20 days to go to the first ever Star European Championship and Star Sailors League Breeze Grand in Riva del Garda, Italy. 94 teams from 23 different countries have already signed up, but the International Star Class, the Star Sailors League and Fraglia Vela Riva del Garda are still aiming for the goal of 100 Star boats on the starting line on May the 15th!!
The level of the almost 200 enrolled athletes is outstanding. Among them at least 20 Star World Champions, 5 Olympic medalists and ten Olympians who will race and compete with professional sailors as well as amateurs who will join the class for the first time and will have the honor of sailing among some of the legends of our sport.
Five times Olympic medalist Robert Scheidt (BRA), who lives and trains for his renewed Olympic Campaign in the Laser class right here on lake Garda, will sail with Brazilian crew Henry Boening; Paul Cayard (USA) one of the most eclectic sailors of all time, being the first American to win the Whitbread Round the World Race, claiming the Louis Vuitton Cup with an Italian syndicate and then just missing the podium at the 2004 Olympics, this Stars-and-Striped legend will sail with the young Brazilian Arthur ‘Tutu’ Lopes – and together they were third at the Star World Championship last year.
The Olympic Bronze medalist and sport role model, Lars Grael (BRA) will end his international sailing career right here in Riva del Garda at the combined Europeans and SSL Grand Slam, a sad and at the same time epic moment for the sport of sailing. From the States with Cayard, other three World Champions, Augie Diaz with Olympic medalist Bruno Prada (BRA), George Szabo and the freshly crowned 2019 Bacardi Cup winner Eric Doyle with Payson Infelise. The competition will be fierce on the fresh waters of Northern Lake Garda, luckily ashore everything is set for making the competitors coming from all over the world feel at home and welcome by the products and hospitality of Trentino, the region of Riva del Garda.
“As Star Sailors League Sport Director for the Grand Slams and responsible of the SSL Training Centre right here in Riva del Garda – said German Star World Champion crew Frithjof Kleen – I am very proud to see this event coming to reality, the first combined Star Class Championship with an SSL Grand Slam, it’s huge. This will launch the first step of the next eight years of challenges together, we are planning the next events way ahead merging the Star Class classic Silver or Gold event with the SSL Grand Slams, the Star Sailors League thankful that the Class agreed of doing this together. And it’s already proven to be successful: 94 entries is a record for the Star Class in post Olympic times. All the sailors are looking for events like this combining the tradition and the new SSL exciting format and live coverage, everybody in the sailing world will be watching our racing from May 15th to the 19th."
"And now, with the SSL Global Ranking - continued Frithjof, aka Frida - sailors are looking to gain points to join their national team in the Gold Cup in 2021! The Star Europeans/SSL Breeze Grand Slam will run by himself, Fraglia Vela organizes international events every year and the wind here is always great, this is the best sailing gym in the world! And then we’ll have amazing after sail events thanks to the many partners that joined us, concerts and DJ sets are planned every evening and they’re not just for the sailors, but for the public: we want the spectators to join through extra events and then appreciate the sailing too on the big screen.”