Video courtesy Star Sailors League.
Nassau – In a gripping final day in which the tension ran high throughout, the Brazilian duo Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada delivered a fourth place in the quarter final and consecutive stunning victories in the semi final and grand final. Today they conquered the first edition of the Star Sailors League Finals in Bahamas in front of Mateuez Kusznierewicz with Dominik Zycki (POL) and Mark Mendelblatt with Brian Fatih (USA). On the side of the podium the Italians Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA).
We caught up with Robert Scheidt after the last race of the day.
Robert, how was your last day?
“It was a very long day today with three races. We didn’t have a very good first race as we finished fourth which was just enough to make us advance for the next stage, and then in the second and the third races we sailed really well. We had a good start, good speed downwind, a big fight with the Poles in the decider, but still we managed to hang on and win the last race which was amazing—you know it’s great to come to the end of the week ahead and to win such an important regatta. There were only four boats at the end, so once two boats got a little advantage it’s very hard for the other two to come into that fight because the second starts to protect the third and the third starts to protect the fourth. It’s not like a normal fleet race that people risk and have more possibilities to recover, in this kind of race people are already looking at how to beat at least one boat. That is the mentality from the middle of the race on: we want to protect Matteo and Matteo is protecting the other two guys so it makes it hard if you’re behind“.
What’s your secret to be so successful even if you didn’t train in a Star since more than 1 year?
“There are a number of factors together. I think because I already competed at a high level in many classes and coming to the decider day I’m confident because I’ve been there, I’ve done that many times, you know how you will react, you know you have to make the right decision at the right time. It’s an experience game, it counts if you’ve been there many times, when the next time comes you already know how to behave, it gives you confidence and that’s very important when you sail with confidence. Well it’s hard to say but I would like to finish my career in Rio, compete in the games and that’s my goal right now. I’ve already achieved a lot in sailing and I lift my hands to god because I had so many opportunities, first my family and then throughout all the way, great people who helped me like Luca, people like Bruno, who’s been around me, and this really helps in the end, even in a single hander you win but behind you there’s a team that you have to acknowledge. There’s no one thing that I can say is the secret, it’s many things together you know, a little bit of talent and a lot of hard work“.
Who is your biggest longtime rival?
“My biggest rival was Ben Ainslie, for sure, I had him you know, tough battles, he won one time in the olympics, I won the second. It’s been great, I hope I can have the chance to sail against him again, it would be great if he could join the circuit but it’s up to him, he’s now with the America’s Cup, but I had many many tough battles with many guys, but if I have to point out one guy it was really tough to beat and he beat me many times as well, as well as I beat him, it was Ben“.
Any America’s Cup aspirations?
“Yes I have been interested (in the AC) but for some reason I always put the Olympic Games as my priority and then the chances that I had to sign for an AC was always overlapping with my Olympic campaigns and then I decided to do a serious campaign instead of doing things half and half“.