Percy and Simpson clinch Star World Championship
[Source: Star World Championship] British sailors Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson, reigning Olympic champions, secured the Star World Championship this Thursday. The event is being hosted at the Yacht Club of Rio de Janeiro (ICRJ). The duo finished the Banco do Brasil Regatta, the final race of the competition, in 18th place, which was discarded from their overall ranking. Swiss team Flavio Marazzi and Enrico De Maria, leaders in the ISAF world ranking, completed the race in 12th place, totaling 29 points, enough to win the silver medal. Brazilians Torben Grael and Marcelo Ferreira came in third and with 39 points were rewarded with bronze.
With his victory, Iain Percy joins a very select group of two-time Star world champions. He won his first title in 2002, in Marina Del Rey, USA, competing with Steven Mitchell. Born on March 21, 1976, in Southampton, Percy is one of the top sailors in the British Olympic team. He won gold in the Star Class in China, in 2008, and in the Finn class in Sydney, in 2000. He also conquered bronze in the 2005 Star World Championship and gold in the 2005 Star European Championship.
Percy and Simpson made a triumphant return to the yacht club. They sailed once around the pier and moored under the applause of their competitors, staff, journalists and Yacht Club members. They lowered the sails and opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate. “It was a very tough day. The conditions weren’t great and nothing was going right. I just want to thank Andrew, who was amazing. In races with light winds, the bowman is responsible for more than 90% of the speed,” he stated.
The final race of the competition brought together 73 teams from 19 countries. USA team Mark Mendelblatt and John Von Schwarz won today’s race, followed by German sailors Alexander Schlonski and Frithjof Kleen.
Today was also Brazil’s best performance in the Star World Championship as four teams finished in the top ten. Torben and Marcelo finished the race in third place, followed by Lars Grael and Ronald Seifert, then Alan Adler and Guilherme de Almeida. Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada took 9th place.
Torben and Marcelo were very pleased with their bronze medal win. “We are very happy because our goal was to be in the top ten and third place is an excellent result,” said Torben, winning his ninth World Championship medal today. “We had very little time to train before the tournament and we grew throughout the competition. We will continue our Star sailing until the Pre-Olympic event in Brasilia, in February, and perhaps participate in the Bacardi Cup in Miami.”
Today’s race was 10.5 nautical miles (approx. 19,4 km), with three legs of head wind and two legs of tail wind. The winds ranged between 6 and 8 knots, in southeasterly to southwesterly direction. Thursday was a very hot and sunny day in Rio de Janeiro, with temperatures reaching 35 degrees Celsius. The race course was set up in open sea between Pai e Mãe Island and Rasa Island. The Star World Championship’s closing event and awards ceremony will take place this Friday, at 8 p.m., in the Pool Salon at the Yacht Club of Rio de Janeiro.