Today, second Tuesday of September, is the day of the year when the SSL Ranking freezes and the top 10 ranked skippers and first crew are automatically invited to attend the SSL Finals and take their chance of proving they are the best of the best on the azure waters of Nassau, Bahamas.
This year, due to mathematics and high-points events ending last month, it was easy to tell the top 10 skippers earlier and even confirm their attendance to the SSL Finals 2018, at least for nine of them.
The best three are: Diego Negri (ITA), on the top again for his 100 week since the beginning of the ranking sytstem, Robert Scheidt (BRA), winner of the first SSL Finals back in 2013 and 2017 Finals runner-up, and Xavier Rohart (FRA), SSL President and always on the top spots of big events.
Lars Grael (BRA) is fourth and among his newest successes still counting for the SSL Ranking, we find runner-up at the 2018 European Championship and at the 2017 Star Worlds and winner of the 2018 Star Western Hemisphere in Miami; Mark Mendelblatt (USA) is a long acquaintance of the Star Sailors League, having won the Finals twice in 2014 and 2016, he also won the Bacardi Cup in 2017 and was third at last year's Finals; Paul Cayard (USA) is always among the best whatever he does, he is sixth in the ranking thanks to his fifth place at the 2018 Bacardi Cup, his seventh at the SSL Finals and two second spots at both Western and North American Championship this year.
Then we find the reigning Star World Champion, Eivind Melleby (NOR), George Szabo (USA) with plenty of good results in the past two years and an always on fire Augie Diaz (USA), European Champion and runner-up at the Eastern Hemisphere for 2018 and seventh at the Star World Championship in Denmark in 2017.
Last, but far from being least, the British Olympic Gold medalist Paul Goodison, winner with Frithjof Kleen of the SSL Finals 2017, thanks to which he is sitting on the 10th spot of the SSL Ranking. He’s involved in the America’s Cup team American Magic (USA) and his quest to the Auld Mug might cost him his participation to the SSL Finals 2018, but never say never..