THE PACIFIC ISLANDERS

PROUDLY POLYNESIAN, FIERCELY OCEANIAN

Their playground is the Pacific Ocean

Located in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, Tahiti is the largest island of French Polynesia. Since Tahitian Sailing Federation split from France’s in the 1980s, a handful of local sailors reached Sailing highest level including World Champion Billy Besson and Team Tahiti skipper Teva Plichart, 2007 European Match-Racing champion and Areva’s wincher at the Louis-Vuitton Challengers. In 2017, team «Trésors de Tahiti» finished second of Tour de France à la Voile. Pitman Manutea Mahai, a young local fisherman, was part of this unorthodox crew nicknamed «the Tahitian Rastarockets» after the 1990s blockbuster by the French press. SSL Team Tahiti will be a reset of this fantastic project that mixed Tahitian pro with local young amateur sailors. Their objective is to surprise European best teams as perfect underdogs. Tahitians are never as good as when they get together to show the rest of the World their sailing skills.

4
Despite its tiny population (220,000 inhabitants), four Tahitians have become World Champions.

Statistics

THE COUNTRY

  • 20'000 nautical fans
  • 2'500 sailors
  • 7 sailing clubs
  • 5,000,000 km2 of maritime territory

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • 7 World Champions
  • 2 Podiums on Tour de France à la voile
  • 30 Pacific Games Champions

The captain

TEVA PLICHART

After racing the Hobie Cat in Tahiti, Teva joined Match-Racing France’s Youth team. He then raced with Paolo Cian winning European Championship. In 2007, he skippered «Tahiti Tourisme» reaching Tour de France à la Voile’s second place. He renewed the result 10 years later with «Trésors de Tahiti». From 2016 until 2019, he sailed on Yliam Comptoir Immobilier winning the famous 2019 Bol d’Or in the D35 category. He continues to race with the same team on TF35.

The captain

THE LEADERS

Jesse Besson

Yann Rigal

Yann was on the Tour Voile 2007 adventure with Teva. His profile is versatile, with many supports to his credit: SB20, IRC, ORCC, J80 … He regularly participates in major competitions such as Sydney Hobart or the SB20 world championships.

Manutea Mahai

A professional fisherman, Manutea discovered sailing in 2016. He sails alongside Teva in Diam24. He was vice-champion of France in Diam24 in 2017 and 2nd in the Tour Voile the same year.

THE LEADERSTHE LEADERS

THE YOUTH FACTOR

Surrounded by the Pacific, Tahiti is the perfect playground for young sailors. Tahiti Elite Voile program trained and formed five sailors including two local fishermen: Manutea Mahai and his cousin Teahio Mahai. These two talents were part of the 2017 Tour Voile adventure. They will be joined by Tom Lamotte, a promising young Polynesian sailing on France’s Youth Nacra17 team.

Confirmed Athletes

 

Teva Plichart

 

Jesse Besson

 

Yann Rigal

 

Manutea Mahai

 

César Villa

 

Tom Lamotte

 

Athlete #7

 

Athlete #8

 

Athlete #9

 

Athlete #10

 

Athlete #11

The SSL Gold Cup itself will start in May 2022 in Grandson, on Lake Neuchâtel and will run for six full weeks of competition. In a similar way to the Football World Cup, teams will be divided into seven groups and will take part in a succession of matches and play-off rounds culminating in the Grand Finale. Every five days, at the end of each round, half of the 16 participants of that round will be eliminated and eight new teams will join the qualifiers for the next elimination round. As in a tennis tournament, the order in which each nation enters the competition will depend upon its position in the world ranking (see below). The eight teams that claim the top positions in these rounds will move on directly to the quarter-finals. After the five week qualifying phase in Grandson, the fleet and the event village will move to Lake Geneva for the final two week phase of the SSL Gold Cup.

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