History in the making in the Barcelona World Race!
Eighteen members of the Canadian Sailing Team were in Palma, Mallorca last week competing in the prestigious Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia MAPFRE regatta. The third event on the World Cup schedule, Princesa Sofia marked the start to the European racing season. Palma's striking Mediterranean venue remained true to its reputation over the regatta's 42-year history for challenging and windy conditions. Our Canadians performed well in preparation for London 2012; Lee Parkhill in the Laser class came up only 4 points shy of cracking the top 10 and a medal race date. Fellow Canadian Dave Wright also came out strong in the final day to place 14th overall. On the board, Zac Plavsic dropped from 10th to 15th overall after a difficult final day, an unfortunate turn of events after spending the majority of the week in the top 10. Nikola Girke in the women's RSX fleet was the top Canadian finisher winding up 18th.
In Barcelona, Ryan Breymaier, the sole North American racer in the event crossed the finish line in fifth on-board Neutrogena, co-skippered by Boris Herrmann, who became the first German sailor ever to complete a non-stop racing circumnavigation. Their fifth pace finish behind Estrella Dam is quite an accomplishment for the young sailors. Another page has been written in the Barcelona World Race history book with the English-Spanish duo on Gaes Centros Auditivos competed their race earlier today; while British sailor Dee Caffari has already competed four circumnaviagtions, Anna Corbella, was the first Spanish woman to race non-stop around the world. They are also the first all-female duo to finish the Barcelona World Race. Congratulations!
With only a week remaining in the Velux 5 Oceans, second place Canadian skipper Derek Hatfield was victorious in the timed run earlier this week. American Brad Van Liew opted for a more westerly route and ran into slower conditions; in a typical 'grass being greener next door' situation, both skippers recently commented they were prefer to be in each other's location. British skipper Chris Stanmore-Major is over to the east as all three yachts are leaving Antigua to port; the conditions are expected to change again over the next few days and it can still be anybody's race. A broken forestay has forced Polish skipper Gutek to put into port in Brazil earlier this week, he took this opportunity to have his chest examined where broken ribs where confirmed.
After a long winter, Canadian boatyards and yacht clubs are busy again and boats will be launching soon; I'm looking forward to getting back on the water!
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