Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre 43rd edition is to be sailed in the Bay of Palma de Mallorca, Spain from 31 March to 7 April and will be the stage for fierce competition between the majority of future London Olympians and one last selection chance for many teams.
Most international teams have sent their representatives to Palma, the third ISAF Sailing World Cup event on the international circuit. Sailors will test the results of their winter training and perfect their techniques and material before the Olympic Games. Among them, the Skandia Team GBR has a strong presence in Palma, as explained by their Olympic manager, Stephen Park:
'Skandia Team GBR are looking forward to a fantastic regatta this week in Palma. We will have a strong team including all of the GBR Olympic representatives except the RSX sailors Nick Dempsey and Bryony Shaw, who have just completed the RSX Worlds. This regatta will provide a good opportunity for sailors to review their progress against their Olympic plans, following spring training. With less than 120 days remaining until the first race of the Olympics, the number of high quality regattas remaining for sailors to test their performance are few and we are confident the Princess Sofia Mapre will live up to expectations and deliver a fantastic ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta.'
Most of the American Olympic team will be also competing at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapre with among them the Railey’s: brother and sister in the Finn and Laser radial. With Olympic selection still under way for the Women Match-racing teams, four US teams will race in Palma, a good test before their last Olympic selection event in Weymouth early May!
However, Olympic selection is not complete for all teams and some sailors will be under scrutiny during the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapre.
For the Polish team only the Star and RS:X have already gained selection and sailors in other classes will be vying for good results in Palma to add valuable points to their national rankings. The Czech teams are in a similar position with the exception of Veronika Fenclova selected in the Laser radial after the ISAF Worlds in Perth.
However, one of the tighter ongoing battles for Olympic selection is among the three French 470 women teams. For Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Géron, Ingrid Petitjean and Nadège Douroux and finally Emmanuelle Rol and Hélène Defrance, Palma and Hyères will be considered as 'observation' regattas. Technical Director Philippe Gouard summarized the situation: 'Palma is not a strict selection event, but we will keep an eye on the teams' performances and will take a final decision after Hyères.'
Another French battle will take place between Sophie de Turckheim and Sarah Steyaert in the Laser Radial. Selection between the two will be settled after their class World’s in May.
Competition in the 43rd Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapre, third leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, will start on Monday second of April, after a practice race on Sunday.
Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia website
by Corinne Rolland-McKenzie
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4:19 PM Fri 30 Mar 2012GMT
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