by Elena Pipó
The Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre, first European stop of this world sailing circuit begins tomorrow with the practice race with strong winds forecasted in the bay of Palma.
Nacra 17 training with strong winds: Iker Martínez and Tara Pacheco - 44th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre
'We go through very tough moments but we need to think about all the work done and not give up,' declared Támara Echegoyen, the London 2012 Women’s Match Racing champion at the Spanish Olympic champions conference held today.
On a strong winds day, Támara Echegoyen defeated Australia and won the final of the Olympic Games. The Spanish team grew strong with laughs and dances and surprised everyone claiming gold in London 2012.
Támara Echegoyen, Sofía Toro and Ángela Pumariega have recalled today their deed in front of around one hundred persons and children that long to achieve the Olympic dream someday. At the conference organised at the regatta village, the Pabisa Beach Club, the skipper and leader of Xiquitas Team said: 'The best prize for an athlete apart from the results is to participate at the Olympics. Our dream of winning a medal was achieved but it was already a dream to be there'.
Spanish Olympic champions conference - 44th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre
Támara was joined by twice Olympic medallist Iker Martínez, gold in Athens 2004 and silver in Beijing 2008 in 49er, who starts tomorrow a new Olympic adventure at the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mapfre on board the Nacra 17 together with 470 world champion Tara Pacheco.
The Spanish sailor has said that the Nacra 17 reminds him a lot of the 49er 'for the difficulty to govern it' but has pointed out at the same time that 'it is a nice and complicated challenge to sail with a woman', specially having sailed for over ten years with Xabi Fernández spending more time with him than with his own wife.
'I’m very enthusiastic about the Rio 2016 Olympic campaign although I would like to repeat the experience of the Barcelona World Race with Xabi Fernández' said Martínez, who has admitted that in his debut on board the Nacra 17 he has had some bruises and has fallen in the water a few times.
Nacra 17 training with strong winds - 44th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre
Strong winds are forecasted for tomorrow, the day of the practice race at the 44 Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mapfre and on Monday first day of racing. These will not be the ideal conditions for the debut of the Nacra 17 or 49er FX teams who have drawn the media attention these days of training in the bay of Palma de Mallorca.
There are six days of racing ahead in this third event of the new ISAF Sailing World Cup. In each of the eleven participating classes teams will fight for a place on the podium but many of the favourite teams in Mallorca also think about claiming the Absolute winner trophy, one of the main symbols of this regatta, and the favourite one for many sailors.
The Princesa Sofia Mapfre Absolute winner trophy made of silver has the names of the 43 winners of the regatta engraved. Among them, the King of Spain who won the 1973 edition or five times Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie who won the trophy in 2011.
Absolute winner trophy - 44th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre
Spain is the nation having won the absolute winner title more times at the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mapfre. From the 44 editions of the regatta, half of them have been won by Spanish sailors. Besides Spain, Argentina, has won the trophy four times and Great Britain three times.
Félix Gancedo and Carlos Llamas, who won the trophy three times in the mid-eighties, are the sailors who have won the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mapfre more times. Spanish Olympic medallist Luis Doreste has two victories, the same as Argentinian sailors Santiago Lange and Guillermo Parada.
During this century, the windsurfers have registered certain predominance in the ranking of winners with six victories out of the twelve editions held over the past years.
In this edition of the Princesa Sofía Mapfre, the Trophy can be claimed by the winners of classes with a minimum of 25 boats, a minimum of eight nations and a minimum of two continents. The team with the lowest average score will have the honour to receive the trophy from the Queen of Spain at the prize giving ceremony to be held next Saturday and bringing the 44 Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mapfre – ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma to an end.
Trofeo Princesa Sofia website