So much for that.
After 40 international teams qualified in 2022 for the inaugural SSL Gold Cup final in Bahrain from October 28 to November 20, the event has now been postponed.
The Star Sailors League (SSL), founded in 2013 as an international regatta circuit with the aim of promoting athletes and sailing in a simple format, was a dream come true for the guests. Using Star boats, the SSL was funded by Michel Niklaus and offered substantial prizes to participants.
What’s not to like?
But sporting events that are overly reliant on one person’s wallet, and seemingly without sufficient commercial foundation, can be volatile.
However, SSL had endured and in 2018 Niklaus revealed he was taking it to the next level with an innovative new global sailing event. Using SSL’s proprietary ranking system, 56 international teams were identified for a competition to determine the best sailing nation.
With modified RC44 races originally scheduled in Switzerland for September and October 2021, the pandemic pushed it back to 2022, and now after qualifying has whittled the herd down to the top 40 teams, the organizers are taking a break again…here’s their statement :
The whole SSL team, the Bahrain Maritime Sports Association (BMSA) and the Sailing Athletes Foundation (SAF) are understandably dismayed to have to make this decision with the event so close, but the logistical and technical challenges, amplified by the global environment present, have made it impossible to host the event in the way it deserves.
Bringing together the incredible National Teams, made up of the most decorated sailors ever assembled at one event, remains the intention of Team SSL and despite this setback, the goal remains as strong as ever.
We share the disappointment of the sailors who were preparing to compete, as well as that of sailing enthusiasts from all over the world and the general sports public who were delighted to follow the event.
The scope of the SSL Gold Cup Finals is unprecedented, and arrangements for the future of the event will be announced in due course, after discussion with the SSL teams.
It had been labeled “The Football World Cup… in Sailing” but what sounded too good to be true might have been. Upright…