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This Article Last Updated: Dec 11th, 2013 - 17:04:19 

Star Sailing League at Nassau - report from Paul Cayard
By Paul Cayard
Dec 3, 2013, 17:26

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Paul Cayard and Austin Sperry. Photo: ©Carlo Borlenghi Studio Borlenghi
I have been invited to the inaugural Star Sailors League (SSL) Season Final. When I explain this new event, you will see that I really have no business racing in it. The concept is that this is a league for the top sailors in the world who are ranked through the competitions they attend during that year. At the end of the year, there is a final championship with prize money. This year, the Final is in Nassau and there will be 18 competitors racing for a total purse of $200,000. They are the highest ranking sailors in the World plus a couple of wild card invites. You can check out the participants and the results at www.starsailors.com. Also see the event Facebook page for interviews and photos.

SSL is the creation of Swiss Star sailor Michel Niklaus. His passion for the class and this event is impressive. The SSL team are making a huge effort to run a top quality event. They have a team of 30 people doing everything from television production, to GPS tracking for live internet tracking while we race. SSL are handling everything logistical with the competitors presence here. It seems to truly be a first class operation.

I am heading into the event skinnier than ever not to mention I haven't sailed a Star in 4 years. Logically, a little humble pie seems to be on order for me. However, I love Nassau's wind and waves and have raced here plenty over the past 30+ years. I do have one of the best crewing for me, Austin Sperry. Austin, aka Hoss, came to Athens to help Phil Trinter and I train for the '04 Olympics and then he went to the '08 Olympics, crewing for John Dane. So if I have a prayer out there this week it is due to Hoss.

So its time to get back to basics and enjoy some Star sailing in the best place on earth to sail!

Partial competitor list:
Paul Cayard and Austin Sperry (USA)
Robert Stanjek and Frithjof Kleen (GER)
Augie Diaz and John von Schwarz (USA)
Flavio Marazzi and Renato Marazzi (SUI)
Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki (POL)
Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA)
Johannes Polgar and Markus Koy (GER)
George Szabo and Craig Moss (USA)
Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA)
Xavier Rohart and Alexis Ponsot (FRA)
Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih (USA)
Pascal Rambeau and Jonathan Lobert (FRA)
Eivind Melleby and Mark Strube (NOR)
Michael Hestbeck and Claus Olesen (DEN)
Tomas Hornos and Joshua Revkin (USA)
Pieter-Jan Postma and Edoardo Natucci (NED)
Andy Maloney and Tyler Bjorn (NZL)
Ed Wright and Peter M. Pedersen (GBR)

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