Hotting up at the SSL Finals

Three light airs races were held for the penultimate day of the Qualifying Rounds in Montagu Bay Nassau. Getting a good start and having the boat speed to hold a lane was paramount today. The quality of the fleet is such that the vast majority of the international teams arrive at the first mark together. The top mark was like a messy crime scene on numerous occasions. With qualifying races running out, the scramble for room at the top mark is epic.

Mark Mendleblatt & Brian Fatih (USA) stayed out of trouble today, racing fast and clean,to post a 4-5-1, taking the lead in the Qualifying Rounds. Diego Negri & Sergio Lambertenghi (ITA) started the day on the back foot, scoring a lowly 19thHowever the Italians came back posting two podium finish to retain second place. Robert Scheidt & Henry Boening (BRA) led the regatta this morning, but could not repeat their outstanding performance yesterday, scoring a lowly 16-11, but came back with a fifth in the last race, claiming third in the ranking.

Xavier Rohart & Pierre-Alexis Ponsot had a great day on the water scoring a 2-6-2 to climb three places to fourth in the rankings. Sime Fantela & Antonio Arapovic (CRO) are now the top VIP team. The Croatians took a superb win in the first race of the day and a fourth in the last race of the day, to climb from 11th to fifth in the rankings.

Sime Fantela:
A Perfect day for me. The light wind was a big advantage for us because we are a very light crew. This first regatta is awesome. We had good tactics, good speed and we controlled others. A space in final? Maybe. The fleet is strong and in two races everything is possible.”

Paul Cayard & Joshua Revkin (USA) had three top ten finishes today, as did Augie Diaz & Arnie Baltins and there was a win for Robert Stanjeck & Frithjof  Kleen (GER).

Robert Stanjek:
“We sailed the boat quite well today, but what happened today, with lighter wind when you have a good start it’s easier to keep the lead if you keep on going on a perfect lane you continue to gain lengths over the other boats. But we can sail in any conditions.”
Frithjof Kleen:
“Today it also helped the fact that we didn’t touch any mark…like it happened to us at the start, and so we didn’t have to do any penalties. To be honest we have some issues with the boat that it’s delaminating, so sometimes we feel that we are slower.”

Rio Laser Bronze medallist, Sam Meech, racing with fellow Kiwi, Craig Monk have not had the best of luck in the SSL Finals. Sail and rig problems have added to their woes but America’s Cup winner and Star sailor, Craig Monk, was still able to raise a smile and the Kiwis scored an 8th in the last race today to raise their spirits.

Craig Monk:
We haven’t had the best of luck and it would have been better to have the lighter weather at the start to get Sam used to the boat. However, this is a fantastic event, with some great sailors in an outstanding setting with superb sailing conditions. We will go out tomorrow and do our best, as will everyone else and we will see how it goes, but we are both delighted to be here.”

Two more races are scheduled tomorrow, to complete the Qualifying Rounds. Only the top ten teams will progress to the SSL Finals on Saturday.

Racing at the SSL Finals 2016 continues tomorrow with the second day of the Qualifying Rounds. A maximum of four races are scheduled for tomorrow with live coverage starting at 1100 (GMT-5).
 
 
Full coverage of all five days of action will be streamed live on the Internet with expert commentary from special studio guests, including America’s Cup four time winner Dennis Conner and Olympic silver medalist in London 2012 Luke Patience. On the water, the latest in hi-tech camera technology, as well as Virtual Eye 3D Graphics, will provide thrilling viewing.
 
Since our audience is present in all parts of the globe, Internet will be our stadium. From November 29th to December 4th, regattas will be streamed live on http://finals.starsailors.com. A complete live video stream of the races as well as additional insights provided by the state-of-the-art tracking system developed by Virtual Eye for the America’s Cup will allow people from over the world to follow their favorites and to cheer for them. Many prestigious sailing websites around the globe will also share our live broadcast on their homepage.

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