With 62 nations represented, there are 1,093 competitors with 843 boats that have set up camp in Palma de Mallorca for the largest Olympic class regatta since the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Part of the Hempel World Cup Series, the popular Princesa Sofía regatta is back after a two year break due to COVID-19, and the boat park is buzzing prior to the first of two regattas in 2022 that gathers all Olympic class boats in one place .
With racing held on April 4-9 at the resort city in Spain, the USA contingent includes both veteran campaigners and Palma first-timers as the US Sailing Team and Olympic Development Program bring forth a wide array of goals to the water.
“Our team always looks forward to the cooperative training and racing period in March here in Palma,” said USST Head Coach, Luther Carpenter. “It’s the ‘spring opener’ to evaluate our team’s skills and check in with the greater Olympic Sailing community.
“We have 45 sailors and coaches here which is a strong representation of US Sailing. The event presents a great opportunity to fine-tune the collaboration, education, and learning dynamics. Each sailor is focused on specific goals on their path toward the Paris 2024 Olympics.”
A handful of athletes have spent a considerable amount of time in Mallorca preparing for this week’s regatta, including Ian Barrows and Hans Henken:
“We have been in Palma since March 5th getting acclimated to the ‘Palma’ venue and finding a rhythm with the weather cycles,” said Henken, campaigning 49er US Sailing Team athlete. “So far we’ve sailed every day we intended to, been able to set clear goals for each session on the water. We feel like we’ve prepared well for the event.”
The 49er and FX classes have officially begun the transition to 3Di sail technology and new rigs. The 2022 Princesa Sofía will see a mix of traditional and 3Di sails on the water, and Roble/Shea will be one of the boats sporting the sleek black sails.
“It was really important for our team to come to Palma because the 49ers and FXs have new sails and new rigs, so we’re interested in seeing how everyone is approaching the new gear,” said 49erFX coach, Giulia Conti. “We’re trying different things and observing our competitors as we draw conclusions about the best way to set ourselves up for success with the new equipment.”
Regarding team Roble/Shea’s approach for the regatta, Steph Roble said, “We’re aiming to work on our racing processes in Palma. Having just taken a big chunk of time off after the Games and with Maggie’s surgery, we will have some rust to shake off on the racecourse as well as with our racing communication. We are excited to be racing again and looking forward to learning a lot this week.”
US Sailing Team:
• Ian Barrows / Hans Henken, 49er
• Andrew Mollerus / Ian MacDiarmid, 49er
• Daniela Moroz, Formula Kite
• Louisa Nordstrom / Trevor Bornarth, 470
• Pedro Pascual, iQFOiL
• Steph Roble / Maggie Shea, 49erFX
Olympic Development Program:
• Kai Calder, Formula Kite
• Noah Runciman, Formula Kite
• Christina Sakelaris, ILCA 6
• Chris Williford / Duncan Williford, 49er
Other American sailors participating:
• Kelly Cole / Ellie Glenn, 49erFX
• Carson Crain / Caroline Atwood, Nacra 17
• Lilly Myers, ILCA 6
• Lucy Wilmot / Erika Reineke, 49erFX
Ten Olympic events will begin with a staggered schedule:
April 4 – First race day for ILCA 6 & 7, 470, iQFOiL
April 5 – First race day for 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17, Formula Kites
Event details – Entry list – Facebook
2022 Hempel World Cup Series:
April 4-9 – Hempel World Cup Series Palma (Princess Sofía Regatta), Spain
May 31-June 5 – Hempel World Cup Series Amsterdam (Allianz Regatta), The Netherlands
TBC – Hempel World Cup Marseille, France
The Hempel World Cup Series is the definitive annual circuit for the world’s leading sailors and Olympic hopefuls. Mirroring the Olympic style of sailing in format, duration and fleet sizes, the World Cup Series visits prestige venues across the globe at all stages of the four-year Olympic cycle, supporting athletes in their quest to qualify for the Games and connecting fans with the very best sailors in the sport.
Source: US Sailing Team