The final race of the fifth Star Sailors League (SSL) 2018 will be held from 3 to 8 December in the capital of the Bahamas Nassau. At the start there are 25 teams of twos on the yacht “Star”, which will deliver only the best sailors from around the world.
In qualifying races during the first four days of the competition will be attended by all crews. December 8 start of the final race shootout for the top 10 teams. According to the results of the last race to four “survivors” will determine the winner of the SSL who will take home the lion’s share of the prize Fund of 200 thousand USD.
The only participant from CIS will be the Duo of Russian George Shaiduko and Ukrainian Vitaly Kushnir. Shaiduko — silver medalist of the Olympic games of 1996 in Atlanta (USA), who earned their reward in the crew-three in the class “Soling”. In this class it also has twice won the world title. In the current competition he SSL one of the age of the participants. Last year’s team Shaiduko and Russians Alexander Zybin, for the first time participated in SSL, ranked 12th in the qualifying race and 25 in the overall standings.
Among the participants of SSL, the organizers allocate at least 15 “dark horses” — helmsmen who participate in these competitions for the first time and whose result can be absolutely unpredictable. In 2017 one of these “jokers”, the champion of the International Moth World Championship and the Olympic champion of 2008 in the class of Laser Paul Goodison (Paul Goodison) was the winner of the SSL ahead of his rivals in the last race by only one second.
This year the background, similar to the experience of Goodison, is, for example, the Cypriot Pavlos of Kontides (Pavlos Kontides) — silver medalist of the Olympic games in London (2012), world champion 2017 and 2018 and the “Yachtsman of the year 2018” according to Rolex. On SSL Kontides will be paired with the German Way Markus (Markus Koy).
Friend and partner of Kontides for training the Croat tonchi, Stipanovic (Tonči Stipanović) almost won the gold at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Besides his silver medal to his achievements are two victories in the championship. Partner Stipanovich during SSL will the Portuguese Frederico Melo (Frederico Melo).
Contenders can also be Italian Francesco Bruni (Francesco Bruni) and new Zealander Hamish pepper (Hamish Pepper) — participants of the Olympic games and the America’s Cup. Pepper not only participated but also won the America’s Cup in Auckland (New Zealand) in 2000 and at the world championship in the class “Star” in 2006. A few Pepper will be British Steve Mitchell (Steve Mitchell), and Bruni — national-Italian Colaninno Nando (Nando Colaninno).
An interesting battle will unfold among the Swedish participants of this competition. Freddy Lef (Freddy Lööf), Max Salminen (Salminen Max) and Anders Ekstrom (Anders Ekström), who once went to a “Star” in one team and even won a gold medal at the Olympics in London in 2012, will now serve in three different crews.
Lef and Sami Salminen are on the steering wheel, skotoseme me of the Italian natucci of Eduardo (Edoardo Natucci) and the Swede Johan Tillander (Johan Tillander).
Ekström will skotovi in the team of Briton Iain Percy (Iain Percy) — silver medalist of the Olympics in London in 2012. Racing in SSL will be Percy’s first in this class over the past five years. He didn’t go to them since then, in preparation for the America’s Cup in 2013 during capsizes killed his best friend and team member Andrew “Bart” Simpson (Andrew “Bart” Simpson).
SSL will take part and bronze medalist of the Olympics in London 2012, the Brazilian Robert Sheidt (Robert Scheidt). Pair him will be his compatriot Henry Benig (Henry Boenig). Former Shkotovo of SATA Brazilian Bruno Prada (Prada Bruno) will go to the American team Augie Diaz (Augie Diaz) — world and European champion in the class “Star”.
The competition can be watched online on the race website. A bonus for spectators will be expert comments from invited guests.