FINAL DAY: SSL GOLD CUP QUALIFYING SERIES THIRD ROUND – GROUP 5
In a group that has served up tense racing and tight battles throughout this week, the South Americans’ final race was no exception.
For SSL Team Venezuela, with no possible route to qualification, today was about trying to bow out of the competition on a high. Los Caciques meant business from the start, leading the fleet around Mark 1. Almost stalling after a mistake during the second leg, they recovered and, approaching the finish line, looked favorites to take an elusive first win.
But the Paracas Warriors of Peru were not interested in second and found the wind they needed at the right time to snatch their third win in a row.
With the Venezuelans and Peruvians dominating up front, SSL Team Chile and La Celeste of Uruguay spent much of Leg 1 locked in a tight battle for the last remaining qualifying spot. The two rivals tacked back and forth, attacking and defending, but SSL Team Chile, led by Pablo Lorca, always seemed to have the edge. The Finis Terrae Sailors took control of Leg 2 and never looked back. Crossing the finish line in 3rd place, they burst into wild celebrations, their place in Bahrain secured.
SSL Team Uruguay, so impressive on the opening day, will wonder how they missed out.
Stefano Peschiera, Captain of SSL Team Peru :
“I am extremely proud of my team as they represented their country. We showed already yesterday that we could come back strong. And today, we showed we have nerves of steel. We gave a good battle on the water. We kept fighting until the end. It was not the best of starts, but it did not leave us out of the race. We saw there was an opportunity on the right side with a pressure right away, and then after that , we were able to control the fleet. We did some small mistakes on Mark 3, but we had enough margin that allowed us to keep our position.
In the end, winning the race was incredible. We did not think we could catch up with Venezuela, and then our tactician on the downwind Leg 4 did an amazing job. The team did a great job to make our boat go fast, which is super tricky in these conditions.
This qualification means the world to Peru. We are extremely proud to have achieved this. We set a precedent, and we hope people will be more motivated to come sailing and admire our heroes who proved themselves today.”
Pablo Lorca, Captain of SSL Team Chile:
“We are very happy, fortunately we finished the day as we had hoped, qualifying for the Final Series. It was a tough day, super light wind conditions, but we managed the race in the correct way, we covered the Uruguayan team and finally we finished second in the group and we are going to Bahrain”.
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.
O nly 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.