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Trofeo Princesa Regatta Beckons for Irish Olympic Sailing Team

3rd February 2019
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Tokyo trialists Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle are entered for March's Trofeo Princesa Sofía regatta in the 49er class Tokyo trialists Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle are entered for March's Trofeo Princesa Sofía regatta in the 49er class

Next up for Irish Olympic sailors still seeking the speed to qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics is March's Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar, in Palma, Mallorca one of the most important Olympic Classes regatta in the World and a nominated Irish sailing 2019 qualifying regatta where sailors are required to finish the top half of their respective fleets.

In addition, Irish sailors must also qualify the nation to secure the single berth per country in Tokyo and there is more on that qualification process here.

While there is no official word on who will attend at Palma, it is understood, subject to injury, Ireland will field all its current trialists and some Irish are already entered on the official regatta website here.

  • Laser Standard – Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn, Ewan McMahon
  • Laser Radial – Aoife Hopkins, Aisling Keller
  • Men’s 49er skiff – Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle, Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove, Sean Donnelly and Tadgh Donnelly
  • Women’s 49erFX – Annalise Murphy and Katie Tingle.
  • Two campaigns (Fionn Lyden and Oisin McClelland) in the men’s heavyweight single-handed event operate independently of Irish Sailing 

Gender Equality at Trofeo Princesa

The Majorcan regatta begins the implementation of the gender equality requirements demanded by the International Olympic Committee.

The Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar, one of the most important Olympic Classes regatta in the World, sets the trend once again and becomes the first sailing event to apply the gender equality criteria requested by the International Olympic Committee. The first step will be made at the 50th-anniversary edition of the Balearic event with the introduction of mixed teams in the two-person 470 class.

From 29th March to 6th April around one thousand sailors from approximately 55 nations will meet in the bay of Palma, distributed in the traditional ten Olympic fleets. But in this edition, the 470 Men and Women will be joined by the 470 Mixed, with crews formed by one male and one female, acting either as skipper or crew.

This new category that will sail with the 470 men at the Sofia Iberostar will have its world debut in Majorcan waters. It will be the first key test towards the Paris 2024 Olympics where, for the first time, it will be included in the Olympic programme following the IOC guidelines to foster gender equality in sport.

“It is an honour and pride for the Sofía Iberostar to be pioneers once again thanks to the close relationship with the classes and sailors which has resulted in the regatta being known as the “the sailors’ regatta”- points out Ferran Muniesa, the event General Manager-. The request to introduce the mixed event came from the International 470 Class with the purpose of offering teams the chance to start testing at events with views to Paris 2024”.

Therefore, the first 470 mixed teams, mostly youth teams from nations such as Great Britain, Switzerland and Spain, among others, will take a chance in the new category six years away from the Olympic target. They will have to overcome many obstacles along the way, the first of them being to find the balance on board with the new crew.

“We have already seen in the Nacra 17, also a mixed event, that it is not always easy to have mixed male and female teams due to an important psychological factor. But the IOC is determined to boost gender equality in sport and the Sofia Iberostar supports the concept, aware of the need to configure a fairer and more equal society at all levels, adds Muniesa.

Club Nàutic S’Arenal will be the venue for the 470 fleet at the 50 Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar, together with the Finn, 49er and 49er FX and, as a novelty this year, it will also host the RS:X men and women. Club Marítimo San Antonio de la Playa (venue for the Laser, Laser Radial and Nacra 17) and Real Club Náutico de Palma (ORC and One design) are also organisers and venues of the Majorcan regatta that will celebrate this year half a century of life in a historical edition: at sports level for the exceptional participation expected, both in quantity and quality and in the social area with the celebration of several parallel commemorative events.

Published in Tokyo 2020
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