SSL GOLD CUP
URUGUAY AND CHILE TRADE BLOWS
After unfavorable wind conditions resulted in forced abandonment of racing yesterday, Group 5 finally got underway today with three back-to-back races in an all-South American match.
Race 1: First blood Uruguay
SSL Team Uruguay held off a strong challenge from Group 5 rivals SSL Team Chile to claim victory in the day’s first race. SSL Team Peru took 3rd, with SSL Team Venezuela last to cross the finish line.
The ‘Finis Terrae Sailors’ of Chile led the fleet for the majority of the race but could not shake off the determined Uruguayans. La Celeste, led by captain Ricardo Fabini, made the decisive move at the turn into the final leg and sailed downwind to glory.
SSL Team Peru was in contention early on but lost crucial ground when forced to tack by Uruguay close to Mark 1.
Race 2: La Celeste is the best again.
SSL Team Uruguay dominated Race 2 from start to finish, making it two wins from two. SSL Team Chile had to again settle for the runner-up spot, with SSL Team Venezuela just edging out SSL Team Peru to take two points in 3rd.
Venezuela’s ‘Los Caciques’ was a case of what might have been, holding 2nd place for more than half the race before conceding time to Pablo Lorca’s Finis Terrae Sailors in the third leg.
In the end, the chasing Paracas Warriors from Peru almost caught the Venezuelans, finishing just 7” behind.
Race 3: Chile gets their reward at last.
Bridesmaids in the first two races, the Finis Terrae Sailors of SSL Team Chile finally took the win in a tight final race. SSL Team Peru grabbed 2nd place ahead of early group pacesetters La Celeste, with SSL Team Venezuela relegated again to the last position.
Coming to the top of the final leg, the race was firmly in the balance, with all four teams still in the hunt for maximum points. But Pablo Lorca’s crew held their nerve to take maximum points, coming home with 15” to spare over hard-chasing Peru.
SSL Team Uruguay and Venezuela’s ‘Los Caciques’ squads took turns trying to control each other in a busy third leg but still trailed the leading pair at the final turn. Despite a final charge from La Celeste, they had left themselves too much to do.
After a full day of racing, SSL Team Uruguay and SSL Team Chile are in pole position to take the two available slots for the finals in Bahrain. Stefano Peschiera’s SSL Team Peru will undoubtedly take heart from their performance in the last race, and tomorrow may be their day to shine. Both of them and the group underdog SSL Team Venezuela know they are in a battle to stay in overall contention.
Dominque Knüppel, Bow, SSL Team Uruguay: “We had a great day of racing finishing 1st, 1st and 3rd. Our speed is very good so far and so are our maneuvers. We feel confident in our team but we know the coming days won’t be easy as we are in a very even group.”
Felipe Echenique, Tactician, SSL Team Chile: “Sailing conditions were absolutely amazing. Lake Neuchatel is such a great place for sailing. We had an incredible and solid day finishing 2nd, 2nd and 1st. In Race 1, we were leading until the last upwind leg. We had problems with just one maneuver that made us lose our lead. The crew was amazing except that mistake but I take responsibility for it.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Sailing has its own World Cup, finally! Like football in 1930 and rugby in 1987, the SSL Gold Cup is designed to crown the best sailing nation of all! The World’s Top 56 countries, selected on their SSL Nation ranking, will battle their way through to raise the coveted and only Sailing World Cup trophy.
The SSL Gold Cup 2022 started on May 19th with the Qualifying Series in Grandson, Lake Neuchatel (Switzerland). All teams ranked from the Top 25 to 56 in the SSL Nations Ranking (based on January 2022 standings) will meet in eight groups of four teams each. There will be five stages, or rounds, until July 17th.
Only the top two teams of each group will go through to the Final Series that will take place from October 28th to November 20th, 2022, in Bahrain.