On your marks… 2023 is go!
What, where and when?
The Princess Sofia Trophy regatta in stunning Palma de Mallorca is arguably the largest – and most loved – Olympic classes regatta in the calendar. It also happens to be the 2023 season opener – and what a season this promises to be. Racing starts on Monday April 3 and runs until Saturday April 8.
Simply put: everyone. There have been a few smaller regattas over the winter period, but this is the first biggie – and the who’s who of Olympic sailing will be at it. More than 1,300 sailors from 67 countries are set to compete, including 73 British Sailing Team, British Sailing Squad and transition squad athletes.
With Paris 2024 a little over a year away the pressure is starting to mount. Each nation will be wanting to get one over on its rivals, while the athletes themselves will be looking to not only better their international competition but also stake a claim to the sole place in each of the ten classes for Paris 2024. Palma Bay is known for its ability to chuck all sorts of weather at sailors, which always makes for an exciting week.
Ones to watch:
The British Sailing Team enjoyed a good amount of success at the 2022 regatta, so those athletes will naturally start this year’s event with targets on their backs. Watch out for last year’s gold medallists Micky Beckett (ILCA 7) and Andy Brown (iQFOiL), silver medallist Hannah Snellgrove (ILCA 6) and bronze medallists John Gimson and Anna Burnet (Nacra 17), Ellie Aldridge (Formula Kite) and Connor Bainbridge (Formula Kite). Others to keep an eye out for include iQFOiLers Sam Sills and Emma Wilson, both of whom have been on fire over winter, as well as Saskia Tidey and Freya Black who will be looking to avenge their 2022 result that saw them miss out on the 49erFX medal race by a single point.
What they said:
Mark Robinson, British Sailing Team performance manager: “This year is going to be a massive one for our athletes as we charge full steam towards Paris 2024. There are some crucial events coming up that every nation will be itching to perform at, and it all starts with the Princess Sofia Trophy. Princess Sofia is a much-loved regatta within our team, and we always look forward to kicking off the racing season in Palma, hopefully under blue skies and with a decent breeze. With just over a year until the Olympics our athletes will be looking to hit the ground running when the action begins. All the big players will be at the regatta looking to prove themselves and send a message to their international rivals – and it’s no different for the British Sailing Team.”
How do I follow the regatta?
The official website featuring results and the full entry list is here, but if you want to track the progress of the Brits the best place to do so is the British Sailing Team social media channels. Each day we will keep you posted on results, and feature the best photos the event has to offer.