Kiwis on top at Star Worlds

Official Results of the 2009 Star World Championship following completion of four races. Two races were held today, August 5, 2006. Upon the completion of 5 races, teams will be able to discard their worst score.

1.Pepper/Monk (NZL) – 11, 9 , 1, 11- 32
2. Mendelblatt/Strube (USA) – 8, 4, 2, 26 – 40
3. Campbell/Liljedahl (USA) – 14, 14, 4, 8 -40
4. Marazzi/DeMaria (SUI) – 3, 3, 35, 1 – 42
5. Schlonski/Kleen (GER) – 9, 17, 11, 5 – 42
6. 2. Loof/Tillander (SWE) – 2, 5, 15, 23 – 45
7. Celon/Natucci (ITA) – 7, 21, 8, 25 – 61
8. Polgar/Kroeger – 31, 22, 7, 4 – 64
9. Grael/Seifert – 30, 6, 14, 14 – 64
10. Domingos, Melo – 38, 7, 10, 10 – 65

For complete results please see regatta website.

Hamish Pepper and Craig Monk have been teamed up since the Delta Lloyd Regatta earlier this spring and much of the time Pepper has been under the weather and Monk has been in wonderment about being back on the Olympic sailing circuit since competing in the Finn for New Zealand in the 1996 Olympics. Yesterday's day off from sailing meant rest and relaxation and they resuscitated the Kiwi Magic of 2006 and 2007 when Pepper won the San Francisco Star World Championship and was in the hunt at every regatta.

Pepper and Monk not only won today's first race, they also came out of the day atop the leaderboard following the completion of four races. They popped off the boat end of the starting line and took the express lane up the right hand side of the course with the current propelling them forward in flat (and shallower) water. Others, in the middle of the course, struggled against the current in the light air. The Kiwis followed Mark Mendelblatt and Mark Strube (USA) around the weather mark and overcame the Americans' 40-second lead on the run after Mendelblatt and Strube gybed toward the inside for what looked like more pressure. It was just the break that the Kiwis needed to take the lead and stay in a controlling position for the remainder of the race.

Following the race, Pepper said, “We sailed pretty conservatively today. It's easy to lose boats in this fleet and in these conditions.”

The American team was quite pleased with their performance during the first race. Mendelblatt/Strube took second. George Szabo and Rick Peters were third and Andrew Campbell and Magnus Liljedahl were fourth. J

The Germans had their day in the sunshine too. During the second race of the day, Race 4 of the series, the Germans had four boats in the top ten. Johannes Polgar and Tim Kroeger were fourth, Alex Schlonski and Frihjof Kleen were fifth, Matthias Miller and Benedikt Wenk were seventh and Johannes Babandererde and Timo Jacobs pulled out a ninth place finish in a race in which the pressure was up and down and the current continued to be a factor, albeit the breeze had filled to 8-10 knots in the afternoon sun.

Polgar/Kroeger were low point for the day with a 7, 4. Said Polgar, “We had a clear picture in our minds before we went out today. We also had two good starts.” Polgar, who spent years sailing Tornados at an Olympic level and transferred into the Star this spring, said, “it is nice to finally be sailing with the leaders after being in another class for so long. I hope that Tim and I and the rest of the Germans can keep the good sailing alive through the remainder of the week.”

The lead in Race 4 was passed from Xavier Rohart and Pierre Alexis Ponsot (FRA) to Flavio Marazzi and Enrico De Maria (SUI) during the second beat, and Marazzi/De Maria held on for the bullet. Marazzi/De Maria are in fourth place overall after four races, but are likely to be sitting pretty when teams are able to discard their worst race following the completion of five races. The Swiss have three finishes in the top three and one deep score.

Despite ending the day on a low note, Mendelblatt/Strube are in second overall and Andrew Campbell and Magnus Liljedahl are in third. Campbell, a rookie in the Star Class, is sailing with Liljedahl, an Olympic Gold Medalist and Star World Champion. Said Liljedahl earlier in the week, “I've sailed with fifteen Olympic medalists and I've already learned things from Andrew. He is incredibly calm and level-headed in a boat.” Campbell agreed saying, “We're learning a lot from each other and every race is an improvement. It's a pleasure to sail with someone with so much experience and enthusiasm.”

Race 5 of the 2009 Star World Championship in Varberg, Sweden is scheduled for Thursday, August 6, 2009.

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