CHALLENGES FOR ALL AT THE 52 TROFEO PRINCESA SOFÍA04 Apr 2023
Shifting wind directions and big changes of wind pressure again taxed competitors and race organisers alike as Mallorca’s giant 52 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca by Iberostar assumed its full size and shape when all ten Olympic classes took to the racing waters over the course of a very long day on the Bay of Palma.
With many nations using this regatta as an observed or even a one-off, first past the post selection event for this summer’s Olympic test event the stakes are considerably higher than one year ago. A strong start to the series is more critical than ever particularly in the classes where countries have several athletes or crews chasing. Indeed for many reigning Olympic and World Champions their selection still has to be earned.
The potency of Germany’s close knit squad of 470 Mixed sailors is enviable. Winners of last October's 470 Mixed world title with a day to spare, Luise Wanser and Philipp Autenrieth, made a strong start to their challenge with a fourth and third to top the class ahead of their their compatriots, husband and wife partnership Malte and Anastaysia Winkel who are second by a single point.
After being odds on to win a medal in Tokyo, Wanser and Anastaysia Winkel finished disappointed in sixth after a punitive DSQ for a technical equipment infringement. The ebullient helm Wanser is even more focused on delivering on her clearly stated vision of winnng gold in Paris 2024. With team-mates Simon Diesch and Anna Markfort in seventh and Therese Dahnke and Matti Cipra in ninth, Germany have four crews in the top 10 after Day 1.
"This felt like the first big day of competition since the Worlds last October." said Wanser, " I was a bit nervous, but the nerves are good for me. I need the pressure!”
“We have been training well as a squad. There have been a few injuries over the winter but now everybody is healthy and it’s good to see the Germans going well .”
Speaking of the variable weather which has been hard to forecast for the team weather gurus she observes, “I think at the moment it's like every day is a new day and you never quite know what's going to happen. Forecasts are useful but you really need to see what’s happening on the water in the moment. Things can change quickly on days like today."
With the programme over the first two days compromised by the weather the organisers need a consistent Wednesday to get qualifying series back on track.
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.