Hamburg is ready and so are we

The best sailors of the SSL Ranking present in Hamburg pose in the Hamburg City Hall.

The best sailors of the SSL Ranking present in Hamburg pose in the Hamburg City Hall.

The curtain call for the first SSL City Grand Slam was the official Opening Ceremony, on Monday, 2nd May. The spectacular event was held at the prestigious and iconic Town Hall of Hamburg, Germany.

All of the 180 Star sailors, representing 20 Countries, gathered in the historic building for the welcome messages of city and sailing authorities just a few hours before the warning flag for the first SSL City Grand Slam race will be lifted tomorrow, Tuesday 3rd May at 10 AM CET. On lake Alster, every day to Saturday 7th May, 90 Star teams will race to win the first SSL City Grand Slam, organized by the Star Sailors League and the great support of the Hamburg and Luebeck Bay Starfleet and Norddeutscher Regatta Verein.

George Szabo proudly showing his new t-shirt Number One

George Szabo proudly showing his new t-shirt Number One.

With an astounding participation of amateur Star sailors, the entries limit set at 80 boats was reached in less than 24 hours, the other 20 teams are the professionals, invited by SSL. Among them the current Star World Champions Augie Diaz with crew Bruno Prada (two Olympic medals with Robert Scheidt), Torben Graelwho is the most decorated Brazilian Sailor of all time with crew Stefano Lilia from the renowned Star boat shipyard, Polish Finn gold medalist Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Olympic bronze and SSL President Xavier Rohart racing with longtime crew Pierre-Alexis Ponsot. On the racecourse the main language of the competitors will undoubtedly be German as they represent the majority of the fleet with 50 teams. Top Star sailors did not miss the opportunity to race on their home water: local heroes Johannes Polgar and Markus Koy, Bacardi Cup holders Robert Stanjek and Frithjof Kleen and ‘Doctor’ Hubert Merkelbach will be the boats to watch. 

The Prize Purse for the SSL City Grand Slam is CHF 100,000 shared between the top twenty teams. Races are scheduled to start each day at 9 AM, from Tuesday 3rd May to Saturday 7th May. The regatta will consist of a Qualifying Series and a Final Series. The Qualifying Series will have a first and a second round. In the first round races will be sailed in groups decided by the organizing authority and a combined results list will be produced. VIPs will also need to sail this first round of Qualifying Series. 
The top ranked 30 teams of the first round qualify for the second round, and the winning team in the first round will be awarded the “Heinz Nixdorf Trophy”.
In the second round all 30 teams will sail in one fleet, with a maximum of 5 races. The top 10 teams will go ahead to sail the Final Series, the first qualified team will go straight to the Final, and the second will have a bye to Semi-final. In the Quarter-final only 5 teams out of 7 will gain access to the Semi-final and only 3 teams out of 6 will join the second round winner to the Final (see diagram). 

City Hall of Hamburg

City Hall of Hamburg.

The first team to cross the line during the Final will be the first SSL City Grand Slam winner and also awarded with the 50th Erich F. Laeisz-Prize.

A very rich social schedule awaits the participants with “Four Private Parties” hosted by local star sailors on Wednesday, BBQ at NRV on Thursday, Gala Dinner at Hotel Atlantic Kempinski overseeing lake Alster on Friday and the Prize Giving Ceremony at the International Maritime Museum on Saturday.

Xavier Rohart, SSL President.

Xavier Rohart, SSL President.

Full coverage of all five days of action will be streamed live on the Internet for FREE, with expert commentary from special studio guests, including Dennis Conner. On the water, the latest in hi-tech camera technology, as well as Virtual Eye 3D Graphics, will provide thrilling viewing. Armchair sailors can also race the course withVirtual Regatta.

To watch the races from Tuesday, May the 3rd at 9 AM to Saturday, May the 7th:

To see full schedule, both sailing and social: