Kite debut at Palma Olympic event
Published on April 1st, 2015
Palma de Mallorca, Spain (April 1, 2015) – The kites made their first apparition in Palma this year for the Trofeo Sofia IBEROSTAR. Ten challenging races were sailed by a mixed teams of male and female riders coming from all over the world to mark history with the debut of kite racing alongside the usual ten Olympic classes and the 2.4 Parlympic event.
Elena Kalinina from Russia won all the races in the women division: “I am so excited with my results here. I really didn’t expect to win all the races. The racing conditions were not easy but in the end we did 10 races. The venue today in Can Pastilla was much better for launching and for racing. I hope we will be there next year. It was great to be part of the Trofeo Sofia IBEROSTAR with all the other Olympic classes, it is a great start for our future and hope we will be included again in more regattas with the Olympic classes.”
About her goals for the rest of the year the 18 years old Russian rider adds: “This win is giving me confidence to go and compete in the year main regattas: the European and World championship. Then I hope to be selected for the Sailing World Cup final in Abu Dhabi.” Same reaction from Florian Trittel who took nine races out of ten. “I am very proud to win this event in Palma. I hope we will return next year with more riders. This is a good step towards the inclusion of kite in the Olympic Games!”
The conditions for the first day of finals in the 10 Olympic classes, and the start of racing in the 2.4 and Dragons allowed for great competition.
No changes at the top in both RS:X men and women, Nacra, Finn, 49er and 470 women where the leaders from the first tough days are continuing their lead in the more stable conditions.
In the 49er, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) increase their lead with two bullets and a second place, over the Germans.
“They are very fast, especially downwind! They are both very smart sailors and make no mistake,” explains Erik Heil (GER) about their direct opponent. After winning a race and placing a creditable 4 in the others, Heil and Ploessel are also continuing their second place 18 points from the fleet. “The conditions were great today, the fleet is very competitive and racing was tight.”
Other German to perform well today is Philipp Buhl. The young German takes the lead in the Laser fleet after winning the Miami Sailing World Cup at the start of the year. “I am especially happy with my results here so far as I wanted to prove that Miami was not just a one off! Of course the event is not yet finished but I am on the right track!” The tall sailor favors the breeze better suited to his physique, however he is also used to tricky conditions which prevailed in Palma this week.
“I am from lake Constance and used to shifty winds but I prefer the stronger stuff!” For the German team, the Trofeo Sofia IBEROSTAR is the first of two selection regatta for the Olympic test event which will conclude in Hyeres next month.
Other Miami SWC winners to perform well in Palma are Luke Patience and Elliott Willis (GBR) who take the lead from the french team of Pirouelle/Sipan in the Men 470. To note the good results today of Spanish Barreiros/Cabrera who climb to 8th overall after a win and a 9th place.
The Radial fleet has been full of surprises with change of leadership and unexpected outcome. Regatta favorite Marit Bouwmeester retired from the competition on the second day to recover fully from her shoulder injury. Despite the absence of the world #1, the Gold fleet shows no shortage of talents. After a productive “off season” in Australia and two victories at Sail Sydney and the Melbourne SWC, Alison Young (GBR) is coming back in good shape to take the lead of the Gold fleet in front of Annalise Murphy (IRL) and Anne Marie Rindom (DEN). World #2 Evi van Acker (BEL) took the bullets today to climb into fourth position. The Trofeo Sofia IBEROSTAR title will be hard to get in the Radial!
Jena Mai Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen (DEN) have taken the lead from Tamara Echegoyen and Berta Betanzos who drop to fourth after scoring a couple of top 20 placings today. Danish team mates Maiken and Ann-Julie Foght Schutt are remaining in secind position overall.
The 2.4 and Dragons started the competition in the Trofeo Sofia Iberostar today.
Bjørnar Erikstad (NOR) mastered the first day of racing winning both races from Helena Lucas (GBR) in the 2.4. Marc Patiño and Pau Balaguer are leading the Dragon fleet.
Racing with resume on Thursday for the second day of finals, with all racing concluding April 4.
Source: Event media