Another beautiful day in sunny Gran Canaria. Well, not just any day – it’s Day 1 of the 1/16 Finals of the SSL Gold Cup!
Fleet 2 – Race 1
Bermuda’s ‘Privateers’ got off to a strong start and held first position for the majority of the race, but they couldn’t hold it together in the face of the ‘Black Pearls’ from Tahiti.
By the second upwind leg, it was essentially a match race between Bermuda and Tahiti. As they battled it out towards the windward mark, it was all still to play for, with just 8 seconds separating them. But Team Tahiti broke away on the final leg, crossing the finish line 67 seconds ahead of Bermuda.
Now with five consecutive wins, the ‘Black Pearls’ seem to be unstoppable. Tactician Teiki Hacheche, who has been critical to the team’s success, was feeling the pressure going into this next round. He says you need to take every chance you can get:
“Today the wind was very shifty. I checked the forecast this morning – it was supposed to be left, but it wasn’t that left. It’s very shifty, so you have to play the shifts and tack a lot. On the first upwind leg Bermuda did pretty well, but then made one mistake, and we took advantage of it.”
Meanwhile, newcomers Hungary and Finland didn’t stand a chance. Discussing ‘Northern Magic’s’ first race in Gran Canaria after a long break from the boat, Finnish captain Oskari Muhonen said
“I think everybody knows their role well, but we’re still learning. We’re super fresh onto the boat but I think it’s going to get better throughout the week.”