Brazilian Olympic legend Robert Scheidt launches 49er campaign in Miami
The World Sailing 2017 World Cup Series in Miami will see a legend of the sport take on a new challenge as one of the most successful Olympic sailors exchanges the one person dinghy for the men's skiff.
Among the 453 sailors racing out of Regatta Park at Coconut Grove, Miami from 22-29 January, Brazil's Robert Scheidt is teaming up with Gabriel Borges in an attempt to master the 49er like he has the Star and Laser.
43-year-old Scheidt is no stranger to sailing in two person fleets taking an Olympic silver and bronze medal in the Star, but the high performance skiff will present the champion with a different challenge.
The switch from the Laser class, where he has two Olympic gold medals to his name, prompted London 2012 Laser silver medallist Pavlos Kontides (CYP) and former rival to say, "Robert is a sailing legend. To have the strength, will, patience, passion and motivation to continue professional Olympic sailing at this age is really admirable. 49er is completely different from Laser so he will need time to adapt but I am sure he will find his way up the ranks.”
Argentina's Iago Lange, who will be sailing with his brother Klaus, can see only benefits from Scheidt's decision, "I think it is great for not only the class but for the sport as a whole. If a hero like Robert is showing that he will keep pushing it is a great message for the world of sailing and for the kids who aspire to be in the sport.”
Reflecting on the decision, Lange gave his thoughts on a personal level saying, "He is one of my sailing heroes so it will be super nice to have the opportunity to sail against him.”