Princess Sofia Trophy preview
The 41 Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofía Mapfre will welcome around 680 boats and 1,000 sailors from 40 nations around the Bay of Palma over the course of next week. In this second year of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, the regatta starts the Olympic sailing season in Europe and will be the debut of Women’s Match Racing as Olympic class on board Elliot 6m in Spain. Racing start on Sunday.
In addition to all the Olympic class, the 2.4mR Paralympics class returns after their first participation last year as well as the Dragons, as the regatta's invited class.
This year the RS:Xes move from CMSAP to Club Nàutic S’Arenal that will be the venue of six Olympic classes with an impressive 15,000sqm area on the beach next to the Club.
The event’s General Manager, Jaume Carbonell, highlights the increase in the number of entries and points out: “The countdown to the London 2012 Olympics starts now for many nations and the Princesa Sofia Mapfre is a selection event for many national Olympic teams so we are guaranteed a great sailing competition”.
Some of the top world sailors will participate in the 41 Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre, including around 20 Olympic medallists!
A long list of top names and nationalities, as the Princesa Sofia Mapfre is a selection event for many national Olympic teams. In the 470 men, the British team of Nick Rogers and Pom Green - Rogers the silver medallist in Qingdao 2008 - will battle with Olympic bronze medallists Nicolas Charbonnier and Baptiste Meyer Dieu from France. Croatian sailors Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic, current leaders of the ISAF standings will also be present as well as Onán Barreiros and Aarón Sarmiento (Toyota Canarias), members of the pre-Olympic team of the Real Federación Española de Vela.
The Qingdao medallists will all be on the starting line in 470 women: reigning World Champion Dutch sailor Lobke Berkhout, Olympic bronze medallist, now sailing with Lisa Westerhof, and Brazilian sailor Fernanda Oliveira, silver medallist, sailing now with Ana Luisa Barbechan. Spanish young team Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos, the current World and European silver medallists, will also join the battle in the women’s fleet.
In the 49ers the top ISAF ranked teams are on the entry lists of the 41 Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre. Italian brothers Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello, last years winners will be joined by French team Emmanuel Dyen and Stéphane Christidis and by Austrian sailors Nico Delle Karth and Nikolaus Resch, among others.
US Finn sailor Zach Railey, Olympic silver medallist, will be joined in the Finn class by the top sailors in the ISAF rankings, Ivan Gaspic from Croatia and Ed Wright from Great Britain. Spanish sailor Rafa Trujillo, silver medallist in Athens 2004 and 2007 class world champion has also confirmed his participation in the regatta.
In the Laser class, British sailor Nick Thompson, second in the ISAF raking list as well as Spanish competitor Javier Hernández (Caja Canarias/Plátano de Canarias/USP La Colina/RCNT), in third place will be competing.
Laser Radial world champion Sari Multala from Finland is one of the favourites to win her class at the 41 Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre. Evi Van Acker from Belgium and Dutch sailor Marit Bouwmeester, second and third respectively on the ISAF ranking list, will also fight for victory.
A tough battle is expected in RS:X Men. Tom Ashley, Gold medallist in Qingdao will face silver medallist Shahar Zubari, as well as Brazilian sailor Ricardo Santos and Spanish competitor Iván Pastor, second and third respectively on the ISAF ranking list.
Major interest also in RS:X Women in which the two class top world sailors from Spain Marina Alabau and Blanca Manchón will try to beat Italian sailor Alessandra Sensini, silver medallist in Qingdao and British sailor Bryony Shaw, Olympic bronze medallist. Manchón won last year, so all the eyes are on her.
This edition of the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre will see the debut of the Women’s Match racing, on board the Elliott 6m. In fact, some of the top world sailors are now sailing in this class such as Dutch sailor Mandy Mulder, silver medallist in Qingdao and bronze medallist Sofia Bekatorou from Greece. Former world no.1s, Claire Leroy, Elodie Bertrand and Marie Riou are also competing.
The 41 Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre will be held in Mallorca from 27 March to 2 April, organised by four clubs of the bay of Palma (Club Nàutic S’Arenal, Real Club Náutico de Palma, Club Marítimo San Antonio de la Playa and Escuela Nacional de Vela Calanova), as well as the Real Federación Española de Vela and the Federación Balear de Vela, together with the Govern de les Illes Balears, the Consell de Mallorca and Palma and Llucmajor city councils. The collaborators of the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre are the Consejo Superior de Deportes, the Federación Española de Deportes de Personas con Discapacidad Física, the Ports Authority, Ports de les Illes Balears, the coastal department of the Ministry of Environment and companies Ultramar Express and Acciona.
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