by Daniel Smith
Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapre 44th edition is currently underway in Palma de Mallorca. Ukraine’s Maks Oberemko and Olga Maslivets have swapped the boards for the multihull and are making their Nacra 17 debut at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma – Trofeo Princess Sofia Mapre.
Nacra fleet start - 44th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre
The pair, both born in 1978, are experienced Olympic windsurfing campaigners. Oberemko made his Olympic debut at Atlanta 1996 in the Men’s Mistral and has been a familiar face at every Olympic Games since then. Maslivets first sailed at Sydney 2000 and llike Oberemko she has been on the Olympic playing field since then.
Now they’re starting a new chapter in their expansive book of sailing and campaigning knowledge. 'It’s a new challenge,' said Maslivets. 'Maybe we were too bored of the RS:X and wanted to try something completely different and we found this boat really fast, enjoyable, unpredictable and we enjoy it so much and have lots of fun on the water.'
Sailors in the 34-boat fleet in Palma have come from a variety of sailing background. From Laser Olympians, Match Racing specialists, Skiff hotshots and multihull specialists they’re all featured on the water. But the Ukrainians are the only sailors that have made the transition from windsurfing, 'Sometimes we don’t know what to do and we just shout at each other and it is quite interesting and at the moment it’s really emotional for us,' said Maslivets.
'You can’t pump here. Maybe a little by pushing the boat in the waves but it doesn’t work like an RS:X, you push with one leg and you fly and you push on the Nacra and nothing flies so it’s different. I guess what’s good from the RS:X to here is the speed, it’s approximately the same speed level so we’re not that scared about what is happening in the speed.'
The fleet has a fine blend of male and female crews but years of sailing as a lone sailor on the windsurfer has certainly presented its challenges for Maslivets, 'It’s definitely different than sailing alone. To me it’s quite hard at the moment being crew and not making any decisions because I’m telling him to tack and he’s just me to shut up and do your part,' joked Maslivets.
Oberemko and Maslivets head to Barcelona next and then on to ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma and Maslivets concluded, 'We’re 100% behind it and wouldn’t be here if we didn’t want to go to Rio.'