Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar in Palma – Mar 26 – Apr 1
A mix of established Rio Olympic campaigners and emerging young talent shared the top podium spots when the 48th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar ended with a brisk 25 kts Mistral offshore wind which brought the 646 boat regatta to spectacular, challenging finale.
While it is the first major Olympic classes regatta, victories for the up and coming winners of the 49er class, for the triumphant Men’s 470 pair, the Laser Radial and the men’s RS:X, the outright winner of the Princesa Sofia Trophy was 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Zofia Noceti-Klepacka.
The event which traditionally raises the curtain on the new European Olympic seas started in light winds Monday before the 8-10 knot reliable Bay of Palma sea breeze prevailed, but when new format final races were scheduled for several classes the big breeze blew in. The Women’s FX skiff class only managed two of their planned three medal deciding races before the remaining races were cancelled. With the blustery wind peaking at over 25 knots Race 2 of their Grand Final turned into a veritable demolition derby. Only two of the 10 finalists finished.
The strong wind annulled any final racing for the 49er class, cancelling what would have been an intriguing title tussle between the young British duo James Peters and Fynn Sterritt, Spain’s Rio representatives Diego Botin and Iago Lopez and the new British pairing of Dylan Fletcher and Stu Bithell. But with no racing possible it is the first big regatta win in the 49er for Peters and Sterritt who had something of a nervous day, sitting one point clear of their Spanish rivals.
GBR took gold and silver in the 49er fleet and won two medals, silver and bronze in the Laser. Italy’s Rio selection Francesco Marrai gave regatta leader Elliot Hanson the slip just before the start of the medal race and went on to win the class. Double world champion Nick Thompson won the medal race and took bronze.
Max Salminen of Sweden won the Finn class, emerging through Semi Final qualification to triumph in the new winner takes all five boat Final. Arguably the Finn class has been bravest in their desire to innovate and change. Turkey’s Ailcan Kaynar was best in the Opening series and went directly to the Final but took third.
The Nacra 17 fleet, like the 49ers did not get the chance to race because of the boisterous winds. That left Spain Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco in gold with Britons John Gimson and Anna Burnet in second and Denmark’s Lin Cenholt and Christian Peter Lubeck third.
For full results see: www.trofeoprincesasofia.org
As edited by Jonny Fullerton at Grand Prix Sailing