Mendelblatt and Fatih dominate at Star Sailors League finals
Published on December 4th, 2014
by Bob Fisher
Nassau, Bahamas (December 4, 2014) – With two first places and a second from the second day of racing in the Star Sailors League finals, Americans Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih have taken a commanding points lead over the elite fleet of 20 invited teams. Added to their first and third places on the opening day, they are now ten points clear of defending champions Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil, who today posted a 7-4-4.
Senior Star class aficionados stood agape at the American’s dominating performance. “It’s quite unbelievable that he can do this against such high class opponents,” observed Claude Bonanni, the Western Hemisphere Vice-President of the class.
Winds today varied between 15 and 20 knots with some significant shifts over four-legged courses with 1.2 mile legs.
Mendelblatt opened his account in the strongest winds of the day in fine style by defeating Johannes Polgar and the man-mountain Markus Hoy of Germany by 34 seconds in a race that finished in 54 minutes with the rest of the fleet trailing in their wake. And if that wasn’t impressive, he took over the lead on the first downwind leg of the next race and extended his lead to beat the French duo of Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot comfortably and the Star tyros Ivan Gaspic and Ante Sitic of Croatia,
The final race of the day was a five legged affair with shorter 0.8 mile legs. Polgar and Koy took this race in their stride, leading from halfway up the first leg and round every mark. Mendelblatt/Fatih chased from third around the first mark and displaced Brazilians Jorge Zarif and Henry Boening on the second windward leg to finish second.
Overall the American duo leads with eight points from the defending champions on 18. Third place is held by the Germans Polgar and Koy. Olympic champion Freddy Loof and Anders Ekström is fourth.
The qualifying round concludes Friday with the finals on Saturday.
Live streaming for Day 3 is on Friday (Dec. 5) at 10:50am EST
Photos by Gilles Martin-Raget
Background: Twenty elite teams have been invited to compete for a prize purse of $200,000 US. After three days of qualifying, the top 11 teams advance to the knockout rounds on the fourth and final day, with the top-ranked crew at the end of the event taking home $40,000 US.