South Africa, Ukraine, Malaysia and Thailand are the last to qualify

SSL Gold Cup QS Round 5 Overall: South Africa, Ukraine, Malaysia and Thailand last to qualify

by SSL Gold Cup Jul 17 1:13 PM PDT
July 14-17, 2022


The fifth and final round of the SSL Gold Cup Qualifying Series ended today with SSL Team South Africa and SSL Team Malaysia qualifying from Group 7 and SSL Team Ukraine and SSL Team Thailand taking the last two remaining spots in Group 8 .

The draw to determine the opening groups for the finals will take place later this summer, the date will be announced shortly. Be sure to follow the SSL Gold Cup on social media to stay up to date!



Group 7: South Africa and Malaysia win the Prize

Despite finishing 3rd in today’s final race, SSL Team Malaysia will join group leaders SSL Team South Africa at the final series in Bahrain in October.

As SSL Team South Africa finished qualifying with one day to spare, the final race of today’s ‘Golden Day’ was dedicated to the battle between SSL Team Malaysia and SSL Team India.

Already qualified, SSL Team South Africa finished in style with a victory in the final race. 2nd place for SSL Team India sees them miss out while SSL Malaysia takes the last qualifying spot in 3rd.

As they have done all week, SSL South Africa took control early and never looked back, capping off a brilliant week for them with another authoritative victory.

After a chicken match between SSL Team India and SSL Team Malaysia led to a collision at the start line yesterday, the two teams stayed well clear of each other at the start this time.

Late to bloom, SSL Team India has improved with every race this week. Halfway through, they had left the Malays in their wake and were about to keep in touch with Ian Ainslie’s Ubuntu. But a problem dropping their gennaker at the gate ended their hopes of securing the victory they needed, and they missed qualifying by one point.

At 60th in the world rankings, making the final is even sweeter for SSL Team Malaysia given that they started the week as the lowest-ranked team in the group.


They said:


Ian Ainslie, helmsman and captain, SSL Team South Africa

“We had a great week, everything worked well on and off the boat and it was really stress free. Our nickname is Ubuntu, it means diversity, and there is no more ‘ubuntu’ sailing event. that the SSL Gold Cup, here with so many different countries, with so many different histories and backgrounds, it’s fantastic. Also, to see the Ukrainian team win their fleet was very emotional. This is the SSL Gold Cup and we are happy to be part of it”.


Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy, Helmsman, SSL Team Malaysia

“I want to thank all my team who worked very hard this week. We struggled yesterday and today as we had to keep India behind and control South Africa. But we are happy as we will become more strong for Bahrain. conditions like today so we will have to improve for Bahrain. But now it’s time to celebrate our qualification. We would like to thank our sponsor, His Highness Amir Shah who came here to support us and our family back home who has followed us all along.”


Group 8: Ukraine and Thailand go to Bahrain

SSL Team Ukraine and SSL Team Thailand finish first and second in the group to qualify for the final in Bahrain.


SSL Ukraine Team started the day needing just one point to qualify. For SSL Team Thailand, the equation was just as clear: finish 3rd or better to parry the challenge of SSL Team Singapore, who themselves had to win to have a chance of winning the prize.


Race 6: Thailand saves the best for last

Finalists all week, SSL Team Thailand finally picked up their first victory in Race 6. SSL Team Ukraine took 2nd place, ensuring they joined Thailand in the final in Bahrain. SSL Team South Korea finished their campaign with 3rd place as SSL Team Singapore couldn’t challenge 4th.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and the expressions on SSL Team Thailand’s faces as they crossed the line left no doubt what it meant to them. Overcoming a shaky start, Chang Thai took the lead after a thrilling opening round that saw all four teams jostle for the lead.

After a promising opening for Jovina Choo’s Singapore SSL Teamtheir challenge failed in Stage 3, when an all-or-nothing bet on the right side of the course failed to pay off.

With the crew of Noppakao Poonpat in the lead, group leaders SSL Team Ukraine knew that 2nd place was more than enough to qualify. However, Ihor Matviienko’s ‘Haydamaky’ was determined to finish with a win and chased the Thai boat to the end, side to side, gybe to gybe.

But Chang Thai kept his composure on the final approach, finishing 19″ clear of the Ukrainians to finally earn the victory their performances this week have deserved.


They said:


Ihor Matviienko, captain of SSL Team Ukraine:

“We finished qualifying well. It’s a great production (the SSL Gold Cup) with all the boats the same. But when we picked up the boat today, it didn’t feel very good in the strong winds, it was a bit like a jellyfish “So we weren’t happy with our speed today. But hey, we finished second and that’s enough for qualifying. So we are satisfied and look forward to Bahrain.”


Noppakao Nai Poonpat, captain of SSL Team Thailand:

“It was an amazing race in difficult conditions. We haven’t finished ahead of SSL Team Ukraine in the last three races, but today the points counted double and we did it this time. they caught up with us at the end, we managed to control the fleet. At the start we were in the same position but we sailed well upwind then downwind. And we’re in the Final! See you in Bahrain!”



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Steven L. Nielsen