Negri and Kleen perfect at Star Worlds
Published on September 9th, 2021
Kiel, Germany (September 9, 2021) – The fourth day of the 2021 Star World Championship was productive as 8 to 15 knots of steady easterly breeze allowed two races to be held for the 82 teams from 15 countries.
In the first race, reigning World and European champions, respectively Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) with Bruno Prada (BRA) and Enrico Chieffi with Nando Colaninno (ITA), were caught over the line early and with the U flag in place they were only advised at the top mark. Same fate for yesterday’s winner Hans Spitzauer and Christian Nehammer (AUT). So there goes their throw-out when five races are reached.
Conversely, Diego Negri (ITA) and Frithjof Kleen (GER) were clean today, always going for top speed without taking any useless risks to win both races. They (above) worked their way through the fleet at high speed on the first cross in the first race, arriving at the windward mark in the lead group and then building their lead down to the bottom gate. From there they kept the chasers Stipanovic/Bilic at bay until the finish with a four-boat length lead.
The second race of the day was almost the same for Negri/ Kleen. Starting from the middle, they took no risks at the start, benefited from their top speed and had only 2017 World Champion Eivind Melleby (Norway) with Guy Avellon (USA) ahead of them at the first mark. But Negri/Kleen were unstoppable today and took the lead at the halfway point of the race, then controlled the field with ease and sailed to their second win of the day.
“It can’t get any better than this,” said Negri, four-time Olympian and three-time Star Worlds runner-up and European Champion. “We had a really great day, we were expecting this left tendency so we were protecting the left and it worked. Plus our boat speed is amazing.
“I have to say a really big thank to Werner Fritz for the sail set-up and the support, and to Andrea Folli for an impeccable boat. We have good speed, so we are performing well this time. Tomorrow we expect a westerly, so completely from the opposite direction from today, but we will try to do our best just the same.”
In second overall is the ILCA 7 Silver Olympic medalist in both Tokyo and Rio, Tonci Stipanovic, sailing with his friend Tudor Bilic (CRO).
“I’ve loved this class since I’ve been sailing, but it’s now my first World Cup appearance in the Star at the age of 35,” said Stipanovic. “We still have to adjust to the trim of the boat and to the class rules, what is allowed and not allowed in terms of pumping. That’s why we’re acting very calmly, but we’re happy with how it’s gone so far.”
Two penalty turns spoiled an even better finish for him in the second race, so his fighting words are not unjustified: “We want to continue as before. It’s only half-time, and if I compete, then of course I want to sail right at the front.”
To complete the provisional podium, the Star Bronze Medalist in Athens 2004 Xavier Rohart (FRA) with Ante Sitic (CRO). But from third place on, they are all very close in points and the Star World Championship is only half way through. Two more races are scheduled for tomorrow starting with very light forecast, to leave the last one for September 11.
Six races are scheduled on September 6-11.
Current results (Top 10 of 82; 3 races)