Tokyo 2020: Turning the focus to Europe
Published on March 10th, 2020
One hundred nautical miles off the Spanish coast is Mallorca, the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean. While famous for its beautiful beaches and weather, the Bay of Palma is famous among Olympic campaigners as where you go to measure yourself.
This test occurs at the beginning of the European season, notably at Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar which in 2020 is on March 30 to April 4.
International sailing teams are arriving every day and there are already several hundreds of sailors training in waters of Mallorca to prepare for this regatta, considered as one of the best in the International Olympic calendar.
Teams from Australia, Japan, USA, Russia, Italy, Switzerland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Canada, and Croatia as well as Spanish sailors, have been onsite for their winter training since the end of January, specially the 470, 49er, Nacra 17, Finn, and Laser classes.
The largest fleet is undoubtedly the 470, both women and men, with over 80 teams preparing for their 2020 Class World Championship to be held March 16-21 on Mallorca, just before the Sofia Iberostar, so there will be much at stake in the Bay of Palma.
Of particular importance is how the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar will be a selection event for some nations to decide their representatives for Tokyo 2020 Olympic, which includes Canada.
The USA will use the 470 Worlds to conclude their selection series for these Men’s and Women’s Two Person Dinghy events. With Atlantic and Nora Brugman only 1 point up on Carmen and Emma Cowles and 3 points ahead of Nikole Barnes/ Lara Dallman-Weiss, anything could happen.
For those who secure the Olympic spot for the Summer Games, the Sofía Iberostar has an added value: “If we are lucky to have the usual wind (SW) in the Bay of Palma, with big waves, it would be as sailing in waters of Enoshima,” reports Santiago López-Vázquez, Olympic preparation Manager of the Spanish Sailing Federation (RFEV).
According to Mark Robinson, manager of the British Olympic Sailing Team, “Trofeo Princesa Sofia is a favourite amongst our sailors and the Bay of Palma is the perfect venue. Our sailors look forward to training in the sun, wind and waves that Palma is famous for.”