Great Britain’s sailing contingent will look to get their European regatta season up and running in style next week as the ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca gets underway in Palma Bay.
Over 850 sailors from 50 nations will compete in what is the 45th edition of the Princess Sofia Trophy, with some 80 British Sailing Team sailors due to compete across all ten Olympic classes, and the 2.4mR Paralympic event.
Racing will begin on Monday March 31, with the final day of action for the Paralympic classes on Friday April 4 and medal races for the Olympic classes occurring on Saturday April 5.
Giles Scott will look to defend his finn title from last year’s regatta in the men’s heavyweight dinghy event and is well placed to do so off the back of wins at the EUROSAF event in La Rochelle last October, the Copa Brasil de Vela at Rio in January, and last month’s ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami.
And Britain will also have a strong contingent vying for honours in the finn class, with 2013 World and European silver medallist Ed Wright, world number two Andrew Mills and world number four Mark Andrews all flying the British flag alongside Scott in Palma.
Elsewhere, RS:X windsurfing world champion Nick Dempsey, 49er European champions Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign and 470 Olympic silver medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark will all see their first World Cup action of 2014 at next week’s event.
Elsewhere, Luke Patience and Elliot Willis will be putting their new partnership through its paces at their first World Cup event together in the 470 men’s class.
And RYA Olympic manager Stephen Park believes the Princess Sofia Trophy is a perfect way for the British team to test themselves against the world’s best.
“The Princess Sofia Trophy always provides a great start to the European sailing season, and a perfect opportunity to put all the hours of winter training to the test at a major event where you have the chance to line up against all the best sailors from the rest of the world,” explained RYA Olympic manager Stephen Park.
“Along with many other nations, the key event for the British Sailing Team this year will be the ISAF Sailing World Championships at Santander in September, so the Princess Sofia Trophy will provide a great early season test to see how the international fleet is shaping up ahead of the World Championships.”
Also in action is world number one windsurfer Bryony Shaw in the RS:X women’s event, while Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond and Frances Peters-Nicola Groves will be among the British contenders in the Nacra 17 and 49erFX events.
Nick Thompson headlines an eight-sailor British entry in the men’s single-handed laser class, with four British women set to compete in the women’s equivalent laser radial event.
And in the Paralympic classes, Miami gold medallist Megan Pascoe will be gunning for a second World Cup victory of 2014 in the 2.4mR event, with Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas also aiming for the podium spots, having secured bronze in Miami.