The Star Sailors League Gold Cup was presented last November in Lorient, France, as an innovative event on the International Sailing scene that will crown the best sailing nation, just like the football World Cup crowns the best football country. At the 2018 Yacht Racing Forum, SSL Gold Cup Sport Director Mateusz Kusznierewicz announced October 2021 as the date for the event, but in between that first announcement and that date there is much going on.
OFFICIAL CAPTAINS PRESENTATION
The Star Sailors League is getting in touch with the different nations to nominate, through a Selection Board, each nation’s captain. A sailor who will manage and represent the team, somebody that will choose the five sailors onboard who will not come directly from the SSL Ranking, an athlete who won’t necessarily be onboard with the team, but who will be key to their team and the Star Sailors League itself. The selection process has been going since November and the Star Sailors League is proud to announce that the first 20 countries are ready to take part in the SSL Gold Cup.
The official presentation of the first 20 captains will take place on April 15th at 12:00 noon at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. Some of the captains will be accompanied by some of the sailors who will be part of their team. Later in the year, more captains and more teams will be officially presented.
The presentation of the first 20 captains represents a big step for the Star Sailors League towards the first ever SSL Gold Cup in 2021.
The Star Sailors League Gold Cup is a competition among countries that identifies and crowns the best sailing nation. Developed with the guidance of the world’s best sailors and the founders of the Star Sailors League, the SSL Gold Cup shines the spotlight on the heroes of sailing and arouses the sporting passions of national pride. Raced in high performance boats, all-national crews of nine will provide an action-filled spectacle in the mold of the football World Cup. The SSL-47 monohull yachts are big and spectacular. With the goal of encouraging participation from all countries, including small and emerging sailing nations, the Star Sailors League provides the boats at no charge to the national teams, for training and for the racing. Established sailing nations will be limited to 10 training days per year. Countries in the World Sailing list of Emerging Nations may train up to 30 days per year. The SSL-47 race yachts, coach boats and all the world class facilities of the SSL Training Center in Switzerland are available to all teams at no charge.
All 144 nations affiliated with World Sailing may be represented by one team, and all team members must be nationals.
To offer equal chances for all top sailors to participate, regardless of their financial resources, half of each team is selected based on the SSL Global Ranking. The other half of the team will be "Captain’s Selections."
Like in the football World Cup, early qualification rounds select the teams that advance to the knockout rounds. All racing is with fleets of four boats in each race and four fleets in each of the early rounds, through the quarter finals. Teams will be seeded, with the eight top seeds guaranteed places in the quarter-finals. Two fleets of four teams in the semi-finals to select the four teams that sail the single Grand Final race. The winner of the Grand Final race is crowned the Top Sailing Nation. SSL invented this innovative format. The fireworks in the final race will provide a dramatic conclusion to this global competition.
The first edition of the SSL Gold Cup will be held in Switzerland, September – October 2021.
• Opening Ceremony: Lausanne, Olympic Museum
• Qualifying Phase: Grandson, Lake Neuchâtel
• Final Phase: Geneva / Lausanne, Lake Geneva
Building a global, engaged audience is one of the primary goals of the Star Sailors League. This means focusing on wide broadcast distribution at no cost rather than attempting to generate revenue by selling broadcast rights.
FREE LIVE COVERAGE IN 27 LANGUAGES
Star Sailors League makes it easy and fun to follow each country’s team:
• information translated into 27 languages
• live-streaming of all team training sessions from our broadcast studio in Switzerland
• high-level production of livestreams for all competitions, totally free to view
• leveraging the social media audiences of every single athlete in a consistent way
• a virtual SSL eGoldCup game coming in 2020
• team merchandise so fans can wear their team’s colors and show their support
NATIONAL PRIDE & POPULAR EVENT
All sports fans, whether or not they are sailors, can get behind their national team and follow the team’s progress beginning with training in 2019 and 2020, with the final team selection in 2021, and the grand finale - the SSL Gold Cup in October 2021. Like the Olympics or the football World Cup, even casual sports fans will be attracted to the SSL Gold Cup, with their country competing against teams from other nations.
A SUSPENSEFUL SCENARIO FOR SPORTS FANS
The SSL Global Ranking System, the annual buildup to the season-ending SSL Finals for individual sailors, and, now, the SSL Gold Cup for national teams, all provide a coherent scenario for the competition: easy to understand and follow, with the tension increasing over time to see who will top the ranking, who will win the year-end SSL Finals, and which country will be crowned the top sailing nation at the biennial SSL Gold Cup.
Paul Cayard, winner of Louis Vuitton Cup and Whitbread Round the World Race and America’s Cup veteran:
"The SSL Gold Cup is what we were missing to challenge sailors, where the athletes are the actual protagonists and not technology. At the SSL Gold Cup, as in the past SSL Finals, we will prove that it’s not speed that engages the public, it’s how close a race is, the suspense that a knock-out last day can give and that a few boat lengths between the winner and the runner-up keep the public glued to the screen."
The next step of the Star Sailors League Gold Cup is in about three week’s time, in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the captains of the first 20 teams entering the event will be officially presented. Don’t miss it on the SSL website and social media channels.