A new era in competitive sailing dawned 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.
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.
The first group of nations has been revealed:
Brazil – Represented By Robert Scheidt
Canada – Represented By Richard Clarke (C)
Croatia – Represented By Igor Marenic On Behalf Of Sime Fantela (C)
Estonia – Represented By Tonu Toniste (C), Tommas Toniste And Andrus Poksi
Germany – Represented By Frithjof Kleen (C), Jochen Schumann, 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 Joao Rodrigues (C) And Afonso Dominguez
Slovenia – Represented By Vasilij Zbogar (C)
Spain – Represented By Roberto Bermudez On Behalf Of Luis Doreste (C)
Sweden – Represented By Freddy Loof (C)
Switzerland – Represented By Eric Monnin (C)
Turkey – Represented By Alican Keynar (C)
United States Of America – Represented By Paul Cayard (C)