The first-ever SSL Gold Cup 2022 Qualifying Series races started on this day in Grandson, Switzerland. Two groups battled on the water, but shifty wind conditions allowed only one race per group to go. SSL Team Puerto Rico « Los Boricuas » made History by becoming the first-ever SSL Gold Cup QS Winner. They were followed by SSL Team Estonia « Icebreakers », the winner in the other group.
QS GROUP 1 RACE 1 – A HEATED FINISH
In Group 1, after SSL Team Tahiti crossed the starting line too early, SSL Team Puerto Rico had to battle against a dominant SSL Team Bermuda in the first two legs. Undecided until Mark 3, Puerto Rico finally cruised to victory. Although enjoying a comfortable lead over SSL Team Bermuda, Shannon Falcone’s « Rum Runners » squad were stuck in small winds and saw their lead shrink. At the end, Antigua just made it to finish 2nd in front of Bermuda and the Black Pearls of Tahiti, who could not catch up with the Rockal Evans’ Privateers squad.
QS GROUP 2 RACE 2 – UNLUCKY DAY FOR SSL TEAM BELGIUM
After an impressive start from SSL Team Estonia, there was little room for the Icebreakers’ opponents to come back. SSL Team Ireland tried to stick to them but without success. At Mark 1 (upwind), SSL Team Belgium endured a boat malfunction (broken rudder) and had to withdraw. A good news for SSL Team Serbia and the Irish, who were under attack from the Belgian Sea Devils at that point. Estonia maintained their advance followed until the finish line (+38″ ahead of Ireland). It took a solid defense from The Green Armada to resist the Serbian Eagles’ attacks on the last leg.