The third stop of the seven regatta ISAF Sailing World Cup series starts on 3 April in Palma, Spain.
The 2011 Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE marks the start of the European sailing season and many of the early leaders in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings are making the trip to Palma.
The British trio of Ben Ainslie
, Giles Scott
and Andrew Mills
currently occupy the top of the Finn ISAF Sailing World Cup standings.
Ainslie, who won Sail Melbourne and finished second to Scott at the Rolex Miami OCR, leads the standings on 39 points. But Scott is only a point behind after he finished third behind Ainslie and 2009-10 World Cup champion Edward Wright
(GBR) at Sail Melbourne.
All four of the Brits will make the trip to Palma as they look to stamp their authority on the Standings, but with Zach Railey
(USA) and Brendan Casey (AUS) also set to compete, the competition is wide open.
In the Laser Radial the top three in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings of Marit Bouwmeester
(NED), 34 points, Nathalie Brugger
(SUI), on 29 points and Krystal Weir
on 24 points are heading to Palma.
The current leaders are yet to pick up a gold medal so will be out to win their first ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta of the 2010-11 seven regatta series.
Bouwmeester, current world #1 and last year's Laser Radial ISAF Sailing World Cup Champion, will be the favourite coming into Palma but with a field that features Evi Van acker
(BEL), Tatiana Drozdovskaya
(BLR), Veronika Fenclova
(CZE), Sari Multala
(FIN) and Paige Railey
(USA) the competition will be fierce.
At Sail Melbourne there was no Star action but the Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE has received 42 entries including the current ISAF Sailing World Cup Star Standings leaders Robert Scheidt
and Bruno Prada
The experienced Brazilians won the Rolex Miami OCR by a convincing 49 points over Fredrik Loof
and Max Salminen
(SWE) who are ranked #2 behind the Brazilians in the world. But the margin of victory counts for nothing as they lead the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings by one point after one regatta.
(GBR) has a commanding 12 point lead in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Laser Standings. Thompson has amassed 37 points out of a possible 40 after claiming gold at Sail Melbourne and finishing fourth at the Rolex Miami OCR.
His nearest rival is 2009-10 Champion Javier Hernandez
(ESP) who has 25 points. But Thompson will not be competing in Palma meaning a victory from Hernandez, Rasmus Myrgren
(SWE), Julio Alsogaray
(ARG), Tom Burton
(AUS) or Tom Slingsby
(AUS), ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, would see a new sailor lead the ISAF Sailing World Cup Laser Standings ahead of the fourth regatta at Hyeres.
The Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia regatta is in its 42nd year and is sponsored by MAPFRE and is organized by Club Nàutic S'Arenal, Real Club Náutico de Palma, Club Marítimo San Antonio de la Playa, Escuela de Vela Calanova and the Balearic and Spanish sailing federations. The institutional sponsors are the Govern de les Illes Balears, Palma City Council and the collaborators are Consejo Superior de Deportes, the Spanish Sports Federation for people with Physical disabilities, Ports de les Illes Balears, the Ministry of Environment, Baleares Ports Authority and Acciona.