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Austrians win first race of Star Worlds

Published on September 8th, 2021

Kiel, Germany (September 8, 2021) – The 2021 Star World Championship finally got underway today with one race for the 81 teams from 15 countries after light winds kept the fleet ashore during the previous two days.

After waiting ashore with the AP flag hanging low and lifeless on the notice pole until about 13:00, the fleet was finally sent out though clouds were still blocking the east wind from filling in. Only at 15:30 was the starting procedures of race one to begin in 20 minutes.

With a clear start in four to five knots of breeze from the east, a slightly right favored upwind leg had the Hungarian team of Tibor Tenke and Miklos Bezereti rounding first and reigning World Champions Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) and Bruno Prada (BRA) right behind followed by Athen’s Olympics Star Bronze medalist Xavier Rohart (FRA) with Ante Sitic (CRO) in third.

Things changed slightly at the bottom gate when the Polish-Brazilian duo took the lead in the light and shifty wind, but a flawless last downwind had the former Olympian Johann Spitzauer with Hans-Christian Nehammer (AUT) cross first at the finish line (above), about two lengths ahead of Kusznierewicz/Prada.

In third were Croatians Marin Misura and Tonko Barac followed by four-time Olympian and three-time Star Worlds runner-up Diego Negri (ITA) with 2014 World Champion crew Frithjof Kleen (GER). Closing the top five, Tokyo – and Rio – Olympic Silver medalist Tonci Stipanovic with Tudor Bilic (CRO).

“It always feels good to win a race at the Worlds, especially the first one as everybody wants a good start!” commented Spitzauer. “We played the right and we were only eighth at the top mark, with a good downwind we rounded fifth at the bottom gate and then we we opted for the left and we were pleased.

“We had good pressure, that allowed us to gain on the other boats, so we stayed where we were, and we were the only one hiking. This is where we won the race. It is so good!”

“It feels good to win the first race at the World Championship, even more after two years with no racing at the World Championship,” added Nehammer. “We had a pretty good race in very difficult conditions, with everything working well for us!

“We make the decisions together, we talk and exchange opinions, I try to give as much information as possible but the truth is that 16 years ago we sailed together for the first time, so we just understand each other, not much talking is needed. Now we are looking forward to more racing!”

The Race Committee called for an early start tomorrow in the hope of finishing two, much needed, races with the 7-8 knot-breeze forecasted earlier in the day.

Six races are scheduled on September 6-11.

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Current results (Top 10 of 81; 1 race)

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