Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening’s downwind pace sealed victory at the Star Sailors League Breeze Grand Slam and European Championship.
Victory for the Brazilian pair came in the last few meters of the last leg of the last race.
The qualifying series, quarter final, and semi final could scarcely have delivered a more mouthwatering final.
Of those who made it through from the qualifying series, it was early showers for Eric Doyle (USA) and Payson Infelise, Fredrik Lööf (SWE) and Brian Fatih, and Hubert Merkelbach (GER) and Markus Koy.
They were soon followed home by Roberto Benamati (ITA) and Alberto Ambrosini, and Eivind Melleby (NOR) and Joshua Revkin and Diego Negri (ITA) with Frithjof Kleen.
This left four teams who had been standout performers all week and it was hard to call who might walk away with the title. Of: Scheidt and Boening; Poland’s Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Frederico Melo; Paul Cayard and Arthur Lopes of the USA; and Xavier Rohart and Pierre Alexis Ponsot of France.
It was Kusznierewicz and Melo, however, who finished qualifying in top spot, earning a free pass to the four-boat final.
With lighter winds and limited waves, Scheidt’s downwind speed advantage appeared reduced in the semi final, even with free pumping allowed and it was easy to believe the French had done enough by the final windward mark to take victory.
What followed was a nail-biting race to the finish with Scheidt clawing in metres on the French team using all his skill to finally overhaul them right at the line.
In winning, the Brazilian pairing claim the SSL Breeze Grand Slam title, European Championship title, and the biggest stake of the $100,000 prize purse.
Most of the fleet will gather again in less than a month’s time in Porto Cervo, Italy, for the 2019 Star World Championship.
Star – Final leading positions
1st BRA Robert Scheidt Henry Boening
2nd FRA Xavier Rohart Pierre-Alexis Ponsot
3rd USA Paul Cayard Arthur Lopes
4th POL Mateusz Kusznierewicz Frederico Melo
5th ITA Diego Negri Frithjof Kleen
6th NOR Eivind Melleby Joshua Revkin
7th ITA Roberto Benamati Alberto Ambrosini
8th GER Hubert Merkelbach Markus Koy
9th SWE Fredrik Lööf Brian Fatih
10th USA Eric Doyle Payson Infelise