Bermuda’s best sailors will compete in the SSL Gold Cup, a new international sporting event designed to determine the world’s best sailing nation.
The SSL Gold Cup format is similar to World Cup football, which tests athletes’ skills by all sailing the same boat, eliminating technical or equipment advantage. The inaugural event is scheduled for May and June 2022 in Switzerland and will be held every two years.
Bermuda’s national team is one of 56 nations to enter the challenge onboard an SSL 47, a One Design monohull provided by the event organizers, to ‘level the playing field’.
Bermuda’s multiple times national champion Rockal Evans will Captain SSL Team Bermuda, with Vice Captain Emily Nagel by his side.
Evans says, “We hope that this will be the first of many years of Bermuda competing in the SSL Gold Cup. This team will pave the way for more Bermudian sailors in years to come, to aspire to compete at this level against the world’s best. If it wasn’t for SSL, Bermuda wouldn’t have the opportunity to sail against the most talented sailors on a level playing field. This will show the natural talent of each country and each sailor, so it doesn’t come down to research & development or who has the money to build the fastest boat or have the best gear.”
Team selection is based on SSL criteria and Captain’s Pick criteria including training commitment and performance. The training team currently includes Kelsey Durham, Adriana Penruddocke, Michael Wollmann, Dale Brangman, Peter Dill, Tre Maxwell, Joshua Greenslade, Philip Worboys, Thomas Penruddocke, Campbell Patton, Somers Kemp, Benn Smith, and Adam Barboza and other eligible Bermuda sailors can apply.
SSL Team Bermuda will compete against world-class athletes from the America’s Cup, SailGP, the World Match Racing Tour and the Volvo Ocean Race such as Tom Slingsby, Kyle Langford, Ian Williams, and Ray Davies.
Evans believes “This event will grow sailing in emerging nations, because for the first time we don’t need to have the scale of funding of these bigger sailing nations, to actually be competitive.”
The team website is: www.starsailors.com and can be followed on Facebook @sslteambermuda.