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Bermuda confirmed for Star Sailors League Gold Cup qualifiers

Kelsey Durham is among those pushing for a place on Bermuda’s inaugural Star Sailors League Gold Cup team. (File photograph).

Bermuda has cleared the first hurdle in the inaugural Star Sailors League Gold Cup.

Having initially been among a provisional entry list, the island has now been officially included in the event’s qualifying phase.

Bermuda will compete against Canada, Guatemala and Mexico in the North American qualifying series, with the eventual top teams advancing to the next qualifying round.

“We're excited to announce that we have made it through to the SSL Gold Cup Qualifying series,” read a Bermuda team statement.

“We will battle it out with SSL Team Canada, SSL Team Guatemala (and) SSL Team Mexico in the North American series, where we will be giving our all to gain access to the final series.”

Bermuda is among the lowest ranked teams that will start the competition first by participating in the qualifying phase divided in three or four rounds.

Half of the teams are eliminated at the completion of each round with the remainder moving on to meet higher-seeded teams.

To protect emerging nations, event organisers have created three geographic zones (Europe, Africa/Americas and Oceania/Asia) and allocated a quota of nations for each of the three zones until the quarter-finals stage.

The SSL Gold Cup is a new international sporting event designed to determine the world’s best sailing nation.

The inaugural biennial event, which is scheduled to be held in Switzerland between May and June, tests athletes’s skills by having them all sail the same boat, eliminating technical or equipment advantages.

Rockal Evans, the multiple national champion, is the captain of Bermuda’s team and experienced and highly decorated offshore sailor Emily Nagel will serve as vice-captain.

Teams will compete in the identical one-design SSL 47 monohull on windward-leeward Olympic courses during fleet races lasting between 45 to 75 minutes.

Bermuda’s sailors will have their work cut out for them, competing against world-class athletes such as multiple Bermuda Gold Cup and word champion Ian Williams of Great Britain.

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 are among the island’s provisional training squad.

Team selection is based on SSL criteria and Captain’s Pick criteria, including training commitment and performance.

Bermuda’s sailors achieved a milestone during a highly successful training camp in Grandson, Switzerland last September after securing a maiden win while competing against Antigua & Barbuda, Slovenia and Poland, whose teams featured America's Cup sailors and Olympic medal-winners.

The SSL is a global inshore sailing circuit launched by Olympic athletes in 2012.

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Published January 14, 2022 at 7:53 am (Updated January 14, 2022 at 7:53 am)

Bermuda confirmed for Star Sailors League Gold Cup qualifiers

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