Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Kids range

Olympic selections for Europeans at Palma

by Corinne McKenzie on 16 Mar 2008
Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher lead at the top mark - 2008 Tornado Worlds Race 8 Sail-World.com/NZ ©
The start of the European sailing season is the opportunity for many nations to start their Olympic selections. A lot is at stake and the pressure is on in Mallorca for the 39th Trofeo Princesa Sofia MAPFRE! While some are fine tuning their equipment for the big event in August, some are passing the final hurdle to the 2008 Olympic regatta!

Absent from all the other events, the only Australians in Mallorca will be on a 49er! Nathan Outteridge and Ben Austin fresh from winning the Worlds in Melbourne will meet again the world’s best to repeat their earlier performance.

World ranking leaders the Sibello brothers (ITA) world one and Peckolt brothers (GER) world number two, Athens medalists Martinez/Fernandez (ESP), Rodion/Leonchuk (UKR) or British Draper/Hiscocks will provide a tough competition.

With 21 countries represented among the 38 470 women teams, it is a talented field who has gathered in El Arenal.

Marcelien de Koening and Lobke Berkhout (NED) are back to defend their title. They will face strong competition with world number one and vice world champion Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol (ITA) on top form after placing second in the World Championship in Melbourne early this year.

World number two Japanese Ai Kondo/Naoko Kamata, and Lenka Smidova with Lenka Mrzilkova (CZE) will also be serious opponents. To note the absence of World Champions, the American pair of Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving who had taken third place last year in Palma.

Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page (AUS), world ranking leader, and current world champion Asher/Willis non attendance will not lower the level in the men’s division.

Last year winners, Portuguese Alvaro Marinho and Miguel Nunes have started the Olympic year with a second place at their World Championship. The French team will be a major threat with three boats placed among the world’s top five on the starting line.

Gideon Kliger and Udi Gal (ISR), third in the world ranking have taken a world championship Bronze medal, placing them in contention for the title.

With 119 entries, the Laser will have the bigger fleet. The 39 Trofeo Princesa Sofia MAPFRE, will be used as selection event for many countries. The largest international contingents are coming from Denmark with 11 Laser sailors in contention for Olympic selection, Sweden and Great Britain with nine and Estonia with eight.

Julio Alsogaray will be the only Argentinean representative but is one of the hot favorite. After a mixed year in 2007 where his best result was to win the Princesa Sofia MAPFRE regatta, Alsogaray starts the year with promising results, taking Silver at the Laser Worlds in Australia and Bronze at the Central and South American Championship. Among the 23 Spanish laser sailors, Javier Hernandez (ESP) is the local hope, he finished third at the World Championship and is leading the selection to represent Spain in the Olympic regatta.

It will be a 'full house' in the 49er fleet with all the top sailors on the starting line to prepare for the European Championship.

Marina Alabau (ESP) is dominating the RS:X women division and will set her goal to improve from her third position during last year Princesa Sofia MAPFRE trophy. Current European Champion and third at the worlds in new-Zealand, the Spanish is leading the world ranking.

Other favorites include French Faustine Merret (second in the World Ranking) and Charline Picon, who had placed second last year behind the Spanish. Winner of the 2007 Olympic Test Event, Bryony Shaw (GBR) will be another hot prospect for the title.

The Polish team will probably make an impact on the competition with 18 starters. Among them are last year silver and bronze medals at the 'Sofia MAPFRE' event: Przemyslaw Miarczynski (World number one) and Piotr Myszka (World number four)!

Unfortunately, current world champions from New-Zealand, Barbara Kendall and Tom Ashley will not attend the event this year.

Olympic selections will spice up the Finn event with France, Italy, Russia, Sweden and Poland among the countries that have made the Princesa Sofia MAPFRE Trophy selective for the Olympic Games. Undefeated since 2005 Ben Ainslie is collecting victories in every Finn regatta he has entered since: 2005 Finn European Champion, 2005 and 2008 World Champion, 2006 and 2007 Olympic test events winner…

He is surely the top favorite but will not have it easy with World number one Jonas Hoegh-Christensen (DEN), Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) or Aimilios Papathanasiou in top form. This will be the first international regatta in the Finn for Eduardo Couto who won the Olympic trials for Brazil in the Finn class. Growing out of his Laser, Couto will surely enjoy the light weather predicted for next week!

Despite low entries, the Yngling fleet will have an outstanding level with most of the top teams present at the Real club Nautic de Palma. The Russian team of Skudina/Ivanova/Krutskikh is leading the ISAF World ranking.

Current European champions, they have placed fifth at the Worlds in Miami and third at the 2007 Olympic Test event. World numnber three, the German team of Schuemann/Hoepfner/Bleck or current World Champion, the British trio of Ayton/Wilson/Webb will try to take the Princesa Sofia Mapfre title from Americans Barkow/Capozzi/Howe.

The Yngling fleet is seeing the constant improvement from Athens Gold medalists in the Europe and 470 classes: the Norwegian boat helmed by Siren Sundby and the Greek team led by Sofia Bekatorou.

The Tornado fleet will start without 2007 World Champions Echavarri/Paz who had to pull out from the regatta from a last minute physical problem. Double Olympic Gold medalists: Hagara/Steinhacher (AUT), World number three Mitch Booth and Pim Nieuwenhuis (NED), Argentinian Lange/Espinola (Athens Bronze medalists) or French pair of Revil/Espagnon (third at the 2007 Europeans) are among the favorites.

Despite a clash with the World Championship in New-Zealand, the Laser radial class has 22 entries.

The first warning signal will be given from 2PM on Sunday for the 39th Trofeo Princesa Sofia MAPFRE.
Barz Optics - Melanin LensesZhik Isotak Ocean 660x82North Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Hotting up at the Star Sailors League Finals
Three light airs races were held for the penultimate day of the Qualifying Rounds in Montagu Bay Nassau. Three light airs races were held for the penultimate day of the Qualifying Rounds in Montagu Bay Nassau. Getting a good start and having the boat speed to hold a lane was paramount today.
Posted on 2 Dec
America's Cup - Tech Tuesday - AC50 One Design sails by Norths + Video
North Sails are making all the soft sails for the 2017 America's Cup fleet. North Sails are making all the soft sails for the 2017 America's Cup fleet. In this Tech Tuesday feature, Oracle Team USA shows the sails being made as a batch at North Sails facility at Minden Nevada.
Posted on 1 Dec
America's Cup - Video tour of an AC45S by Artemis Racing
Crew member Francesco Bruni gives an exclusive tour inside the cockpit of the team's first development boat, Turbo 1 Artemis Racing crew member Francesco Bruni gives an exclusive tour inside the cockpit of the team's first development boat, Turbo 1. Skipper, Nathan Outteridge, provides an update on the state of play with less than 8 months to go to the finals of AC35, and Loick Peyron provides the inspiration to a squad of young aspiring sailors in Toulon
Posted on 1 Dec
Sailing World Cup Final brings the best to St Kilda
Thirty-six nations have registered sailors across a combined 22 Olympic and Invited classes for next week’s World Cup Competitor numbers are predicted to reach 800 across the two competitions - the final stage of the international body World Sailing’s six-part Olympic class international circuit that will come to a head at St Kilda for the 11 classes, and the 11 Invited classes.
Posted on 1 Dec
Volvo Ocean Race - Future Fibres furling cables on board 8-boat fleet
Volvo Ocean Race has chosen the latest generation of Future Fibres high performance furling cables Volvo Ocean Race has chosen the latest generation of Future Fibres high performance furling cables for the fleet of eight one-design yachts in the thirteenth edition of the gruelling race around the world starting in October 2017. Each of the eight identical boats will use Future Fibres TorqueLite 2.0 furling cables in their seven-headsail inventory, ranging from a 29.7 m2 storm jib up to a 420
Posted on 30 Nov
Battle commences at Star Sailors League Finals
The early exchanges confirmed the amazing quality and depth in fleet, which contains no less than 16 Olympic medallist The early exchanges confirmed the amazing quality and depth in the fleet, which contains no less than 16 Olympic medallist among the skippers alone.
Posted on 30 Nov
Volvo Ocean Race - Southern Spars export first batch of masts
Southern Spars is forging ahead on the first batch of new masts, scheduled to leave their Auckland factory in early 2017 As the fleet of Volvo Ocean 65s undergo refits in Europe, Southern Spars is forging ahead on the first batch of new masts, scheduled to leave their Auckland factory in early 2017. There are currently four more build slots available for early next year which will fill up as teams continue to commit to the race. Completing a full set of rigs will take the company's tally up to 46 masts for Volvo
Posted on 30 Nov
Volvo Ocean Race - Team AkzoNobel arrives home after 2,000km sail
Skipper Simeon Tienpont and the team AkzoNobel training crew arrived in the Netherlands earlier this evening Skipper Simeon Tienpont and the team AkzoNobel training crew arrived in the Netherlands earlier this evening following a four-day delivery from Lisbon to The Hague onboard their Volvo Ocean 65. The journey of nearly 2,000km was the first opportunity for Tienpont to put his potential crew through a series of offshore training tests ahead of the next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018.
Posted on 29 Nov
A Q&A with Nick Bice about the recent changes for the 2017/2018 VOR
I caught up with Nick Bice, the VOR’s director of boats and maintenance, to learn more about the VOR’s new directions. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Nick Bice, the Volvo Ocean Race’s director of boats and maintenance, deliver a keynote speech to an audience of marine-industry professionals and official Volvo Ocean Race suppliers at the 2016 METS trade show in Amsterdam. I caught up with Bice after his presentation to learn more about the new directions that the race is taking for its thirteenth edition.
Posted on 28 Nov
Predictwind release improved racing and cruising routing function
PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach to what has been a black art of weather routing, used to chose the fastest route for racers or most comfortable route for cruisers.
Posted on 28 Nov