let's find out

Annually, The Star Sailors League seeks to determine who is the most talented sailor in the world. Is it an Olympic legend like Robert Scheidt or Torben Grael? Or a contemporary Olympian like Ben Saxton or Šime Fantela? Is it an America’s Cup legend like Paul Cayard? A Volvo Ocean Race/Route du Rhum winner like Franck Cammas? Or the Moth world champion?
The question has been answered in December each year since 2013 at the Star Sailors League Finals. In 2017 it was turn of British Beijing 2008 Olympic Laser gold medallist and reigning Moth world champion Paul Goodison to come out on top, sailing with German former Olympic Star crew Frithjof ‘Frida’ Kleen.
Of course the major hurdle in determining the world’s best sailor is that sailing is one of the most diverse of all sports, requiring a wide array of fundamentally differing skills, whether it’s the Vendée Globe, the America’s Cup or the Laser class at the Olympic Games. For example, it is unlikely Goodison- Kleen would have won last year if the Star Sailors League Finals had been held in 60ft trimarans. Our money would have been on Franck Cammas or Loïck Peyron.
So in creating a playing field not too slanted towards any specialists’ choice of boat is vital. A fully crewed boat would place too much emphasis on the crew rather than an individual sailor. Equally a singlehander would overly favour the sailors experienced in these kinds of boats. Thus a two-handed boat was felt ideal to test the skills of the helm while creating a level playing field, and a keelboat preferable to a dinghy since it was more representative of the bulk of our sport. Read on.