71 international teams from 15 Nations are ready in Flensburg, Germany, to attend the 2018 Star Class European Championship, hosted by Flensburger Segel-Club from tomorrow to Sunday August the 12th, with a total number of 7 races.
The goal is for everyone to win the Continental title and for some to add those 750 SSL Ranking points to their account, as the SSL Finals 2018 is getting closer and this year's Worlds will be too late to be added up.. Racing starts tomorrow, August the 9th, at 12.00 local time (GMT+1), but tonight at 18,30 the Official Opening Ceremony will take place at the Yacht Club after registrations and weight-ins are finished.
Two races per day and only one on the last day of racing, Sunday, when the 2018 European Champions will be crowned. Last year’s champions, Torben Grael and Arthur ‘Tutu’ Lopes (BRA), won’t be on the start line of this Championship, but Torben’s brother, former ISCYRA President and Star World Champion, Lars Grael will be, with his loyal crew Samuel Gonçalves (BRA). Not far from here, in Troense, Denmark, just a little more than a year ago, Lars and Samuel were fighting until the last race to win their second Star World Championship. They finished second while the title went to Eivind Melleby (NOR) and Joshua Revkin (USA). Eivind is in Flensburg trying to win the Continental title once more after winning it in 2016. he is not sailing with Josh but with Brazilian crew Guilherme de Almeida, who won Bronze at the European Championship in 2015 in Gaeta with Torben Grael.
On the start line we’ll also find Russian Georgy Shayduko, who won Silver Olympic Medal in Atlanta in 1996 in the Soling Class, right behind German sailing superstar Jochen Shuemann, he’s moved to the Star ever since and was selected to represent his country in Athens and Bejing, but couldn’t eventually attend the Games. There is Jack Jennings here from the United States, with crew Frithjof Kleen from Berlin, Frithjof won the title with Eivind Melleby in 2016 in Warnemunde, Germany - not so far from here - and in 2013 in Båstad, Sweden, with Diego Negri (ITA). Diego and his crew Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) are missing from this event, they were second last year in Diego’s home water, Sanremo. The other American skipper, Augie Diaz with Brazilian crew Bruno Prada, won bronze medal then, and they’re here trying to move on the highest step of the podium, after winning silver medal fro two years in a row in 2016 and 2015.
A gold star shine on their mainsail as they won the Star World Championship together in Miami in 2016, but quite many golden star will be sported on this highly competitive fleet. We’ve already mentioned Lars Grael with Samuel Gonçalves and Eivind Melleby; then there is Robert Stanjek (GER) and Frithjof Kleen - here on different boats, they won it together in Malcesine in 2014 - Roberto Benamati (ITA) champion in 1991 in Cannes and then there is a pleasant return in the Star fleet, Enrico Chieffi (ITA), who won the Worlds in Rio de Janeiro in 1996 with Roberto Sinibaldi, is here with Manlio Corsi.