The final round of qualifying for the SSL Gold Cup Finals begins on Thursday, 14 July.
Group 7 sees SSL Team Malaysia and SSL Team South Africa go head-to-head for the second time in Grandson. Ian Ainslie’s South Africans hold a psychological advantage, having won the Test Event 1 here last September.
Racing for the first time in Lake Neuchatel, SSL Team India completes the group. They must learn fast against their experienced rivals, but arrive confident as the highest-ranking team of the trio.
SSL Team India (SSL World n°40)
Team nickname: Indian Tigers
Captain: Nachhatar Johal
Motto: Powered By Billion Heartbeats
‘Indian Tigers’ are composed of young blood willing to give it all in the SSL Gold Cup. The team has some experienced hands on deck including Olympians and World class sailors.
Relatively new to big boats racing together, some of the sailors have experience in dinghy sailing. The challenge will be to make the transition from individual sailors to working as a team for success at the SSL Gold Cup.
The team selection consists of qualified sailors based on the SSL ranking results supported by those who have spent more than 15 years in Olympic classes and have vast international experience. A few first-timers have been picked to groom them for the future.
Squad: Vishnu Saravanan, Eabad Ali, Vishal Singh, Siddeshwar Indar Doiphode, Sandip Jain, Gitesh Nain, Ramya Saravanan, Pushparajan Pandian Muttu, Prince Kurisinkal Noble, Sakthivel Sekar, Prince Kurisingal Noble, Sakthivel Sekar
SSL Team Malaysia (SSL World n°60)
Team nickname: The Monsoon
Captain: Megat Danial
Motto: Making waves
Few people know that as early as the 3rd century, the Malays were skilled and sophisticated sailors and navigators. Ancient Chinese texts documented the Malays’ skills in constructing large ships and how they traveled and traded with countries as far away as the Middle East and Africa.
Ancient tradition notwithstanding, the “Monsoon” team comprises both the old and new. Individually they have competed in the Olympics, Youth Olympics, Asian Games, SEA Games, and various World and National Championships. Their collective keelboat racing experience includes the World Match Racing Tour, China Cup, Boracay Cup, Boracay Bay to Subic Race, China Coast Regatta, Samui Regatta, Busan Super Cup, Royal Langkawi International Regatta, and Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta.
Now they will be sailing together under one flag, but this time as underdogs in a massive pool of big and formidable names. The team, however, is ambitiously looking to make waves. They aim to make their presence known with the support of their Patron, the Raja Muda (Crown Prince) of Selangor. With ancient history as their inspiration, the Malaysian team is looking to reclaim their place amongst the world’s best sailing nations.
Squad: Mohd Saifullah Mohd Esa, Nur Shazrin Mohamad Latif, Mohd Azhar Sadon Zubir, Ahmad Faizul Aswad Mohamed, Ahmad Hakhimi Ahmad Shukri, Mohd Akiyuddin Mat Zaki, Nuraisyah Jamil, Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy, Mohamad Faizal Norizan, Juni Karimah Noor Jamali
SSL Team South Africa (SSL World n°43)
Team nickname: Ubuntu
Captain: Ian Ainslie
Motto: Our diversity is our strength
The team’s nickname is Ubuntu. This African concept translates as: “I am only because of who we all are”. The concept is about the interconnectedness of all beings. It is about being humane and always ensuring human dignity is at the core of your actions and thoughts.
Suppose Nelson Mandela hoisting the rugby world cup in 1995 was an act of reconciliation and ubuntu. In that case, the sight of a racially transformed 2019 Springbok rugby team winning the world cup again was another huge hope moment. This was a team of players that the nation could recognize as representing them. They brought hope to a still divided nation that our strength is in diverse people helping each other to achieve a common goal. As the rugby coach told the players: “It is not about you. Be fearless, you are not fighting for yourselves, you are fighting to give a nation hope.”
Fifteen years ago, South Africa had an improbable America’s cup entry in Valencia with team Shosholoza. They could overcome a lack of experience and resources with a lot of passion for punching way above their weight. Black sailors filled meaningful roles within the team and contributed significantly to the success.
South Africans want to see that all the races are representing our sports teams, they must be united and be willing to make “big hits” for the team. South Africa’s squad for the SSL Nations Cup will embrace this challenge.
“Sport has the power to change the world…it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. ” Nelson Mandela.
Squad: Joweal Klaase, Inge Schabort, Howard Leoto, Murray Willcocks, Charles Nankin, Marlon Jones, Gareth Blanckenberg, Asenathi Jim, Mark Sadler
SSL Team China could not make it to Round 5 due to Covid restrictions.
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.
Only 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 .