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Closure at Trofeo Sofía Mallorca

Published on April 9th, 2022

Palma, Spain (April 9, 2022) – Palma Bay witnessed 10 gold medal winning performances on the concluding day of the 2022 Trofeo Sofía Mallorca. With 1,015 competitors, this regatta launched the 2022 Hempel Sailing World Cup Circuit while also marking the start of a new Olympic cycle towards Paris 2024.

The Trofeo Princesa Sofía Mallorca is unique among major multi-class Olympic regattas in delivering an overall winner. This year’s winners are Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti (ITA) who take the title after dominating the Nacra 17 division.

The winner is the boat with the lowest average points after dividing the total points in the regatta series by the number of races completed (including any discard). The Italians won nine of their 13 races, convincing overall winners.

With 11 to 15 knot winds from the north-west, the offshore breeze made for tricky Medal Race conditions. Here’s the final report:

Nacra 17: Victory lap for the Olympic Champions
Tita and Banti, as the reigning Nacra Olympic Champions, started their new campaign in the most dominant form. Winning by 36 points, the Italians have mastered a revised rudder system by the Class with superior upwind performance in the foiling catamaran.

“We won here in Palma in 2018,” said Tita after coming ashore from winning the Medal Race. “It feels good to win four years later, at the same point in the Olympic cycle.” The silver medal went to Sinem Kurtbay and Akseli Keskinen (FIN) with John Gimson and Anna Burnet (GBR) in bronze.

Formula Kite Men: De Ramecourt dominates
Reigning World Champion Theo de Ramecourt (FRA) won gold in the Formula Kite Men, the first time the foiling kiteboards have been seen at a Hempel World Cup Series event. Finishing in silver was another Frenchman, Benoit Gomez (FRA), with Connor Bainbridge (GBR) taking bronze.

“My overall speed was really, really good compared to the others,” said de Ramecourt. “I had some good tactics which meant when I made mistakes I could come back. It is good to see the whole French team really killed it here. We are really all pushing it all the time to the next level which is really nice.”

Formula Kite Women: Moroz overtakes Nolot
After a slow start to her event, Daniela Moroz (USA) has been playing catch-up with the reigning World Champion putting the hammer down to overtake the yellow jersey of Lauriane Nolot (FRA) who had led for most of the regatta. Ellie Aldridge (GBR) took the bronze.

“That was one of the most intense finals of my life for sure,” said Moroz. “It was so hectic. I definitely had my work cut out on the last one because I had a bad start. I just had a good attitude to keep fighting to the end, as in these conditions anything can happen. It is never over. I kept going and took advantage of every shift and came away with a bullet. It means everything to win here, everyone is super excited to be in amongst all the other Olympic sailing classes and to be in this environment.”

iQFOiL Men: The Flying Scotsman
Luuc van Opzeeland (NED) went on the attack, using the three-board final to try to grab the gold medal from Andy Brown (GBR). Although the Dutchman bettered the Scotsman as they exited the start line, Brown battled back to take the lead and secure his first victory on the Hempel World Cup Series. Nicolò Renna (ITA) stormed through for silver, relegating van Opzeeland to third place.

“The French and Dutch guys were really gunning for me,” said Brown. “I like to think I respond well to pressure and I did when I messed up. I got a bit of redemption there. This is a great confidence boost. I want to go to the Olympics and win and so I needed to start winning some time and now it feels good that I have.”

iQFOiL Women: Noesmoen sets the standard
Hélène Noesmoen (FRA) had led all week, dominating the regatta through to the final day. With the finals format of the iQFOiL format designed for the possibility of an upset, Pilar Lamadrid (ESP) seized her moment and went on the attack. However, Noesmoen was not to be bettered and kept hold of the gold medal, with Lamadrid taking silver and bronze going to Maja Dziarnowska (POL).

“It is such a nice feeling to come here and win,” Noesmoen. “Today was very intense as the wind was up and down in the one race I had to win. This is another good step for me on the journey to Marseille and the Olympic Games.”

ILCA 7: Beckett beats the big names
Michael Beckett (GBR) won gold in the ILCA 7 singlehander to beat some of the heroes of his youth, not least reigning Olympic Champion from Tokyo, Matt Wearn (AUS). Wearn has been on the comeback trail all regatta after a shocking opening day and silver was a good recovery for the Australian after languishing in 32nd on day one. Germany’s 2020 world champion Philipp Buhl (GER) took the bronze.

“At one point it looked like I would be last which would not have been good at all,” noted Beckett. “Matt was winning and so would have won the event. It was unbelievably stressful until I crossed the line. I have grown up racing against these Olympic medalists and so I do know exactly how hard it is to beat them because I have never done it before. It feels good.”

“Second place at the first event after the Games is good, I am happy,” said Wearn. “I had a breakage on the first day and it was a bit uphill after that. It is a bit frustrating because if I had had a decent first day then I would have been in the hunt to win, but we still have Hyères next.”

ILCA 6: Douglas shows she CAN win
Sarah Douglas (CAN) sailed a victory lap in the ILCA 6 singlehander Medal Race, the Canadian having already secured the gold medal with a day to spare. Hannah Snellgrove (GBR) and Vasileia Karachaliou (GRE) were already assured of medals, but it was a matter of who would beat who. The British sailor managed to get ahead of the Greek, and Snellgrove’s tight cover on her rival meant she won silver, Karachaliou taking the bronze.

“I am so happy with the week and the way I sailed,” offered Douglas. “I can’t believe it. It is my first podium and my first World Cup win. I am stoked. I was kind of the queen of sixth place over the last quad and I told myself I wanted to stand on the podium on this journey to Paris 2024 and so I am so happy to start off like this.”

470 Mixed: Tokyo bronze medalist sets new pace
Jordi Xammar and Nora Brugman (ESP) have won gold at the start of the new era of 470 Mixed competition. Men and women racing together is changing the game but looking at the podium in Palma, experience from the Tokyo 2020 Games seems to have helped.

Behind Xammar, the Olympic bronze medalist, was a new Italian duo of Olympians, old friends from Rome Giacomo Ferrari and Bianca Caruso (ITA) who took silver. In bronze were the French team of Kevin Peponnet (Men’s World Champion in 2018) and Aloise Retornaz (Women’s Olympic bronze medallist from Tokyo 2020).

“It’s so good to win, and even better to win in Spain,” said Xammar, who arrived at the event fresh from skippering Team Spain in the SailGP competition in San Francisco, USA. “Jordi is so great to sail with,” said Brugman. “We have made a great start to our campaign and we’re loving every moment of sailing together.”

49er Men: French hold off a late charge from USA
After wearing the yellow jerseys all week, Erwan Fischer and Clément Pequin (FRA) won gold in the 49er Men’s skiff. However, the French were pushed hard in the Medal Race by Ian Barrows and Hans Henken (USA) who finished in silver just three points off the gold. Mikołaj Staniul and Jakub Sztorch (POL) took the bronze.

“We made a bit of a mess of our start on port tack, and we had to work hard to come back from that,” said Fischer. “We’re really happy with how we sailed in the Medal Race and all week.” Pequin added: “This is our first big regatta sailing together as a team and we’re so happy. Winning this Hempel World Cup regatta is the biggest win of our career so far.”

49erFX: New Dutch Duo win their first major event
Odile van Aanholt and Annette Duetz (NED) had already done enough to secure 49erFX gold the day with a day in hand. The Medal Race was a battle for silver and bronze, with reigning Olympic Champions Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) battling to keep the chasing pack at bay.

The points were close behind the Brazilians with Belgium, Italy, Sweden, and Denmark all in with a realistic shot at the podium. Grael and Kunze won the Medal Race to secure silver. Isaura Maenhaut and Anouk Geurts (BEL) looked good for the bronze early on, but Jana Germani and Giorgia Bertuzzi recovered from a poor first leg to move up to second by the finish, giving bronze to the Italians by just two points.

“Annette and I are super happy with our regatta this week,” commented Van Aanholt. “We’re a new team and we haven’t sailed together much but we’re going in the right direction.” Duetz added: “This has been an amazing week of sailing, actually pretty windy. Palma has really delivered some great conditions.”


Next Stop: Amsterdam
Next event in the Hempel World Cup Series is the Allianz Regatta in the Netherlands. The regatta will be situated in two locations near Amsterdam, with the 10 fleets split across Almere and Lelystad. The regatta takes place from 31 May to 5 June.

Three-time ILCA 6 Olympic medalist Marit Bouwmeester (NED), who is taking a competition break for her pregnancy, is the tournament ambassador. “The Allianz Regatta has been a leading European Olympic sailing event since 1985,” said the 2012 Olympic Champion.

“We want to continue this ambition at this new location. Of course, we are also proud to have the World Cup status of World Sailing. I won’t be racing this year because of my pregnancy, but I’m delighted to be involved as an ambassador for the participants and the fans.”

The 49erFX World Champion Odile van Aanholt added: “I’m looking forward to racing everyone on my home waters. It’s a good area of flat water, quite shifty and gusty, so it will be super-challenging for skiff racing. It will be great fun.”

Event detailsResultsFacebook

North America: Beyond gold medals from Sarah Douglas (CAN) in the ILCA 6 and Daniela Moroz (USA) in the Formula Kite, and a silver for Ian Barrows/Hans Henken (USA) in the 49er, not far off the podium were Americans Andrew Mollerus/ Ian MacDiarmid (5th, 49er) and Steph Roble/ Maggie Shea (9th, 49erFX).

Racing is being held April 4-9.

With 62 nations represented, there are 1,015 competitors with 779 boats in Palma de Mallorca for the largest Olympic class regatta since the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Part of the Hempel World Cup Series, the popular Princesa Sofía regatta is back after a two year break due to COVID-19, and is the first of two regattas in 2022 that gathers all Olympic class boats in one place.

2022 Hempel World Cup Series:
April 4-9 – Hempel World Cup Series Palma (Princess Sofía Regatta), Spain
May 31-June 5 – Hempel World Cup Series Amsterdam (Allianz Regatta), The Netherlands
TBC – Hempel World Cup Marseille, France

The Hempel World Cup Series is the definitive annual circuit for the world’s leading sailors and Olympic hopefuls. Mirroring the Olympic style of sailing in format, duration and fleet sizes, the World Cup Series visits prestige venues across the globe at all stages of the four-year Olympic cycle, supporting athletes in their quest to qualify for the Games and connecting fans with the very best sailors in the sport.

Source: Trofeo Sofia Mallorca

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