Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre - New faces, opportunities and challenges

by Neus Jordi on 30 Mar 2013
Alicia Cebrian © MartinezStudio.es
The 44th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre, opening European stage of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, is set to get underway in Palma from the 31st of March to the sixth of April for all 10 Olympic classes and the 2.4 paralympic event.

This new Olympic quadrennial is announcing many changes with new faces and different opportunities for sailors seeking new challenges. Many of the stars of the 2012 Olympiad have moved on to new projects leaving the places to young and eager sailors who have not lost any time starting their Olympic campaign...and for many it will start in Palma.

Only three of last years' winners will be back to defend their title.

Alicia Cebrian (ESP) will try to repeat last year form with the absence of her closest rivals and Olympic medallists in the Laser Radial.


Mat Belcher (AUS), who added the 470 Sofia title to his impressive tally in 2012, went on to win Olympic Gold but is back in Palma with new crew Will Ryan (AUS). Pierre Leboucher (FRA) third in Palma last year will be sailing with coach Nicolas Leberre. However, the newly combined team of British Olympic Silver medallists, Luke Patience (London) and Joe Glanfield (Beijing and Athens) will be among the ones to watch, along with London Bronze medallists Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente from Argentina.

The 49er will also present some new associations with 2012 Sofia Mapfre winner and 2008 Gold medallist Jonas Warrer defending his title with London Bronze medallist Peter Lang. Allan Noregaard (London Bronze medal) will start this new Olympic quadrennial with new crew Alders Thomsen. The British teams will be present with two new pairs. Stuart Bithell (with Chris Grube) and Nic Asher (with Fynn Sterritt) have both switched from the 470 to the 49er for the Rio cycle. The french pair of Manu Dyen and Christophe Christidis, winner of the Trofeo Mapfre in 2012 and second last year will come as favourites to challenge the strong Danish squad.

The large Laser fleet will see many favourites to grab the title. Nick Thompson (GBR) 2011 vice world champion has climbed three times on the podium in Palma winning the title previously in a post Olympic year 2009. Pavlos Kontides (CYP) London Silver medallist, world number one Tom Burton (AUS) third last year in Palma or world number two Philip Buhl (GER) winner of Hyères, Kiel and the Europeans in 2012 will all stand good chances of taking the title. This year will see the return of Tobias Schadewaldt (GER) to the Laser after four years in the 49er where he still hold the first place in the World ranking!


The title is also open in the Finn class in the absence of last year Palma top three. Olympic bronze medallist Lobert (FRA), Laser medallist Vasilij Zbogar, 2011 World and European champion Giles Scott (GBR) or PJ Postma (NED) will face new challengers against Star medallists Prada (BRA) and Salminen (SWE) and other newcomers from the Laser class, New Zealanders Andrew Murdoch and Josh Junior, Zsombor Berecz (HUN) or Alejandro Foglia (URU).

The 470 women fleet has seen a renewal with some of the 'old' favourites switching to the 49er FX. Many new, young sailors will make a start on their 470 Olympic campaign in Palma.

Meanwhile, the RS:X class will see a minimal attendance after the Worlds in Brazil. However many class favourites will be present including SWC Miami winners Ivan Pastor (ESP) and Maayan Davidovich (ISR). They will face 2013 Vice World Champion Bryony Shaw (GBR) and World Number 1 Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) in the women division and Ricardo Santos (BRA), Julien Bontemps (FRA) or Toni Wilhem (GER) in the Men's.

The new Olympic events, the Nacra and the 49er FX are set to create the show!

They are the perfect opportunities for bringing new challenges for teams seeking to test different skills or the ones in search of a fresh start!


The Nacra will create history with a full fleet of mixed teams. The Spanish have jumped on the opportunity to showcase some of their most talented sailors: Iker Martinez and Tara Pacheco will bring attention to Palma for the Spanish sailing aficionados.

The Nacra has also attracted some of the cream from the London match racing event: Lucy Macgregor has seek new challenge after Olympic disappointment and has quickly stepped into the Nacra with Tom Phipps, three-time Youth Worlds medallist (including two Golds) in the Hobie 16.

Same fate for other match racer Marie Riou (FRA) who is learning multihull techniques from Tornado sailor Billy Besson. Silke Hahlbrock (GER) is teaming up with Christoph Buttoni.

The Dutch teams will be among the favourites with Mandy Mulder (NED) teaming with 2011 Nacra World Champion Thijs Visser and Renee Groeneveld with Karel Begeman. The keelboat sailors will have to match the multihull skills of the third Dutch team formed by A class World Champion Micha Heemskerk and Elke Delnooz.

Other match racers, Anna Tunnicliffe or the Australian Silver medallists have also embarqued on a Nacra but will not be in Palma.

Winners are expected to come from traditional multihull countries like the Netherlands, France or Germany with the Gaebler couple among the favourites. The Australians are not yet ready to enter the Nacra scene but are also expected to be among the favourites.

The 49er FX will see 36 teams on the water of El Arenal. The teams are a real mix from skiff, 470, Radial and match racing sailors from last Olympic cycle. With only a few regattas held, it is hard to predict who will take the advantage in Palma!

A practice race will be stage for all classes on Sunday with racing starting on Easter Trofeo Princesa Sofia website

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
Pantaenius – Smooth sailing is more than a favourable weather forecast
Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia As Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia, we get to see why they continue to grow their happy crew of customers. Sitting down with Pantaenius Australia’s MD, Jamie MacPhail, you immediately get a sense that the smooth sailing is a direct result of both their unique product and the marketplace’s willingness to embrace the better mousetrap
Posted on 27 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Pantaenius - Fixed ValuePhuket Raceweek 2016 660x82Barz Optics - Floaters