Qualifying Almost Complete at SSL City Grand Slam
Published on May 4th, 2016
Hamburg, Germany (May 4, 2016) – There were snakes and ladders for the 86 teams on the second day of qualifying rounds for the Star Sailors League City Grand Slam. A light gradient wind from the north produced difficult conditions to master on Lake Astler, with the land effects around the lake producing a course with more traps than a prophet’s tomb. Tomorrow is the last day for the qualifying section, with the top 30 boats to go through to the second round while 56 teams will be eliminated.
After five qualifying races, Polish pair, Mateusz Kuznierewicz and Dominik Zycki lead by just half a point from Norwegian/American pair, Eivind Melleby and Joshua Revkin. The young American team, Luke Lawrence and Ian Coleman, had another consistent day to place third overall. One of today’s biggest climbers was American George Szabo racing with Swiss crew, Patrick Ducommun. The SSL Lake Grand Slam champions won both of their races today to climb to 4th overall, enough to secure their place for the second round.
“I put it down to my improved French,” smiled Szabo. “Seriously, we have a great understanding in the boat, which makes a big difference in light airs because Patrick and myself, need to work together, the choreography has to be spot on, it’s too late if you have to discuss it.”
Local sailors, Johannes Polgar and Markus Koy, in fifth, have the highest place of the 50 German teams taking part in the SSL City Grand Slam but just behind the local Hamburg sailors are Robert Stanjek and Frithjof Kleen.
“We are happy to end the day in fifth,” commented Koy. “In the last race we rounded the first windward mark in 16th position, which was not ideal but we kept at it and just concentrated on passing boat after boat. By the bottom mark, we had got up to sixth place. Everything went right for us on the last beat and we won the race, quite a comeback from mid-fleet.”
“Concentration was very important today,” commented Stanjek , 2014 Star World Champion. “Normally, we tend to look at the sails 30% of the time, the water around the boat 30% of the time and forward 30% of the time. Today, 90% of the time was looking far up the racetrack, to get into a position to make the best of the pressure. The wind is forecast to increase for the rest of the regatta and changing into medium to heavy mode will be important from tomorrow.”
Racing at the SSL City Grand Slam continues tomorrow with one final race for each group. Only the top 30 teams will qualify for the second round. First group will start at 12.00 CET with live coverage of the action starting at 11.45 CET, with expert commentary from special studio guests. On the water, the latest in hi-tech camera technology, as well as Virtual Eye 3D Graphics, will provide thrilling viewing. Armchair sailors can also race the course with Virtual Regatta.
FORMAT: The Prize Purse for the SSL City Grand Slam is CHF 100,000 (104,730.47 USD) shared between the top twenty teams. Races are scheduled to start each day at 9 AM, from Tuesday to Saturday (May 3-7). The regatta will consist of a Qualifying Series and a Final Series. The Qualifying Series will have a first and a second round. In the first round races will be sailed in groups decided by the organizing authority and a combined results list will be produced.
The top ranked 30 teams of the first round qualify for the second round, and the winning team in the first round will be awarded the “Heinz Nixdorf Trophy”.
In the second round all 30 teams will sail in one fleet, with a maximum of 5 races. The top 10 teams will go ahead to sail the Final Series, the first qualified team will go straight to the Final, and the second will have a bye to Semi-final. In the Quarter-final only 5 teams out of 7 will gain access to the Semi-final and only 3 teams out of 6 will join the second round winner to the Final (see diagram below).
The first team to cross the line during the Final will be the first SSL City Grand Slam winner and also awarded with the 50th Erich F. Laeisz-Prize.