Brazil’s Robert Scheidt snatches the world championship of the Star keelboat class


Click to follow
The Independent Online

The continuing battle between Brazil’s Robert Scheidt, reigning Olympic gold medallist Iain Percy, and Britain’s top sailors ramped up another notch in Hyères today as Scheidt, with crew Bruno Prada, snatched the world championship of the Star keelboat class from Percy and crew Andrew Simpson.

In a hectic final race in Qingdao in 2008 the British pair pushed Scheidt into the silver medal place on the podium and they will face each other again off Weymouth in just over two months. The competition will be fierce.

Scheidt is also remembered for pipping a youthful Ben Ainslie into silver in the Laser class at the 1996 Atlanta games only to be sailed down the fleet by Ainslie four years later in Sydney to reverse the spoils and bring sweet revenge to Ainslie, who then moved into the heavier Finn class and two consecutive golds in 2004 and 2008.

In Hyères, on the coast near Toulon, Percy and Simpson had led for most of the week but in a topsy turvey final race came 39th to Scheidt and Prada’s 38th. Both discarded what had been their worst results but Percy then had to count a fifth race 17th while Scheidt restored a 10th.

Percy had been five points clear going into the final race; the recount put him two points behind at 32 to Scheidt’s 30. Third.another point behind, were Denmark’s Michael Hestbaek  and Claus Olesen. Ireland’s Peter O’Leary and David Burrows were fourth.