andrew Campbell and Brad Nichol (USA) and were given a red flag. They dropped to last place by the time they finished their penalty turns. They recovered during the next five legs to finish eighth in the race and edge out Flavio Marazzi and Andrew Palfrey (SUI) by one point for the Bronze.

Mark Mendelblatt and Mark Strube (USA) jumped the gun at the start of the race and did not go back. Their disappointment came when the crossed the finish line first and did not get the gun.

The teams who did not qualify for the Medal Round sailed a final race under sunny skies and 10-12 knot winds. Lars Grael and Renato Moura won the race and finished 11th in the regatta.


Day Four: Schlonski and Kleen On Fire In Strong Wind

“Those guys are sailing really fast upwind. It is amazing to look around shortly after the start and see them ahead of everybody.” How many people has Robert Scheidt ever made that comment about?

Alexander Schlonski and Frithjof Kleen deserved the compliment from Schlonski’s sailing idol. They had another spectacular day on the Ijsselmeer of Medemblik during the final day of fleet racing at the Delta Lloyd Regatta. The German team, sponsored by EWE and Heinz-Nixdorf posted a 1, 3 and will go into Saturday’s double-point Medal Round tied with Scheidt and Bruno Prada in the standings.

Looking forward to the Medal Round, Schlonski said, “I hope for winds like today.” He recapped his team’s performance for the day saying, “We had good starts and sailed well technically.”

The wind was whistling through halyards and shrouds in the basin this morning and was enough to influence Arkadiusz Wierzbicki and Krystztof Pawlowski of Poland to wish their Star friends good sailing while they stayed on dry land. “We only have one mast and one boat,” said Wierzbicki, a newcomer to the Star class, who plans on sailing the European Championships in Kiel, Germany and the World Championship in Varberg, Sweden in the beginning of August.

Schiedt and Prada “tuned for heavy wind.” Their speed on the runs more than compensated for their performance upwind. With little time to spare before the start of the second race, they changed their main sail to get more power during the beats. “We had good safe starts, got clear air and found good lanes so that we rounded the first mark near the top of the fleet and sailed low and fast on the runs,” said Scheidt following racing. They won the second race by 200 yards.

A 13-point gap separates the leaders from two other very strong teams, two-time Star World Champion skipper and 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist, Freddy Loof and his crew, Johan Tillander and the Swiss-Australian Olympic duo of Flavio Marazzi and Andrew Palfrey. Both teams are tied with 28 points. Americans Mark Mendelblatt and Mark Strube are the only other team in the Medal Round that has the possibility garnering a medal. They will have their work cut out for them because they need to place six boats between them and the two teams immediately ahead of them in the standings to snatch the Bronze.

Juries worked well into the evening hearing requests for redress in the final race. In the end, Andy Macdonald and Brian Fatih (USA) received redress. Peter O’Leary and Tim Goodbody (IRL) shot out of the blocks a little too fast in the second race and their provisional second place finish was ultimately scored an OCS. The pair is the last of ten teams to make the cut for the Medal Round.

A number of teams were scored DPI for allegedly crossing through the Laser course when they were returning to the marina. Each of the teams was sacked with a 5-point penalty added to their score for Race 7.

Any of the top five teams have a shot at the Gold or Silver in Sunday’s Medal Round. The American teams, sitting in 6th and 7th, Mark Mendelblatt / Mark Strube and Andrew Campbell / Brad Nichol are among the seven contenders for the Bronze.


Day Three: A Day for the Brazilians and the Americans in the Star

Close finish
Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) and Mark Mendelblatt and Mark Strube (USA) were among the few boats that broke away from the fleet and battled for the gun at the finish line during both of Friday’s races at the Delta Lloyd Regatta.

During the first race, both teams catapulted to the top of the fleet by patiently playing the left side of the course down the first run. Two-time Star World Champion, Freddy Loof, sailing with Johan Tillander (SWE) slipped in between them to take second place in the first race.

By the bottom of the opening lap of the second race the Americans and the Brazilians were launched out in front of the rest of the fleet and they battled to the very end. The second race went to the Americans by less than a boatlength. After five races, the 2007 World Champions and Olympic Silver Medalists Scheidt/Prada are leading the regatta with seven points. Alexander Schlonski and Frithjof Kleen, one of the young German teams, are in second overall with 12 points, and Americans Mendelblatt/Strube are one point behind with 13 points.

Today’s weather conditions in Medemblik were cold, crisp and clear, just like those precious New England autumn days. The water was flat, Star crews could hike and their skippers could see the shifts and streaks with ease. Scheidt/Prada and Mendelblatt/ Strube were the teams that deciphered the wind the best. Each team took a bullet and Scheidt/Prada were low point for the day with three points as compared to Mendelblatt/Strube’s four points.

Pleased with today’s sailing, Mark Strube commented, “We came into this regatta with no expectations. We are treating this regatta, Kiel Week and the Star European Championship as warm-up regattas for the Star World Championships at the end of July.” He continued, “We had two good starts. It helps to be out in front and to be able to pick your lane in these conditions rather than to be pinned the way we were during the first two days of the regatta.”

Mendelblatt partially attributed today’s performance to Strube’s calls on the runs. “Strube called the first run. He got it right, and we gained a bunch of boats. I wasn’t going to mess with that, so he called the downwind shots for the rest of the day.”

Scheidt/Prada have spent a considerable amount of time developing the Mader Star. Mendelblatt/Strube are using their new Mader for the first time. Mendelblatt commented, “It was hard to tell how fast we were going with the new boat because everyone was in different breeze, looking for pressure and playing localized shifts. We’re pleased with our standings at this point in the regatta.”

Schlonski/Kleen had another strong day, and there are a number of teams who put less than 20 points on the scoreboard today. Many of them have recently started sailing together and are preparing for the 2012 Olympics. Following the completion of five races and with one discard factored into their scores, the Germans and the Americans have two teams in the top 10.


Day Two: The Sun Shines on Schlonski and Kleen during the Second Day of Racing at the Delta Lloyd Regatta

Alexander Schlonski and Frithjof Kleen
Alexander Schlonski and Frithjof Kleen (GER) read the tea leaves better than all of the other Star teams in Races 2 and 3 at the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Holland on Thursday. The German team posted at 1, 2 in the 8-12 knot winds and are three points ahead of yesterday’s leaders, Freddy Loof and Johan Tillander (SWE) and seven points ahead of Flavio Marazzi and Andrew Palfrey (SUI).

“We are very happy with the day, but it is very early in the regatta,” said Schlonski. He attributed today’s performance to being on top of everything, “…the pressure, the shifts, and fleet management. It was not easy.”

The top three teams at the regatta were the only teams to post two single digit races today. The first beat of the day was the trickiest. Most of the big guns went left, but pressure and a shift on the right made the prospect of tacking onto port and taking transoms look uglier and uglier the further the fleet went up the beat. Tom Lofstedt, sailing with Swedish Olympian, Anders Ekstrom, managed to bounce Scheidt/Prada and Marrazzi/Palfrey to the right shortly after the start. It was a bittersweet accomplishment for Lofstedt because Lofstedt may have contributed to their 2nd and 3rd place finishes in the race. Lofstedt posted a 20th for the race. After racing, Prada thanked Lofstedt and Ekstrom for their assistance.

Schlonski/Kleen won the first race, but not before catching Vasyl Gureyev and Volodymyr Korotkov (UKR) and Ievgen Avksentien and Vitalii Kushnir (UKR). The two Ukrainian teams managed to hold off the fleet around the entire first lap of the course. Schlonski/ Kleen worked their way through Chris Frijdal and Rob Edens (NED) and picked off the Ukrainians during the second windward leg to win the race.

The second race belonged to Peter O’Leary and Tim Goodbody. The Irish lads were out in front at every mark rounding and crossed the finish line several boatlengths ahead of Schlonski/Kleen. Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk had an awesome start near the committee boat and favored the right side of the course; rounding the weather mark in second place.

Teams jockeyed for position behind O’Leary/Goodbody down the run and Mark Mendelblatt and Mark Strube rounded the left leeward gate at the same time that Pepper/Monk rounded the right gate. Pepper/Monk stayed on top of the pressure and the breeze while Mendelblatt/Strube went for a shift at the top right of the beat and fell from grace. Ultimately, the Americans finished 11th and are poised in fourth place overall, 12 points behind the Irish.


Day One: We had big breeze, big waves and lots of breakage at the Delta Lloyd Regatta today. The Stars had one race and a very long slog back to the sailing center in Medemblik, The Netherlands. On the way back, they caught a glimpse of how difficult it is to sail 49ers. In some cases, those poor teams could not bear off without capsizing. Many struggled though many capsizes before they could drift low enough to head upwind from below the leeward gate.

Freddy Loof and Johann Tillander
take off ahead of the fleet (SWE)
Johan Tillander was the first to cross the finish line in the Star fleet’s first race of the Delta Lloyd Regatta. The comment from Freddy Loof’s new crew, “Fast.” Tom Peyton, a new Star crew from Great Britain, has been in the bow of a Star six times in his life. For him, parts of today’s race were, “Frightening.” For Swedish Olympian Anders Ekstrom, it was “Fun.” As for Bruno Prada, Renato Moura and their Brazilian skippers Robert Scheidt and Lars Grael, today’s weather was a far cry from that of Ipanema.

Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk (NZL)
The Ijsselmeer of Medemblik dished up survival conditions for the opener of the Delta Lloyd Regatta. Freddy Loof and Johann Tillander have been practicing non-stop on Lake Garda for the past few months with Robert Scheidt, Bruno Prada and other visiting Star sailors. By the looks of it, their efforts are about to pay off in spades. The Swedish team started further to weather than most of the fleet and established themselves as a clear leader early in the first leg. They blazed around the weather mark, planed to the offset and bore away down a wet and bumpy run in the 20+ knot winds that at times gusted to 30 knots. Americans Mark Mendelblatt and Mark Strube rounded inside Flavio Marazzi and Andrew Palfrey about eight boatlengths behind.

Loof commented on his win, “ Aside from being rough and windy, it was shifty. We kept our eyes on the compass. There were a lot of 10-degree shifts out there.”

Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA)
Brazilians Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada lost their whisker pole as they gybed and broached toward the end of the final run. Said Scheidt, “We were gaining on Freddy and Johann, but that gybe did not help.” Little did he know that on Loof/Tillander’s boat, Tillander was getting a bit scared. When Tillander was asked about sailing the final part of the race without a whisker pole, he said, “I didn’t have much of a choice. I broke our pole.”

Mark Mendelblatt and Mark Strube (USA)
Americans Mark Mendelblatt and Mark Strube looked strong throughout the race, crossed the finish line third and were fully prepared for a second race. Flavio Marazzi and Andrew Palfrey were fourth. Alexander Schlonski and Fritjof Kleen beat out newcomers Johannes Babendererde and Timo Jacobs to be the first of four German teams to finish.

There was a fair amount of carnage today. Xavier Rohart and Pierre Alexis Ponsot suffered a breakdown on the way out to the course, and were able to get off to a late start. The Irish didn’t have such luck and watched the start with their sails rolled up while they waited for assistance. Andy Macdonald and Brian Fatih broke their mast on the first run. Maciej Grabowski and Krzysztof Pawlowski broke their mast on the second run. A quarter of the 28-boat fleet either did not start or did not finish the race.

Everyone warmed up on the deck at the Sailing Center watching for signals to send them out on the water again.

Strong winds, although less than today’s, are predicted for the second day of racing. As Scheidt contemplated the weather after he returned to the dock he said, “Ah, I will wear two layers of wetsuits. A thin layer on the inside and a thick one on the outside works really well.”

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