Lausanne, April 16, 2019

The SSL Gold Cup, a Sailing event like the World Cup of Soccer, was launched yesterday at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne with 18 Nations represented by their team Captains. 48 Nations will qualify for this Championship in October of 2021. The first 20 Nations were introduced yesterday. I have the honor of being the Captain of Team USA.

Strict, 100% Nationality rules will apply to the teams. The boats and all equipment for the 47 foot, carbon fiber, high performance, One Design, monohull keel boats will be supplied by SSL. Racing in provided, identical, boats means money can not be spent on technology to try to find an edge. The SSL Gold Cup is about sailing skill, teamwork and National pride. The races will be very close and probably won by a few meters. The best sailing Nation will win.

The racing will take place in the fall of 2021, on two lakes in Switzerland; Lac de Neuchatel and the finals on Lac Leman (Geneva). The SSL Gold Cup will be run every two years, and completes the SSL program. As with the SSL Finals each year, there will be prize money awarded at the SSL Gold Cup.

The format will follow World Cup Football; Four qualifying rounds where countries will be seeded into groups, 1/4 Final, Semi Final and Final. While the rounds through the semi finals will take place over four days, the final will be one race between four Nations.

Teams will be comprised of 11 sailors; five picked by the Captain and five sailors qualified through the SSL Global Ranking system. The SSL Global ranking is the first ranking system to rank 100,000 sailors from hundreds of classes of sailboats from Optimist, 420, Olympic Classes, J70’s, Etchells, on up to the America’s Cup. This huge undertaking is already underway and will start putting out a Global ranking every two weeks by years end.

The SSL Gold Cup is also designed to open up the sport and create opportunity for many countries who otherwise could not compete in large boats, at this level. A training camp has been created at Grandson on Lac de Nuchatel. All teams will be offered the opportunity to come and train; again, hosted by SSL. Less experienced countries will be able to train more. The Gold Cup is sailings championship of nations, like the Football World Cup. And like in football, a regular season of events, SSL Grand Slams and Finals in Nassau each December, will continue.

Building a global, engaged audience is one of the primary goals of the Star Sailors League. This means focusing on wide broadcast distribution as opposed to selling rights for revenue. All SSL content has always been and will continue to be delivered free of charge.

The next SSL event is the Breeze Grand Slam, in conjunction with the Star European Championship, which will be held at Riva del Garda, in just one months time, May 13-19, 2019.

The 92nd Bacardi Cup is history. Eric Doyle and Payson Infeliz sailed incredibly consistently to win. There were 8 Gold Stars (past world champions) in the fleet of 65 teams from over 15 countries. 

Magnus and I had a rough start to our week, a great middle, and a rough ending, finishing 7th overall after dropping our rig yesterday. We went into the last race in second place and as the only other team that could win. We will just remember races 4 and 5 which we won by healthy margins. 

Next for Star sailing is the European Championship/SSL Breeze Grand Slam, in May on Lake Garda. In two weeks I will be racing on Rosehearty with Joey Kaempfer and Nicholas O’Leary (IRE), one of my competitors this past week.

Coconut Grove

Last weekend marked the end of the Star Winter Series with the Walker Cup on Thursday and Friday and the Mid Winter Championship being the cumulative score of all 8 races from Thursday through Sunday. The four days featured a variety of conditions from 7 knots to 20 knots sunshine to rain squalls. Through it all, the 42 teams had great competition on the water and camaraderie ashore.

There were many contenders in each race with Tomas Hornos, Augie Diaz, Doug Smith, Jake Lilly, Jorgen Schonherr (DEN) Peter O”Leary (IRE), Ante Razmilovic ((GBR) Arthur Anosov, all leading or winning races. I also had the pleasure of having my son Danny with Roger Cheer out sailing with the fleet and learning a ton while having fun. Danny had just completed the first ever Star Junior World Championship at the beginning of the week. This is a great event that is brining youth into our class.

At the top of the leaderboard for the Mid Winters, Eric Doyle with Payson Infelize, Lars Grael with Samuel Goncalves and myself with Magnus Liljedahl battled all week. After 4 races for the Walker Cup, which were moderate wind races, Magnus and I won by just one point over the other two who were tied for second. After two more windy days of sailing on the weekend, Magnus and I managed to win the entire event by just 0.4 of a point. Eric Doyle and Payson had out-sailed us through the 7th race and held a two point lead going into race 8. At the first mark of race 8, Mag and I were leading with Doyle Infelize in 4th. Down that first run, Doyle got in a collision with another, “give way”, boat. Both yachts broke their masts. Doyle requested and received redress. His redress was the average of his score in the first 7 races. Being that his first 7 races totaled 24 points, he received 3.4 as his score in race 8. Mag an I went on to win race 8 over the O’Leary brothers, who finished the regatta in 3rd.

Magnus and I are very pleased with our performance last week and looking forward to the Baracrdi Cup in 3 weeks time.

As a general note, I am posting less requesting through this channel and more on FaceBook and Instagram. You may want to follow me on those channels.

For complete results go to:

Our 15-day journey to Antarctica and Patagonia came to a close Monday morning as we departed Ushuaia, Argentina at 09:00.

After our various Penguin, Whale and Iceberg experiences of 10 days ago, we set sail for the Antarctic Circle, 66 35 degrees South latitude. We crossed our “goal line” at approximately 18:00 on Sunday, January 20 and celebrated with some of Shackleton’s Whiskey and cigars, outside, on the upper deck of Rosehearty.

On the Horn

From there we chartered our crossing of Drakes Passage. Captain David Hutchison and I monitored the weather forecasts for several days. The weather analysis was reminiscent of my Round the World Racing days. We found a good “window” and departed, weaving our way through the low-pressure systems on a 60-hour, 600 nautical mile passage. We had up to 48 knots of wind one night, fortunately, aft of the beam. So while we still pounded and rolled quite violently at times, I appreciated the comfort of being on a 180 foot, 500 ton, yacht compared to my previous experiences. We made landfall at Cape Horn on Wednesday, January 23. For me this was a special visit. Having sailed past the Cape 3 times while racing, I was intrigued to go ashore. We visited the lighthouse and various monuments commemorating the sailors who sailed passed and those who perished at the Horn.

From Cape Horn, we cleared customs in Chile in Puerto Williams and made our way up to Yendegaia Fjord. There we visited an abandoned cattle ranch and saw lots of flora and fauna on a 5-hour hike. After the hike a few of us tried our hand at fishing and come up with nothing. The crew put down crab pots and caught several which made for a tasty lunch the next day.

In the morning, we were on the move again to Pia Fjord, first the western arm with its three glaciers and then up the eastern arm where we anchored and went ashore. Again, we hiked up into the nature and arrived at the base of a giant glacier. Naturally, the ice pieces that calve off the glacier float out into the fjord. When the tide goes out, a lot of the ice gets stranded on the beach and creates quite a strange dichotomy of “ice on the beach”.

We then proceeded back to Puerto Williams to “check out” of Chile and then onto Ushuaia, Argentina, where we spent Sunday afternoon visiting the town. You could tell from the type of shops in the town, that the purpose of Ushuaia was to serve as a launch pad for various expeditions, both on land and by sea. Ushuaia, with a population of 80,000 now, is known as the southernmost town in the world.

The 15 days we spent on Rosehearty, with her extremely professional and well-organized crew, was spectacular. The things we saw you can see in picture books. But experiencing first-hand, makes a world of difference! This was truly a trip of a lifetime and I thank my friend Joey Kaempfer for the fabulous opportunity!

I am back in San Francisco this week to, among other things, attend to my responsibilities as Chairman of the Board at St. Francis Yacht Club. On Friday I will be heading out to Miami for the Star Masters this coming weekend where I will be sailing with my longtime friend, and Olympic Gold Medalist, Magnus Liljedhal. I am also very excited to get time with my son Danny who will also be in Miami training for the Star Junior World Championship which starts on February 4.

Day 4 of our Antarctic adventure-Position 64S x 62W. 
Our general itinerary is to travel southwest to the Arctic Circle, 66.5S, through the Palmer Archipelago along the western coast line of the Antarctic Peninsula. Yesterday we cruised down the Gerlache Straight and overnighted at Melchoir Island. 
Since our departure from King George Island on Sunday, we have traveled 180 nautical miles southwest, visiting Deception , Trinity and Melchoir Islands. We have seen a Chinstrap Penguin colony of 160,000, Gentoo Penguins, Fur Seals, Humpback Whales, Giant Petrel, and of course countless ice bergs. Today’s agenda is visiting Port Lockroy and kayaking to an overnight camp site. We will build a fire and cook dinner ashore. Tomorrow we will up anchor and head to Palmer Station, a U.S. research base and hopefully get a tour of their activities.  

St. Francis YC South
Chinstrap Penguin
Moon over Melchoir Island

As we continue south, the ice will become our challenge in achieving our “summit” of crossing the Arctic Circle. Report are that the inside passages of Lemaier Channel, French Pass, and Grandidier Channel are fairly well blocked with ice. However, things change fairly rapidly down here, so we will get the latest reports during our Palmer Station visit and hopefully be able to attempt the inside route. If that is still blocked, we will have to take the outside, 180 nautical mile, Southern Ocean, route. The weather window for that looks to be Sunday night Monday. The landfall south of 66.5 degrees would be Detaille Island, Crystal Sound. Again, we may or may not be able to get in there. We may just pierce the 66.5 circle and be forced turn around and head back to Palmer. The furthest south I have been is 63 south in the 2002 Volvo Ocean Race. This would be 210 nm further south!
Toward the middle of next week, we will begin our 600 nautical mile sail back to Cape Horn and then onto Porto Williams where we will disembark.

You can see many more photos on my instagram page-@cayardsailing


SSL Finals

The Day started off with the Quarter Finals. Arthur and I tuned up before the fist race with Jorge Zarif and found out then that he was very fast after his retune last night. I think I may have said too much when I told Augie Diaz what I did the night before to retune my mast,  Still we felt we would be competitive. Shortly after the start, we crossed France close and they yelled and protested. The umpires reached for and grabbed the green flag (no foul) and then paused for about 30 seconds, discussed, and eventually decided to penalize us.

It was a set back for sure but early in the race. We battled the French for the 5th spot that qualified for the semi final most of the race but in the end they beat us across the line and we were eliminated finishing the event in 8th.

Jorge Zarif/Pedro Trouche (BRA) won the Quarter Final, the Semi Final and the Final by a healthy margin. He had another gear today even on Robert Scheidt who won the qualifiers by a 20 point margin. Scheidt/Boening finished second and Negri/Kleene finished 3rd.

This was the 6th SSL Finals and the thoughest yet. The level keeps going up. I certainly didn’t sail great this week. Decent I suppose. I am disappointed because I think we had more potential than 8th. We were on the back foot all week, only just getting up to race winning speed yesterday.

It was an honor to be out on the water this week with all of the competitors!  At my age, I appreciate the opportunity to compete with the the best in our sport.

That’s it for this year. Next sailing for me will be in Antartica in early January. I’ll send some pictures!

Full Results:

SSL Finals 2018
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SSL Finals 2018
December 3rd- 8th

While the star performers today certainly were Robert Scheidt/Henry Boening and Paul Cayard, significant to more competitors was what was happening mid-fleet. For today, Friday, the final Qualifier races were held at the Star Sailors League Finals in Nassau.

Crews finishing the Qualifier in third to tenth positions would progress on to the Quarter Finals. From here the top five would go to the Semi-Finals and meet the second placed Qualifer finisher. The top three Semi-Finalists would then meet the winner of the Qualifiers in the Final. All these stages are single race affairs taking place tomorrow, Saturday.

Sadly the 15 teams not making the top ten have been eliminated.

Four races were held today, on the same azure-coloured waters on the plateau off Montagu Bay as yesterday. Conditions with a 10-12 knot northeasterly and built to 15-18, shifting right for the fourth and final race.

Stand-out competitors were once again Olympic legend Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening. The Brazilian duo won three of today’s four races. In eight out of the 11 races held during the Qualifiers, Scheidt and Boening have finished on the podium. This consistency caused them to finish Qualifiers 22 points ahead of Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih, with Diego Negri and Frithjof Kleen in third.

Yesterday we had a rig check and made a few adjustments,” said Scheidt. “The boat felt better and we were more confident with our speed. We had good starts too and picked the right spots, which put us in front right away. Then we had good speed – all those components together made a big difference. Henry did a great job in the manoeuvres and calling the wind. After we had two good races we felt confident and the rest of the day went really well.”

Paul Cayard and Brazilian Arthur Lopes found both an extra gear and a turbocharger today, posting a 2-1-3-14. “We made a little adjustment to the mast last night, which turned out to be quite important and really made a big difference,” explained the Whitbread Round the World Race and Louis Vuitton Cup winner. “We were fast upwind. Perhaps through the confidence we were fast downwind as well.”

Both Cayard/Lopes and the Brazilians did well playing the top left today. “In the northeasterly breeze, that almost always pays and you have current with you,” said Cayard, who has raced here for some 40 years. “And you expect a geographical shift around Rose Island [the low-lying Bahama Island to weather of today’s course] in the morning, when the current is stronger.” Later in the day when the current reverses and the wind goes right, the opposite side can pay.

Today’s score elevated Cayard/Lopes from lowly 14th place to seventh place and into the Quarter Finals. “I am delighted,” continued Cayard. “It was frustrating how hard we were struggling over the first few days. To be fast in all four races today gave me a lot of confidence that we have resolved the problem.”

Around the vital 10th placed slot there were ‘snakes and ladders’. Among those on ‘ladders’ today were Swedish London 2012 Star Olympic champion Freddie Lööf and Italian crew Edoardo Natucci. They started the day in 11th place but three results inside the top 10 left them eighth and with a berth in the Quarter Finals.

An OCS in today’s first race, caused Brazilian two time Olypmic medallist Lars Grael and Samuel Gonçalves, just to remain in the top 10. Not so lucky was Hungarian Finn Gold Cup winner Zsombor Berecz and his veteran Czech crew Michael Maier, who finished 11th despite being tied on points with Grael/Gonçalves.

Others packing their bags tonight include British three time Olympic medallist Iain Percy, racing here with Swedish Star bronze medallist, Anders Ekström. “It was very tiring, but really good fun,” said Percy.

11th hour business commitments sadly caused Percy to miss the first days of the regatta. Today they posted a 9-6-6-6. “I really enjoyed it, but we just turned up and were out of practice, but we didn’t find it frustrating which is nice. We were in the hunt and caught up when we were at the back. It feel great to be back in the boat, it keeps it real and keeps you sailing properly. I would love to come back next year.

Others heading home include French 470 World Champion Kevin Peponnet, sailing this week with Star and America’s Cup veteran Mark Strube. “It is amazing to sail against these legends. They have shared a lot. I am really happy to be here and gain some knowledge of this boat.” However their performance today wasn’t ideal. “We broke the vang and the main sheet block.”

One of the great surprises has been the performance of Laser Radial Youth World and European Champion, Guido Gallinaro, and his German crew Kilian Weise. They finished the event 19th, their scoreline including an 8th yesterday – not bad for a 17-year-old. “It was a great experience for me,” said Gallinaro. “We had quite good races today. In one we were fourth at the top mark. It was a great week for us.”

Looking forward to tomorrow, Scheidt says they may have won the Qualifiers but now the competition starts afresh: “It doesn’t mean much. We are happy that we are in the Final, but we are going to sail against the best guys and we still have to win that race. It is going to be hard.

1 Robert Scheidt (BRA) Henry Boening (BRA) 33
2 Mark Mendelblatt (USA Brian Fatih (USA) 55
3 Diego Negri (ITA) Diego Negri (ITA) 65.8
4 Jorge Zarif (BRA) Pedro Trouche (BRA) 68
5 Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) Dominik Zycki (POL) 75
6 Eivind Melleby (NOR) Joshua Revkin (USA) 81
7 Paul Cayard (USA) Arthur Lopes (BRA) 94
8 Fredrik Loof (SWE) Edoardo Natucci (ITA) 97
9 Xavier Rohart (FRA) Pierre-Alexis Ponsot (FRA) 98
10 Lars Grael (BRA) Samuel Gonçalves (BRA) 99

Nassau, December 7th, 2018

Press enquiries to:

Rachele Vitello
SSL Media and Communication
+39 328 21 40 680
Skype: rakvit99

Download DAY 4 VNR and Interviews
Download DAY 4 Interviews in SWE, FRA, ITA, POR
Star Sailors League Finals 2018 – Highlights Day 4

The Star Sailors League is a World Sailing Special Event that organises elite championships with substantial prize money to celebrate today’s heroes and to honour the legends of our sport. Our SSL Ranking, SSL Grand Slams and annual SSL Finals are inspired by tennis and give the public an exciting and easy to understand format for competition among individual athletes. Our SSL Nations Gold Cup is our biennial grand finale to crown the world’s top sailing nation. The SSL Nations Gold Cup uses the same nationality principles as the Olympic Games to provide a country against country championship like the World Cup in football. Star Sailors League shines the spotlight on the athletes and arouses the sporting passions of national pride.

photo by Marc Rouiller 


Four races were held today in 12-15 knots from the northeast to close out the qualifying part of the SSL Finals. The adjustments we made last night were right on the money and we were quite fast upwind and downwind. When you are fast it is much easier to be smart and go the right way. Tutu and I scored 2, 1, 3, 14. We finished the qualifying series in 7th.  Big move from 15th this morning!
The best part is that our trend is up. It’s a nice way to go into the quarter final race tomorrow.
The format is:
The number 1 qualifier goes straight to the Final
The number 2 qualifier goes straight to the Semi Finales
Qualifiers 3-10 race the quarter final race. The top 6 go onto the semi final and join qualifier #2. The top three from this race go forward to join #1 for the Final, winner takes all, race.
Everyone is tired. We will be sleeping for 10 hours tonight. Weigh in for all teams tomorrow morning at 08:00. The quarter final race starts at 11:00EST.

Photo Elena Otekina | Star Sailor League Bow: 07 USA 8466 // Skipper: Paul Cayard USA // Crew: Arthur Lopes BRA

Full Results:
Tune in for the broadcast live online: Star Sailors League Facebook Page
Download the Star Sailors League Application to keep in touch with news from the SSL Finals in Nassau and WATCH THE LIVE FEED:
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Day 3 of the SSL Finals saw three races in 12-15 knots from the northeast….beautiful sailing conditions that the Bahamas are famous for. Unfortunately for Arthur and I, it wasn’t a great day. We struggle for speed upwind mostly, and downwind its just a battle.
Provisional Ranking after 7 total races:
Mark Mendleblatt (USA) & Brian Fatih (USA)
Robert Scheidt (BRA) & Henry Boening (BRA)
Jorge Zarif (BRA) & Pedro Trouche (BRA)
Four races remain to be sailed. Arthur and I are 15th, 18 points out of 10th. It will probably require all top 5 finishes for us to have a chance to make the quarter finals on Saturday. We took our mast out of the boat tonight to make some adjustments. These are long days!
Full Results:
Photos by Gilles Morelle @adonnante and Marc Rouiller

Bow: 07 USA 8466 // Skipper: Paul Cayard USA // Crew: Arthur Lopes BRA

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Photo by Marc Rouiller

Nassau, Bahamas

The first 4 races of the 2018 SSL finals are in the books. It was just an ok day for my crew Arthur (Tutu) Lopes and I. The wind was from the west at 8-10 knots and very shifty most of the day. The fleet starts like the photo and stays about that tight the whole way around the 50 minute race. The downwind legs are a workout with the unlimited kinetics.  The lower limit for this should be 10 knots like in the Finn class. What we are doing is another sport…Fanning.

I didn’t sail the shifts particularly well and we struggled for speed in the first two races. We made some adjustments and felt a bit better dialed in at the end of the day.

At the end of the day, we are in 12th, still very much in it.  The goal is to be in the top 10 to qualify for the quarter finals at the end of racing Friday.  7 more races to go.

Provisional Ranking:

1. Robert Scheidt  (BRA) & Henry Boening (BRA)

2. Mark Mendleblatt (USA) & Brian Fatih (USA)

3. Diego Negri (ITA) & Frithjof Kleen (GER)

Full Results:

Four more races are scheduled tomorrow and racing will begin at 11,00 local time (-5 GMT). Tune in for the broadcast live online:

Star Sailors League Facebook Page

Download the Star Sailors League Application to keep in touch with news from the SSL Finals in Nassau and WATCH THE LIVE FEED:

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