Round 3 of the 2018 World Cup Series is less than a week away and this year Hyères, France, will welcome an impressive 650 plus sailors from 46 nations.
Australia's world champions Mat Belcher and Will Ryan, outstanding winners of a strong, competitive 470 class, were awarded the Princesa Sofia Trophy, the top overall award at the biggest ever edition, as the 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar concluded in light, hesitant breezes in Mallorca today. The regatta attracted 870 boats from 62 different and more than 1200 sailors.
Overall victories in five of the ten Olympic classes at the 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar have been decided before Saturday's double points medal race is sailed. The strength and depth of competition at the biggest ever edition of Mallorca's showcase regatta and the variety of testing, different breezes have conspired to deliver a high scoring regatta in most classes.
Bang on cue Mallorca's Bay of Palma fired up the best breeze yet of the 49 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar as the Finals phase started for most of the ten Olympic classes. In warm spring sunshine the breeze puffed to 18 kts at times to present a new, more physical challenge.
Aiko Saito has been leading the Japanese Olympic sailing team for eleven years. Previously she was a coach and sailor who participated in the Olympic Games in Seoul and Atlanta in the 470 class.
At the 49 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar Olympic classes regatta on the Bay of Palma Australians Mat Belcher and Will Ryan return to the 470 after a six month break and today climbed to the top of the 470 Men's leaderboard after a 3,1 in what proved to be relatively light airs during their two heats.
The light, unsettled breezes on Mallorca's famous Bay of Palma presented a really testing opening day at the 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar. With a maximum eight race courses in operation it was often the case that one fleet was sturggling in next to no breeze while classes on the opposite side of the substantial bay was enjoying good racing in 10kts of wind.
The best sailors in the world will compete from this Monday in Mallorca to win the 49th Princesa Sofía Iberostar Trophy, the Olympic sailing regatta with the most participants from around the world. Olympic, world and European champions will be the protagonists of the Balearic regatta in the ten Olympic classes, in the waters of the Bay of Palma de Mallorca until Saturday, April 7.
The pair are by far the best men’s 470 combination in the country and don’t have regular training partners who can push them along. It’s in contrast to most other classes where there’s intense competition among the New Zealand sailors and some difficult decisions will be necessary when it comes to selection for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.