The Star Sailors League through its spokesperson, Olympic champion, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, officially presented today in Lorient, France, at the 2018 Yacht Racing Forum, the innovative global sailing event that will take place for the first time in 2021: the Star Sailors League Nations Gold Cup.
The Star Sailors League is a Sailing Circuit launched in 2013 by 100 famous athletes to promote sailors. The strategy used to create the circuit is to take inspiration from successful major sports organizations to build an attractive scenario for the sailing season. During the last 5 years the SSL created a global athletes’ Ranking, 4 “Grand Slams“ events and one yearly Finals based on the ATP tennis Masters concept. To crown all the SSL circuit concept with the goal to expand its audience, theSSL launched today its last event the SSL NATION GOLD CUP.
This new event will be a competition among nations and will become the SSL biennial grand finale reserved to the best SSL ranked athletes. The SSL NATIONS GOLD CUP uses the same nationality principle as the Olympic Games to provide a country against country championship like the World Cup in football. By mixing the use ofspectacular one design big boats provided by SSL and exploiting the successful scenario of the football World Cup, the SSL NATIONS GOLD CUP aims to do shine the spotlight on the athletes and arouses the sporting passions of national pride.This global competition will make fans proud of their country. Fans will wear the t-shirt of their national heroes and kids all around the world will be able to collect their Panini stickers. It will be used as a tool to expand the global audience of the Star Sailors League.
The competition will be open to 140 countries whose National Federations are recognized by World Sailing. To organize the selection for the final phase of the SSL Nations Gold Cup, that will host a maximum of 40 teams, all countries will be ranked according to the rules established by the Star Sailors League, that will consider results obtained at Olympic Games, World Championships and Sailing World Cups.Among the finalists, there will be a specific rule that will ensure the presence of some of the ‘sailing emerging nations’.
A format taken from Football and Tennis, where after the round robins, the top 16 teams will access the thrilling knock-out phase, where there will be no scoring sheet, but just a real-time battle for who will cross the finish line first. A format that has been greatly tested and approved by some of the best sailors in the world at the SSL Finals in Nassau, every December since 2013, that perfectly meets the public’s need for immediacy.
The Star Sailors League will provide the boats for all participating teams. They will be fully armed one-design 45 footers monohull for a 8 to 10 people team. All boats are strictly identical in terms of construction, shape of the hull, rigs and weight distribution. This boat will be easily associated to the over one million boats that take part in regattas all over the world, every day of the year. It will be easy for the fans to understand how it works and how it performs and feeling part of it.
The strongest concept of the SSL Nations Gold Cup aims to offer equal chances for all top sailors to participate, regardless of financial and political barriers. Thus, the top ranked athletes in the SSL Global Ranking will automatically be selected.
The national teams will consist of 11 sailors and will be made up of the best in and off shore sailors from their respective countries. All of the athletes will be selected based on the same rules. The team will name their captain, who may also be the skipper. He or she will be responsible for managing the team, coordinating its preparation and selecting four additional sailors.
The first edition of 2021 will take place in a traditional European venue; a site that will offer both good sailing conditions on the water and entertainment on land. The race village will include all administration, race management, press centre, broadcast and hospitality facilities, as well as spectator area close to the race course to allow the public to watch the regattas live onsite. The event venue will be run in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.
THE TRAINING CENTER
The Star Sailors League has a new headquarter located on the shores of a beautiful lake in Switzerland. The headquarter consists of a comfortable manor house, a private harbor and park, and it will be one of SSL’s main assets. This venue will offer training sessions to every team that will take part to the SSL Nations Gold Cup, with longer stay for emerging nations. It will be crucial for the team to become aquatinted to the boat, and for those sailors coming from a dinghy background only to acclimatize on a bigger size boat with many people onboard. Beside sailing skills development, each Team will receive from SSL valuable help and support for sponsorship and promotional program.
The first trainings and workshops sessions are already scheduled and they will take place in the spring of 2019: in March 2019 the first National Teams will be introduced and their captains presented.
The Star Sailors League will set new standards of quality in communication,broadcasting high quality live coverage and tracking free of charge all over the world.
The goal of the experienced media team, made of sailing photographers, video makers, reporters and journalists, is to develop a high-end media product, simple and attractive, that will give fans the opportunity to follow the event and will try to attract a wider audience.
To help sports fans follow the SSL Nations Gold Cup and in order to enlarge the audience, the main documents will be translated into 25 languages.
During the events, a modern press centre will be available to accredited media. It will provide everything necessary to the professionals to work under the best possible conditions.
Some of the world’s best sailors have regularly been involved in the Star Sailors League including Robert Scheidt, Franck Cammas, Paul Goodison, Jochen Schümann, Sime Fantela, Pavlos Kontides, Vassilij Zbogar, Zsombor Berencz, Caleb Paine, Jorge Zarif, Iain Williams, Loïck Peyron, and many more. The entire concept is endorsed by some of the sport’most recognized personalities such as Dennis Conner, Torben Grael, Paul Cayard or Xavier Rohart.
Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Finn Olympic Champion and SSL spokesperson today in Lorient, said: “After a design job that has involved dozens of top athletes for almost two years, the SSL Nations Gold Cup is ready to be launched. It is an honor for me today to speak on behalf of this powerful team of athletes and to present an event that will bring freshness to the world of sailing. I am flattered to be part of a team that brings together the ideas of the greatest contemporary champions like Scheidt, Torben, Cayard, Peyron.”
Dennis Conner, five times America’s Cup winner and SSL Honorary President:“When I started sailing, the true legends, Straulino, Elvström, North, Buchan, Melges, De Cardnas, Knowles, were the motivating examples that pushed me to progress and that guided my way. I think that Schuemann, Grael, Coutts, Ainslie and Cayard were also inspired by Olympic heroes to become themselves legends. Contemporary youth has the same desire as us: it seeks the heroes who will be their role models and who will give meaning to their daily lives. And rightly, the SSL Nations Gold Cup offers a media platform that will allow youth and also sports fans to discover Scheidt, Scott, Percy, Goodison, Fantela, our contemporary “models” of sailors.
As I’ve already said many times, I think it’s the people who make a sailing class great! Ant it applies to the SSL too: it’s the people who compete in the SSL events that really makes the concept great! It’s why I’m so proud to be the Honorary President of the Star Sailors League.”
Robert Scheidt, five times Olympic medalist: “In 2013, with Bruno Prada, we designed and participated in the first competition according with the SSL format, the first SSL Finals. This tennis-inspired elimination system that aims to crown the champion after a single final is immensely exciting. We wanted it, but it turned out to be incredibly demanding. That year, even after winning the qualifying series, with Bruno, we had to fight every moment to stay alive in the quarter, then in the semifinals. In the final in one heat, the leader changed four times and we were very relieved once the finish line was crossed. We had won, but we had also found a new exciting racing concept for the public and the athletes, without changing the spirit and tradition of the sport. With Torben Grael, I will participate in the SSL Nations Gold Cup to raise the colors of Brazil, but also to help make sailing and sailors more popular”.
The Star Sailors League was created in 2013 as an international regatta circuit with the goal to promote the athletes and sailing in a simple format. The Star Sailors League was awarded a “Special Event” status by World Sailing in October 2017 and it organizes elite championships with substantial prize money. It is born from sailors for sailors, from a desire to offer sailing champions a simple, well priced and efficient platform from which to showcase their exploits to a global audience.
The Star Sailors League will consider the applications of National Team Captains. More information from November 1st. Registration form here
Detailed informations on the SSL Nations Gold Cup on the digital booklet that you can download here