Excellent weather for the start of the Olympic class regatta season in Europe at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma, here in Mallorca. The weather has been kind. There has been some postponed starts but it is a beautiful day here this Friday in Palma. 19 degrees at 3pm , when it was a bracing seven degrees in Weymouth.
Under sunny skies - Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre 2013
The fleet is impressive in total numbers but it mustn’t be forgotten that back in 2009, before the global financial crisis had really deepened, the numbers were much greater at this regatta.
For this Sailing World Cup event, we have another experimental format. Antonio Gonzalez de la Madrid, the Sailing World Cup Manager, says ISAF is looking feedback. Feedback they are obviously going to get.
Sail-World has been hard pressed to find anybody who actually likes the format amongst the coaches and sailors.
Luke Patience & Joe Glanfield, 470 Men - 2013 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre
Britain's Giles Scott, Luke Patience and Joe Glanfield, amongst the top performers here all feel the first three days of the event have been devalued.
Laser Radial GBR GBR-202411 3 Alison Young - 44th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre
With Australian supercoach Victor Kovelenko blasting it and Wil van Bladel, the Belgian Laser Radial coach dryly commenting that it was not exactly motivating for the top sailors.
What the new format has done is to effectively shorten up the regatta and increase the level of chance over the last few days.
44 TROFEO S.A.R. Princesa Sofia Mapfre, day 4 - GBR-41 29 Giles Scott
A number of the top Laser Standard contenders commented today the effect has been not to reward consistency but to ensure that the final one day would be a very close event and the winning of the whole regatta would depend on who sailed well on the final day.
If that’s what the World cup organisers and ISAF see as the way forward… After all, follow that route with a 35 boat Olympic fleet and you could wrap up the racing in just two days. perhaps it needs a little rethinking
We will leave you to read more on this and other events in your own time.