CAPTAIN | 10
SAILING WITH THE SPIRITS
Mexico is a country full of colorful traditions and a vibrant culture that expands past the beautiful vacation beaches, resorts, and friendly people. For example it’s extraordinary culinary distinctiveness, archeological sites, and also for its diversity of festivals.
One of the most recognized yearly events that is celebrated throughout Mexico is Día de los Muertos. This celebration is rich in rituals and expresses the unique and exceptional relationship that Mexicans have with death and with their ancestors.
It’s a distinct spiritual time of the year to gather family members together, reflect, and remember our family members who aren’t with us anymore. It’s a happy celebration meant to honor our dearly departed loved ones and to appreciate life while we are still part of the living, just like this team is in memory of Eric Mergenthaler.
One of the strongest and most recognizable symbols of The Day of the Dead celebrations is the tall female skeleton wearing a fancy hat with feathers. Her name is La Catrina and the essence of her story goes deep into Mexican traditions and roots but has been restyled only in the last century.
GREATER THAN DEATH
In honor of the late Eric Mergenthaler, Finn World Champion, the Mexican team comes to the Gold Cup as Catrinas. A new team led by Olympic Laser sailor Yanic Gentry, followed by Mexico’s best talent in sailing. Yanic has become the bridge between Mexico’s veterans and the up-and-coming talent, everyone joining under the same motivation, showing the world Mexico’s potential.
Being the first nation to win the Round The World Race, Team Mexico is surely one not to be underestimated. In the past years Mexico has been showing the world a taste of its potential, winning a J70 World Championship, having a team in the Extreme Sailing Series and a possible entry for the next Ocean Race is just a hint of what is to come.
- 50 sailing clubs
- 10 000 sailors
- 20 Sailing school
- Mexico has hosted 1 Olympic games
- 11'122 km of sea coast
- 1 Round the World Race wins.
- Atlantic Crossing Record in a monohull.
- Longest voyage in a dinghy without assistance.
- 14 consecutive Olympics with participation in sailing 1960-2016.
- 3 world championship titles in different classes.
- Biggest Kitesurfing Festival in the American Continent.
- SSL best ranked woman: 657 (05/2021)
- SSL best ranked man: 683 (05/2021)
- SSL nations ranking: 42 (05/2021)
- PV Race – MEXORC
- Festival del Viento > 250 participants
- Copa Aaron Saenz
- Triple Copa Scappino
Multiple times National Laser Champion and Mexico’s representative in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Yanic is the man leading SSL Team Mexico. Not only a great sailor but a civil engineer finishing a masters in naval engineering, he is a highly capable leader ready to take on the challenge of bringing Mexico to the top of the leaderboard.
Tania Elias Calles
One of Mexico’s best athletes and the best woman sailor in the history of the country, Tania Elias Calles is joining the team. The Laser Radial Champion, ranked #1 in the world in 2008, is here with her expertise on tactics and preparation.
YON BELAUSTEGUIGOITIA & ELIANE FIERRO
Yon & Eliane are an iconic couple in the sailing community in Mexico, both holding an Atlantic Crossing Record in the Volvo 65 Viva Mexico with their three sons. Eliane representing Mexico in the 470 class at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games and a 7th in a Women Laser World Championship, is a great resource bringing her mastery of coaching and team development. Yon, Mexico’s top sail designer with his own brand B17 sails, the silver medalist in a 470 North American Championship and multiple times National Champion is here to take the team to the next level.
A one design specialist and a very smart competitor, Jorge Murrieta joins SSL Team Mexico bringing with him a keen eye for speed. The Snipe Pan American medalist and J24 North American Champion is someone perfect to set a team in the right track.
THE YOUTH FACTOR
Team Mexico has its eyes on 25 year old Juan Ignacio Perez, the Mexican Olympic representative in the Finn class for Tokyo 2020ne. His excellent physical form and experience in the Finn will definitely come in handy on the SSL47’s. Ander Belausteguigoitia is another rising sailing star that could represent big gains for Catrinas, competing in the difficult 49er class and a bronze in the competitive J70 Northamerican Championship is definitely a good asset for the team.