Thursday, January 21, 2010

Percy and Simpson are within striking distance of winning the Star World Championship

[Source: Star World Championship] British sailors Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson are within striking distance of winning the Star World Championship, currently taking place outside Guanabara Bay. The reigning Olympic champions finished in fourth place in the Rio de Janeiro Regatta and only didn’t win the title today because Swiss sailors Flavio Marazzi and Enrico De Maria managed to finish in 6th place, after rounding the second last mark in ninth position. As a result, the decision has been postponed to the final regatta this Thursday.

Iain Percy reluctantly admitted his advantage. “We are in a very comfortable position, with only 9 points lost. Our tactic in the final race will depend on the wind and some other factors. We will study the conditions before deciding,” he commented. “If we decide on a match race against the Swiss, we will be very confident. I have experience in the America’s Cup and other boat to boat regattas.”

Marazzi and De Maria guarantee that they will be sailing for gold on Thursday. “We are going to sail the best regatta we can. It’s not entirely up to us, but we have to believe in it,” said Marazzi, who with his fellow team member De Maria currently leads the Star World Championship ranking, with 17 lost points.

Today’s race was once again 10.5 nautical miles long (approx. 19.4 km), with three legs of head wind and two legs of tail wind. Winds ranged between 8 to 10 knots, in an easterly and southeasterly direction. The Brazilians sailors also had a great race, with five teams finishing in the top ten.

Lars Grael and Ronald Seifert finished the race in second place, behind winners Rick Merriman and Phil Trinter, from the USA. “For a team that started in 35th place, a second place finish in the second last race is a great result. We have been improving every day,” noted the sailor, who is seventh in the overall ranking. “It’s very satisfying to be among the first ten teams. The Brazilians have proven that the level of Star sailing in Brazil is very high.”

Wednesday was another sunny and hot day in Rio de Janeiro, with temperatures of 36 degrees Celsius. Just as in the previous races, the race course was set up between Pai e Mãe Island, near Niteroi, and Leme Point, in Rio de Janeiro.

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