Sunshine and light breeze provided for gentle but technical sailing for all classes engaged in the 43rd Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofa MAPFRE, the third of seven ISAF Sailing World Cup Regattas.
Sailing from the Club Real de Palma, the Stars with all favourites on the starting line had a high level of competition. Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot (FRA) took the first race and placed seventh in the last to take the lead on equal points with Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner (NZL). Mateusz Kuznierewicz and Dominik Zycki (POL) took the last race to place third overall.
The Australians had a great start in the Men's 470 with World #1 Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page, and Sam Kivell with Will Ryan; both teams winning their group first race. However, it is the French pair of Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos, second last year in Palma who take the lead with a fifth place and a victory.
"We had a bad start in the first race but came back to the front; the second was better and it is a very good day in the championship. For us this event is important to test the material. Of course we would like to win here but first of all we need to sail well,"
said the French pair.
The French, selected for the Olympic Games are just a point ahead of World Champions Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS), "We had light winds today so considering the conditions we are happy and lucky with our results. It is our first event in Europe so it is good to gauge ourselves with the others, but we need to focus on our sailing."
After a third place at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR earlier this year, the young British team of Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth are leading the Women's 470 fleet with a third and a second place. "This is by far our best day in any international 470 event. We had a great training this year with Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark, we learned a lot from them. This s a great start to our regatta but there are still many races to go."
The light conditions penalised some favourites with World Champions Tara Pacheco and Berta Betanzos placing 27th and Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout (NED) in 28th.
The light conditions in the first Laser race provided good opportunities for class outsiders to take a good start in the event. Andrew Lewis (TRI) won the first race. David Alfonso from Puerto Rico placed second and Dennis van den Berg (AHO) third, in their respective groups. At the end of the day, consistent results placed Jonasz Stelmaszyk (POL) in top place followed by Britain's Nick Thompson and Paul Goodison.
In the Radial, Krystal Weir (AUS) is leading after winning the first race and placing fourth in the second. The Australian is only a point ahead of Alicia Cebrian (ESP), the highest placed Spanish sailor on the water today. Third place goes to Cecilia Sarol from Argentina on equal points with Finland's Tuula Tenkanen.
Two Danish teams are leading the 49ers, with Peter Kruger Andersen and Nicola Thorsell one point ahead of team mates Jonas Warrer and Soren Hansen. They both won the last race in their group.
Another Dane is in the lead in the Finn class. Jonas Hoegh-Christensen won the first race and finished fifth in the second placing him on equal points with Sweden's Daniel Birgmark.
"I had a good start on winward and rounded the top mark in second place behind Daniel Birgmark," said Hogh-Christensen, "In the first run, all the guys in front gybed and got in a hole with less pressure, I stayed on their right and increased my lead. On the second race I had an average start but gained lots of places on the run." Andrew Mills (GBR) is in third and last year's winner Ben Ainslie is fourth.
The 2.4 Paralympic event, sailing out of Calanova, sailed two races. Britain's Helena Lucas showed good form with a win and a second place to take an early lead. "It's been a good start but there are still eight races to go so it will be a case of just taking each race at a time and keeping things simple. If in doubt - go fast!"
Racing will resume on Tuesday for all classes.
ISAF Sailing World Cup Website
Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE Website