GBR Yngling team, Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson - Princess Sofia Cup, Palma, March 2008
The Yngling Women Europeans in Blanes is the last Championship for the women fleet before the Olympics in China in August. Of the 15 nations racing in the Olympics 14 are participating in this Championship and nine. teams of the ISAF ranking top 10 are present.
Anna Basalkina, Vladislava Ukraintseva and Ekaterina Maximova (RUS) won the Princesa Sofia Trophy in Palma de Mallorca last week.
Registration started today the 30 March an tomorrow Monday the practice race is scheduled followed by racing the rest of the week with the Medal Races taking place on Saturday. It has been decided that also the boats not assigned to the Medal Race will sail one Final Race with a short target time, double points and on water umpiring. It was decided during the last IYA Women Sailors meeting that the limited fleet size would provide a good oppurtunity to run two races in Medal Race Format the last day of the regatta. This will give all crews the pressure of racing in a small group for duoble points.
Many of the teams have arrived directly from the Princesa Sofia Trophy in Palma the Mallorca and have spent the last week training in Club Vela Blanes, just north of Barcelona. The sailors have experienced some very shifting conditions and were even surprised to find snow on the boats one morning, something very unusual in this part of Spain.
Today the sun is shining and the temperatures rising. The forecast is light winds of 8-10 knots for tomorrows practice race. From the start of the week the forecast is that the skies will gradually clear up and this will probably give the sailors sea breeze like conditions for the opening races.
The two times World Champion GBR team Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson are considered favourites but the strength and proffesionality of the entire fleet makes any speculating in results very difficult. Russia with their two participating teams are showing strength. Anna Basalkina, Vladislava Ukraintseva and Ekaterina Maximova recently won the Princesa Sofia Trophy and defending European Champions Ekaterina Skudina, Diana Krutskikh and Natalia Ivanova were third in Palma with Sara AYTONs team at second.
Event website: http://cvblanes.esportcatala.com/