#trofeosofia – Ireland leaves Palma tonight with a medal in the demonstration sport of kitesurfing, thanks to the efforts of Jade O'Connor, plus two medal race finishes for the Irish Olympic sailing team. It's a considerable improvement on last year's 'rusty' Irish performance at the same venue when Annalise Murphy did not make the gold fleet cut.
Unfortunately, Annalise was disqualified as a premature starter in today's medal race dropping the one time regatta leader to fifth overall at the 46th edition of the Trofeo Sofia, a nevertheless strong performance for the National YC solo sailor that featured seven top ten placings from ten races.
Belfast 49er duo Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern finished sixth in their medal race moving them up one place to ninth overall at the first ISAF world cup event event in their new boat.
Dun Laoghaire's Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey in the women's 49erfx finished 20th from 47.
Belfast's James Espey will be disappointed with his score of 45th from 164 in the men's Laser division.
The medal races confirmed the leaders in all classes except in the RS:X men.
Young windsurfer Kiran Badloe (NED) had been gnawing day after day at the points safety margin that separates him from leader Julien Bontemps (FRA). Today he inflicted the killer blow, winning the medal race and the title on equal points with the World Champion. " I am very happy with the win. During the week, results were ok but the sailing is not perfect yet. I started poorly a few times. But with my speed and some smart sailing I could recover nicely. You have to realise the Polish and most of the French are not here including Dorian, so a number of tough competitors are missing. I am very happy with the progress we made last winter in New Zealand. Some of it is paying off now!"
In all other Olympic classes, the medal races didn't affect the leaders.
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) have successfully defended their title in the 470 with command and prove once more they deserve their world #1 status!The Olympic Gold medallists will also be awarded tonight by the Her Majesty Queen Sofia, the prestigious Trofeo consacrating the best team during the week.
Camille Lecointre and Helene Defrance (FRA) won the medal race closing the gap to 3 points threatening the kiwis supremacy during the medal race. The French take Silver with Bronze going to Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR).
Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente (ARG) are back in force after an eight month break from the 470 competition. The Argentinians played it well all week, making the most of their combined experience to overcome their absence. "We had many days with shifty conditions and that suited us well. We could make gains on the fleet by sailing smart. It is great for our confidence to see that we are still competitive despite our forced retirement from competition." On the shore, the multiple Olympic medallists were warmly greated by the other 470 teams obviously happy to see their worthy Argentinian opponents back in shape! Luke Patience and Elliott Willis (GBR) take Silver in front of Johan Molund and Sebastian Östling (SWE) who settle for Bronze.
Gintare Scheidt (LTU) won the medal race in the Laser Radial. With Evi van Acker (BEL) taking the title on the penultimate day, Silver and Bronze went to Alison Young (GBR) and Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN). The Laser Radial fleet was one of the most competitive in Palma this week despite the absence of current World Champion Marit Bouwmeester who had to withdraw from the competition at the start of the week.
Philipp Buhl (GER) wins Gold in the Laser after dominating all week in varied conditions. Jesper Stalheim (SWE) claims the medal race to climb to second overall in front of Nicholas Heiner (NED) third. Danish teams proved once again their edge on the fleet with two teams at the front. Training together and spending time in Palma have proven fruitful with again great results collected in the Trofeo IBEROSTAR. Maiken and Anne-Julie Foght Schutt (DEN) win the event with Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thuagaard Olsen a close second. "We have been training for about three weeks in Palma with the other teams and understand the conditions." explains Maiken Foght Schutt. "This week we had everything. When the wind comes from the land it is like in Denmark and with the regular sea breeze we can make the most of our good speed." Olivia Price and Eliza Solly (USA) win the medal race and the third place.
Nacra World Champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou win the medal race after winning the event with a day to spare. The french teams are performing well in Palma proving that good team work is paying off.
Silver goes to John Gimson and Hannah Diamond. Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim (FRA) grab the Bronze by one point.
The top 3 remain unchanged in the 49er. New-Zealanders Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have been hard to beat, only threatened by German sailors Heil and Ploessel. Third goes to Brazilians Bianchi / Lowbeer. "I like to think that we have many strength and not so many weaknesses. We are working really hard and are consistent with our results." says Burling to explain their good form in Palma.
Finn Wold Champion Giles Scott (GBR) took the medal race and the title. The Finns were blessed with the best conditions out there today. After being sent out and back to the shore in the dying winds, the Finns went back out to enjoy a perfect 15 knots seabreeze allowing pumping. "We had a very good medal race." confirms Giles Scott. "It went well for me – I managed to come away with the win and seal the Championship, which is obviously great news for me!" Scott had to borrow a boat to sail most of the regatta after damaging his Finn earlier this week. "It was good to see how I could go in a different boat. Finns are very personal, so to be able to use someone else's and still come away with the regatta win, you have to take some positives from that and it's all good practice." Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) is taking Silver and Finnish Tapio Nirkko the Bronze.
Female RS:X World Champion, Charline Picon is securing yet another event victory and is continuing on her good form. Lilian de Geus conserves her earlier second place while Eugenie Ricard (FRA) climbs to third overall.
Many stories developed in Palma this week with countries Olympic selections spicing up the contest.
The attention was especially focussed on the Dutch team for which Olympic selection was on the table in many classes. The Trofeo IBEROSTAR was the last chance for Nicholas Heiner to keep the Dutch Laser Olympic trial opened against Rutger Van Schaardenburg. The 2014 ISAF World Champion needed to be in front to extend the trials. "I am very pleased that my results are so good that I have prolonged the national selection with Rutger." explains Heiner, "Above all very pleased with the fact that I perform well under pressure, when it is needed. For the first time I am not on my back foot in this selection. It is all square and we start with a clean slate."
The 49er FX medal race saw the end of a very intense and dramatic Olympic selection between Dutch teams of Annemiek Bekkering / Annette Duetz and Nina Keijzer / Claire Blom. The latest had an eight points advantage after the Miami SWC but were out of the medal race in 12th position in Palma, meaning that Bekkering/Duetz had to finish today at least in 4th position to overcome their rival. A 9th place in the medal race added two points too many to Bekkering/Duetz score who place 5th overall. Nina Keijzer and Claire Blom win the Dutch Olympic selection in the FX.
The third Olympic selection has concretised in Palma for Japanese RS:X sailor Makoto Tomizawa. The Trofeo Sofia IBEROSTAR has also marked the start of Japaneses Olympic selections in the women and men 470.
Paralympic Champion, Helena Lucas has retained her title after a very intense regatta against team mate Megan Pascoe and Norwegian Bjornar Erikstad who take second and third place.
Marc Patino and Pau Balaguer won the Dragon regatta over Patrick Monteiros and Pedro Manuel Da Costa Alemao.
The prize giving ceremony will take place tonight under the Cathedral to honour all the winners. Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain will present the awards.
Top three by class:
1. Lucas Calabrese / Juan De La Fuente, ARG
2. Luke Patience / Elliot Willis, GBR
3. Johan Molund / Sebastian Ostling, SWE
1. Jo Aleh / Polly Powrie, NZL
2. Camille Lecointre / Helene Defrance, FRA
3. Hannah Mills / Saskia Clark, GBR
1. Peter Burling / Blair Tuke, NZL
2. Erik Heil / Thomas Ploessel, GER
3. Dante Bianchi / Thomas Lowbeer, BRA
1. Maiken Foght Schitt / Anne-Julie Foght Schutt, DEN
2. Ida Marie Baad Nielsen / Marie Thuagaard Olsen, DEN
3. Olivia Price / Eliza Solly, AUS
1. Giles Scott, GBR
2. Ivan Kljukovic Gaspic, CRO
3. Tapio Nirkko, FIN
1. Philipp Buhl, GER
2. Jesper Stalheim, SWE
3. Nicholas Heiner, NED
1. Evi Van Acker, BEL
2. Alison Young, GBR
3. Anne-Marine Rindom, DEN
1. Billy Besson / Marie Riou, FRA
2. John Gimson / Hannah Diamond, GBR
3. Franck Cammas / Sophie De Turckheim, FRA
1. Kiran Badlow, NED
2. Julien Bontemps, FRA
3. Sebastian Fleischer, DEN
RS: X Women
1. Charline Picon, FRA
2. Lilian De Geus, NED
3. Eugenie Ricard, FRA
1. Helena Lucas, GBR
2. Megan Pascoe, GBR
3. Bjornar Erikstad, NOR
1. Florian Trittel, ESP
2. Alejandro Climent Hernandez, ESP
3. Ivan Doronin, RUS
1. Elena Kalinina, RUS
2. Anastasia Akopova, RUS
3. Jade O Connor, IRL
1. Marc Patimo / Pau Balaguer, ESP
2. Patrick Monteiro De Barros / Pedro Manuel, POR
3. C. Carbajal / J. Company/N.Sanchez, ESP