Brunnen – The final day of the 2014 International Star Class Eastern Hemisphere Championship at Brunnen, Switzerland, ended without completing a 5th, or any of other additional scheduled races. Therefore, the final standings after 4 races became the Final Overall Results for the Championship and further validated Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi’s (ITA 8491) dominance of the event. With the completion of four races were completed, both Negri and Lambertenghi (ITA 8491) were awarded their second ISCYRA Eastern Hemisphere Silver Stars of their Star sailing careers.
Negri and Lambertenghi’s victory in this prestigious event is undoubtedly a result of the consistency in their series 6th, 1st, 1st, and 1st Place finishes, despite the unstable wind direction and velocity throughout the 2014 Star Eastern Hemispheres.
Race 1 of the Championship was dominated by very unsteady winds created by rain storms hovering above the Gersauer Becken race area to the west of Brunnen, and concluded with a victory for Christoph Burger and Renato Marazzi (SUI 8274), a 2nd place for George Szabo and Serge Pulfer (USA 8320), and a 3rd place finish for Emilios Papathanasiou and Antonis Tsotras (GRE 8434).
The next two races were held on the more southerly Urnersee Race course area, where the Star Fleet was gifted with more stable winds but in return had to endure torrential rain. Italians Negri/Lambertenghi (ITA 8491) crossed the line first, followed by Szabo/Pulfer (USA 8320) and Burger/Marazzi (SUI 8247) in Race 2, and in Race 3 by Boris Kulpe and Ronald Roeseler (SUI 7947) and Papathanasiou/Tsotras (GRE 8434) respectively.
Race 4 was held in a brisk wind with no rain and proved the fiercest battle of the series with several changes of leadership and some very close racing right until the very last few metres in the final leg. Right behind Negri/Lambertenghi (ITA 8491), Papathanasiou/Tsotras (GRE 8434) won what was the closest-fought of all the races over Christoph Gautschi and Dominik Schenck (SUI 8409) to finish 2nd leaving the Swiss team to finish third.
Despite the Race Committee’s valiant efforts to complete all of the scheduled races, no races were actually finished today, a dull, very autumnal day. In fact, after one attempt this morning, and a regular start this afternoon, a security warning forced the cancellation of Race 5 after the fleet had made it all the way around the first windward mark and down to the leeward gate.
Warmest thanks for hosting and staging such a successful event goes to the 2014 Star Eastern Hemisphere Championship organisers: Swiss Star Class, the URI Sailing Club and the Luzern-Vierwaldstattersee Star Fleet. Also, thank you to the Star Sailors League for their support with communications and for providing live streaming each day with Virtual Eye 3D graphics, Pro-Action for video recording and Icarus for highlights.
Diego Negri (ITA 8491, Skipper): “The Eastern Hemisphere is a Silver Event which is very important for the Class. I am delighted to have won it for the second consecutive year. Having finished the Worlds so few points behind the winner and fought to the very last for the gold medal, we were certainly very conscious of our potential. However, it was a difficult week because I’m not very familiar with the Alpine lakes, particularly given the highly unusual weather conditions we had to grapple with. Our three first place finishes come as a result of excellent speeds and, more importantly, our ability to read the very sharp shifts in the wind which made the series extremely interesting. As all sailors are only too well aware, you really have no control over the weather. That said, the race committee chose exactly the right moments to stage the races over two very tricky days. We’d like to thank them for the excellent hospitality and organisation – they clearly made a huge effort. Even the fact that they managed to get a dedicated dock for the Star boats in the magnificent setting of Brunnen spoke volumes. I am very happy to have clocked up 750 points for the SSL ranking list which further strengthens the leadership position I have held for just the last few weeks.”
Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA 8491, Crew): “We didn’t expect such bad weather and autumnal temperatures. The unexpected cold actually made the whole week very physically challenging and it was tough-going to keep ahead of the others from an athletic point of view. I am delighted that we are now reaping the benefits of all the work planned out with Diego, just a year on from starting sailing together. This event was one of our biggest goals for 2014 and I am very proud to have won it again 16 years on from the Monte Carlo edition.”
Overall Top 10
1. ITA 8491 Diego Negri & Sergio Lambertenghi
2. GRE 8434 Emilios Papathanasiou & Antonis Tsotras
3. USA 8320 George Szabo & Serge Pulfer
4. GER 8450 Hubert Merkelbach & Gerrit Bartel
5. SWE 8446 Tom Lofstedt & Frithjof Kleen