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Friday, November 17, 2023
Bermuda SSL Gold Cup Update
With the wind dropping off, keeping the yachts moving became imperative, especially with the difficult swell. It's hot out here in Gran Canaria, but cool and smooth was the order of the day, but not for Bermuda.

At the start, Hungary and Finland weren't making it easy for Tahiti, who were at the pin end and tried to pull off a hard luff on the Hungarian 'Shamans', but 'The Black Pearls' ended up wallowing in the wind shadow of the windward yacht. Protest flags were flown on both boats, but the on-the-water umpires saw no reason to give either team a penalty.

This poor start showed the pressure was finally telling on the previously undefeated Tahitian team. Would they pull themselves together or had they reached breaking point?

The race briefly saw the reverse order from yesterday towards the leeward mark with Finland leading, Hungary second, Bermuda third and Tahiti lagging behind in last.

On the final downwind leg Hungary came in to take the win, with Tahiti staging an epic comeback to just pip Finland on the finish line. 'The Black Pearls' string of five wins came to an end, but they've maintained top spot on the Fleet 2 leaderboard with their runners-up result.

Hungarian helm Róbert Bakóczy said after the race on the win:

"It was a really hard race, so we are super happy now to get a first place. It's really tough taking on the teams who have been in the boats longer, but I hope as time goes by we will get better and better. Yesterday Tahiti and Bermuda were sailing really nicely, handling the boats really well, but hopefully, we're now reaching the level we want."

On the conditions, and keeping the boat moving Róbert added:

"It's really tricky and you have to keep thinking one step ahead because if you just react to the feeling on the helm it's too late. In light winds, choppy, and big swell it's crazy."
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