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30 March - 6 April, 2019 / Palma, Spain

2019 Princess Sofia Regatta

Nacras Doing the Dance

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Results via on www.trofeoprincesasofia.org CLICK HERE

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Jason Waterhouse with Lisa Darmanin (AUS) battled sagely all we to pull into a nice lead in Miami half way through the final day of fleet racing. But the Brazilians Albrecht and Nicolino dug in to win the final two races setting up a showdown for the medal race. The Aussies are the silver medalists from Rio, training with an outstanding group of teams down under including, at times, the Outteridge siblings and 4th place from Rio Kiwis, Jones and Saunders, and are coached by multi Tornado World Champion, Darren Bundock. It’s no surprise they are in contention.

The team turning heads this week are the Brazilians. Albrecht sailed to a 10th place in Rio with a different crew, and then teamed up with Nicolino after the games. Nicolino has plenty of experience from the 49erFX, a Nacra 17 campaign, and Match Racing, but the way they have hung in all week to challenge for the lead is impressive.

“We had a very hard first race,” said Nicolino. “We managed to finish 14th, but at one point we were around 20th. We did not have a clear sight of what was going on on the racecourse. But then we sat together, talked about it and decided to simplify things for the next races and it worked. [We focused on] clear lanes during the upwind mostly, getting out of trouble with other boats and trusting the numbers on our compass.”

If she was disappointed to have lost the lead, Nicolino de Sá didn’t show it.

From 27 January to 3 February 2019, Miami will host sailors for the second round of the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series in Coconut Grove. More than 650 sailors from 60 nations will race across the 10 Olympic Events.
01 February, 2019.

South America is becoming a serious contender both in strength and depth in the Nacra 17. They’ve formed a great training group, led by Rio Gold medalists, Lange and Saroli (ARG) which has attracted a couple top European teams into it including Bronze medalist from Rio, Thomas Zajac (AUT) with new crew Barbara Matz and the top brits at the moment, John Gimson and Ana Burnett. The group includes 2 Argentinian teams, Uruguay, two Brazilians teams along with the two Europeans, and is holding down four of the top six places in Miami, and five of the top 10. The training group has been meeting up in Punte del Este, Uruguay to train in fantastic conditions, with the bonus that it’s expected to be similar to the conditions in Tokyo.

Of the group though, it is the Brazilians have have climbed the farthest, and been resilient as well. Their drop race is a DSQ from a well finished race, meaning the worst they’ve crossed a finish line all week is still in the top 40% of the fleet. The medal race will decide who ultimately lands on top.

The Australians have mainly been training at home recently, so light air practice is a reason they came to Miami. One area they deem in need of improvement is their light air speed. They came to Hempel World Cup Series Miami looking for the light, shifty conditions that most recreational sailors would rather avoid. To their delight, Biscayne Bay has delivered just what they needed.

“We’re really happy with how we’ve been sailing this week considering the conditions,” said Waterhouse. “In terms of racing, our main focus has just been consistency throughout the week as those conditions, it’s just so variable with your results. Also we’ve been struggling in the last year with our light air speed and we’ve been trying to focus on improving that. It’s hard to tell in such shifty conditions, but I think we’ve made little leaps in that.”

The Australians started the regatta with a 14th, but have been lights-out ever since. Eight of their 12 finishes have been inside the top-five and they will head into tomorrow’s double-points Medal Race with a four-point lead.

“We’re actually very happy to be battling against them. Not sure what to expect yet for tomorrow, we just want to give it our best,” said Darmanin.

To hear Waterhouse talk about it, that may be all he and Darmanin can handle, especially if the forecast holds for less than 10 knots of breeze.

“The Brazilians are definitely the quickest in the light breeze,” he said. “We’ve just been trying to sail smart tactically to get around the lack of boatspeed.”

Should either of those teams falter significantly in the Medal Race, the crafty veterans and defending gold medalists Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) could take advantage. They are 12 points behind second and 16 points out of first.

Link to Nacra 17 Medal Race Live Broadcast

49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 and the RS:X windsurfer Medal Races will be live across World Sailing’s YouTube and Facebook from 12:00 local time on Saturday 2 February.

Sailing Instructions

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Notice Of Race

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The Olympic sailing world reconvenes next week on the Spanish island of Mallorca, where we will see over 1,200 athletes competing across the ten Olympic classes at the annual Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Iberostar regatta, this year celebrating its 50th anniversary. The Olympic regatta held on the Bay of Palma marks the beginning of the 2019 European season for the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra17. While this is not an Olympic selection regatta, the Trofeo Princesa Sofia is always an important event in every sailors calendar. Many teams will have been away from international competition since late in 2018, or in the past few months competed in only the Miami World Series event in light and tricky conditions. The Trofeo Princesa Sofia regatta is an early performance indicator for the season ahead, allowing teams to get back into Olympic level competition prior to the rigorous European schedule. This is made all the more important given many teams are pushing for national selection ahead the Tokyo 2020 games, to be sailed in Enoshima Japan in late July next year. Trofeo Princesa Sofia is an event that comes without the added pressure often associated with the World Series, European or World Championship events. Sailors and spectators can expect action packed class racing in one of the best sailing venues the world has to offer.