American helm, George Szabo with Swiss crew Patrick Ducommun have won the inaugural Star Sailors League Lake Grand Slam, winning the final to be crowned Swiss Open Champions and $25,000, a quarter of the $100,000 Prize Purse.
The win also earns the duo 3000 points towards their SSL ranking for the showcase event, the SSL Final in Nassau this December. During the four-boat final the lead changed hands three times and Szabo & Ducommun came from last place to take the lead on the final downwind leg. The win in the final was the first time the team had won any of the eleven races making up the SSL Lake Grand Slam event.
This morning, after a short delay waiting for the breeze to fill in, eleven teams sailed out onto Lake Neuchatel to contest the knock-out stages of the SSL Lake Grand Slam. Mark Mendelblatt & Brian Fatih were the winners of the 68-boat qualifying rounds and sat out the Quarter-final but were out gauging the conditions and sizing up the tactics of the opposition
Ivan Gaspic & Josh Revkin hit the line with the pace for the first race and in free air chose to stay in the middle of the lake, whilst the majority of the fleet headed for the Grandson shore line. All but Torben Grael & Guilherme De Almeida, who banged hard right, which seemed to pay for the Brazilian duo. However there was no holding back, Gaspic & Revkin who extended at the first top mark, to eventually win the race by a hefty margin. Torben Grael & Guilherme De Almeida were second with Augie Diaz & Arnis Baltins, pulling off a phenomenal second top mark rounding, to place third. Reigning Star World Champions, Robert Stanjek & Frithjof Kleen, had a solid race to place fourth and Laser sailor Jean-Baptiste Bernaz racing with his coach, Pascal Rambeau took fifth. For the crucial sixth place, to make the cut, George Szabo & Patrick Ducommun just squeezed out Polish Gold Star Mateusz Kusznierewicz & Dominik Zycki. Also eliminated were: Xavier Rohart & Stefano Lillia, Jorge Zarif & Bruno Prada and Johannes Polgar & Markus Koy.