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Princesa Sofía Mallorca: Much more than a training regatta

by Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía 15 Mar 09:50 PDT 1-9 April 2022
Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca © Bernardí Bibiloni

The Mallorca Sailing Center Regatta reaffirmed the status of the Bay of Palma as one of the world's benchmarks for Olympic class sailing competition.

Nearly 280 sailors made the best of three intense days racing at this traditional training regatta to familiarise themselves with the scenario in which they will compete in the 51 Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca.

Greece's Vasileia Karachaliou (ILCA 6), Britain's Matt Beckett (ILCA 7), Spain's Jordi Xammar and Nora Brugman (470 Mixed), Poland's Domonik Buksak and Szymon Wierzbicki (49er), Brazil's Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (FX), and Denmark's Natacha Saouma-Pedersen and Mathias Bruun (Nacra) sailed into the top spots in their respective classes at the Mallorca Sailing Center Regatta. The huge training regatta which is the warm up to Princesa Sofía Mallorca mustered 280 crews to race on the bay of Palma last weekend for three days of fine-tuning in full competition mode.

"It was an excellent exercise," explains Ferrán Muniesa, from the Club Nàutic S'Arenal. "We were able to hold many races and the bay offered us two days of typical southerly wind conditions and one, on Saturday, a rougher day, with westerlies and showers. It's true that it was a training regatta but there was a real competitive edge in each division, nobody likes to lose, especially the champions. It was especially interesting to see that several boats were using the new Olympic equipment for the first time, how the teams took advantage of this training session to measure speeds, and the presence of coaches on the course to record and take note of everything".

The ILCA 6s were able to complete six races, the Nacra 17s seven, the ILCA 7s, 49er and FX eight, and the 470 Mixed nine legs. They all competed on three race course areas between Can Pastilla and El Arenal, confirming the success of a formula that allows the teams to train against their rivals but without the real pressure of there being titles at stake and points towards the Hempel World Cup Series, such as the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca.

Not only training

Even as a training regatta, the Mallorca Sailing Center Regatta served for the Spanish Cup in the 470 Mixed class, with victory for the Xammar-Brugman duo, followed by María Bover/Pablo García and Neus Ballester/Nacho Dávila. The race was also the premiere for the RFEV Iberdrola Women's Sailing Cup, which crowned Dani Cardona in ILCA 6, Patricia Suárez/María Cantero in FX, Jordi Xammar/Nora Brugman in 470 Mixed and Iset Segura/Marcos Fernández in Nacra 17.

Three weeks for the Sofia

With the Mallorca Sailing Center Regatta completed, the crews have three weeks until the start of the Olympic class competition programme in the 51 Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca. "One of the things the sailors appreciate the most is that between the two events they have time to go out on their bikes and enjoy the island," explains Javier Zaynoun, from the Club Náutico San Antonio de la Playa. The list of registered entries already exceeds 800 crews in the ten participating classes.

The 51 Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca is jointly organised by the Club Nàutic S'Arenal, the Club Marítimo San Antonio de la Playa, the Real Club Náutico de Palma, the Real Federación Española de Vela and the Federación Balear de Vela, with the backing of the main Balearic public institutions.

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