Extreme Conditions Disrupt Racing In Palma

Strong winds and big waves caused long postponements ashore for most classes at the ISAF World Cup in Palma on Tuesday.

Organisers launched the Finn class but as conditions deteriorated, the fleet was sent back to shore. A number of boats suffered breakages in the rough seas.

Only the Women’s Match Racing and the Men’s and Women’s RS:X classes sailed in the afternoon. The remaining classes participating at the 41 Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofía Mapfre, could not sail and after being postponed ashore, the Race Committee cancelled the races of the day around 15:00hrs.

Italy’s four-time Olympic medallist Alessandra Sensini enjoyed the strong weather conditions in the RS:X class picking up two wins, securing the lead in the overall standings at the halfway stage in the regatta. Britain’s Bryony Shaw dropped to second position with a sixth and third in her two races. French competitor Charline Picon sits in third position. 

Tom Ashley (NZL) has moved up to share the lead in the Men’s RS:X after lying third at the outset of day three. He placed fifth in both races whilst overnight leader Shahar Zubari of Israel counted his poorest results to date of ninth and twelth. Kokkalanis from Greece is only three points adrift in third position in a close fought battle at the top of the table.

In the Women’s Match Racing event, the Gold, Silver and Repecharge groups were established. In the Gold group Claire Leroy (FRA) remains unbeaten winning all three of her matches. Sally Barkow (USA) and Renee Groeneveld (NED) won two out of three but It was a tough day for the top British team of Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Ally Martin winning only one out of three of their matches.

The Skandia Team GBR crew were already assured of their quarter-final berth and were fighting it out for ranking positions in the Gold group. They lost their opening match to the Netherlands’ Renee Groeneveld, but managed to get the better of USA’s Sally Barkow, who beat them in the opening round robin stage.

Their third and final match of the day was against world number one Claire Leroy (FRA). After picking up a penalty in the pre-start, the Skandia Team GBR crew fought back, getting their noses in front at one point, before picking up a another penalty and losing narrowly to the French crew.

It was a slightly frustrating day for us,” Lush admitted. “Palma has thrown every condition at us so far, and as a result, the good thing is that no-one is really dominating, the results have shown that, so we don’t mind who we meet in the quarter-finals.

“I hope we’ll be up there in the medals at the end of the week, but we need to stay out of trouble a bit more,”
Lush continued.

Racing at the Princessa Sofia Trophy is set to resume on Wednesday where the larger classes will be divided into Gold and Silver groups. The 41st Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia MAPFRE will be held in Mallorca from 27 March-2 April, organized by four clubs of the bay of Palma (Club Nàutic S’Arenal, Real Club Náutico de Palma, Club Marítimo San Antonio de la Playa and Escuela Nacional de Vela Calanova), as well as the Real Federación Española de Vela and the Federación Balear de Vela, together with the Govern de les Illes Balears, the Consell de Mallorca and Palma and Llucmajor city councils. The collaborators of the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre are the Consejo Superior de Deportes, the Federación Española de Deportes de Personas con Discapacidad Física, the Ports Authority, Ports de les Illes Balears, the coastal department of the Ministry of Environment and companies Ultramar Express and Acciona.