SSL Team Malaysia takes the overnight lead in Group 8 as the SSL Gold Cup 2022 Qualifying Series recommenced today at Grandson, Lake Neuchatel (Switzerland).
Race 1: South Africa strike first
SSL Team South Africa recovered from a bad start to open their campaign with an impressive victory. Fighting hard all the way, SSL Team Malaysia had to settle for 2nd place, with SSL Team India crossing the line in 3rd.
The Indian Tigers, racing for the first time at Lake Neuchatel, led early on, but a decision to take the right-hand side of the course in the downwind Leg 2 cost them, leaving SSL Team South Africa and SSL Team Malaysia to battle it out for the win.
‘The Monsoon’ of Malaysia raced aggressively throughout, controlling the South Africans and forcing them to take a wide line around the final mark. But Ian Ainslie’s team seemed to have an edge sailing upwind and took full advantage on the final approach to secure maximum points.
Race 2: Malaysian Monsoon storm to victory
SSL Team Malaysia ended the day in style with victory in Race 2. In a tight finish to a tight race, SSL Team India denied SSL South Africa on the line to secure 2nd place.
The lead changed hands several times in a frenetic opening, but the Malaysian Monsoon always seemed to have a slight edge. A penalty for rocking for Ian Ainslie’s ‘Ubuntu’ at the halfway point looked to spell disaster, but somehow, they kept in touch.
With only 16” separating the fleet with the finish line approaching, Malaysian helm Khairulnizam Mohd Afend kept his composure to steer his team to glory.
Tight at the top
As the opening day draws to a close, SSL Team Malaysia sit top of the table, but in truth, there is little to separate the three teams. SSL Team South Africa and SSL Team India will undoubtedly have something to say tomorrow.
DID YOU KNOW?
Sailing has its own World Cup, finally! Like football in 1930 and rugby in 1987, the SSL Gold Cup is designed to crown the best sailing nation of all! The World’s Top 56 countries, selected on their SSL Nation ranking, will battle their way through to raise the coveted and only Sailing World Cup trophy.
The SSL Gold Cup 2022 started on May 19th with the Qualifying Series in Grandson, Lake Neuchatel (Switzerland). All teams ranked from the Top 25 to 56 in the SSL Nations Ranking (based on January 2022 standings) will meet in eight groups of four teams each. There will be five stages, or rounds, until July 17th.
O nly the top two teams of each group will go through to the Final Series that will take place from October 28th to November 20th, 2022, in Bahrain.
- Teams qualified in Round 1: SSL Team Antigua & Barbuda, SSL Team Estonia , SSL Team Ireland , and SSL Team Tahiti .
- Teams qualified in Round 2: SSL Team Slovenia and SSL Team Lithuania .
- Teams qualified in Round 3: SSL Team Portugal, SSL Team Czech Republic , SSL Team Peru and SSL Team Chile.
- Teams qualified in Round 4: SSL Team Oman and SSL Team Cuba .