ALL EYES ARE ON THE BAY OF PALMA AS THE 52 TROFEO PRINCESA SOFÍA OPENS MONDAY02 Apr 2023
Mallorca‘s renowned Bay of Palma is set to see the biggest ever racing fleet take to its waters as the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca by Iberostar lifts the curtain on the 2023 Olympic classes season.
The Balearic showcase ‘Sofia’ always marks the critical point at which winter and spring training stops and the serious business of racing, measuring up against full scale opposition starts in earnest.
From their various training hubs and complexes the classes converge on Palma for a 52nd edition that carries even more importance than usual. With the period between Olympics compacted this time to just three years and already there are just 15 months or so before Paris 2024.
As usual some aspiring athletes have been here for between six weeks and two months. Europeans have been in breezy, wavy Lanzarote or Vilamoura, Portugal. But commitments and needs vary. Reigning Olympic medallists, who perhaps have America’s Cup or Sail GP commitments, or are perhaps enjoying parenthood for the first time have programmes pared back to what they consider spells of essential racing and training.
The ‘Sofia’ is the first Sailing World Cup of 2023’s four regattas along with the Allianz Regatta (The Netherlands), the Semaine Olympique Française (Hyères, France) and Kieler Woche (Kiel, Germany). And as such many nations are using 52 Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca by Iberostar as a trials or observed event alongside with one or two other key regattas to make their team selections for the Olympic test event, the Games dress-rehearsal 7-16 July in Marseille.
The 470 Mixed fleet has strengthened significantly since it debuted in ‘mixed doubles’ format here one year ago when Spain’s Jordi Xammar and Nora Brugman won. Sweden’s Anton Dahlberg and Lovisa Karlsson, European Championships led February’s Lanzarote International Regatta into the final stages but finished last in the medal race. “We had a communication problem then and it cost us but we are confident here, we have been going well in training. I just love sailing on the Bay of Palma with so many different boats around us.” smiles Dahlberg, silver medallist in Tokyo 2020.
Xammar says he is liking the shorter, intense three year pogramme, “I personally like it. We have been able to plan it accurately in advance, not like the Tokyo campaign, which nobody knew would go on to be five years. At a sporting level, I think it is very interesting because a year and a half ago all the athletes were at our maximum peak and in a year and a half we will have to be once again. And in terms of the media it keeps the focus on. A year and a half ago everyone had their eyes on Tokyo and in half a year we will be back into the Olympic year. So I think it is very positive in many areas and it is the same for everyone.”
52 Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca by Iberostar - Day 1 planned programme:
470 Mixed, 2 races for Yellow and Blue Fleets
The 52 Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía Mallorca by Iberostar is the first qualifying event for the Sailing World Cup 2023 and will be held from 29 March to 8 April under the joint organisation of the Club Nàutic S'Arenal, the Club Marítimo San Antonio de la Playa, the Real Club Náutico de Palma, the Real Federación Española de Vela and the Federación Balear de Vela, with the backing of World Sailing and the main Balearic public institutions. It is funded by the European Union Next Generation EU, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan and the Balearic Islands Tourism Strategy Agency.