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Worth The Wait: The Breeze Returns To Mallorca


  • Worth The Wait: The Breeze Returns To Mallorca

    5 Apr 2024

    The best winds came in late at the 53 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca by Iberostar today but the wait was worth it, especially for Britain’s ILCA 7 racer Micky Beckett and Italian Nacra 17 Olympic and world champions Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti who won their events with a day to spare at the Mallorca’s emblematic Olympic classes event which has drawn a record entry for an Olympic year.

    Beckett’s victory is his third back-to-back in consecutive years at this key indicator event in the Men’s Olympic dinghy. It is achieved from a massive 193 strong fleet that is stacked with all of the recent Olympic and World Championship medal winners. Twenty six year old Beckett’s achievement is all the more impressive as he wins the event with a day to spare, just as he did on these same Palma waters last year.

    “Winning this three times in a row really is something very special, not least because it is the first world cup I did ten years ago and honestly then I got hammered. But to come back after the regatta was cancelled in 2021 and win three times in a row is incredible, I am a little bit lost for words and still surprised it is something I have been able to do.” Beckett grinned, “It is such a difficult class, every is here, every comes here and brings their A-game and so to come out on top of an entry of 193 is huge number of people to beat.”

    The Welsh racer added, “Sailing is about details, do the details well, manage the risk well and don’t get distracted from that is the key. And I guess I have managed the risk well this week. I have dug myself out of trouble a few times this week by having good boatspeed, that has helped a lot. And keeping your head out watching ahead is key as this is quite a changeable race track. Compared with the Marseille Olympic race track this is different and it is requires a certain, nuanced skill set. Some things are clearly working for me but there is plenty more to do. I will enjoy this, I will enjoy the Medal Race tomorrow and then get back to work soon.”

    He concluded, “I think I do well here because there is usually a mix of conditions, like this time we started with a massive day for example and then what we have had since – whereas I think having the same conditions whatever that is day after day – does not suit me so much.”

    Italians do it better…again

    Patience and razor sharp focus were key also in the Nacra 17 mixed multihull class where Tita and Banti win the Sofia title for the third time, victorious also in 2018 and 2022 when they won the event’s top overall trophy.

    Going into Saturday’s Medal Race Tita and Banti have an insurmountable 24 points margin over their young compatriots Gianluigi Ugolini and Maria Giubilei, who won last year’s Marseille test event and who at last year’s Sofia took third to Tita and Banti’s fourth, and who pushed the Olympic champions to the wire for selection for these Games.

    Caterina Banti commented: “Actually it was a strange Palma, I don’t remember a Palma like this, a lot of light winds, but finally we got some good races, foiling races and light wind races. So we’re happy because Palma is the first event after winter training. It means we have done a good job with our training, but this is only the first step because we have many things to work on, to win the Olympic Games which is our aim this year.”

    Moroz and Maeder flying high

    For Daniela Moroz and Max Maeder who go into the final day at the top of the Formula Kite leaderboards, their reward is to take two wins into the four-rider final. In the first-to-three-wins format, this puts the American and Singaporean riders on match point. They’re only one race away from taking their respective Sofia titles, whereas the rest of the top 10 have a steeper mountain to climb.

    470s finely balanced

    The 470 Mixed medal title is perfect balanced with France’s Camille Lecointre and Jeremie Mion carrying just a single point up on Spain’s new world champions, local heroes, Jordi Xammar and Nora Brugman who in turn lead three Olympic hopeful teams Malte and Anastaysia Winkel, Simon Diesch and Anna Markfort and Theresa Loffler and Christopher Hoerr who are all separated by just three points. Their 2022 world champions Luise Wanser and Philipp Autenrieth painfully miss out on the Medal Race by a single point. And last year’s winners, Japan’s 2023 world champions Keiju Okada and Miho Yoshioka, make the medal race while their selection rivals Tetsuya Isozaki and Yurie Seki don’t which should ensure Okada and Yoshioka take the Olympic spot

    Spain on top in the 49er
    The 49er medal race will see Spain’s Diego Botin and Florian Trittel carrying an almost negligible four points margin into the title showdown whilst in the Women’s skiff Norway’s European champions Helene Naess and Marie Ronningen were overhauled by Italy’s Jana Germanu and Georgo Bertuzzi today and lead by a single point, but the both crews are more or less assured of gold or silver.

    Hungary’s Maria Erdi, European champion assumed the lead in the ILCA 6 event after Australia’s Mara Stransky had what she had expected to be third place annulled for a BFD disqualification in he first race, a mistake she then compounded by being gun shy on the second start which left her 34th.

    Powerful Pole Pawel Taranowski has a trio of top French iQFOil riders, including 2021 world champion Nico Goyard set to challenge for the Sofia title while the Women’s Palma title final could be one of the most exciting of a final day which looks set to be raced in the morning in a NE’ly offshore breeze.

    Final day schedule

    Starting Order, first warning signal: COURSE AREA 1: Nacra 17 10:00 49er 10:45 49er FX 11:30 COURSE AREA 2: Formula Kite Men 10:00 Formula Kite Women 10:10 COURSE AREA 3: iQFOiL Women 10:15 iQFOiL Men 11:00 COURSE AREA 4: ILCA 6 10:15 ILCA 7 11:00 470 11:45

    The 53 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca by Iberostar will bring the curtain down on Saturday. The Medal Races (or Medal Series for iQFOiL and Formula Kite), the races that will decide the podiums in each discipline, are scheduled to start at 10:00 am, with light winds according to the weather forecasts. The trophy ceremony will take place at 20:00 in Ses Voltes, at the foot of Palma Cathedral.

    The 53 Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia Mallorca by Iberostar, the first scoring event for the Sailing World Cup 2024, is jointly organised by the Club Nautic S'Arenal, the Club Maritimo San Antonio de la Playa, the Real Club Nautico de Palma, the Real Federacion Espanola de Vela and the Federacion Balear de Vela, with the support of World Sailing and the main Balearic public institutions.

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