The 45th Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia in Palma Mallorca Spain, was first sailed as a Dragon class regatta in 1968. Six years later the Soling, 470, Snipe, 420 Finn and Europe arrived.
Now an exclusively Olympic class regatta has been building steadily in importance in recent decade, but this year with the Santander Worlds in September and the Rio Olympic regatta only two and half years away it seems this 2014 event will make history.
Yesterday some 1195 sailors were registered, three times the number that sailed in the Rio Olympic regatta and the quality of the fleets is very high.
The event organisers are waiting for definitive numbers, with the final entry list tomorrow evening.
The previous record edition was 2007, with 1,118 sailors from 56 nations.
Ferran Muniesa, Trofeo Princesa Sofía Race Manager told Sail-World today.
'We are very satisfied with the number and quality of entries received this year at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia. It is a record edition, with it seems almost 1,200 sailors and 60 nations.
'We have gone through very tough weeks following the loss of our main sponsor. (The leading Spanish insurance company MAPFRE ed.) We are grateful to them for their six-year sponsorship, they have contributed to make an even bigger event. But we have known about their withdrawal just one month to the start of the event, so it’s been quite tough.
'On the other hand, this issue has given us the opportunity to excel, and I have to say I am very proud with the team of our regatta.
'The number of participants gives us the energy to continue working to deliver one of the best editions ever and confirms we are the favourite event for all sailors, a must event in the calendar of sailors from all around the world, despite the financial problems caused by the loss of the main sponsor only a few weeks ago.
'Finally, I would like to thank all the team and the Organizing Clubs, Arenal, Can Pastilla and Palma, for the enormous effort they are undertaking despite the forced budget restrictions, to make sure the Princesa Sofia continues to be one of the best events in the world'.
As it stands in the qualifying rounds, there will be 80 boats sailing in two fleets in the 470 Class, 48 boats in one fleet in the 470 Women’s, the 84 boats in the 49er class will sail in three fleets, there will be two fleets for the 51 boats in the new Olympic class 49er FX women, a record fleet for the class which only appeared on the circuit in 2013.
The 99 Finns will be split across two fleets, the 160 Laser Men will start with three fleets, and the 105 Laser Radials Women will compete in two fleets.
The 74 Nacra 17's, easily a record field for this new Olympic class boat will be split in two for the qualifying rounds.
The 80 RS:X Men will sail in two fleets while the 58 RS:X women will sail in one fleet. The 19 boats in the 2.4mr class will sail in one fleet.
Tomorrow is the final practice race day for the huge fleet that will sail in the area between Club Náutico s'Arenal at the southern end of the Bay of Palma and Real Club Náutico de Palma to the north from Monday March 31st to Saturday April 5th 2014.
Early this morning there were white caps on the Bay of Palma and strong winds were expected, while it is now not as windy as forecast, most crews have stayed ashore and spent at least some portion of the day, doing last minute checks on the boats, rigging and sails ahead of this vitally important regatta on the Road to Rio.