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Bermuda struggle on second day of SSL Gold Cup 1/16 finals

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Hanging in there: Bermuda in action at the SSL Gold Cup (Photograph by Martina Orsini/SSL Gold Cup)

Bermuda saw their hopes of qualifying for the next stage of the Star Sailors League Gold Cup dented after struggling on day two of the 1/16 finals group in Gran Canaria.

Having secured second spot in their opening race in Fleet 2 on Thursday, captain Rockal Evans and his 11-strong crew failed to replicate their previous form, picking up just a single point on day two.

Difficult swell killed off the wind in hot conditions, causing the teams to struggle in keeping their boats on the move.

Bermuda putting in the hard work (Photograph by Martina Orsini/SSL Gold Cup)

Bermuda, racing as “The Privateers” did not have the greatest of starts, as Hungary and Finland were not making it easy for the previously undefeated Tahiti.

Finland surged into the lead at the start, followed by Hungary, Bermuda and Tahiti.

However, on the final downwind leg Hungary stormed through to secure first position, with Tahiti staging a heroic comeback to beat Finland on the finish line.

Despite Tahiti’s string of five wins coming to an end, “The Black Pearl’’ maintained top spot-on the Fleet 2 leader-board with seven points, one ahead of Hungary with Bermuda third on four points and, Finland fourth with three.

At the conclusion of the 1/16 on Sunday, the top two teams from each group will make it through to the 1/8 finals, which run from Tuesday to Friday.

Bermuda sailors captured in competition (Photograph by Martina Orsini/SSL Gold Cup)

Hungarian helm Robert Bakoczy, who was delighted to claim victory, reflected on the importance of getting up to speed to match the levels of the other teams in the group.

Bermuda sailing team in the water (Photograph by Martina Orsini/SSL Gold Cup)

“It was a really hard race, so we are super happy now to get a first place,’’ Bakoczy said. “It’s really tough taking on the teams who have been in the boats longer, but I hope as the time goes by we will get better and better.

“Yesterday [Thursday ] Tahiti and Bermuda were sailing really nicely, handling the boats really well, but hopefully we’re now reaching the level we want.”

Bakoczy also touched on the conditions, and their impact on keeping the boats on the move.

Star Sailors League Gold Cup table (Photograph supplied)

“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,’’ he added. “In light winds, choppy, and big swell it’s crazy.”

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Published November 18, 2023 at 8:00 am (Updated November 18, 2023 at 8:00 am)

Bermuda struggle on second day of SSL Gold Cup 1/16 finals

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