April 2019


Lars decides to end his international career in the ultra-competitive Star class.

All Things Must Pass, is the name of the first solo album by Beatle George Harrison, and so it is for Lars Grael and the Star.

The title brings the reflection on the changes in life. In this moment I am making a decision with reason, I feel the limitations of the body and I try to listen to the heart; and after all I took the decision to end my international career in the ultra competitive Star class.

It's an end with balance and sense of duty fulfilled.

I dedicated 19 yearsto this fantastic class in sailing and I competed with the biggest names in international sailing. I needed to prove, especially to myself, what willpower would be capable of after my accident in 1998. An accident that disrupted my career as an Olympic sailor in the Tornado class.

I highlight as the greatest achievement, the 2015 World Championship in Buenos Aires with my crew Samuel Gonçalves.
In the many World Championships in the Star class, besides the title of 2015, I like to remember the vice title of 2017 (our last participation at the Worlds), the Bronze of 2009 and the 4th places in 2010 and 2016.
In the prestigious Bacardi Cup, we won an unprecedented (for a Brazilian team) two editions, in 2014 and 2015, and also, we were runner-up in 2013, besides the 4th places in 2017 and 2018.
Seven continental championships (South American and Western Hemisphere), and five runner-ups (European, North American, South American, Western Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere).
16 national titles between Brazilian Championships (7); District (7) and Pre-Olympic Championships of CBVela (2).

Among the main reasons for the decision, I highlight the high cost of self-financing in the competitions since the separation from my last sponsor in 2015. I no longer think it is fair to bleed the family accounts to finance indefinitely my career in internacional sailing. A the moment I will dedicate myself with enthusiasm to the lectures at the Ministry and my current sport consultancy for the Globo Group.

Nowadays, seeking sponsorship has become very difficult. Other than the fact, I have never claimed the benefit of the Bolsa-Atleta that I have always had the right to since its creation. It was a matter of ethics.
I will not say a final goodbye to sailing. Sailor who is a sailor, will sail until his last days... but I only close my career as an international sailor.

I thank every sailor that I had the pleasure of sharing the magic and the emotion in the race: Henrique Moura; Marco Lagoa; Marcelo Jordão; Renato Moura; Ronald Seifert; Brad Nichol and Samuel Gonçalves, as well as many others.
My greatest thanks and appreciation goes to my wife Renata who has never lacked the support, affection, dedication, cheeriness and companionship. For my three children who understood my faults, absences and the priority for the passion of the competition.
At age 55, I will have more time to work, for the family, for the Rumo Nautico Institute (Grael Project) and for my friends.
I will miss the adrenaline in the starts, those glides on the windy days, and the disputes of each mark rounding.
Every athlete knows when it's their moment and mine has just arrived...!
I now end a second cycle in my life as a sailor (the 1st was from the very beginning through the Olympic medals in the Tornado class to the accident in 1998).

My farewell competition will be the 2019 European Championships on Lake Garda in Italy from 15 to 19 of May. There, I will compete with the young crew Pedro Henrique (Bolder) Trouche. Bolder is already a phenomenon and the current winner of the SSL Finals with the talented Jorge Zarif.
To many more Brazilian in the sport and to the many seas to sail...

Lars Grael

Rachele Vitello

SSL Press Officer since 2015