It’s a huge year for the venerable International Star Class, with the 100th Anniversary Star World Championship currently taking place at Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, USA. An incredible fleet of 84 teams are competing, with a combination of legends of the sport and those at the top of the game, making for fierce racing.
As the teams head out on to the water for race 4, the SSL Gold Cup sailors taking part have locked out the top five, and the battle for overall honours is intense.
SSL Gold Cup Italian team member Diego Negri, sailing with Sergio Lambertenghi, is currently in the lead due to his consistent 2,2,5 scoreline, closely followed by SSL Gold Cup Team Croatia sailors Tonci Stipanovic and Tudor Bilic just two points behind.
Poland Team Captain Mateusz Kusznierewicz is sailing with Team Brazil’s Bruno Prada, and they’re third overall, just two points ahead of USA Team’s Eric Doyle, sailing with Payson Infelise, who in turn is just two points ahead of his USA Team Captain Paul Cayard, sailing with German Team Captain Frithjof Kleen.
Bruno Prada said of the third race, where they finished fourth, “It was really shifty and we had a really bad start, and didn’t make the right decisions upwind, but we sailed superbly downwind, moving into the top three - we need to improve our upwind decisions.”
Mateusz Kusznierewicz was optimistic though, “We reached our goal though as every day we are climbing two places; if we carry this on then we’ve made it!”
This is an event you can’t keep your eyes away from and we wish all the sailors, particularly the SSL Gold Cup sailors, fair winds and good sailing.
The SSL Gold Cup itself takes place in Bahrain from October 28th to 20th November.
First up will be the 1/32 Finals (October 29 – November 2), where the top two teams from each of the Qualifying Series events (May 19 - July 17), will battle it out in groups of four to reach the 1/16 Finals (November 3-7) where they will meet the first seeded teams in the event.
Once again, the top two teams from each group will go through to the 1/8 Finals (November 8-12), to face off against the next tier of seeded teams for a place in the 1/4 Finals (November 14-18), where the final tier of seeded teams await.
This is where the final sixteen teams are whittled down to just eight, to compete in the one-day 1/2 Finals (November 19) and then just a day later (November 20) the final four will battle it out for the title.
Will the seeded teams with their Olympic-medal laden crews make it through, or will the experience gained in the early rounds give the teams who have made it through the Qualifying Series the edge? This intrigue and suspense is what is going to make the SSL Gold Cup the must-watch event of 2022!