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Joe Aleh and Polly Powrie win Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR

Posted on 06 April 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR] The medal races concluded on Saturday the 46th edition of the Trofeo Sofia IBEROSTAR deciding on the Olympic classes winners. Two final races in the 2.4 and the Dragon conclude the event.

Young windsurfer Kiran Badloe (NED) had been gnawing day after day at the points safety margin that separates him from leader Julien Bontemps (FRA). Today he inflicted the killer blow, winning the medal race and the title on equal points with the World Champion. ” I am very happy with the win. During the week, results were ok but the sailing is not perfect yet. I started poorly a few times. But with my speed and some smart sailing I could recover nicely. You have to realise the Polish and most of the French are not here including Dorian, so a number of tough competitors are missing. I am very happy with the progress we made last winter in New Zealand. Some of it is paying off now!”

46th Princesa Sofia Trophy IBEROSTAR

In all other Olympic classes, the medal races didn’t affect the leaders. Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) have successfully defended their title in the 470 with command and prove once more they deserve their world #1 status! The Olympic Gold medallists will also be awarded tonight by the Her Majesty Queen Sofia, the prestigious Trofeo consacrating the best team during the week.

Camille Lecointre and Helene Defrance (FRA) won the medal race closing the gap to 3 points threatening the kiwis supremacy during the medal race. The French take Silver with Bronze going to Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR).

46th Princesa Sofia Trophy IBEROSTAR

Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente (ARG) are back in force after an eight month break from the 470 competition. The Argentinians played it well all week, making the most of their combined experience to overcome their absence. “We had many days with shifty conditions and that suited us well. We could make gains on the fleet by sailing smart. It is great for our confidence to see that we are still competitive despite our forced retirement from competition.” On the shore, the multiple Olympic medallists were warmly greated by the other 470 teams obviously happy to see their worthy Argentinian opponents back in shape! Luke Patience and Elliott Willis (GBR) take Silver in front of Johan Molund and Sebastian Östling (SWE) who settle for Bronze.

46th Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR Trophy

Gintare Scheidt (LTU) won the medal race in the Laser Radial. With Evi van Acker (BEL) taking the title on the penultimate day, Silver and Bronze went to Alison Young (GBR) and Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN). The Laser Radial fleet was one of the most competitive in Palma this week despite the absence of current World Champion Marit Bouwmeester who had to withdraw from the competition at the start of the week.

Philipp Buhl (GER) wins Gold in the Laser after dominating all week in varied conditions. Jesper Stalheim (SWE) claims the medal race to climb to second overall in front of Nicholas Heiner (NED) third. Danish teams proved once again their edge on the fleet with two teams at the front. Training together and spending time in Palma have proven fruitful with again great results collected in the Trofeo IBEROSTAR. Maiken and Anne-Julie Foght Schutt (DEN) win the event with Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thuagaard Olsen a close second. “We have been training for about three weeks in Palma with the other teams and understand the conditions.” explains Maiken Foght Schutt. “This week we had everything. When the wind comes from the land it is like in Denmark and with the regular sea breeze we can make the most of our good speed.” Olivia Price and Eliza Solly (USA) win the medal race and the third place.

46th Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR Trophy

Nacra World Champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou win the medal race after winning the event with a day to spare. The french teams are performing well in Palma proving that good team work is paying off. Silver goes to John Gimson and Hannah Diamond. Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim (FRA) grab the Bronze by one point.

46th Princesa Sofia Trophy IBEROSTAR

The top 3 remain unchanged in the 49er. New-Zealanders Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have been hard to beat, only threatened by German sailors Heil and Ploessel. Third goes to Brazilians Bianchi / Lowbeer. “I like to think that we have many strength and not so many weaknesses. We are working really hard and are consistent with our results.” says Burling to explain their good form in Palma.

Finn Wold Champion Giles Scott (GBR) took the medal race and the title. The Finns were blessed with the best conditions out there today. After being sent out and back to the shore in the dying winds, the Finns went back out to enjoy a perfect 15 knots seabreeze allowing pumping. “We had a very good medal race.” confirms Giles Scott. “It went well for me – I managed to come away with the win and seal the Championship, which is obviously great news for me!” Scott had to borrow a boat to sail most of the regatta after damaging his Finn earlier this week. “It was good to see how I could go in a different boat. Finns are very personal, so to be able to use someone else’s and still come away with the regatta win, you have to take some positives from that and it’s all good practice.” Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) is taking Silver and Finnish Tapio Nirkko the Bronze.

46th Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR Trophy

Female RS:X World Champion, Charline Picon is securing yet another event victory and is continuing on her good form. Lilian de Geus conserves her earlier second place while Eugenie Ricard (FRA) climbs to third overall.

Many stories developped in Palma this week with countries Olympic selections spicing up the contest. The attention was especially focussed on the Dutch team for which Olympic selection was on the table in many classes. The Trofeo IBEROSTAR was the last chance for Nicholas Heiner to keep the Dutch Laser Olympic trial opened against Rutger Van Schaardenburg. The 2014 ISAF World Champion needed to be in front to extend the trials. “I am very pleased that my results are so good that I have prolonged the national selection with Rutger.” explains Heiner, “Above all very pleased with the fact that I perform well under pressure, when it is needed. For the first time I am not on my back foot in this selection. It is all square and we start with a clean slate.”

The 49er FX medal race saw the end of a very intense and dramatic Olympic selection between Dutch teams of Annemiek Bekkering / Annette Duetz and Nina Keijzer / Claire Blom. The latest had an eight points advantage after the Miami SWC but were out of the medal race in 12th position in Palma, meaning that Bekkering/Duetz had to finish today at least in 4th position to overcome their rival. A 9th place in the medal race added two points too many to Bekkering/Duetz score who place 5th overall. Nina Keijzer and Claire Blom win the Dutch Olympic selection in the FX.

The third Olympic selection has concretised in Palma for Japanese RS:X sailor Makoto Tomizawa. The Trofeo Sofia IBEROSTAR has also marked the start of Japaneses Olympic selections in the women and men 470.

Paralympic Champion, Helena Lucas has retained her title after a very intense regatta against team mate Megan Pascoe and Norwegian Bjornar Erikstad who take second and third place.

Marc Patino and Pau Balaguer won the Dragon regatta over Patrick Monteiros and Pedro Manuel Da Costa Alemao.

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The competition intensifies for the second day of finals in the Trofeo Sofia IBEROSTAR

Posted on 03 April 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía] The leaders are being pushed to their limits and some see their safety points margin reducing like snow under the Mallorca sun! Breeze lovers made the most of the conditions with perfect scores today and are closing the gap on regatta leaders.

Evi Van Acker (BEL) is continuing undefeated in the Laser Radial finals with two more bullets added to her perfect score. The 2014 SWC Champion is obviously enjoying the breezy conditions and is closing the gap on Alison Young (GBR) who is conserving a one point lead going into the last day of finals on Friday. “There is a very strong competition in this regatta. It has been good racing and I have been consistent in all conditions. We will see what the rest brings in.”

Clean score today as well for British 470 women team of Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre who are now two points from Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL). “A really good day on the water. Eilidh and I were pretty quick today, and that made our racing quite a lot easier. It was fun conditions out there with some nice waves and a good breeze, so it was a lot of fun!” explains Sophie Weguelin.

46th Princesa Sofia Trophy IBEROSTAR

French leaders in the RS:X have been put under pressure from the Dutch windsurfers. Kiran Badloe adds two victories to close the gap to five points on World Champion Julien Bontemps. The young Dutch is making the most of his fitness and size in the breezy races. However Badloe is minimizing his good results: “A number of tough competitors are missing. I am very happy with the progress we made last winter in New Zealand. Some of it is paying off now.”

His team mate Lilian de Geus is seven points from leader Charline Picon (FRA), after winning a race in the women division. The French champion has sailed an average second race and is now discarding 12 points. “It could have been a lot worse!” explains Picon. “I had a bad start, some speed problem on port, and went too far on the layline.” On her opponents in Palma, the French windsurfer adds: “Lilian is very fast, the Chinese are also strong and Zofia is taking a great start in this season. This regatta is a good way for me to take some confidence with my racing at the start of the year and get used to starts in large fleet.”

With competition reaching its maximum in the finals, the leaders are pushed to their limits. An earlier comfortable margin protected the leadership of Philipp Buhl. The German laser sailor toe straps didn’t resist his powerful hiking style and he had to withdraw from the last race. Australian Matthew Wearn performed well in the breeze taking the bullet in the first race and placing 5th in the last to end the day in second position. He is now only three points from the German who has to add 15 points to his score. The 46th edition of the Trofeo Sofia IBEROSTAR marks Philipp Buhl seventh participation in the event. With two more final races and the medal race on Saturday, the fight among the top five separated by only nine points will be intense. The attention will also be on Dutch sailors who are playing in Palma their Olympic selections.

After scoring some big points in the first day of finals, the Spanish FX team of Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos are back in contention with a win and top 5 results. They are placing second overall, just four points behind Danish sisters Maiken and Anne-Julie Foght-Schutt.

Despite a penalty collected for starting too early, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) are conserving a healthy 21 points lead over Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER), but can’t make any more mistake. The German have also increased their lead to 22 points over Brazilian team of Bianchi and Lowbeer.

46th Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR Trophy

No change of leadership in the 470 men and Nacra. Luke Patience and Elliott Willis (GBR) remain in first position in the Men 470. Undefeated since the start of the week, Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) have now a 20 points margin over John Gimson and Hannah Diamond (GBR).

The score are tight in the Finn where World Champion Giles Scott is back in the lead. Despite sharing equal scores today with Josh Junior (NZL), Scott is gaining on his earlier redress granted after a collision that broke his boat and forced him to retirement. “I’ve managed to cling on to Josh Junior somehow over the last few days, which is pretty good, and finishing today off well is quite nice because my average points [redress] ended today so I now know exactly what I’m going into tomorrow with.” explains Giles Scott.

Megan Pascoe has taken a narrow lead on the 2.4 . “I got two bullets today! Yesterday was a bit tough in the shifts, but today it was much more drag racing, and big-ish breeze, but for Palma it’s always wavy so that makes it even bigger breeze. Palma’s got quite a lot on the Southern Ocean when you’re sailing a 2.4mR!”
Two races sailed in the Dragon give first position to Portuguese sailors on Lady Tati.

Friday will see the last day of finals and the last opportunities to break into the top ten for Saturday medal races.

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French and New Zealanders showing the way!

Posted on 31 March 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía] It was a long day in Palma with the late coming sea breeze delaying racing. Patience paid off and the second day in the Trofeo Sofia IBEROSTAR provided great racing and allowed to complete the qualification stage. A seventh race was completed for the kites who will go into medal race mode on wednesday.

French and New Zealanders made the most of today’s races taking the lead in six classes. “This is an excellent start in the regatta for the French team especially in RS:X, Nacra, 470 Men and Finn!” French Olympic team manager, Guillaume Chiellino can be proud of his team who has taken a rocket start into the 46th Trofeo Sofia IBEROSTAR. “We are only at the start of the competition but the French like this event where they usually perform well like last year when they scored some good performances.” said Chiellino.

Two French teams are leading the Nacra with World and European champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou in first position and Moana Vaireaux with Manon Audinet in second. Guillaume Pirouelle and Valentin Sipan are sharing the top of the score on equal points with Swedish team of Dahlberg / Bergstrom in the 470. RS:X World Champion Julien Bontemps scored his second victory to conserve a very tight lead in the Men’s windsurfing on equal points with Joao Rodrigues (POR) and Makoto Tomizawa from Japan.

46th Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR Trophy

The talented New-Zealand team will probably be one of the main threats for the titles, like in the Finn where French and New-Zealander are head to head. Young kiwi Josh Junior has taken the edge today on the London Bronze medalist Jonathan Lobert, with a race win. “It was a great day sailing. We had two completely different races.” explains Junior. “The first was very light and dominated by the left hand side. It was good the race committee persevered as a steady 18 knots breeze came in! I am really happy to have won that race too!”

New Zealanders are conserving their lead in the women 470 where the top two teams remain unchanged. Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie sailed into consistent second places today to conserve a small lead over French Camille Lecointre and Helene Defrance.

46th Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR Trophy

World number 1 Peter Burling and Blair Tuke remain at the top of the 49er fleet in front of German Heil / Ploessel and Brazilian Bianchi / Lowbeer. Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos consolidate their lead in the women skiff with the Foght Schutt sisters climbing to second. Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) are taking third overall.

There is a change of lead in the Laser radial with Emma Plasschaert (BEL) taking a narrow lead over Paige Railey (USA), early leader Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) and Alicia Cebrian (ESP) all on equal points. In the Laser men, Jesper Stalheim (SWE) conserves his lead in front of Norwegian Mathias Molatt and German Philipp Buhl. The day’s best performer is Argentinian Julio Alsogaray who places second in both races and climbs to 6th overall.

In the RS:X women, Chinese Manjia Zheng takes the lead from Charline Picon with top three scores.

The final stage is now on with fleets now split in Gold, Silver and a Bronze group for the Lasers. The Finns will continue to race in fleet until the medal race.

The kites have managed to complete one more race but leaders remain unchanged with Florian Trittel (ESP) and Elena Kalinina (RUS) who have been unbeatable. The wind direction and strength was far from ideal for launching and securing good racing conditions for the kites who have struggled to race for the last three days. Tomorrow 3 short medal races will decide on the winners in both the men and women divisions.

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Favorites master demanding conditions in the bay of Palma

Posted on 31 March 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía] The wind played dirty tricks all day in Palma on sailors and race committees who had to juggle with big shifts and different pressure. From 4 to 20 knots, and reaching 40 in some gusts, the wind turned around the bay playing with everybody’s nerves! However, the show was on with the bay covered with white caps and the 800 boats that raced their first day in the event.

The Finns were the first fleet to return ashore with two races completed. World champion Giles Scott (GBR) took the first race, managing the shifts to his advantage. A huge shift upset the outcome of the second race which was cancelled while the front pack lead by PJ Potsma where ten boat length from the finish line. In the second attempt, the wind died while the fleet was rounding the bottom mark and a few unlucky boats like the Canadian Martin Robitaille or Josh Junior (NZL) who went from fifth to 60th! Jonathan Lobert (FRA) successfully avoided the local “doldrums” to win the race. The French London Bronze medalist takes the lead in the Finn.

46th Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR Trophy , Palma de Mallorca, Spain, takes place between 28th of March and 4th April 2015. More than 1,000 competitors, including the 10 olympic classes , Dragon, 2.4m and Kite Boarding

46th Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR Trophy , Palma de Mallorca, Spain, takes place between 28th of March and 4th April 2015. More than 1,000 competitors, including the 10 olympic classes , Dragon, 2.4m and Kite Boarding

The wind played havoc in the first women 470 race with two third of the fleet in the blue group failing to finish within the time limit! Last year Trofeo Sofia champions Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) took a race to lead the 470 fleet on equal points with French Camille Lecointre / Helene Defrance and Afroditi Kyranakou / Annelies Van Veen (NED). “It was a good day for us but very tough for the race committee out there!” admitted Aleh. “The wind ranged from 4 to 20 knots and shifted all the time! It is good to be back in Palma, all the top teams are here and it is a good warm up regatta for us.”

46th Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR Trophy

Palma is the first Olympic selection regatta for the Dutch 470 teams who have already set the pace with good performance. Afroditi Kyranakou and Annelies Van Veen are placed third while Michelle Broekhuizen and Marieke Jongens take the last race to end the day in eighth position.

The only race sailed in the 470 men division was a French affair with teams of Guilbaud / Guillarm and Pirouelle/ Sipan taking the bullet in their respective group. For Vianney Guilbaud and Vincent Guillarm, the objective in Palma is to qualify for one of the ten spot available for the French SWC in Hyeres.

Sailing the Nacra today proved to be quite an athletic performance with gusts reaching over 30 knots. Only ten boats managed to finish the first race in both groups where capsizes and broken equipment was a common sight. The Puerto Rican pair of Enrique Figueroa and Franchesca Valdes mastered the beastly conditions with two second places to lead the strong Nacra fleet. Current World champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) shared the races victory in the yellow group with Swiss team of Matias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger. The Trofeo Sofia IBEROSTAR marks the come back to racing for Nathalie Brugger after her knee ligament injury in Miami. The conditions today were far from ideal when sailing with a knee in a bracket however the Swiss pair displayed good techniques to stay in control of their boat.

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Olympic medalists and World champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) are taking a perfect start in the 49er event with two victories. Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos (ESP) proved just as good with a clean score in the FX. “It was really a difficult day, especially for the race committee” declared Echegoyen. “We were lucky to race in the end of the afternoon with less wind. We sailed well but not perfectly and will need to analise our mistakes. This is just the first day and what counts more in an event is the regularity so we will take tomorrow as if it is the first day!”

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Jesper Stalheim (SWE), Tom Burton (AUS) and Lorenzo Chiavarini (GBR) have claimed the only race sailed in the three laser groups. In the Radial, experienced sailors Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR), Alison Young (GBR) and Annalise Murphy (IRL) are top three after two races in the Radial.

Only eight out of 45 windsurfers crossed the finish line in the Men RS:X yellow group. Today windy race was won by World champion Julien Bontemps (FRA) and Samuel Sills (GBR) in the Men and by Maayan DAVIDOVICH (ISR) and Sofia Keplacka (POL) in the women.

For the second day in a row, the kites didn’t race. The wind was either too strong or too gusty to allow for proper racing.

Racing continues on Tuesday for all classes and all hope for less challenging conditions.

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The Proving Ground

Posted on 01 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: ISAF] It was a week of superlatives. Think 678 sailors, 599 boats, 150 races for ten Olympic classes and three Paralympic classes. At the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, we talked of “a racecourse built out of shifts.” We spoke of competitive performances that exceeded any comparison to walking a tightrope. Dancing on a tightrope would be more to the point. This truly is the road to the Olympics.

Laser Radial
The Laser Radials were the class where anything could happen at the top. Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) took the gold, but going in, only three points separated Marit Bouwmeester (NED), Rindom and Evi Van Acker (BEL), in that order. And only Paige Railey (USA) was close enough to play the spoiler, if one of those three had a really bad, horrible, awful day.

And it almost happened to Van Acker. “I put a move on her that forced her to the wrong gate,” Railey said. “For a while she was looking dead last.”

Which would have been enough to put Railey, who is recovering from a horrific bicycle crash, on the podium for the first time in a long time. “Then,” said Railey, “a lefty came in, and that gave her a lane to the finish.” So Railey settled, instead, for a win in the Medal Race and a smile on her face as she packed for the airport and a redeye to Rio.

Big smiles also for Rindom as she and her mother packed away a sail that had done its job. “We were here two weeks ahead of the regatta,” Rindom said, “and we’ve been here the last three years, so we know Biscayne Bay pretty well. And then, the regatta was totally different. Much windier, much shiftier than we would call normal.”

As for going into a Medal Race second by one point, she said, “It’s very hard when you have two opponents. You can’t control both, so you have to sail to win the race, and that’s what I did.” A sixth was good enough for a 47-point total. Van Acker was second at 53 points, Bouwmeester third at 54. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Paige Railey (USA) and Andrea Aldana (GUA).

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

Laser
Nick Thompson (GBR) woke up this morning with a one-point lead over Philipp Buhl (GER) with neither of them at risk of falling below second. It was all to play for, and for openers, it was playing into Thompson’s hands. And then, at the first leeward mark, what he had on his hands was a broken vang. Speaking a plain truth, he said, “You can’t sail a Laser in 15 knots of wind with a broken vang.” Thompson finished 7th and still had 12 points in the bank to hold onto silver. “The most disappointing thing,” he said, is that “I went into the race with a plan for how I was going to control Philipp, and I was executing, and it was working.”

And then. Thompson comes away with silver, not gold, to show for a hard-sailed week on Biscayne Bay. But, he said, “O a positive note, I’m delighted with how I sailed this week, and things are certainly moving in the right direction for Rio. A lot of guys had finishes that were up and down. I was pretty consistent.” On a racecourse not characterized by consistency, extracting consistent results was a bigger than average challenge for everyone.

The Medal Race went to Argentina’s Julio Alsogaray, and the bronze to Australian Matthew Wearn. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Charlie Buckingham (USA) and Julio Alsogaray (ARG).

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

49er
Austria’s Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch came out victorious in a top of the table duel between Joel Turner and Iain Jensen (AUS). A point separated the pair coming into the Medal Race meaning it was all to play for. However the Austrians were comfortable on the race course and kept their in spite of an early close call against their rivals, “We had a decent start and went to the left. Fortunately the Australians dropped to our stern and they had to tack away so that gave us a leading position. “There was a left shift and from there we managed to covere the Australians. We didn’t really feel the pressure because we are really happy with the way we’ve sailed this week. We wanted to continue the nice flow we had and it worked our perfectly fine.

The Austrians sealed the deal with a third place with Turner and Jensen holding on to silver with a seventh. Delle-Karth and Resch’s victory gives them a spot on the World Cup Final start line in November, ensuring a stress free season, “We are happy about qualifying because it takes a lot of pressure off. We won’t always need to be at the top of the fleet so we can test a few things ahead of Rio and Abu Dhabi. It will make things a bit easier for us. “We went to Abu Dhabi last year and it’s a huge event already. I expect it to be even bigger this year. Everybody will be there and we’re looking forward to a nice final.”

Jonas Warrer and Anders Thomsen (DEN) claimed the Medal Race bullet, promoting them up into bronze medal position. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Brad Funk and Trevor Burd (USA) and Marco Grael and Gabriel Borges (BRA).

49erFX
You can’t win a regatta on the opening day, but you can certainly damage your chances. That was seemingly the case in the 49erFX as Alex Maloney and Molly Meech’s nearest rivals all used up their drop with a DNC or a DNF in the single race in Monday’s big breeze.

“Winning the first race on the opening day, whilst many others failed to finish, definitely helped,” said Maloney. “It gave us a bit of a point’s buffer but anything could have still happened. It definitely wasn’t over until it was over.” With a handsome buffer the odds were heavily stacked in their favour yet across the week, consistency was an unheard of commodity in the 49erFX. It turned out to be the highest scoring ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta ever as Maloney added, “The whole fleet had its moments. It was all about being consistent this week but no one quite found that consistency. “But it’s good to start the year with a win and it’s great to secure our spot for the Abu Dhabi Finals. We won it last year. It’s an exciting place to sail with really great weather and it’s good for the future of sailing.” The pair had wrapped up gold ahead of the Medal Race and a ninth proved irrelevant at the end of the day as they ended up 34 points clear of Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich (ITA).

The real battle of the day was for the silver and bronze medals. It was fight between the Italians and Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) who were separated by a single point. Conti and Clapcich remained in front of the Brazilians throughout the race and took out the bullet and with it, silver.

Defending champions Grael and Kunze settled for bronze. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Erin Rafuse and Danielle Boyd (CAN) and Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA).

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

Women’s 470
The 2012 Olympic gold medalists from New Zealand, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, wrapped up first place here on Friday. That made the Medal Day “enjoyable,” Powrie said. “The pressure was off, so we just went racing and enjoyed the day.” For the 2012 Olympic silver medalists from the UK, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark, there was more to do. “The gold was gone,” Clark said, “and we had a nice gap over third [19 points] but the conditions were such that this was never going to be a simple race, and it was going to be hard to defend. At one point the Japanese team was way ahead, and that was a problem.”

Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka won the Medal Race and finished third, for a bronze, by five points. It’s not their first time on the podium. As obvious medal prospects for Rio in 2016, the duo look forward to “some local racing around Auckland,” Powrie said, “enjoying the rest of the summer, and then getting ready for Hyères.” As in, the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères. And always, always, Rio.

Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Anne Haeger & Briana Provancha (USA) and Fernanda Oliveira & Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA).

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

Men’s 470
Luke Patience and Elliot Willis of Great Britain went into the Medal Race leading their Australian opponents and wrapped it up the same way. Even among the regulars on this scene, Patience was unusual for finding the extremely shifty sailing conditions also, “Not unusual. We had lots of northwesterlies, and what was unusual was having that for a week. We go all over the world, and wherever you are, you have to adapt.” Patience and Willis arrived in Miami two weeks ahead of the regatta, “to focus, to treat this the same way we would treat a world championship.” It worked.

To overtake the British team, a good race by Aussies Mat Belcher and Will Ryan was never going to be enough. For them to move into first, it was going to take that and a bad race on the part of Patience and Willis. Not a likely bet. Belcher and Ryan in their turn had a cushion over third that made the strategic outlook, Belcher said, “Simple. Try to be in front; try to get as many points back as we could. When you get to this level of competition, it’s about minimizing the risks. But it was a tricky day. There was more wind than we expected, 12 to 18 knots, and the water was chopped up by a lot of commercial boats. “The fact is, this has been a difficult week for everybody.”

Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera of Spain entered the Medal Race third with only the New Zealanders, Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Wilcox, close at two points behind. A disappointing day for Snow-Hansen and Wilcox handed the Kiwi pair 20 points for a 10th-place finish, dropping them to fifth.

The Medal Race went to Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion, the defending champions from France. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Stuart Mcnay & David Hughes (USA) and Geison Mendes Dzioubanov & Gustavo Thiesen (BRA).

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

Nacra 17
Although gold was confirmed, Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri (ITA) stylishly concluded ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, with a bullet in the Medal Race. The Italians put together several key top ten results throughout the testing 15 race series and that ultimately proved enough for a successful title defence. Bissaro and Sicouri enjoy Miami, reasons behind it? “Well first of all, because we win,” smiled Sicouri. “It’s really nice, the sea is warm so it is very good sailing and it is very challenging because you never have the same conditions. “You really have to use your mind to be at the top. The race area was so challenging and until the fourth day the top of the fleet was really close on points. It was just that yesterday, we managed to do what we did to win early.”

Bissaro and Sicouri sailed cleanly in the Medal Race, taking a comfortable 16 second race victory. With ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami gold around their necks they have qualified for the World Cup Final and Sicouri was pleased to confirm their spot just two regattas into the 2015 series, “The World Cup Final is very important. Abu Dhabi is the goal for everyone. We are happy that we’ve started our season this way and hope to continue.”

Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves (GBR) confirmed their silver medal with a fifth in the Medal Race. A second in the Medal Race promoted Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) into bronze. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Enrique Figueroa and Franchesca Valdes (PUR) and Samuel Albrecht and Georgia da Silva (BRA).

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

Men’s RS:X
London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) booked himself a spot at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi by taking a narrow victory in Miami. The Dutchman held a ten point lead over Thomas Goyard (FRA) going into the Medal Race but a late surge from the Frenchman saw van Rijsselberge edge it by two points. “I had a poor performance in the Medal Race,” said van Rijsselberge. “I’m not super happy with how it went but I did just enough to win. I was lucky because I had enough places already for me to keep in the lead.”

A sixth for van Rijsselberge and a second from Goyard was enough for victory and a spot on the World Cup Final start line, “We’re going to the final,” smiled van Rijsselberge, “We’ve tried to make qualifying as easy as possible so now the big thing ahead is the World Championship and Olympic test event before the final.

Looking at the points score, a winning score of 77 can be seen in two ways. Work to be done ahead of Rio or as the Dutchman put it, “The top guys are so good and anybody in the top ten can win a race. It was amazing as I don’t think I have ever seen such a high scoring event. The fact that it’s a high score event shows that everybody is so close together. “There were a lot of ups and downs. Everybody seemed to get like a first and then a tenth or a 15th.”

Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) won the Medal Race to put himself with a chance of pushing up the leaderboard but Goyard’s second solidified his silver. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Zac Plavsic (CAN) and Ricardo Santos (BRA).

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP, Miami 2015. (c) US Sailing

Women’s RS:X
Bryony Shaw (GBR) had gold in the bag in advance of the Medal Race and concluded her regatta with a fifth. The race was on for the remaining medals and it was heartbreak for Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) who was on the course side and dropped out of the medals. Lilian de Geus (NED) claimed a silver whilst Olga Maslivets (RUS) was a major benefactor of Tartaglini’s OCS and a seventh pushed her up into bronze medal position. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Marion Lepert (USA) and Patricia Freitas (BRA).

Finn
In a class that has so often produced a dominant player, Giles Scott of Great Britain is that dominant player of the moment. His 18-month winning streak continues without a crack. Scott wrapped up the gold position on Friday and went into the Medal Race with his position assured. Nonetheless, the Medal Race was extraordinary. Following one postponement, the race went off in 15 knots and went to completion in 25 minutes. All ten boats finished within a 40-second window, with Scott taking second to Australia’s rising star Jake Lilley, by six seconds.

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Lilley won the start, boldly crossed the fleet and led all the way – by only one second, at the final weather mark. Yes, it was a heart-pounding contest. Scott, winner of 5 of 11 races, won gold by a margin of 25 points and carried on with his usual, it’s all about Rio, diffidence toward the result. He said, “I just had a good week, and we’ve been lucky to get some good racing in, especially after a bit of disappointing weather last year. Now, on to the next one.”

Kljakovic Gaspic of Croatia captured silver, digging deep to do it. At 23 points behind he was never a threat to Scott, and a sputtering start to the week included a DSQ in race four. Over the second half of the week however, he matched Scott’s points over the final six races. He served notice.

Meanwhile, the Medal Race win lifted Lilley into bronze. He served notice too. Home continent qualifiers for the finale at Abu Dhabi were Caleb Paine (USA) and Jorge João Zarif (BRA).

Focus will now turn to the ISAF World Sailing Rankings release on 2 February 2015 where the top 30 competitors will receive an invitation to ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères. For the ones out of the top 30, their chance will come. The next ten invitations will come from the Princess Sofia Trophy regatta in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Hyères will host the world’s top 40 Olympic class athletes from 20-26 April with Weymouth and Portland, Great Britain the next destination from 8-14 June.

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Miami To Come Alive For Second World Cup Regatta

Posted on 20 January 2015 by Reporter

[Source:ISAF] From 26-31 January 2015, Miami, USA will welcome world class fields in ten Olympic and three Paralympic events for the second regatta of the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup series.
Biscayne Bay will come alive with the sails of 651 boats, featuring 848 sailors from 63 nations. The stakes are high at the 2015 edition of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella with Abu Dhabi Final qualification spots and valuable ranking points available at the 200-point regatta.

The 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella marks the second anniversary of competition for the Nacra 17. The mixed multihull made its debut at the 2013 edition with a small seven boat fleet that was dominated by North Americans. Sarah Newberry and John Casey (USA) took the first Nacra 17 gold medal and now two years on, Miami welcomes a truly international field with 21 nations represented within the 51-boat fleet.

Seasoned campaigners and young hopefuls will be on the start line come 26 January, gunning for an Abu Dhabi ISAF Sailing World Cup Final qualification spot.

Beijing 2008 Tornado Olympic gold medallist Fernando Echavarri (ESP) will take to Nacra 17 racing for the first time in Miami. Echavarri has paired up with 2011 470 World Champion Tara Pacheco who formerly sailed with Iker Martinez. Pacheco and Martinez, who were coached by Echavarri, split up towards the end of 2014 with Martinez teaming up with Marina Lopez.

The transition from coach boat to the Nacra 17 has gone well for the experienced Echavarri, a two time Tornado World Champion, who is taking things in his stride, “We have been sailing for about two months. We are just starting and there are many things that are going on and we want to think about a one year campaign. If everything works well and we qualify [for Rio 2016], we will then think about the next step.

“Miami will be the first race so we are just thinking about learning and getting into the game again. At the moment we are taking it day by day. We have many things to organise before we even think about our goals. For today I can tell you that our goal is to balance the rudders, which will make everything easier.

“We’ve had some normal starting issues that make us lose some time but we are happy about our progression. There are many things to learn and they are special to remember. Here in Miami we came two days ago [Thursday 15 January] with a charter boat so there is plenty of work to do to prepare.

“It’s a nice competition, as always, in Miami. I am really happy to be back in the game.”

Echavarri joins a list of highly experienced competitors in the Miami Nacra 17 fleet. Two time Nacra 17 World Champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA), Sofia Bekatorou and Konstantinos Trigonis (GRE), Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim (FRA) and Puerto Rico’s Enrique Figueroa, sailing with Franchesca Valdes Ortega, all have vast experience that they’ll put into practice in Miami.

At the other end of the spectrum are Aruba’s Nicole van der Velden and Thijs Visser. At 20-years-old Van der Velden is one of the youngest competitors in the fleet but with two years of campaigning behind her, she hasn’t been intimated by her older rivals, reaching World #17 and finishing in the top ten at the European Championship.

“It’s amazing how much you can learn in two years just by committing to something,” commented van der Velden. “The learning curve has been huge for me. The Nacra is so much fun to sail and I can’t wait to see what this year will bring for us.”

It would be easy for van der Velden to look in awe at the star spangled fleet that features numerous Olympic medallists, Volvo Ocean Race winners and multiple World Champions but she has used the competition to her advantage as she explained, “It’s awesome to be able to sail against such experienced sailors. It really pushes you even harder to get better and better, especially being so young there’s so much to learn.

“For us at the moment it’s quite important to keep working on our racing skills. So every race we do we try to learn as much as possible from it.”

Lisa Darmanin and Jason Waterhouse (AUS) were the first Nacra 17 pair to qualify for the Abu Dhabi ISAF Sailing World Cup Final when they took the Melbourne title. Teams will be vying to join them on the start line with six days of high intensity racing in Miami.

Great Britain’s Giles Scott will spearhead the Finn fleet, aiming to defend his title and continue his unbeaten run of six ranked regattas and the Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014 (Olympic Test Event).

Scott has dominated at every regatta and has his eyes on another victory, “It [the unbeaten run] is absolutely something I’d like to continue. Every regatta I do is incredibly important, but that being said I do really try and focus on each event as it comes so we’ll have to see what Miami brings, I’m sure it will be great racing.

“I think the fleet will be very strong this year with only a handful of the top guys missing. Last year we were plagued by lack of wind so hopefully this year we get good Miami conditions.”

World #1 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO), World #2 Caleb Paine (USA), ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne victor Ed Wright (GBR) and Abu Dhabi ISAF Sailing World Cup Final champion Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) will all be in the fleet.

Forty five teams are registered to compete in the Men’s 470 and quality is prevalent throughout the pack. Mat Belcher and Will (AUS) will be the ones to beat whilst 2013 champions Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) will want to hold on to their title. 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao gold medallists Jordi Xammar and Joan Herp (ESP) will be looking to impress whilst Greece’s Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis will certainly be in the running for top honours.

In the Women’s 470, 2014 World Champions Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar (AUT), Olympic champions Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) and Olympic silver medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) will renew their rivalry. The trio shared the podium at the Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds as well as the 2014 Olympic Test Event with minimal separation between them.

Miami will be the first opportunity for the trio to test themselves against each other in 2015 which will make for some intriguing and insightful racing.

In the 2.4mR, one of three Paralympic events taking place in Miami, Megan Pascoe (GBR) will be aiming to defend her title. In testing winds at the 2014 edition Pascoe kept her focus to take the victory ahead of Allan Leibel (CAN) and Helena Lucas (GBR). Both Leibel and Lucas will return in 2015 with Melbourne victor Matt Bugg (AUS) and the ever consistent Bjornar Erikstad (NOR) also within the fleet.

Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) return to defend their crown in the SKUD18 but will face stiff competition from long term rivals Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS). Ten boats will go in the competitive Sonar fleet with 2014 silver medallists John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas (GBR) set to lead the charge.

Competitors in the Paralympic events will have five days of fleet racing from Monday 26 January to Friday 30 January. Medal Races across the ten OIympic events will bring the regatta to a close on Saturday 31 January where medals will be awarded to the top three boats.

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The Trofeo Princesa Sofia grows with the debut of Kitesurf and the comeback of the Dragon Class

Posted on 19 January 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía] The 46 edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia, to be held between 28 March and 4 April in the Bay of Palma in Mallorca (Spain), will see an increase of competitors with the incorporation if the astonishing Kiteboarding and the comeback of the Dragon Class.
This major Mallorca Olympic Classes event which is organised by Club Nàutic Arenal, Real Club Náutico de Palma and Club Marítimo San Antonio de la Playa together with the Balearic and Royal Spanish Federation, opened the online entries just before the Christmas holidays.

Up to this date, around 192 sailors from different nations such as Japan, Russia, Germany, Great Britain, USA, and Switzerland have already entered.

The main novelty in this edition will be the debut of the spectacular Kiteboarding, one of the classes battling to join the Olympic family, which will have its first international event in Mallorca with venue at Portitxol beach.

This beach location has the appropriate conditions for Kiteboarding sailors to get in and out of the water with their kites and boards. Competitors will sail a maximum of 16 short, fast races between marks and men and women might sail together but will be scored separately.

Furthermore, the Trofeo Princesa Sofia will welcome again the Dragon fleet, the Class that marked the starting point of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia 46 years ago. The Dragon class and Paralympic classes will have their venue at Real Club Náutico de Palma.

Participation will be completed with the ten Olympic Classes Laser, Laser Radial, Finn, 470 men and women, 49er, 49er FX, RS:X men and women and Nacra 17 as well as Paralympic classes 2.4mR and Skud18 and therefore around 1.000 sailors are expected to be sailing in the Bay of Palma.

Once again, this major Olympic Classes event will gather together the best world sailors as it is a qualifier event for the ISAF SWC Hyères event and a 2015 EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup Regatta.

In this sense, Club Nàutic de s’Arenal welcomes since January the first national teams, mostly from Northern Europe, that make the most of the favourable weather conditions to train in Mallorca and warm up for the sailing season.

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ISAF Sailing World Cup Final Declared Open

Posted on 25 November 2014 by Reporter

[Source: ISAF] The inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Final has been declared open by ISAF President Carlo Croce in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. With a packed crowd of local dignitaries, VIPS and participating sailors in attendance, the ISAF President welcomed some of the world’s finest Olympic sailors and kiteboarders who will be competing on Abu Dhabi waters.

“It’s a great honour for me to be here today because we have a very important regatta which will be the future of our sport,” explained Croce, “We’ve been following a dream and a vision. The vision is to make the sailors part of the professional life and help them in this path.

“When we came here three or four months ago I never thought we might be able to put all of what you see in place. It’s been a miracle by the people working here who I thank very much. I am also thankful to all of you here today – we have 197 boats, 40 nations, 270 athletes and more than 20 Olympic medallists.

“It’s the best of the best of the world and I really thank you on behalf of ISAF for accepting our invitation.”

London 2012 Olympic Laser Radial bronze medallist Evi Van Acker (BEL) gave the athletes’ oath whilst Chief Equipment Inspector Barry Johnson (AUS) swore in the officials.

Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club, host of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final are utilising the star names competing at the regatta to highlight the sport of sailing within the Emirati capital. With Olympic heroes and World Champions in their numbers at the event local children are being inspired to take up the sport as Croce concluded, “It is a good legacy for the local people and the youngsters. I know some of you went around the schools showing the young people how our sport is developing. No better ambassadors could be found outside this group.

“I really think we have the first step for a future World Cup system that will really help all of you making a living out of sailing. As an old sailor it’s always been a problem so thank you very much for coming.”

Once the flag was hoisted by three time Olympian Nikola Girke, Croce declared the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final open.

Sailors’ attentions now turn to preparing their equipment for the battles on the race track.

Practice racing will allow the sailors the first opportunity to test themselves against each other on 26 November. Racing commences at 12:00 local time on 27 November and concludes on 30 November.

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