Britain’s elite sailors will look to lay down a marker as the countdown to Tokyo 2020 continues when they go into battle in the first major regatta of the year – the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma, Mallorca.
The iconic regatta celebrates its 50th anniversary this year with a record entry list of 1,225 sailors from 68 nations – and among them will be 69 British Sailing Team athletes looking to stamp their mark on the action at this crucial stage of the Olympic cycle when it begins on April 1.
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Posted by British Sailing Team on Friday, 29 March 2019
The team will also be looking to recreate the success it enjoyed at the 2018 event when British sailors came home with five medals.
Olympic champion Giles Scott dominated the Finn class to win gold, while silvers went to Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface in the Nacra 17, Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre in the women’s 470, Ali Young in the Laser Radial and Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell in the 49er.
However the weather conditions in the Bay of Palma are notoriously tricky to master – and with a long term forecast that includes everything from sun to rain, and big breeze to gentle puffs, coupled with stiff international competition, the Brits will have their work cut out.
The biggest British Sailing Team contingent will be in the Laser class with nine athletes competing, while eight GB crews will contest the 49er competition and five in both the 49er FX and men’s 470.
With Tokyo 2020 looming, the British Sailing Team’s impending task is to select sailors to represent Great Britain at the official test event on the Olympic waters of Enoshima in August – a dress rehearsal for the Games featuring one entry from each nation in each class.
“The Princess Sofia Trophy regatta is one of the highlights of the Olympic sailing calendar and this year it will be bigger than ever,” said British Sailing Team manager Mark Robinson.
“It’s the first major regatta of the season and everyone who’s anyone in Olympic sailing will be here to stake their claim as the best of the best.
“With just over a year to go until Tokyo 2020 the regatta kick starts a vital period for the British Sailing Team as we look toward selecting sailors for the test event in Enoshima in August.
“Everyone will be looking to prove themselves – and that’s bound to make for some very exciting racing.”
The action begins on Monday April 1 and will conclude with medal racing on Saturday April 6.