Portugal, Argentina, Lithuania and South Africa lead the tightest phase of the Gran Canaria SSL Gold Cup


The boats from Portugal, Argentina, Lithuania and South Africa led their respective groups this Wednesday in the round of 16 of the Gran Canaria SSL Gold Cup, the sailing World Cup that is held in a format of six knockout phases, similar to that of a World Cup. soccer.

With very good wind conditions, between seven and eight knots from the northeast, and after the Race Committee brought forward the start of the first race of the day to 10:30 a.m., the first to start in the bay of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria They were Portugal, Slovenia, France and Sweden, components of Group 4.

During the four stages of the course, the ‘Krpani 1860’ of Slovenia and the ‘Navigators’ of Portugal set the pace. Slovenia defended itself in the lead with the Portuguese team on its heels, but a good strategy in the last run allowed João Rodrigues’ team to overtake ‘in extremis’ and achieve their second victory in this phase.

They did it with just a second advantage over the team captained by Vasilij Zbogar. The general classification of Group 4 continues to be led by Portugal, which has already accumulated a total of eight points; Behind, and in this order, there is a triple tie at four points between Slovenia, Sweden and France.

The Group 1 test, the second to be held, was also open until the end. The ‘Malaysian Monsoon’ and the ‘Shamans’ of Hungary were close together in the lead from the beginning and took a certain advantage over Argentina and the United States, until in the last run the ‘Condores’ of Tomás Dietrich accelerated to take second place. ahead of Hungary and just 15 seconds behind Malaysia, which was the winner.

The group remains tight, with seven points for Argentina in the lead, after a first and a second place score. The Malaysian ship of Megat Danial Najmuddin follows with five points, having climbed from fourth position thanks to its victory. Behind, also with five points, Zsombor Berecz’s Hungary is third and James Golden’s United States closes the scoreboard with three points.

In Group 2, the pressure of the four teams and their intention to fight for partial victory was noticeable from the beginning. Poland and Tahiti rushed their approach to the starting line and crossed a few seconds before the horn, so they had to turn around and resume the competition behind Brazil and Lithuania.

After this start, Gintare Volungeviciute’s “Ambers” from Lithuania managed to escape from the first beat and add a comfortable second partial victory to their locker, the great battle of the task was the one fought by Brazil, Tahiti and Poland for second position.

Finally, after the Lithuanian crew it was Robert Scheidt’s ‘Brazilian Storm’ who sealed second place in another photo finish with Mateusz Kusznierewicz’s Polish ‘Sea Wolves’, who finished third. Fourth place, meanwhile, was occupied by Teva Plichart’s ‘Black Pearls’ from Tahiti.

Thus, the overall standings remain firmly led by Lithuania with eight points. Behind them, Brazil has six points in second position, while Poland and Tahiti occupy third and fourth position respectively, with three points each in their locker.

Finally, the Group 3 fleet is the only one that sealed the second day of the round of 16 with a change in the lead. The ‘Helvetic Lakers’ of Switzerland, who compete under the leadership of Eric Monnin and won the inaugural event, could not maintain their position and scored a third place that relegated them to second place overall.

Their six points contrast with the seven that bring together the new leaders, the South Africans of ‘Team Ubuntu’ under the patronage of Ian Ainslie, who won a key victory. Despite this battle, Chile and Norway are not far from the two permanent positions.

With a second in this Wednesday’s regatta, Pablo Lorca’s ‘Finis Terrae Sailors’ occupy third position and are two points behind Switzerland; Meanwhile, Eivind Melleby’s ‘Norsteam’ team is fourth, one point less than Chile.