Great changes in the SSL Ranking, some that don’t happen every Tuesday, but we shall see more and more during this exciting 2019 that has just started for the Star Sailors League.
The SSL #1 skipper has changed, and for the first time the Norwegian 2017 Star World Champion and Olympian, Eivind Melleby, is leading the Global ranking, due to his recent 3rd place at the Bacardi Cup in Miami – replicating the results claimed last year – a second at the Star Worlds in Maryland, but mostly a very point-remunerative fourth spots at the SSL Finals. His crew is also leading the ranking, but this isn’t a novelty, Joshua Revkin has been leading since the end of the SSL Finals, with that fourth place shared with Eivind. In second place, though, we do have a new entry on the podium represented by German Olympian, 2014 Star World Champion and winner of the 2017 SSL Finals Frithjof Kleen, who, although attending all of the best events in the calendar and being one of the most experienced Star crews out there, was never so high in the ranking. He’s just finished second at the Bacardi Cup, an SSL2500 event, with Polish super star skipper Mateusz Kusznierewicz, banking more the 2k points, but owes his position mostly to 3rd place at the 2018 SSL Finals with skipper Diego Negri (ITA).
These shuffles in positions, though always engaging, are not the major changes of the ranking this week. If you look carefully at the SSL skipper ranking, you will notice in third place Brazilian 2018 SSL Finals winner Jorge Zarif, but not because of the SSL Finals only. Jorge is a Finn Olympian and World Champion – both junior and senior – and is currently on the third step of the ranking podium, but if you look further down you will read Max Salminen (SWE), 2017 Finn World Champion in 9th position and current Finn World Champion Zsombor Berecz (HUN) in 10th, both attended the last SSL Finals but they didn’t make the top 10 there.
They are now in the top 10 SSL ranking, and just out of it another Finn sailor, and one who has never attended any SSL regattas, Nicholas Heiner (NED) is in 14th. They are all in the SSL ranking because from this week on the Finn Class results have entered the Star Sailors League Ranking. A significant development and another huge step for the SSL Ranking to become global: created in 2013 with the goal to promote the sailors and have a yearly top ten athlete to compete at the SSL Finals, the Ranking has proven, in the past six years, to be a great tool for both the sailors themselves and the audience, who can easily identify the best sailors at any time. By the end of 2020, the Star Sailors League, intends to incorporate all of the Olympic classes but won’t stop there, you just wait and see.