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

Comments from the Top Finishers at the Worlds
By Lynn Fitzpatrick, WorldRegattas.com
Jan 19, 2010, 16:44

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Fourth race - what they said:
Iain Percy (GBR), 2002 Star World Champion and 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist, who is leading the 73-boat regatta with 16 points, or a 4-point average. About having four keeper races going into Race 5 –“It’s about avoiding disasters in an 80-boat fleet.”

About today’s wind conditions and their confidence in their speed – “Today was great. We had lovely conditions. It was the first real day of sailing with 6-8 knots in the beginning and 12-14 for the last part of the race.”

About their start – “The leaders came from the middle today.” (They were among them).

About their Rio practice sessions and what they have learned during the first four days of racing in the 2010 Star World Championship – “It’s different than sailing in Europe. There is an underground swell and the power goes on and off on the upwind legs.”

Andrew “Bart” Simpson about the compliments that Iain Percy keeps giving him – “He could win with a sack of spuds.”

Rick Merriman (USA) – 2008 Star Western Hemisphere Champion about his second place finish. The team started sailing together for the Olympic Trials in October of 2007 and won a Silver Star in Geneva, NY and did well at the Miami OCR together. About their steady improvement throughout the regatta – “We came down here for the South Americans and the Royal Thames and were a little frustrated with our performance. It feels better, today.”

Phil Trinter about Race 4 – “It’s nice that the Race Committee favored the boat. It made it fair across the line. The second through eighth place boats reached a third of the way down the run, so it gave Percy the chance to extend his lead.”

About today’s conditions – “We started on the upper end of the line. Within 10 minutes, we were in different current and they (Percy/Simpson) shot up next to us.”

Andre Mirsky and Marcelo Jordao (BRA), who started sailing together at the 2009 Star World Championship and have had two sensational races and are sitting in 10th place after Race 4. Andre Mirsky about having another good race – “I am very happy. It is the third time that we were in the top five at the first mark. The first and second time we were there we lost some positions. We had a little more speed upwind today. We were not happy with the way we had the boat tuned yesterday and made changes.”

About their starts – “We have had less speed than everybody, but good starts and half of the race is about the start.”

About the key to their good race today – “We worked on the right side of the course at the top of the leg and that put us in a good position.”


Third Race - What they said:
Xavier Rohart (FRA) - Today’s winner and the 2003 and 2005 Star World Champion, about fighting for the pin during every one of the attempted starts – “Yes. We were there. There were a lot of boats down there.”

(They flew a protest flag throughout the race because of a port/starboard incident with another Star World Champion skipper, during the start.)

About winning in light year after a difficult year - “We worked hard for that! We were especially fast downwind.”

About the light wind conditions – “After that result, we hope that the conditions don’t change.”

Iain Percy (GBR) – 2002 Star World Champion and 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist and regatta leader

About the final run with the breeze filling in from behind and being ahead and lower than the pack that included Diego Negri and Nando Colaninno (ITA), Eivind Melleby and Peder Morland Pedersen (NOR), Gustavo Lima and Charles Nankin (POR), George Szabo and Rick Peters (USA), Flavio Marazzi and Enrico DeMaria (SUI) and a host of other strong teams –
“Bart called it. He said,” as soon as the first boat goes, we’ve got to go.”

About the conditions – “Wind like this is difficult. We have confidence in our speed when it gets windier.”

Renato Cunha and Marcos Mascarenhas (BRA) – Who crossed the finish line immediately behind Percy/Simpson. New to the Star, but an offshore sailor and match racer and a harbor pilot. About his experience in the Star – “I purchased Alan Adler’s (1989 Star World Champion) boat and have only sailed 20 or 22 races. “

About his experience with Rio de Janeiro’s waters - “I have been a harbor pilot here since 1996 … but I know the waters inside Guanabara Bay.”.

Marcos Mascarenhas (BRA), who is crewing for Renata Cunha –
About his experience – “I sailed the South American Championship with Renato. This is my second time crewing for Renato, otherwise, I have never sailed a Star. We had one day of training together. “

About his real work – “I am an apprentice harbor pilot…” for another harbor.


Second Race - What they said:

Flavio Marazzi (SUI) after his first place finish in Race 2 - “We are a lot happier than we were yesterday. Yesterday we wanted too much and our second start was bad.”

On their starting strategy – “Everyone was very careful during the last start and was holding back. We thought that there would be a sag in the line toward the windward end. We started about 1/3 of the way down the line. There was a little risk, and at the start we were still one boat length behind the line.”

On taking the lead – “In the middle of the second beat we tacked one more time to the left and went behind JoJo and Alan Adler. We got a bit more pressure and were able to pass them.”

Johannes Babendererde (GER) upon learning that he still leads the regatta - "We are quite happy to have had a good race. Our goal for the day was to be in the top 15."

Recapping today's race - "We overtook boats on the 2nd upwind leg. We did not go left like the others because there was less wind there. We caught Iain Percy on the second run because he had a problem with the jib. From then on we shortened the distance to the leaders, but there were no gains to be made."

On today's performance of the German team - "It is normally the first race that is a good race for the Germans. Today was a German day."

Alan Adler (BRA) who is in second place overall with 11 points - On being at the top of the leaderboard at a Star World Championship - With a roll of his eyes and a laugh, “I’ve seen this movie before.” Adler won the 1989 Star World Championship and was second in the 1994 Star World Championship

On sailing outside of Guanabara Bay - “We don’t sail outside very often because it is far and not as interesting. We always sail there during the Worlds and sometimes during the South American Championships. Inside the Bay is much more fun.”

On his start and first leg – “We saw a left shift two minutes before the start and moved down the line and went left too hard. We were so far ahead and lost so much because we overstood the windward mark.”

Andrew Campbell (USA), who was third in the race and fourth overall - On today’s sailing conditions – “It was light and lumpy, something like San Diego, but there was more current than we are used to.

On their gains made during the final beat – “We went to the right gate and made a big gain immediately. We split with the four boats ahead of us and caught three of them. We sailed to the right of the group and knew that we had to catch Alan Adler on boat speed.”

About being the top North American – “We just keep showing up.”

Iain Percy (GBR) who is in third place after today’s 11th place finish after equipment difficulties during a run and a practice session following today’s race - on today’s performance – “Today was a missed opportunity. We’ll come back tomorrow.”


First Race - what they said:

Johannes Babendererde – Winning skipper of the first race of the 2010 Star World Championship - “We were happy that we rounded the weather mark first, but we touched it and lost two places when we did our circle. We were confident that we could stay with the top group because we had good speed. “Our positioning was important on the last leg. We rounded the mark behind Juan K. and tacked to leeward. We outpointed them and passed them. We had to protect against Robert Scheidt and Iain from the left and the right. It was all about positioning. This is the best finish that we have had in the Star. We had a first place at last year’s European Championship also and we also fought off Robert Scheidt and Iain Percy. We also started off the Worlds in Varberg with a fourth place finish in the first race.”

Iain Percy – Second place skipper in the first race of the 2010 Star World Championship - “Our strategy was to follow the Graels. We switched from Lars to Torben after the first beat. The Brazilians have been very helpful in giving us advice on the conditions here.”

Andrew “Bart” Simpson – 2nd place crew in the first race of the 2010 Star World Championship - “I wouldn’t want to do that every day.”

Robert Scheidt - third place skipper in the first race of the 2010 Star World Championship - “This is the best start that we have had in a Star World Championship. We had a 37th in Miami and a 21st in Sweden. We are very happy.”

On recovering to third place after being sixth or seventh around the first windward mark - “Once you are in the top ten in a race like this you have clear air and a lot of options. It is tricky sailing in here, but the course gave opportunities to everyone.”

Juan Kouyoumdijan, who held the lead at various times during the first Race of the 2010 Star World Championship.
On being in first place in a race at a Star World Championship Regatta - “It felt really good, but you don’t have time to enjoy it. Once the wind comes up and they start to hike they are like monsters.”

Commenting on the Juan K.-designed Mader boat and Juan Garay-designed sails from North Sails, Argentina - “We are very happy. We followed our plan. Our boat is good. Our sails are good. We are very patriotic with our equipment.”

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