First Laser Radial victories go to Høst (NOR) and Jayet (SUI)
For immediate release: 04/17/2019
Issued on behalf of: World Sailing
Laser Radial racing commenced on the third day of competition at Hempel World Cup Series Genoa and Line Flem Høst (NOR) and Switzerland’s Maud Jayet took the first race wins of the series to share an early lead.
The 67-boat fleet is split into blue and yellow for the qualification series and the Norwegian triumphed over Greek favourite Vasileia Karachaliou in the blue fleet with Jayet defeating Rio 2016 bronze medallist Anne-Marie Rindom in the yellow.
Only the Laser Radial and the 49er yellow fleet managed to complete a race on Wednesday as a consistent breeze failed to develop. A 3-4 knot south easterly breeze was just enough for the Laser Radial and 49er to sail. The 470s and Finn will have to wait another day to get their competition underway. Meanwhile the Nacra 17 remain on three qualification races, the 49erFX on five and the Laser on two.
The calibre of competitors in the Laser Radial is extremely high with numerous Olympic, World Championship and World Cup medallists.
Mistakes can be punished quickly but racing in the yellow fleet, Jayet was near faultless, leading at every mark. “I started quickly,” commented Jayet, “I got out of the pack to sail at the front of the race and managed to beat Anne-Marie.”
Long waits on the water for a sailable breeze to develop can make the mind wander and when racing does start, concentration levels have to rise as the Swiss racer explained, “It is hard to keep focused when everything is going slowly. You have to learn to be patient. As soon as you lose focus you would lose your speed. In days like this, whoever is the most patient will be in front.
“From the start, I try to relax. Instead of running after the gusts, I just wait until I get one. It was one of those days where you could see girls on the other side of the course had more wind but by the time you would get there, it would go. You have to wait your turn and eventually it will come.”
The secret to mastering the conditions and maintain focus is simple, as Jayet continued, “You have to force yourself to sail and train in these conditions. Whenever people see light winds they might not train. You have to train in really light sessions and learn how to stay calm. It’s important to get used to it. None of us can choose what we sail in so we have to try and be good in strong and light winds.”
And as a Swiss sailor from Lausanne, sailing out of Societe Nautique de Geneve, has training and sailing on famous Lake Geneva helped? “I don’t sail on the lake much anymore,” she laughed, “but on days like this, I wish I did more often.”
Jayet took the race win ahead of Rindom with Canadian Olympian Isabella Bertold and Daphne van der Vaart (NED) following.
In the blue fleet, Flem Høst was equally impressive, leading from start, “I managed to separate well from the fleet so I could get some private wind,” explained the Norwegian. “Then it was about staying on top of everyone which I managed to do.”
On keeping focus, the Norwegian had a similar mindset to Jayet, commenting, “It is hard to keep focused. You see everyone coming from behind so it’s important to focus on doing the basics right and keeping calm. I just focused on myself and tried to forget about everyone else.
“You can train the technique in lighter winds, speed, tacks and gybes so you have the right technique but then it’s about breathing right and keeping your cool.”
Greece’s Karachaliou followed Flem Høst in to the finish with the experienced Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) and Carolina Albano (ITA) coming through in third and fourth respectively.
Just one 49er race was completed and Croatian World Champions Sime and Mihovil Fantela clinched it, securing their second race victory from three completed so far. Their remaining race result is a disqualification that they picked up in the opening race.
The blue race was the third of the series and does not yet count on the overall leaderboard as the yellow were unable to complete a race on the water. Once their third race is completed the scores will be combined.
Racing is scheduled to continue at 11:00 local time on Thursday 17 April with additional races planned for all fleets in a bid to catch up on those lost.
Fuente info WMRT
SKIPPER LINE-UP ANNOUNCED FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
London, UK (17 April, 2019) The World Match Racing Tour has announced the skipper line-up for the 2018-2019 WMRT Championship Final from 3-7 July in Marstrand, Sweden hosted by the GKSS Match Cup Sweden. The list of world class sailors features three former match racing world champions including defending champion Torvar Mirsky (AUS), six-time world champion Ian Williams (GBR) and 2016 world champion Phil Robertson (NZL).
The 2018-2019 WMRT Championship Final will conclude the extended 2018 WMRT season as announced last month. The winner of the event will be crowned 2018-2019 Match Racing World Champion as sanctioned by World Sailing, and will have their name engraved on to the WMRT Championship Trophy made by Royal Jewellers Garrard & Co.
Eleven of the top twelve teams from the WMRT leaderboard have accepted invitations to the Championship Final including French multihull maestro Yann Guichard and his Spindrift Racing team. After finishing on the podium at the 2017 WMRT Finals in Shenzhen China, the team have their sights firmly set on a win in Marstrand.
Also with his sights on the podium is Dutch Olympic Finn sailor Pieter-Jan ‘PJ’ Postma and his Sailing Team NL. Currently ranked #11 on the WMRT leaderboard, Postma finished 4th at the 2017 WMRT Finals in Marstrand, a venue which he and his team certainly found their stride as he explained;
“I am hugely excited to be competing at the WMRT Finals in Marstrand. It is a very challenging venue but it suits our sailing style well as a team. We have had a lot of time sailing our own M32 since then, so we are feeling confident for a good finish this year!”
Due to his 49er Olympic commitments, Danish sailor Jonas Warrer, currently ranked #9 on the WMRT leaderboard, is unfortunately unable to make the event and the invitation will be passed to a replacement skipper and team to be announced in the coming weeks.
The five-day WMRT Championship Final will be raced in M32 carbon fibre multihulls on the legendary Marstrand racecourse, a short and technically challenging racing area requiring split decisions by teams at speeds over 25knots. The iconic rocks that flank either side of the course offer the ultimate stadium view of the racing for the tens of thousands of spectators that will flock to the island during the event to enjoy the weeks festivities and lively social scene.
Confirmed skippers for the WMRT Championship Final are as follows;
Nicklas Dackhammer (SWE) Essiq Racing Team
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
Yann Guichard (FRA) Spindrift Racing
Harry Price (AUS) Down Under Racing
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team
Mans Holmberg (SWE) Holmberg Match Racing Team
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
Markus Edegran (USA) Team Torrent
Phil Robertson (NZL) China One Ningbo
Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) Sailing Team NL
Daniel Björnholt (DEN) Youth Vikings Denmark
To be announced
Full details of each team including skipper bios and crew lists will be announced in the run up to the July event and made available on the WMRT website.
For more information on WMRT, visit www.wmrt.com and follow us on social media by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
17 de abril de 2019 La RFEV designa a Blanca Manchón para representar al windsurf femenino español en Tokio 2020
La sevillana competirá por segunda vez en unos Juegos Olímpicos. Su primera participación fue en Atenas 2004.
La andaluza Blanca Manchón ha sido designada por el Comité de Preparación Olímpica de la Real Federación Española de Vela para participar en la clase RS:X femenino en los Juegos Olímpicos de Tokio 2020. A falta de que el Comité Ejecutivo y la Junta de Federaciones Olímpicas del COE aprueben el equipo olímpico español definitivo.
Esta será la segunda participación de Manchón en unos Juegos. Su primera experiencia olímpica fue en Atenas 2004, cuando tenía 17 años, donde fue octava y ganó un diploma olímpico.
La propia Manchón fue quien durante el campeonato del mundo de vela olímpica disputado el pasado verano en Aarhus, Dinamarca, ganó la plaza de país para el windsurf femenino al terminar la competición en la decimosegunda posición. Ahora, tras ganar la Semana Olímpica Andaluza, y ser novena en el Campeonato de Europa de RS:X, y mejor representante española, (pruebas designadas como clasificatorias y de observación para escoger a la representante nacional de RS:X femenino en Tokio 2020) se ha hecho con la plaza nominal para volver a disputar unos Juegos Olímpicos.
El entrenador nacional de RS:X femenino, Federico Esposito, y el director de preparación olímpica de la RFEV, Asier Fernández, realizaron un informe en favor de Blanca Manchón como candidata a representar al país en Tokio 2020. Esta propuesta fue estudiada y aceptada por el Comité de Preparación Olímpica que preside el vicepresidente deportivo de la RFEV, Joaquín González Devesa.
Blanca Manchón ha dicho sentirse “muy orgullosa” por haber alcanzado este reto. “Ha sido duro conseguir este objetivo por el que he trabajado estos dos últimos años pero ahora estoy muy contenta sabiendo que volveré a representar a mi país en unos Juegos Olímpicos”, ha asegurado.
La sevillana también ha tenido unas palabras para su compañera de equipo Marina Alabau, quien a principio de esta temporada decidió apearse de la vela olímpica. “Me hubiera gustado poder seguir con el tú a tú con Marina, es una pena pero entiendo su decisión y la respeto”.
Manchón asegura que “ahora el objetivo es la medalla”. “El primer paso para mi era clasificarme para ir a los Juegos y ahora me toca centrarme en cómo puedo ganar esa medalla, que es lo único que me queda por conseguir”.
En su recuerdo está Atenas 2004. “Cuando fui con 17 años fue como estar en un videojuego, pasaban todo tipo de estrellas por delante mío, fue algo increíble y encima conseguí un diploma”, recuerda Manchón. “Ahora será algo diferente. Las regatas con poca gente se me suelen dar bien, me siento muy cómoda en flotas reducidas y creo que tengo muchísimas opciones de ganar una medalla”.
Palmarés de Blanca Manchón
Blanca Manchón (6 de marzo de 1987) es una deportista sevillana que compite en la clase olímpica RS:X femenino.
Diploma olímpico, octava clasificada, en Mistral femenino en Atenas 2004.
Campeona del mundo juvenil en la clase Mistral (antiguo windsurf olímpico) en 2002 y 2005.
Campeona del mundo en RS:X femenino en 2010 y subcampeona en 2009.
Campeona de Europa en la clase Mistral en 2005 y subcampeona en 2004.
Campeona de Europa en RS:X femenino en 2005 y 2006, subcampeona en 2004 y 2009 y medalla de bronce en 2007.
Premio ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2010 en categoría femenina (galardón otorgado por la federación internacional de vela al mejor regatista del año).
Resultados 2018 – 2019
Copa del Mundo Miami 2018 – Bronce
Semana Olímpica Andaluza 2018 – Oro
Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar 2018 – Octavo puesto
Juegos del Mediterráneo, Tarragona 2018 – Oro
Campeonato del Mundo de vela olímpica 2018 – Decimosegunda puesto y clasificación de país para Tokio 2020
Copa del Mundo Miami 2019 – Octavo puesto
Semana Olímpica Andaluza 2019 – Oro
Campeonato de Europa 2019 – Noveno puesto
Fuente info Roladas.com
Entregado el primer MMW 33 de la versión optimizada MMW 33 Fast Cruiser
• Aymeric Chappellier debutará en la próxima regata Spi-Ouest con el Tiger 5
• El astillero está finalizando dos nuevas unidades del MMW 33 versión Fast Cruiser
Tarragona, Abril 2019
El astillero Mestral Marine Works ha entregado una nueva unidad de su MMW 33 en Lorient, Francia. Se trata de la nueva versión MMW 33 Fast Cruiser diseñado por Michele Molino, que ha sido optimizada para aprovechar sus virtudes de barco rápido y planeador para programas de crucero familiar, que también puede competir en regatas de IRC. Además de evolucionar algunos detalles técnicos, la nueva versión aumenta considerablemente a nivel de confort respecto a las dos primeras unidades fabricadas.
Para el esta tercera unidad, bautizada Tiger 5, se ha puesto especial atención en la construcción para lograr la máxima rigidez, resistencia y durabilidad. Este MMW 33 incorpora nuevos apéndices más eficientes, destacando el sistema de doble timón con caña. Los interiores cuentan con tres cabinas dobles, lo que es poco común para barcos de esta eslora y el conjunto aumenta un poco el peso final de sus predecesores, pero se compensa con mayor superficie vélica. El optimizado Tiger 5 para el máximo rendimiento en regatas lleva mástil y botavara Axxon de carbono, acastillaje Harken y Karver, y velas Incidence en DFI Fit.
El debutará en la próxima Spi-Ouest, considerada la regata de primavera más importante de Europa, que tendrá lugar en La Trinité sur Mer del 18 al 22 de abril. La tripulación del “Tiger 5” tendrá a la caña al vencedor de la Spi-Ouest 2016 Marc Menesguen. Entre otros le acompañarán Aymeric Chappellier (2º Transat Jacques Vabre 2017 y 2º Route du Rhum 2018 en su Class 40 AINA), Lulien Gressey y Nicolas Pauchet de la velería Incidence.
Justo al terminar la fabricación del Racing IRC Tiger 5, el astillero inició la construcción de dos nuevas unidades de esta versión actualizada, que combina las altas prestaciones de su diseño con interiores más habitables y sus más polivalentes. Ambas unidades han sido adquiridas por la empresa de barcos de libre-servicio SailEazy, que desde primavera los tendrá disponibles para sus abonados en sus bases de Marsella y La Rochelle.
Tras la entrega de estas tres unidades, las primeras de 2019, el astillero Mestral Marine Works producirá más unidades del modelo MMW 33 para entregas rápidas. Gracias a la experiencia del astillero, a sus modernas instalaciones y sus eficaces sistemas de fabricación, el calendario de producción le permite unos plazos de entrega razonablemente rápidos y seguros, que han despertado el interés de potenciales participantes en la próxima regata Transquadra.
Tomasgaard and Stipanovic snap up Laser wins at Hempel World Cup Series Genoa
For immediate release: 04/16/2019
Issued on behalf of: World Sailing
Norway’s Hermann Tomasgaard and Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic picked up the first Laser wins on the second day of racing at Hempel World Cup Series Genoa.
Tomasgaard, winner at Hempel World Cup Series Miami, and Stipanovic, Rio 2016 silver medallist, took hard earned yellow and blue fleet victories respectively in the 111-boat Laser pack.
The Italian city was hit with a light 5-6 knot wind on the second day of competition which meant that the split Laser fleet could only complete one race apiece.
Across the eight Olympic events, that features 676 registered sailors from 58 nations, only the 49erFX blue fleet were able to complete a race alongside the Lasers. Denmark’s Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen claimed the victory. The result has not yet been applied to the overall leaderboard as the 49erFX yellow fleetneed to complete their third race of the series.
The Laser fleet got racing underway immediately in front of the venue, Fiera di Genova, at 14:18 local time after a long morning wait for wind.
Stipanovic, sailing in the blue fleet, took a convincing victory and was full of praise for the race officials ashore after racing, “Compared to events I’ve been to recently, we had a Race Officer who could understand what was happening to the wind. He was changing the course nearly on every leg and the mark was always in the right place. It was a pleasure to be a part of the regatta today.”
A Race Officer’s job in light winds can quite often be a challenge with many factors to take into consideration when delivering a race. The Race Officer leads a team on the committee boat and mark layers who are on the course. They have a complete overview of what is happening around the entire race course and call the shots when it comes to the length of the course, duration of the race and postponing when conditions are unfavourable.
“It’s a tough job,” continued Stipanovic. “Some Race Officers are always pushing and they don’t want to wait or cancel the race if it’s unfair conditions. It’s a hard job but I like it when the Race Officer can feel what is happening and makes the right decisions. I’m going home happy today because we always knew what was happening and he was not pushing. He waited for wind and we had a fair race.
“I’ve always said, if I’m leading the race and it’s not fair I would be more than happy for the Race Officer to cancel the race and win a fair one instead.”
Stipanovic did indeed win a fair race in very challenging light conditions. He was followed by Dutch racer Duko Bos and Australia’s Luke Elliott.
Norway’s Tomasgaard also enjoyed the racing in the yellow fleet, snapping up the victory ahead of Sergey Komissarov (RUS) and Stefano Peschiera (PER). The Norwegian comes into Genoa off the back of an exceptional performance in Miami where he controlled the fleet and clinched gold with a day to spare.
He finished sixth at the recent Princesa Sofia Regatta in Palma, Mallorca and is aiming to recapture his Miami form.
“My starts were good in Miami but I had a tough time in Palma,” commented Tomasgaard. “They were not as good and today’s start was not perfect either. It’s difficult to say where it went wrong but if you’re a second late it can make a huge difference. I’ve not been as on it recently.
“Racing is the best practice for the start. Once you make the acceleration you’ve got to go for it and go full speed.”
Although he suffered a tough start, there was no issue with Tomasgaard’s performance throughout the rest of the race. He moved up from seventh at the first mark to clinch the victory. “In the beginning I thought I was going to get caught in the middle like you often do in light wind but the group of us found pressure and moved forward.”
After one race, Stipanovic and Tomasgaard share the lead and will be targeting a repeat performance on Wednesday.
Denmark’s Baad Nielsen and Olsen sealed the single 49erFX race in a 3-5 knot breeze. Sailing in the blue fleet, the Danes finished ahead of Italy’s Carlotta Omari and Matilda Distefano and Spain’s Tamara Echegoyen and Paul Barcelo Martin.
The yellow fleet were unable to race which means that the blue fleet race does not yet count. The result will come into play once the yellow fleet complete their third.
Competitors in the Men’s and Women’s 470, 49er, Finn and Nacra 17 remained ashore all day and did not race. The Laser Radial fleet briefly took to the water but conditions were not deemed appropriate.
Racing is scheduled to resume for the 49er, 49erFX, Laser and Nacra 17 at 11:00 on Wednesday 17 April. The remaining fleets all have an additional race scheduled as they aim to catch up on races missed on Tuesday.
Las clases de Quilla y Foil finalizaron el SIL 2019
(San Isidro 14 de Abril de 2019).- Un año más del prestigioso Campeonato San Isidro Labrador, con la particularidad en esta edición, el desdoblamientos de las flotas. Los de Quilla Y Foil que finalizaron el día de hoy y los de Orza que correrán el 27 y 28 de Abril y el 4 y 5 de Mayo.
El SIL 2019 es organizado por el Club Náutico San Isidro, el auspicio de la Federación Argentina de Yachting, el apoyo de Galicia Éminent y la colaboración de la Municipalidad de San Isidro.
El campeonato tuvo condiciones metereológicas estables, vientos predominantes del sector N, entre 8-11 nudos y mucho sol.
Dialogando con el Chairman del SIL 2019, Javier Andrés Cagnoni Moreno nos comento “A lo largo del campeonato se dieron condiciones de otoño perfectas, donde toda la flota pudo competir. El Náutico hizo un gran esfuerzo para que todo salga bien, las instalaciones en perfectas condiciones para bienestar de los competidores, un nuevo edificio en la punta y el gran trabajo de un gran equipo”.
En la clase J70 primero en la general fue el barco con la vela (ARG 1270) tripulado por Guillermo Parrada, Pablo Despontín, Ezequiel Despontín y Sebastián Halpern representando al CNSI, CNC y CNMP. El primero en la Corinthian fue el barco (ARG 1191) tripulado por Paulo Cosentino, Paul Pruden, Cristian Frers y Lucas Carissimi.
En la clase Star el ganador fue el barco (vela 8211) tripulado por Torkel Borgstrom y Nicolás Guzmán del CON.
En la clase Grumete fue el barco (vela 218) tripulado por Juan Ignacio Ravazzi, Carlos Maffei y Diego Bermúdez Golinelli.
En la clase Moth primero fue Massimo Contessi del CNMP.
En la clase Kitefoil el mejor fue Nocolás Elustondo del CULP.
En la clase Waszp el ganador fue Santiago Bosco del CVR.
En la clase Soling el campeón fue el barco (vela 37) tripulado por Alejandro Chometowski, Estanislao Chometowski y Ernesto Bustos del Club Náutico San Isidro, quienes finalizaron el campeonato el domingo pasado.
Germans off to the perfect start as Hempel World Cup Series Genoa opens
For immediate release: 04/15/2019
Issued on behalf of: World Sailing
Germany’s Tim Fischer and Fabian Graf got off to a perfect start in the Men’s Skiff – 49er as the first ever Hempel World Cup Series event in Italy commenced in Genoa with racing in the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17.
In a split 65-boat 49er pack, the Germans won both of the day’s races in the blue fleet and were the standout performers across the three Olympic events on the water. Meanwhile, in the yellow fleet, New Zealand’s Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie picked up a race win and a second to occupy the second podium spot in the early stages of the event.
Sweden’s Julia Gross and Hanna Klinga lead after two races in the Women’s Skiff – 49erFX and in the Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17, Ben Saxton and Nicola Boniface (GBR) and Italy’s Lorenzo Bressani and Cecilia Zorzi share top spot with a win apiece.
Following racing, World Sailing President Kim Andersen joined the Mayor of Genoa, President of FIV and other local officials in the famous Piazza De Ferrari to officially open the event.
Speaking at the ceremony, Andersen said, “To host the World Cup in Genoa, an iconic sailing city, is a very special feeling. The capital of Italy may be Rome, but Genoa is truly a sailing capital. And as we know, the port of Genoa is one of the biggest and most important, not to mention beautiful, in the Mediterranean, and has been for centuries.
“I would like to thank all you for being here this evening and showing your support for what will be a truly wonderful celebration of sailing.”
Genoa was bathed in sunshine throughout Monday and light winds, varying from 5-12 knots meant that sailors had to think about every move methodically in each race.
Germany’s 49er squad has been excelling recently. At Hempel World Cup Series Miami, four German teams made it to the Medal Race and Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) made it to the top step of the podium.
Fischer and Graf finished seventh in Miami and got off to a superb start in Genoa with a pair of victories. Tokyo 2020 is approaching fast and with many teams qualification events coming up, everyone is aiming to peak.
“We [the German 49er team] just keeping push each other,” explained Graf on their recent success, “and we are trying to be better than our team mates. We train a lot and have some good coaching. There are a lot of talented guys in this team and we just want to beat each other.”
When national squads are formed, it can be said that the ethos is to develop as a squad and achieve good, collective results. Whilst this is evident with the German team, Graf demonstrates a hunger to be the best within the squad and knows what he has to do to ensure both he and Fischer are at Tokyo 2020.
“We have three competitions,” he explained about the German Tokyo 2020 selection process. “The 2019 Worlds, the 2020 Worlds after that and then Princesa Sofia. So we just have to try and be the best team. The guys who achieve the most points from that will get the spot. We have an internal scoring system.
And does he fancy his chances? “For sure,” he smiled, “We are the youngsters. We feel no pressure at all. We just try to be good, like today, do it our own way and in the end we’ll see if it’s good for us or if we have to try again in 2024.”
Sailing in their first World Cup regatta since April 2016, Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallists and America’s Cup winners, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL), finished 14th and 15th in the blue fleet and are 31st overall.
Their compatriots, McHardie and McKenzie, continue to fly the Kiwi flag at the top of the leaderboard following a first and a second in the yellow fleet and Australian brothers David and Lachy Gilmour are in third.
Sweden’s Gross and Klinga top the 49erFX leaderboard on four points after a third and a first in the blue fleet. Fellow blue fleet racers, Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA), sailed their way to a second and a sixth which positions them in second. Helene Naess and Marie Rønningen (NOR) took the remaining blue fleet race win.
Wins in the yellow fleet went to Stephanie Roble and Margaret Shea (USA) and Tanja Frank and Lorena Abicht (AUT).
In the Nacra 17, the yellow fleet completed two races with one in the blue. Saxton and Boniface took the blue fleet win and Bressani and Zorzi the first yellow. The second yellow fleet race will apply once the blue race is completed on Tuesday. The race win in the second yellow fleet went to Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL).
The qualifying series in the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 continues on Tuesday at 11:00. The Men’s and Women’s 470, Laser, Laser Radial and the Finn will also start their opening series.
The first 20 nations presented today at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne
A new era in competitive sailing dawned today with the official launch of the Star Sailors League Gold Cup. This will see each nation’s top sailing athletes team together into a single crew and then race against one another aboard high performance 47 foot long one design monohulls to establish ‘the world’s best sailing nation’. Boats are supplied to ensure that, as in the Olympics, it is the sailors who make the difference and not the boats. The SSL Gold Cup also aims to create household names of each nation’s top sailing heroes on the basis that sports fans are more likely to support their national teams than the club teams in their country
Designated by the sport’s governing body, World Sailing, as a ‘Special Event’, the SSL Gold Cup is the ultimate event conceived by some of international sailing’s most accomplished athletes and the Star Sailors League (SSL), the organisation that created the SSL Ranking, the SSL Grand Slams and the annual SSL Finals. The SSL Gold Cup is set to occur biennially, taking place for the first time in Switzerland during September and October 2021.
The best sailors in the world compete for significant prize money in Star Sailors League events. These have attracted top world champions and America’s Cup sailors, plus over 70 Olympians, with 17 gold medals, 16 silver medals and 18 bronze medals between them. These athletes will form the core of their national teams competing in the SSL Gold Cup.
Polish double Olympic Finn medallist Mateusz Kusznierewicz, who has been appointed Sports Director of the SSL Gold Cup, explains: “The whole concept of the SSL Gold Cup is that it will be very similar to the football World Cup, which starts with qualification stages and then progresses to quarter-finals, semi-finals and on to finals. That works well in other sports and we want to do the same in sailing.” This format has already been trialled and developed over the last five years at SSL Grand Slam events and the annual SSL Finals.
Specifically, the SSL Gold Cup format will comprise four knock-out qualifying rounds for 16 teams each, taking place out of SSL’s state of the art headquarters and training centre in Grandson on Lake Neuchâtel. Each of these 16 will be divided into four flights of four boats, the outcome of each based on up to five windward-leeward races.
The four boat fleet races have also been tested in the SSL Finals. “We sat down together with the likes of Craig Monk, Paul Cayard and Sime Fantela, and many more leading sailors, and discussed about how many boats would make it easiest for the spectators to understand the racing. We concluded that four boats was the easiest, also to keep the racing tight and give a chance to teams who are less experienced – without it being a match race,” says Kusznierewicz.
Teams will join the competition according to their pre-event seeding. This seeding will be based on a formula for how each nation ranks over a series of events spanning the breadth of sailing, both yachts and dinghies, internationally, the final calculations including both the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the 36th America’s Cup in New Zealand in April 2021. The lowest seeded nations will start in the earliest qualifications for the SSL Gold Cup while more successful nations will join the competition subsequently. “It is similar in tennis where, for example, Roger Federer doesn’t play in the qualifiers, due to his previous success,” says Kusznierewicz.
After the qualification rounds, the SSL Gold Cup then moves from Lake Neuchâtel to Geneva for the final rounds. Here on Lake Geneva the top eight from the qualifying rounds join the top eight seeded teams in the quarter-finals. The top eight from this progress through semi-finals to determine the four finalists and ultimately the winner being crowned the SSL Gold Cup champion nation.
“The idea is to make it as simple as possible – so the quarter-finals and semi-finals will consist of five races, while the finals will be single race just like the SSL Finals,” continues Kusznierewicz. “We want to make it really easy for spectators to understand who is the winner and which team will be crowned the ‘best sailing nation’.”
The SSL Gold Cup is open to any nations of the 144 Member National Authorities recognised by World Sailing. As the chances for developed sailing nations will be significantly better than for emerging nations, the format has been designed to boost the chances for emerging nations. To achieve this, the SSL divides the world into three zones: Europe, Africa-Americas, Oceania-Asia. This is then reflected in the number of entries from each – so at each stage of the qualifying rounds the fresh influx of entries will comprise 50% from Europe and 25% each from Africa-Americas and Oceania-Asia.
Within the first three months after the entry period opened, and with six months to go until the entry deadline for the 2021 SSL Gold Cup, forty countries from all five continents confirmed their participation. A maximum of 48 teams will be able compete in this first edition of the SSL Gold Cup.
The make-up of the eleven sailors in each national team will be strictly controlled. Crew are obliged to be passport-carrying nationals in line with the nationality requirements of the Olympic Games.
For each team a ‘captain’ is selected. The captain is likely to sail on board, but that is not required. Among the captain’s responsibilities are to manage and co-ordinate the team, to act as ambassador for the team and to run the finances of the campaign.
The first group of nations has been revealed today:
BRAZIL – represented by Robert Scheidt
CANADA – represented by Richard Clarke (C)
CROATIA – represented by Igor Marenič on behalf of Sime Fantela (C)
ESTONIA – represented by Tõnu Tõniste (C), Tommas Tõniste and Andrus Poksi
GERMANY – represented by Frithjof Kleen (C), Jochen Schümann, Philipp Buhl
GREAT BRITAIN – represented by Matthew Cornwell on behalf of Ian Williams (C)
GREECE – represented by Sofia Bekatorou (C), Michail Pateniotis
HUNGARY – represented by Zsombor Berecz (C)
ITALY – represented by Vasco Vascotto (C) and Francesco Bruni
THE NETHERLANDS – represented by Roy Heiner (C)
NORWAY – represented by Eivind Melleby (C)
POLAND – represented by Mateusz Kusznierewicz (C)
PORTUGAL – represented by João Rodrigues (C) and Afonso Dominguez
SLOVENIA – represented by Vasilij Žbogar (C)
SPAIN – represented by Roberto Bermudez on behalf of Luis Doreste (C)
SWEDEN – represented by Freddy Lööf (C)
SWITZERLAND – represented by Eric Monnin (C)
TURKEY – represented by Aliçan Keynar (C)
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – represented by Paul Cayard (C)
Significantly it is the captain of each team who gets to choose five sailors, which, for example, might fill key roles on board such as tactician, bowman and pitman. Some have already made early selections. The Italian team has Vasco Vascotto as captain and leading America’s Cup sailor Francesco Bruni has already been signed up as helmsman. Similarly, Star sailor Frithjof Kleen is captain of the German team which includes Olympic legend and America’s Cup winner Jochen Schümann.
The other remaining sailors on board will be the four highest placed for that nation in the SSL Ranking.
The SSL Ranking system has been developed over the past five years, tested with the results from a single class of yacht. This will expand dramatically over the coming months. “Every week from now, you will see the new classes and new results being included,” says Kusznierewicz. “By the end of this year everyone from Optimists to Lasers to J/70s, to the Olympic classes, and all inshore racers will be included. That’s really exciting because it is the first time that sailors in one class will be able to compare themselves directly with those in another.” For the world of sailing, which has a large number of classes of yacht and dinghy, this represents both a ground-breaking and a significant development for the sport.
The SSL47 high performance keelboat to be used for the SSL Gold Cup will be supplied to teams for their use, and training time aboard the boat will be crucial. For this purpose the SSL has established a state of the art training centre at its new headquarters on the shore of Lake Neuchâtel in Switzerland. The world class facilities here include a private harbour, broadcast centre and TV studio, and a fitness centre, all housed within the grounds of a manor house set in a large private park. From here SSL Gold Cup teams will get the opportunity to learn to race the high performance one design SSL47 keelboats. Training will take place from April 2019 until August 2021 and its amount will vary according to the calibre of the teams. The most experienced teams will have the opportunity of training for 10 days per year; World Sailing ‘Emerging Nations’ getting 30 days. These training sessions will also provide an opportunity for teams to try out new crew.
While the first SSL Gold Cup will take place in 2021, the aim is for this competition to take place biennially after this. In the meantime, over the coming weeks there will be further announcements of new national teams and their captains.