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New Leader at Star Sailors League Final

Published on December 1st, 2016

Nassau, Bahamas (December 1, 2016) – Three light airs races were held for the penultimate day of the Qualifying Rounds for the Star Sailors League Finals on Montagu Bay.

Getting a good start and having the boat speed to hold a lane was paramount today. The top mark was often a messy crime scene, and now With qualifying races running out, the scramble for the top ten positions is epic.

2016-12-01_15-39-13Mark Mendleblatt and Brian Fatih (USA) stayed out of trouble today, racing fast and clean, to post a 4-5-1, to move up to the lead in the Qualifying Rounds.

Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) started the day on the back foot, scoring a lowly 19th. However, the Italians came back posting two podium finish to rise from third to second overall.

Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening (BRA), who led the regatta this morning, could not repeat their outstanding performance yesterday, scoring a lowly 16-11, but came back with a fifth in the last race, claiming third in the ranking.

Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot had a great day on the water scoring a 2-6-2 to climb three places to fourth in the rankings. Sime Fantela and Antonio Arapovic (CRO) are now the top VIP team. The Croatians took a superb win in the first race of the day and a fourth in the last race of the day, to climb from 11th to fifth in the rankings.

Sime Fantela:
“A Perfect day for me. The light wind was a big advantage for us because we are a very light crew. This first regatta is awesome. We had good tactics, good speed and we controlled others. A space in final? Maybe. The fleet is strong and in two races everything is possible.”

Paul Cayard & Joshua Revkin (USA) had three top ten finishes today, as did Augie Diaz & Arnie Baltins and there was a win for Robert Stanjeck & Frithjof Kleen (GER).

Robert Stanjek:
“We sailed the boat quite well today, but what happened today, with lighter wind when you have a good start it’s easier to keep the lead if you keep on going on a perfect lane you continue to gain lengths over the other boats. But we can sail in any conditions.”

Frithjof Kleen:
“Today it also helped the fact that we didn’t touch any mark…like it happened to us at the start, and so we didn’t have to do any penalties. To be honest we have some issues with the boat that it’s delaminating, so sometimes we feel that we are slower.”

Rio Laser Bronze medallist, Sam Meech, racing with fellow Kiwi, Craig Monk have not had the best of luck in the SSL Finals. Sail and rig problems have added to their woes but America’s Cup winner and Star sailor, Craig Monk, was still able to raise a smile and the Kiwis scored an 8th in the last race today to raise their spirits.

Craig Monk:
“We haven’t had the best of luck and it would have been better to have the lighter weather at the start to get Sam used to the boat. However, this is a fantastic event, with some great sailors in an outstanding setting with superb sailing conditions. We will go out tomorrow and do our best, as will everyone else and we will see how it goes, but we are both delighted to be here.”

Two more races are scheduled tomorrow, to complete the Qualifying Rounds. Only the top ten teams will progress to the SSL Finals on Saturday, December 3.

Complete live video stream of the races: Full indexDecember 2

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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.


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 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

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