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Scandinavian Gold Cup kicks off for International 5.5 Metre Class

by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda 20 Sep 2023 17:40 BST 20-24 September 2023
10 days of racing await the 5.5 Metre fleet gathered in Porto Cervo, including the Class World Championship © Robert Deaves

Today marks the official opening of the Scandinavian Gold Cup for the International 5.5 Metre Class, which will conclude on Sunday 24th September.

Sunday will also herald the start of the Class World Championship, which will see Porto Cervo host the biggest fleet assembled for the event in several years.

The Scandinavian Gold Cup is one of the most historic and prestigious trophies in the sailing world, having originally been established in 1919 by one of Finland's oldest yacht clubs, the Nyländska Jaktklubben (NJK). The organisation of the event was later entrusted to the Scandinavian Yacht Racing Union (SYRU), which opened the competition to international entries in 1926. Since 1953 it has been raced exclusively on International 5.5 Metre Class boats.

The format of the Scandinavian Gold Cup is unique, and only the winners of the first three races will be able to go forward in the competition, with all other teams automatically excluded. The event could therefore conclude after the first three races, or the winner may only be decided after seven races.

Nine boats will be competing in the Scandinavian Gold Cup, with this edition boasting one of the most competitive entry lists seen in recent years. The lineup includes Artemis (NOR 57, Kristian Nergaard, Johan Barne, Trond Solli Seather), a previous winner of the cup on numerous occasions, who will face Aspire (POL 17 Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Przemyslaw Gacek, Edward Wright), New Moon III (BAH 25 Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger, Peter Vlasov), and reigning champions Jean Genie (GBR 43 Peter Morton, Andrew Palfrey, Ruairadh Scott), who will be fielding a new boat developed with designer Dave Hollom that promises great performance. For the Polish yacht Aspire, helmed by double Olympic medallist Mateusz Kusznierewicz, it will be their first time taking part in both the Scandinavian Gold Cup and the World Championship. After winning the European Championship in 2020, the team was forced to pull out of the World Championship last year due to injury.

Two other events will be taking place in parallel with the Scandinavian Gold Cup, as boats from the Evolution division compete in the Hankø Evolution Cup, and Classic models vie for the Royal Kaag Classic Cup.

Racing will get under way tomorrow, 21st September, on the waters off Porto Cervo, and is scheduled to continue until 24th September, a day set aside as a lay day or to recover any missed races. The same day will see the official start of the International 5.5-metre Class World Championship, which welcomes a fleet of 34 boats from 10 countries.

The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda will use MarkSetBot robotic buoys for the Scandinavian Gold Cup, which maintain their position thanks to an electric motor combined with a GPS system, eliminating the need for anchors on the seabed.

The first starting signal is scheduled for tomorrow, 21st September, at 12 midday, with a light northerly breeze forecast.

More information at www.yccs.it

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