The Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar Olympics Classes regatta ended today in Palma de Majorca, with blustery conditions for the medal races, ending what has been the first major European test for 2019. For the 58 men and 49 women racing in Palma over the past week, it was a useful opportunity to get some racing time on the water ahead of the RS:X European and Youth European Championships which start racing here three days time on the same waters.
With the absence of some of the top European sailors who chose to rest this week, it was a fantastic opportunity for some new faces to hit the front of the fleets and gain some all important confidence before heading into next week. With a full complement of ten races achieved, the racing throughout the week saw some intense racing in both the men’s and the women’s fleets before Saturdays, top ten medal race shoot out.
In the women’s fleet, the scores were dominated by sailors from Asia with three sailors from Hong Kong and three from China in the top ten, rounded out by a welcome appearance of Siripon Kaewduangngam from Thailand in her first major medal race. Denmark and Turkey were the other two nations represented.
China’s Yue Tan, having been on a bit of a roll by scoring three firsts in races 8, 9 and 10, also blitzed the medal race to take gold overall. Hei Man Chan from Hong Kong took second place in the medal race to secure silver medal with Laerke Buhl-Hansen having a consistent series of races to take third place overall.
The men’s fleet was more diverse in its representation with nine different nations being represented in the medal race. With many European sailors sitting the event out – Israel, Spain and Switzerland were the only European nations qualified for the medal race, it was another opportunity for a different group of sailors to show off their racing and physical skills.
In a reverse of fortune compared to the women’s results, it was the Hong Kong’s Michael Cheng who took the gold medal with a win in the medal race. Hao Chen from China had a chance of winning gold but a disappointing sixth in the medal race, coupled with Chengs win, saw this slip from his grasp. Pedro Pascual Suitt from the USA took bronze overall.
Looking ahead to the RS:X Europeans and Youth Europeans, the event organisers and the RS:X Class are looking to welcoming 345 registered sailors to Palma! This is a record breaking event for the RS:X Class and showcases the work that both the class have done in increasing the appeal of windsurfing through initiatives such as its Emerging Nations Programme, as well as how much the sailors love coming to this fantastic windsurfing spot in Palma.
France and Israel are fielding the largest teams to the event with 55 French sailors and 39 Israeli sailors represented. Great Britain, Poland and host nation Spain are all fielding strong teams across the two senior fleets and the two junior fleets. There are a total of 43 different nations taking part next week!
Both reigning Olympic Champions and World Champions are taking part in the senior fleet, with this event likely to form an important part on their journeys to Tokyo 2020. With such large fleets, the racing will be incredibly tight and the week will present a number of different battles – the first is to get into gold fleet once racing gets underway on Tuesday. From there the racing tightens up a little further as eyes are focussed on getting into the medal races for the final showdown on Saturday – if you aren’t in the medal race, you wont win the title.
Equipment Inspection and registration takes place on Sunday along with the opening ceremony.
RESULTS will be available when race commences here – http://www.rsxclass.org/europeans2019/
TEXT – RS:X Class