The 1st “Football World Cup” in sailing in stunning island of Gran Canaria

The SSL GOLD CUP, the 1st “FOOTBALL WORLD CUP” in sailing will be held at the stunning Island of Gran Canaria between 10th November and 3rd December 2023 in collaboration with the Real Federación Canaria de Vela.

Inspired by the Football World Cup, the SSL GOLD CUP offers THE ultimate challenge for sailors by officially designating and crowning the World Champion of Sailing Nations.

So, after football in 1930, and rugby in 1987, sailing is ready to launch its “Mundial” in 2023 with the SSL Gold Cup in a 25 day long competition among nations. Like the Football World Cup, the SSL Gold Cup aims to make national pride resonate in a sporting and friendly manner and is ready to become one huge media showcase for the sport of sailing every 4 years.

Like the major World Cups in other sports, the SSL Gold Cup will be an equal opportunity event with no social, geographical, financial, or cultural discrimination. The conditions will be the same for all teams, with identical big racing boats (the SSL47) and training made available free of charge to all teams.

In Gran Canaria, 40 teams will compete in the SSL Gold Cup Finals, including the world’s top 24 sailing nations in the SSL Ranking, plus 16 teams who came through the Qualifying Series, held from May to July 2022. Just as with the pinnacle event in football, each team will be wearing the colors of their nation and their emblems. Each team includes 11 athletes which means more than 400 sailors, counting amongst their crews’ Olympic medalists and World Champions multiple inshore sailing classes.

The stunning venue in the Canary Islands enjoys superb winds, sunshine, and temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius during that time, making it the ideal location to host the SSL Gold Cup.

Anfi del Mar is well practiced at hosting major international events, holding the highly regarded Anfi Challenge Mogán Gran Canaria triathlon in April. For international travellers, Gran Canaria Airport is only 33 minutes away and has regular flights to a huge number of major airports.


José Javier Sanz Fernández, President of the Real Federación Española de Vela said:
“The Real Federación Española de Vela is pleased that the first edition of the SSL Gold Cup will be held in Gran Canaria. This designation recognizes the sporting and organizational prestige of the Real Federación Canaria de Vela, a guarantee for the success of the event. Furthermore, the fact that an international level championship such as the SSL Gold Cup is undertaking its innovative and spectacular format in our waters will undoubtedly reinforcement participation in the sport of sailing for which we all work.
“At a sporting level, it is with pride that our country is represented by leading figures in national sailing, led by the tandem of Olympic gold medalist Luís Doreste together with Olympian and Volvo Ocean Race winner Roberto Bermúdez de Castro.”

Rafael Bonilla, President of the Canarian Sailing Federation said:
“For the Royal Canarian Sailing Federation, the choice of the island of Gran Canaria as headquarters of the final phase of the SSL Gold Cup is magnificent news that reaches the entire archipelago, as it puts the islands on the map of top-level sports. The SSL Gold Cup also represents a great promotion for the sport of sailing, for whose Canary Islands practice offers the ideal framework.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, capital of the island hosting the regatta, is the third city of Spain by number of Olympic medals, with seven golds in sailing, and the Canary Islands is the second community in the country, after the Balearic Islands, that has the most high-level athletes in sailing.
An emblem of this island tradition is the captain of the Spanish team in the SSL Gold Cup, double Olympic medalist Luis Doreste Blanco who was born in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, and was raised sailing in these waters.
The Canarian climate and sea are known for their excellent sailing conditions, which makes the archipelago a regular destination for sailors from either side of the Atlantic.”
The Royal Canarian Sailing Federation will put all its enthusiasm and professionalism into the event so that it is a success and a great competition experience.”

Luis Doreste, SSL Gold Cup Event Ambassador and SSL Team Spain Captain added:
“We are very happy that this first edition of the SSL Gold Cup is in Spain and specifically in Gran Canaria, an island with a great nautical tradition and from which great sailors have emerged.”
“I hope it will be a great event, just as it has been until now with previous regattas in which the different teams have participated in recent years.”
“It is a very attractive event, and we hope it draws in many fans who can enjoy it, since there will be teams with very high-level sailors. It will surely be a success.”

Paul Cayard, American Sailing Legend who won the Louis Vuitton cup and Volvo Ocean Race:
“The SSL Gold Cup is what sailing was missing to challenge sailors and make it universal”

Website :
SSL GOLD CUP WEBSITE will open on 1st October

Team’s Captain:

1, ANT, SHANNON FALCONE, America’s Cup winner
2, ARG, SANTIAGO LANGE, Olympic champion
3, AUS, JOHN BERTRAND, America’s Cup winner
4, AUT, THOMAS ZAJAC, Olympic medalist
5, BRN, ABDULLA JANAHI, Arabic champion
6, BRA, ROBERT SCHEIDT, Olympic champion
7, CAN, RICHARD CLARKE, Pan-Am champion
8, CHI, PABLO LORCA, South American champion
9, CRO, ŠIME FANTELA, Olympic champion
10, CUB, NELIDO MANSO LOPEZ, Snipe World champion
11, CZE, ONDREJ TEPLY, Junior World champion
12, DEN, JONAS HØGH-CHRISTENSEN, Olympic medalist
13, ESP, LUIS DORESTE, Olympic champion
14, EST, TONU TONISTE, Olympic medalist
15, FIN, THOMAS JOHANSON, Olympic champion
16, FRA, LOICK PEYRON, Around the world recordman
17, GER, FRITHJOF KLEEN, Star World Champion
18, GBR, IAN WILLIAMS, Match-racing world champion
19, HUN, ZSOMBOR BERECZ, Olympic medalist
20, IRL, NEIL O’LEARY, Youth World champion
21, ISR, EITAN FRIEDLANDER, 420 World champion
22, ITA, VASCO VASCOTTO, TP52 World champion
23, JPN, EIICHIRO HAMAZAKI, Asian Games medalist
24, LTU, GINTARE SCHEIDT, Olympic medalist
25, MAS, MEGAT DANIAL, National champion
26, NED, ROY HEINER, Olympic medalist
27, NZL, LESLIE EGNOT, Olympic medalist
28, NOR, EIVIND MELLEBY, Star World champion
29, OMA, NASSER AL MASHARI, Bronze at GC32 Worlds
31, POL, MATEUSZ KUSZNIEREWICZ, Olympic champion
32, POR, JOAO RODRIGUES, Mistral World champion
33, SLO, VASILIJ ŽBOGAR, Olympic medalist
34, RSA, IAN AINSLIE, J/22 World champion
35, SWE, Max SALMINEN, Olympic champion
36, SUI, ERIC MONNIN, Match racing rank #1
37, TAH, TEVA PLICHARD, Match-Racing European champion
38, THA, NOPPAKAO POONPAT, Optimist World champion
39, UKR, RODION LUKA, Olympic medalist
40, USA, PAUL CAYARD, Louis Vuitton & Whitbread winner


The Star Sailors League (SSL) is the global inshore sailing circuit launched by Olympic Athletes in 2013. Supported by many sailing stars like Loïck Peyron (Around the World Record Sailor/FRA), Dennis Conner (America’s Cup Winner, John Bertrand (1st America’s Cup non-US winner/AUS), and Robert Scheidt (Olympic Champion/BRA), the SSL is recognized as a special event by World Sailing since 2017. Its main philosophy considers the athletes (not the boats) as the “stars” and its goal aims to promote sailors who are practicing inshore sailing (worldwide 15’000’000 practitioners in 2023).
From a legal point of view, the SSL is a Swiss company founded in 2014 which has around a hundred employees and representatives in around ten countries. Xavier Rohart, its president from France is an Olympic Bronze Medallist.

To achieve its goal, the SSL took inspiration from the tennis ATP ranking and launched in 2013 the most powerful global ranking in sailing sport, which gathers actually 112’000 athletes from more than 80 countries, and which has the target of 1’000’000 athletes in a few years. The SSL Ranking is used as a reference to select half of every SSL National team participating at the SSL Gold Cup.

To achieve its goal, the 2nd pillar of the SSL strategy aims to develop the world circuit of the nations crowned by a World Cup, built on the model of the football World Cup. This event entitled “SSL Gold Cup” awards the official title of World Champion of Nations, recognized by World

Sailing, and aims to become the main showcase platform to create heroes and to put them in the light of the global audience.


To guarantee the sustainability of its development, SSL has launched a foundation under Swiss law (SAF, Sailing Athletes Foundation) which relies on its know-how in Swiss real estate to provide the necessary income for SSL. In summary, SAF and SSL work as a joint venture and SAF assumes responsibility for the sponsorship of SSL.

Copyright © 2023 Star Sailors League SA, All rights reserved.

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