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2016 Princess Sofia Trophy - British sailors in action

by RYA on 1 Apr 2016
GBR's Tom Squires leads the RS:X fleet overall Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia / Jesus Renedo
2016 Princess Sofia Trophy - British sailors are fighting it out for the podium spots with two days of competition remaining at the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma, Majorca.

Tom Squires maintained his overall lead for a fourth day in the RS:X windsurfing event, while World Champion Giles Scott pulled back to the top of the Finn fleet with a fourth place and a race win on Thursday (31 March) seeing him leading on countback over New Zealand’s Josh Junior.

Paralympic Champion Helena Lucas is also tied on points at the top of the 2.4mR standings with Germany’s Heiko Kroeger, while rising talents Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter are into third place overall in the 470 women’s event.

The 22-year-old Squires has been enjoying impressive form this week, but with just two points separating him from Poland’s RS:X European Champion Pawel Tarnowski, he knows that there can be no respite over the final two days if he’s to remain in contention for the podium spots.

“Pawel is really, really fast when it’s windy, there’s also Nimrod, Byron and their little training group and they’re all going really fast,” Squires observed. “Nimrod today was fast but luckily I managed to keep an edge on him. There are some really good people. There are some good guys missing as well so it opens it up a little bit.”

“It’s the first RS:X regatta in a while that’s been quite breezy, and everything’s going really well,” continued the Oxford sailor. “I’ve found some speed from somewhere, I’m going fast, I’m on some decent kit and it’s been good racing.

“I’m in a pretty good place. I haven’t been treating it any differently to any other regatta, whether I’ve been doing good or bad, I’ll go home and talk the same talk.

“I’ve got to keep my A-game on. Pawel is catching me up slowly – he took me on the last downwind, which hurt a lot!”

Kit breakage in the second of her two races on Thursday cost Helena Lucas an otherwise great day at the office. The 2012 Paralympic gold medallist crossed second in her first race of the day before a fitting gave way in the second, meaning an early return to the dock for the Southampton sailor on what was the second day of competition for the Paralympic fleet.

But Lucas was pragmatic: “I had a good start to the regatta yesterday with a two and a first, so that was good, and today was going well. I had a second in the first race but then unfortunately had a bit of gear failure in the second race so unfortunately I had to retire from that one, which was a bit of a shame as it was going well and would have been another good result on the board.

“Never mind, lessons learned. It was a new boat and a fitting that we obviously can’t use because it’s not strong enough. Good to find out early on!”

“I think this is the first time that Damien and Heiko have ever done Palma regatta,” said Lucas of the quality of competition at this Princess Sofia Trophy.

“It’s actually made it a good strong fleet and it’s a great test early on in the season to see how you’re going. Everyone’s ramping it up now with not long until the Paralympics!”

Giles Scott negated Josh Junior’s points gap in the Finn fleet, winning the day with four, one, while Podium Potential duo Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter kept themselves in contention for the medal spots with four, four in the 470 Women’s event seeing them into third place overall and just five points from the series leaders.

Alison Young won the day in the Laser Radial event with three, six seeing her advance to fifth overall with two days to go, while Luke Patience and Chris Grube moved up four places into sixth with four, ten from their two races in the 470 Men’s fleet on Thursday.

A great start to the day for 49erFX duo Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth with a fifth in the opening race took a downward turn when their spinnaker blocks gave out in the second race of four, forcing them to make running repairs. They’re fifth overall, while Tom Phipps and Nikki Boniface are currently ninth in the Nacra 17 fleet and looking to consolidate their medal race position on Friday’s final day of fleet racing.

James Peters and Fynn Sterritt are 13th in the 49er event, Laser sailor Jack Wetherell is currently placed 14th with RS:X women’s windsurfers Emma Wilson and Izzy Hamilton in 15th and 16th positions respectively.

Racing resumes from 1100hrs (local) on Friday 1 April, with the final medal races scheduled for Saturday 2 April. app (top)