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Zhik 2022 Choice of Champions LEADERBOARD

SSL Gold Cup QS Round 4 - Day 1

by SSL Gold Cup 30 Jun 08:40 PDT 30 June - 2 July 2022
SSL Gold Cup QS Round 4 - Day 1 © Lapo Quagli

On a day of sketchy winds and close-fought racing, SSL Team Guatemala emerge to top the Group 6 with maximum points from both races at SSL Gold Cup Qualifying Series Round 4.

Race 1: Oman pipped on the line

In a gripping opening race, SSL Team Guatemala took victory by just 6" from hard-chasing SSL Team Oman. Despite trailing the fleet at the halfway point, Juan Maegli's Jaguars found just enough wind at the right time to reel in and overtake the Omanis.

It was a bitter end to an otherwise good race for SSL Team Oman, clearly out to make amends for earlier conceding a one-point penalty for a late crew declaration.

Las Catrinas of Mexico looked down and out as they rounded Mark 3 almost two minutes off the pace in last position, but made the most of SSL Team Cuba's struggles to snatch 3rd place.

Race 2: Guatemala on the double

For the second race in a row, SSL Team Guatemala found themselves locked in a tight battle with the finish line approaching. Again they held their composure, this time holding off SSL Team Cuba to seal victory. For the Cubans, led by Nelido Manso Lopez, 2nd place capped a much improved performance and one that will give them plenty of optimism going into Friday.

SSL Team Oman, so close to victory in the first race, struggled to find their form this time around. But in light winds, positions in the fleet changed quickly, and mistakes proved costly. When SSL Team Mexico came off worst in a battle with the Jaguars and the Cubans at Mark 3, Nasser al Mashari's Lions of the Sea capitalised to secure a precious additional point in 3rd.

Beware the chasing pack

The highest ranked team in the group, the Guatemalan Jaguars end the day in pole position. But it has not all been plain sailing for Juan Maegli's crew, who were pushed right to the wire in both races. For the trailing pack, there is every reason to believe the glory can be theirs tomorrow.

Juan Ignacio Maegli (Captain, SSL Team Guatemala):

"Our strength was that everybody was working very well together, the manoeuvres were executed really well. The tactician gave me a lot of options to do what I wanted on the water, and I had a good understanding of what the wind - or lack of wind - was doing, and where the pressure was coming from on the lake. So we are very happy with our performance today especially as we only had a few days training here. It's a big learning curve, none of us has experience on big boats, so our learning curve is very steep and that is why we are even happier that the first day went so well".

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