Battle for bank in the Bahamas
Published on November 19th, 2019
An elite gathering of 23 teams will be competing at the 2019 Star Sailors League Finals, vying for the lion’s share of the $200,000 Prize Purse from December 3 to 7 in Nassau, Bahamas. Sailed in Star Class boats, competitors representing 22 nations are invited through their achievements in class events along with a number of wildcards drawn from many parts of the world of high-level sailing.
The field includes Volvo Ocean Race winner and America’s Cup veteran Paul Cayard (coming from the Top Ten in the SSL Ranking) racing with fellow American Phil Trinter, along with Croatia’s first ever Olympic medallist (Laser silver at Rio 2016) Tonci Stipanovic who will be sailing with compatriot Tudor Bilic.
Flexing their Star Class muscles will be Olympic Champions Iain Percy (GBR), Freddy Lööf (SWE), and Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) who will be partnered with Anders Ekström (SWE), Brian Fatih (USA), and Bruno Prada (BRA), respectively.
Three nations will be attending the Star Sailors League Finals for the first time, with Volvo Ocean Race winner Chuny Bermudez representing Spain with his crew Miguel Fernandez Vasco, Ricardo Fabini and Federico Calegari for Uruguay, and Korea’s Jeemin Ha who will be assisted by one of the most experienced Star crews, Mark Strube (USA).
New classes represented have Snipe World Champion Henrique Haddad with fellow Brazilian Henry Boening, while another Brazilian Samuel Gonçalves will be crewing for Dragon champion Bernardo Freitas of Portugal. Crewed by Switzerland’s Christoph Burger, the 5.5 Metre World Champion Mark Holowesko from the Bahamas, will be more familiar than most with the blue waters of Nassau.
From the match racing world, and all too aware of the challenges and pressures that come with a knock-out format like the SSL, are three Match Racing World Champions – Australia’s Torvar Mirsky (crewed by Ireland’s Robert O’Leary), Ian Williams (crewed by fellow Briton Steve Mitchell), and the American Taylor Canfield (crewed by Arnis Baltins of the USA).
After four days of qualification rounds for all 23 crews, the competition goes into the knockout stages on December 7. Single races decide who survives and who is heading for the dock. The last four teams will contest a thrilling final race, the first to finish will be the winner of the 2019 SSL Finals and take home the lion’s share of the $200,000 Prize Purse.
Event information: http://finals.starsailors.com/