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Sailing stars go Bahamas Sloop racing... and sink!

by Rachele Vitello on 4 Dec 2016 4 December 2016
SSL Finals 2016 stars go sloop racing © SSL / Martinez Studio

A perfect day in Nassau, Bahamas, off the beautiful Montagu Bay, where the Best of the Best Regatta took place today with traditional sloops racing and Bahamian junior sailing running their 2016 finals.

A great occasion for our Star Sailors to jump on one boat, Crazy Partner, and challenge the locals on their specialities. "In nomen omen" and the boat proved to be one crazy partner with sailors unable to manage her. Going downwind the international crew thought it was a good idea to gybe, when the local tactician onboard didn't agree they didn't think it was because Bahamian Sloops cannot gybe. During the manoeuvre the boat went slightly under water and in 5 seconds was literally sinking. Watch the video below, with a very funny interview to the SSL Swim Team!

Joking aside, last night the Gala Dinner with Prize Giving Ceremony was held at Nassau Yacht Club, with the 25 teams, all of the SSL Staff, Dennis Conner, the Race Committee and all those people from the Club that helped during the week. It was a very enjoyable night with sailing legends such as Torben Grael, Robert Scheidt and Paul Cayard were sharing good memories and stories with the new kids from the block, like 22 years old Facundo Olezza and kiwi Sam Meech.

The Star Sailors League took a chance for a preview of the plans for next year. The SSL Finals 2017 will come back to Nassau, Bahamas from 3rd to 10th December. And if this is not big enough, the Bacardi Cup, in Miami from 5th to 11th March, will be worth 3,000 point for the SSL Rankings. It will be the first time this prestigious and historic event, running for the Star since the 1920s, will receive as many points as a SSL Grand Slam. Full Media Coverage will be granted in Star Sailors League style and some of the world's best sailors will be racing as VIPs.

It will be a great opportunity for Star Sailors League to test the format of the SSL Sea Grand Slam, the one that follows sailing tradition. The format will see long routes and races, not more than 2 per day, lasting up to two hours. It takes inspiration by the historical format of Star Class world championships and not by the SSL two-phase format with a qualification and elimination rounds like the other three Grand Slam.

This traditional format allows legendary regattas to enter in the SSL Circuit without undermining their original rules. SSL Sea Grand Slam celebrates the champions that are the inshore regatta legends: Paul Elvstrom (DEN), Lowell North (USA), Dennis Conner (USA), John Bertrand (AUS), Jochen Shümann (GER), and many others. The ideal champion for the SSL Sea Grand Slam is a great strategist, able to run his race while controlling the other competitors, anticipating the water’s evolution, taking advantage from them. It’s endurance sailing at its finest, the best will maintain physical and mental potential for up to 8 hours a day and will race with winds ranging from 10 to 18 knots.

For more photos, video and information visit finals.starsailors.com

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