Conditions in Palma de Mallorca at this week's Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía regatta (AKA the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca) have presented Olympic class sailors with the chance to race against the best in the world in a variety of different wind and sea conditions. While the first few days of the regatta featured light air, the conditions filled-in yesterday, delivering 20 knots of air and lumpy seas. For the American squad, the fresh conditions were a welcome respite from the stickier stuff, as several sailors made impressive moves up the leaderboard after the team experienced a sluggish start to the regatta.
As of this writing, Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha were sitting in eighth place in the Women's 470 class, while Caleb Paine had advanced to ninth place in the Finn class. In the Men's 470s, Stuart McNay and David Hughes moved up to 13th place, and Sarah Newberry and John Casey were sitting in 17th place in the Nacra 17 fleet.
'A really big thing for us right now is just feeling like we're climbing the ladder,' said Briana Provancha. 'We're looking to minimize losses, and hone our communication... We're just trying to learn as much as we can tactically, and we enjoy having a fresh perspective.'
As for the team's leadership, they are fully aware of how important this regatta is as the sailors prepare for the rest of the 2014 ISAF circuit, and for the Rio Olympics 2016. 'Palma is an essential training ground for our team because it offers up a unique style of sailing, with big waves and a wide range of wind speeds,' said Josh Adams, Managing Director of US Olympic Sailing. 'The conditions here are something we don't see at many venues at home. Additionally, top European talent is here at this event in force. There is a very high level of competition.'
Racing continues at the Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía regatta through April 5, so be sure to stay current with the website for the latest updates, and don't miss the full regatta report, inside this issue.
In America's Cup news, Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com New Zealand Editor, has put together an excellent three-part series on the 34th America's Cup and the stunning recovery effort that was led by Oracle Team USA's never-say-die skipper, Jimmy Spithill. Check out all three parts in this great mini-series, inside this issue.
And in offshore news, the maxi trimaran 'Spindrift 2' has been re-launched in Lorient, France after a three-month refit job. The 'Spindrift 2' team, lead by Dona Bertarelli and Yann Guichard, plans to take on the North Atlantic, as well as a crewed 24-hour record, before Guichard engages the solo Route du Rhum. Along with new onboard equipment, 'Spindrift 2' now also has new livery as the team recently signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Genes-X, who will join Mirabaud as a Gold-level sponsor.
'I congratulate the Spindrift racing team for getting this work done despite such a tight schedule,' said Guichard. 'We look forward to being at sea and enjoying the high performance of this fantastic boat. The changes made for the North Atlantic and the Route du Rhum mean we have the potential for a stronger performance even while we're pushing 'Spindrift 2' less hard. I've always tried to sail with finesse, whether in Olympics or offshore and even on a machine of this size, it is possible.'
Get the full 'Spindrift 2' report, inside this issue.
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