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Star Sailors League: World champion Zarif claims victory

Reigning Star Class world champion Jorge Zarif from Brazil upset the form guide at the Star Sailors League Finals to claim victory on the final day of the event yesterday in The Bahamas.

Racing with fellow countryman Pedro Trouche as crew Zarif dominated the quarter and semi-final knockout stages before defeating regatta favourites Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening in the grand final.

“We are surprised we had this kind of dominance, because the level is so high,” said Zarif afterwards. “We sailed our best today. We gave 100 per cent – hiking and pumping the whole time and that definitely made the difference. It is a privilege to be here and a privilege to beat those guys.”

Racing today took place under an overcast sky with the raceourse set inside Nassau’s Montague Bay and a brisk easterly wind blowing directly into the bay with gusts up to 20 knots at times.

While this was Zarif’s fourth participation in the Star Sailors League Finals, this was his crew Pedro Trouche’s first. Remarkably it was also the first time he and Zarif had sailed together, although they have known each other since they trained together in the Laser in 2005.

Zarif’s World Championship winning crew Guilherme de Almeida was tied up this week with his wedding.

“It is the biggest thing I have won,” admitted Trouche, who next intends to compete in February’s inaugural Star Junior World Championship in Miami. “I have never sailed at a level like this before. It is the first time I have beaten Robert [Scheidt]. That is a nice feeling! He is a legend. I am very happy.”

For winning the Star Sailors League Finals, Zarif and Trouche not only gained the credo of beating many of the world’s top sailors, but also won US$ 40,000 of the total US$ 200,000 prize pot.

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