The 2018 Star World Champions, Brazilians Jorge Zarif and Guilherme de Almeida, will attend the SSL Finals 2018 from December 3rd to the 8th. It’s tradition, and one of the SSL Finals rules of admission, that the current year Star World Champions are invited to join the top ten skippers of the ranking and the VIPs at the SSL Finals in Nassau, Bahamas, and this year the Star Sailors League is very happy to welcomeOlympic Finn sailor, and former Finn World Champion, Jorge Zarif with his crew and long time Star sailor, Guilherme de Almeida.
Jorge Zarif attended the SSL Finals in three different occasions. The first time was in 2014, invited as a very young Finn World Champion, both junior and senior, then again in 2015 for his Finn sailing achievements. He was accompanied both times by very expert Brazilian Star crew Henry Boening, and they seemed to have a great feeling in 2014 finishing fourth, but not so great the second time when they were last. Zarif was invited once again to the SSL Finals in 2016 by Bruno Prada (BRA), who, as first ranked crew, could pick his own skipper and attend the event. His best result in Nassau, Bahamas, remains the fourth he conquered in 2014 though.
“It was the only way we could be admitted at the SSL Finals – said Jorge Zarif – we had to win the Star World Championship to go to Nassau, and it was one of the goals for this year for me and Guilherme. We’ve been training for a year together, we finished third at the Western Hemisphere in Miami in May, our coach Luca Modena optimized the boat before that, and followed us with training sessions throughout the year, but I was also very busy with my Olympic campaign on the Finn, so I didn’t have so much time. Winning this title feels special, not only because I will be going to Nassau thanks to it, but because my late father was a Star and Finn sailor and now he will be proud of me having won both World titles.”
Guilherme de Almeida has also been three times to the SSL Finals, always with super hero skipper Torben Grael (BRA). In 2014 they finished 13th and the result didn’t improve in 2016 and 2017, even though together they were quite successful: third at the Europeans in Gaeta in 2015, won the North American in Oxford, MD, in 2014 and finished third at Bacardi Cup that same year. Guilherme has been sailing the Star for a very long time, he was a young teenager when Jorge’s father would have him as his crew in Brazil and now he’s just won the Star World Championship with his son.
“The SSL put us under huge pressure – said Guilherme de Almeida, who is a very renowned Dermatologist in Sao Paolo – we had to win this in order to go to Nassau, and so we made it happen together!”
Jorge Zarif and Guilherme de Almeida won’t be the only full Brazilian team at the SSL Finals, they will join five time Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt with Henry Boening and twice Olympic medalist Lars Grael with Samuel Gonçalves, both former Star World Champions.