Graduating up

Four time Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt discusses his move into big boats
Making the transition from little boats to big boats, is always a major for the individuals involved. The latest world class Olympic sailor to have made this jump is Brazil’s four time Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt, who has now signed with the newly re-created Luna Rossa team, ready for the America’s Cup, whenever that may happen (don’t hold your breath). In the meantime Scheidt and his fellow crew members, are having to ‘make do’ with an STP65 program that, surprisingly for what one might think of as an inshore-orientated team, will have a significant offshore component in its program for 2009. “They invited me to sail together with them at the end of 2007,” claimed Scheidt when we met up with him in Palma recently. “But in 2008 I was still very involved with the Olympic Games, so I only sailed with them for the first time in November 2008 at the CNEV regatta in the Cup boats. So that was my first Cup boat experience, doing strategy for them.” At that point he says the team had already lined up the STP program, however following on from the CNEV regatta they also competed in January's Louis Vuitton Pacific Series where the US Virgin Islands moustachioed hotshot Peter Holmberg helmed while Scheidt called tactics. As mentioned in our previous article about the STP65 itself, in creating the new Luna Rossa sailing team, Patricio Bertelli was keen to start pretty much from scratch. “I think it is a good team. There are a lot of people in it who already have a lot of America’s Cup experience, and some others not. So I think it is a good mix between experienced guys and new guys,” says Scheidt of his colleagues. The logical step up for Scheidt, now 35, and possibly the ultimate