A long opening day of the 50th anniversary edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar was more frustrating for the classes which were sent out to race earlier in the day, the Nacra 17, Lasers and Laser Radials racing out from Ca’n Pastilla had to contend with an unsettled, very light offshore wind before the afternoon sea breeze which took time to fill.
The classes which started later had the best of the day, the 470s, 49er and FX’s required to spend less time on the water waiting. The hotly contested 470 fleets, Men and Women, enjoyed two decent races in the 8-10kts breeze on the Bay of Palma. Even the sunshine made a welcome return.
The return to Europe and the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar is always highly anticipated by Australia’s hugely experienced Mat Belcher, double Olympic 470 medallist, and Will Ryan. The 2018 class champions here made a solid start to their European season with a fifth and a first to lie second in the Mens 470 behind Spain’s Miami World Cup winners Jordi Xammer and Nicolas Rodriguez.
Olympic 470 champion Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre also made a solid opening for the British team posting a 3,4, to lead the Womens class. Their GBR compatriots in the FX fleet Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey have a share of the top place along with Australia’s Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot.
With the 2020 Olympic regatta just over 15 months away this event figures highly in selections for the Olympic test event. After medalling in Miami, Dobson and Tidey will have this front of mind through the event, just as the closely matched British 49er pairs will be among the many, many teams looking to make a firm statement on the Bay of Palma.
Winner of the Laser Radial class here last year Denmark’s Anne Marie Rindom went on to take bronze in Aarhus at last year’s world championship. She made the best possible start to her Sofia title defence with two solid wins in the light airs today.
The USA’s Paige Railey has been in the Radial for 15 years on and off and has won five world championship medals. After a good second place in Miami in January she, too, wants to follow that up here with a complementary finish to stake her claim to the American berth at the test event.
The Nacra fleets ran three races across the transition between the breezes. Germany’s Paul Kolhoff and Alicia Stuhlemmer count two wins from three races to lead. Australia’s Olympic silver medallists Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, Miami winners, are sixth.
In the Finn class Olympic champion, Britain’s Giles Scott bounced back from a disappointing first race to win the second comfortably.