Brazilians Rise at Star Sailors League Finals
Published on November 30th, 2016
Nassau, Bahamas (November 30, 2016) – After four races today, Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening (BRA) lead the Qualifying Rounds of the star Sailors League Finals 2016 after a stellar performance on Montague Bay. The Brazilians kept all their scores in the top three, leaping past day one leaders Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) who have dropped to second place and Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih (USA) who have dropped to third. Five of the top ten teams are VIPs invited to the SSL Finals.
“There was only one race today that saw us out of the top five, it was a great day for us, a nice breeze out there, we started pretty well, we are sailing conservatively, we’re half way through the series and we have a chance to win which is quite important with this format. I love being back, it’s hard, especially with four races, but they’re great boats.”
Three VIPs teams lead the chasing pack behind the top three, albeit 20 points behind. Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN) & Stevie Milne (GBR) lead the group of invited teams. Facundo Olezza (ARG) & Federico Melo (POR) and Tonci Stipanovic & Ante Sitic (CRO) both had superb results today finishing fourth and fifth respectively. The Croatians rise today was meteoric. Starting the day in a lowly 21st position, the Laser Silver medallist Stipanovic, steered the team to four top ten finishes, including two podiums.
Lighter shifty conditions prevailed today, with the general trend being a fall in wind speed and shifting south. Getting a good start is paramount in the SSL Finals and in light winds, clear air becomes a precious commodity. Robert Sheidt & Henry Boening consistently won the favoured side at the start, posting four podium finishes including their second bullet in the last race.
Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) & Zsombor Berecz (HUN) had a day to remember, scoring three top ten finishes, including an epic win in Race 5, to break into the top ten, after six races.
“Yesterday was a nightmare..I didn’t know the runners could be locked on, so every time I tacked I had to put on the runner, release the inner runner, adjusting all of the time, so I pretty much spent the day adjusting the mainsail. Today was much easier, and winning was great! We managed to have some good starts, we found really good speed in this conditions. Downind we were flying by the end, working hard, Zsombor was jumping on the boat like Spiderman, it was good.”
Johannes Polgar & Markus Koy (GER) dropped from fourth overall to eighth after a difficult day on the water. However they are the top German team by a big margin.
“We were consistent until today’s last race, we were pretty much up there, then we lost a few places. Towards the end we caught a big patch of seaweed on the keel. However we get a discard, don’t we? So that’s ours. Our goal is to be in the top 10, just like anyone else.”
With six races completed, there are five more races scheduled over the next two days before the top ten teams advance for the SSL Finals on Saturday, December 3.
Racing at the SSL Finals 2016 continues tomorrow with the second day of the Qualifying Rounds. A maximum of four races are scheduled for tomorrow with live coverage starting at 1100 (GMT-5).
Background: The Star Sailors League Finals 2016 will take place in from November 29 to December 3 in Nassau, Bahamas. For the fourth edition of the event, the top 12 Star teams of the SSL Ranking 2016, and 13 VIPs from the world of sailing, will race in the clear blue water in front of Nassau Yacht Club. The 25 teams representing 17 countries will be battling to win the SSL Trophy and the biggest share of the $200,000 prize pot.
SSL QUALIFYING SERIES
Twenty-five teams will take part in 11 races over four days (Nov 29-Dec 2) with only the Top 10 advancing to the SSL Final Day (Dec 3). No points are carried through but the winner of the Qualifying Series gets a double bye while the runner-up in the Qualifying Series gets a single bye.
SSL FINAL DAY
SSL Quarter Final – Teams ranked 3rd -10th from the Qualifying Series contest a single race. Only the top 5 survive.
SSL Semi Final – The remaining 5 survivors are joined by the runner up from the Qualifying Series to contest a single race. Only the top 3 survive.
The SSL Final – The remaining 3 survivors are joined by the winner from the Qualifying Series to contest a single race. The first to correctly cross the line is the winner.
The winner will be crowned as winner of the 2016 SSL Finals, together with the biggest share of the prize fund.
Source: Rachele Vitello, SSL Media Manager