NASSAU, BAH (#1147) – Live from Nassau, the 2018 Finals of the Star Sailing League – an astonishing collection of the world's top sailors competing for what has quickly become one of the most prestigious titles in the yacht racing world, to say nothing of the better part of the $200k cash prize.
As the SSL media report said after Thursday's racing, "Despite being dominated by Olympic Finn sailors (why are we at Sailing Illustrated not surprised!), the day ended with a new leader in Mark Mendelblatt (USA) and crew Brian Fatih (USA), who now lead Robert Scheidt (BRA) and Henry Boening (BRA) by a mere point, going into the last day of the Qualifiers.
Top scoring helm on Thursday was Finn sailor Jorge Zarif (BRA), the 2013 Finn Gold Cup winner and this year’s Star World Champion, with crew Pedro Trouche scoring 4-1-2 – elevating the young Brazilians into third overall.
“[We like] the free pumping conditions today - I am from the Finn and that is one of the most important things we do,” Zarif explained. “We tried to pump and rock as much as we could, although you have to play the waves and shifts as well.”
This year’s Finn Gold Cup winner, Hungarian Zsombor Berecz posted Thursday's second best scores – 3-6-9 – with Czech four time Finn Masters World Champion Michael Maier as crew, leaving them 10th overall. This was despite not finishing yesterday’s last race when they broke a spreader, turning their mast to spaghetti, requiring them to fit a replacement overnight. “On the water sometimes we had very good speed, but not always. We’ve only had five days on the boat,” said Berecz. “Downwind we were playing it quite safe. We didn’t put the mast forward enough, because we didn’t want to break it.”
Expert commentary from Peter Lester (NZL), Shirley Robertson (GBR), and Mark Covell (GBR). Excellent visuals from camera boats and many on-board cams; good shot selection and pacing by the director. Mr Covell is doing an especially good job of explaining some of the technicalities for casual or non-sailors, without talking down to the many keen racers watching. Live-stream courtesy of the SSL...