The SSL Gold Cup took it to a whole new level on the Golden Day of the 1/8 Finals in Gran Canaria.
Double points meant it all came down to Friday’s performance on the water and eight teams qualified to join the eight seeded teams, which include the British team skippered by Ian Williams.
In addition to the Brits, seven other seeded teams now enter the competition: Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Italy and Spain.
In Fleet 1 – The Malaysian ‘Monsoon’ only beating the Hungarian ‘Shamans’ by 3 seconds for both teams to go through to the 1/4 Finals, while bad luck for new arrivals Teams USA and Argentina who already have to go home.
Fleet 2 – Lithuania ‘Ambers’ qualified a race early while Brazil’s superstars, skippered by Robert Scheidt finally overcame the challenge of the tiny South Pacific island of Tahiti to qualify second.
Fleet 3 – This fleet was all to play for going into the final race, with super tight racing throughout, and a few metres separating the teams.
Chile won the final race to qualify top, Norway finished second, but Switzerland stayed ahead of South Africa to snatch the second qualifying spot.
Fleet 4 – The Portuguese ‘Navigators’ finished at the top of the scoreboard to face what will potentially be the ‘Death Group’ of Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.
For ‘Les Bleus’, who were at the bottom of the leaderboard, everything went exactly to plan, smashing the odds to qualify for the 1/4 Finals.
The British quarter final team is: Ian Williams, Nic Aisher, Elliot Willis, Matt Cornwell, Pete Cummings, Luke Patience, Aaron Cooper, Freya Black, Phil Clapp and James Dodd.
In QF1 group they will face; Denmark, Malysia and France starting Monday 27 November.