Climactic Star World Championship 2021
Published on September 11th, 2021
Kiel, Germany (September 11, 2021) – The 2021 Star World Champions Diego Negri (ITA) and Frithjof Kleen (GER), confirmed yesterday after Race 5, opted to sit out the sixth and final race today and left the field free to the teams fighting for the Star Worlds podium. And it proved to be quite a battle.
Eighteen boats were spotted over the starting line early in the second general recall of race six with a black flag hoisted, and for this they were disqualified. A heavy burden for a few, already discarding a high result in their scorecard. They all presented a request for redress, but the jury rejected all but one. Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Bruno Prada (POL/BRA) were granted redress by the International Jury but due to their first UFD, it didn’t help much in their hunt for a place in the spotlight.
On the water, the fight for the medals was decided between Johann Spitzauer and Hans-Christian Nehammer (AUT) and Olympic silver medalist Tonci Stipanovic with Tudor Bilic (CRO). The 2017 Star World Champion Eivind Melleby (NOR) with Guy Thomas Avellon (USA) and Denmark’s Jörgen Schönherr, who had three-time European Champion Markus Koy (GER) onboard, were also still in the game.
While Schönherr and Melleby got off to a good start in the race, Spitzauer and Stipanovic had to work their way through the field after a slow start. By the second lap, however, the Austrians and Croatians had caught up to such an extent that they were already on course for the medal. Schönherr/ Koy led the field ahead of Melleby/ Avellon and crossed the finish line in the same way, but the points gap in the overall standings was too high to make it onto the podium.
Spitzauer/ Nehammer needed a top result directly behind the Croatians in the final race to win silver, and for a long time they had the best cards in their hands. But then Laser ace Tonci Stipanovic, in his first World Championship appearance in the Star boat, pulled off a winning move on the final cross.
While Spitzauer/ Nehammer went to the left side, Stipanovic/ Bilic tacked to the right in the middle of the finish and found the right wind to pass the Austrians. The Americans Benjamin Sternberg/ Stuart MacIntosh tipped the scales: they were also overtaken by Stipanovic, but had Spitzauer in their wake.
Exactly this result was enough for the Croatians to win silver ahead of the Austrians. Behind them in the overall standings were Jörgen Schönherr/ Markus Koy, Mateusz Kusznierewicz/ Bruno Prada, and Eivind Melleby/ Guy Thomas Avellon.
To top the day, after his win in the last race, Jörgen Schönherr received the prize for the top Master Star skipper, while the top placing junior team, presented with the new Ding Schoonmaker Trophy, are German’s 25-year-old Jan Borbet and his one-year older crewmate Jesper Spehr in twelfth place overall.
“This is our first real Star boat season and we didn’t expect the award,” said Borbet. “It was all about getting the best out of it for us. It’s a pity that the real junior world championship had to be cancelled. We definitely want to stay in the Star class. After finishing our studies, we both started our careers and now have a bit more time.”
Six races were scheduled on September 6-11.
Final results (Top 10 of 82; 6 races, 1 discard)