World Sailing has extended the Special Events agreement with the SSL (Star Sailors League), an international regatta circuit designed to promote the athletes and the sport in an innovative and simple format, for an additional three years.Special Event status ensures the world governing body formally recognises and sanctions the event.
World Sailing Special Events showcase the best of what sailing has to offer. High-performance and innovation is at the forefront of all Special Events as they provide the benchmark for the sport. In addition, world-class officiating, broadcasting and sustainability initiatives enhance the positioning of the sport on a global scale.
World Sailing Special Events include the America’s Cup, SailGP, The Ocean Race, World Match Racing Tour, the Global Kitesports Association freestyle world tour and the SSL.
The SSL became a Special Event in 2017 and the three-year extension will cover the SSL Finals and the SSL Gold Cup.
The SSL Finals is the culmination of the year and is reserved for the top 10 skippers from the SSL Ranking as well as 15 exceptional sailors invited by the SSL based on their sailing pedigree. 25 great teams of sailors coming from different classes fight it out across a qualification and final phase each year, aiming for SSL Finals glory, being crowned champion of the season and a share of the 200,000 CHF prize fund.
The SSL Gold Cup was launched in 2019 and is the latest innovation from the SSL. This will see each nation’s top sailing athletes’ team together into a single crew, like in the football world cup, and then race against one another aboard high performance 47-foot-long one design monohulls to establish ‘the world’s best sailing nation’.
World Sailing President, Kim Andersen, commented, “The Star Sailors League puts the athletes, the stars of our sport, at the heart of its events. Through their innovation, exciting opportunities are available for the sailors to thrive and perform to the highest calibre in front of an engaged global audience. The SSL Ranking highlights the leading talents within our sport and the SSL Finals and SSL Gold Cup enable the sailors to demonstrate their excellence within the sport. We are thrilled to be working with them to showcase the SSL Finals and SSL Gold Cup for an additional three years.”
SSL General Director, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, added, “The successful partnership between SSL and World Sailing has grown since its beginning in 2017. It was natural and important to extend our cooperation. Both organisations are working to promote the sport of sailing and the sailors from all around the world. Owning the World Sailing Special Event Status ensure that the SSL events, from the SSL Gold Cup to the SSL Finals, are of great quality, sustainable, fit the calendar of the major sailing events and help the promotion of all sailors, who are the stars of our sport.”
About the SSL
The SSL (STAR SAILORS LEAGUE) is the global inshore sailing circuit launched by Olympic athletes in 2012, by sailors for sailors. Its main philosophy considers the athletes (not the boats) as the “Stars” and it aims to showcase the annual global sailing championship with its over 15’000 regattas; it determines and celebrates the world leaders in sailing promoting the inshore regattas to the global audience.
The three main components of the SSL Circuit are the SSL Ranking published every Tuesday, updating the position of over 100,000 leading athletes, thus highlighting the world’s top inshore sailors. The SSL Finals taking place every year around November-December, it’s the annual final of the SSL Circuit among the 20/25 best athletes of the ranking, to crown the champion of the season. And the SSL Gold Cup, the ‘ultimate’ championship of the circuit among the 56 first nations of the ranking, to crown the best sailing nation every other year.
In a mechanical sport where the race for technology sometimes gets in the way of the race for glory, the SSL aims for equal competition where the talent of the sailors is at the forefront and the champions become heroes that inspire new generations of sailors.