On Monday, June 13, the whole Sailing community gathered at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne to celebrate the official inauguration, of the first edition of the SSL Gold Cup, the first Football World Cup… in Sailing.
In the presence of David Graham, CEO of World Sailing, sport legends such as Australian John Bertrand, Brazilian Robert Scheidt, American Paul Cayard and Polish Mateusz Kusznierewicz presented the SSL Gold Cup core values.
”Nationality has always been core to the SSL,” said Paul Cayard, Louis-Vuitton Winner and Olympian. ”The Olympics gives this opportunity as well as we love to represent our country. But the SSL format could also be considered by the Olympics. One fleet with four boats who go through Qualifying Series, two get eliminated the others move forward until the final, one race where the winner takes it all. It is very exciting.”
Olympic Champion and SSL Team Brazil Captain Robert Scheidt sees the SSL Gold Cup as the ultimate Sailing nations cup. ”More than 50 nations will compete to find out which country is the best sailing nation in the World. It is something unique in our sport. For us athletes, the most important thing is that our voice and opinions are being heard to create the best event possible, and the the SSL has done that since the start of the project nine years ago.”
Former Swiss tennis champion Timea Bacsinszky (ex-WTA n°9 and Silver Medalist) explained how SSL Ranking will revolutionize sailing as WTA and ATP did in 1973 for tennis. ”The ranking really made my n°9 world ranking very special. But for the Sailors, it will be such a great opportunity to get known around the world. That will also put forward their achievements.”
Passing the flag over from Switzerland to Bahrain
As the Qualifying Series (May 19 – July 17) are being held in Lake Neuchatel, Grandson (Switzerland), SSL Gold Cup 2022 Final Series will take place in Bahrain from October 28th to November 20th.
Philippe Leuba, Head of Department of Economy, Sport and Innovation of the Canton de Vaud, symbolically passed over the SSL Gold Cup flag to Sheikh Khalifa al-Khalifa, President of Bahrain Maritime Sports Association. Abdulla Janahi, SSL Team Bahrain Captain was also present. ”It is very emotional for all the Bahraini team and for everyone who love sailing in Bahrain to host this fantastic event at home .”
”OLY” a new distinction for all Olympians
This day was introduced ”OLY”, a new distinction that all Olympians can add to their title. These three capital letters will showcase their achievement to have been part of one of the 54th Games organized since the start of the Modern games.
During this Inaugural Day, the public could discover what Sailing is all about with grinding and hoisting competitions and inland sailing experience on an Optimist and a Laser equipped with high-tech simulators. France’s Lego Masters built a SSL picture to promote a branded SSL Gold Cup Lego collection that will be shortly available.
The Official e-SSL Gold Cup and e-SSL Sailing League games were also revealed to the public as these two next exciting features of SSL Gold Cup will be available to the public from June 14.