Neuchatel – The Star Sailors League launched on April at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, the last step of the project that has begun in 2013 with the first SSL Finals, the SSL Gold Cup. It represents a revolution in the world of sailing, it will be a trophy among nations where the top sailing athletes of each country will team together into a single crew and then race against one another aboard high performance 47 foot long one design monohulls to establish ‘the world’s best sailing nation’. Boats are supplied to ensure that, as in the Olympics, it is the sailors who make the difference and not the boats.
Very similar to the Football World Cup, the SSL Gold Cup will take place in September/October 2021 in Switzerland, between lake Geneva and lake Neuchatel, where the Star Sailors League Headquarter is based and where in the past week arrived the first three boats – still to be modified – and the first training took place. It was Team Estonia who inaugurated the location and the boats, with its captain Tõnu Tõniste, his brother Toomas, with whom he won two Olympic medal in 470, and a crew of about 20 athletes that could train on two SSL boats.
Lake Neuchatel delivered all kind of different conditions, from the local ‘Bise’ from the North, to the light thermic wind from the South and even some strong westerly breeze, the team had it all, even some rowing and biking when the wind didn’t show up. They all stayed at the SSL Headquarter, a 19th century mansion right on the lake at walking distance from the local Yacht Club, where the boats are moored.
“We are very happy to be here – said two times Olympic medallist Tõnu Tõniste with his twin brother Toomas – it’s a great project and we are glad to be part of it, but if we want to do well we need to train a lot as a team on the boats and on this lake. We have a team made up of excellent talents, young Olympians and passionate sailors, it was a great week and we’re looking forward to the next steps”.
After a ten days break, training will resume on lake Neuchatel from August 18th with Team Portugal, whose captain is 6 times Olympian windsurfer, João Rodrigues