Next week (Monday 31 March) Annalise Murphy, Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern and James Espey of Providence Team IRL will take to the waters of the Bay of Palma for their first sailing World Cup of the 2014 spring / summer season. Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey part of the ISA Development programme will also take to the race track after an intense winter training period. A record number of 882 sailors from 55 nations will race at ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca - Trofeo Princesa Sofia across 11 Olympic and Paralympic events.
This regatta will mark the beginning of an intensive six month training and competition programme for the team, culminating in the first Rio 2016 Olympic qualifier in Santander, Spain this September. ISA Performance Director James O’Callaghan commented “This is the first event of the year for most of the team so after months of training they’re looking forward to getting back out there competing. This will be the first indicator of how far they’ve progressed so we can continue to develop their personal programmes before Santander in September”.
Annalise Murphy will join the fleet of 105 Laser Radials registered to race in Palma. Murphy, the 2013 European Champion, will complete against some familiar faces including 2013 World Champion Tina Mihelic (Croatia) and London 2012 medallists Marit Bouwmeester (Netherlands) and Evi Van Acker (Belgium) as well as last year’s event winner Alison Young (UK) who will return to defend her title. Up to 10 races will be sailed in the Opening Series with the top 10 then progressing to the double points medal race.
In the men’s two-man 49er class Ryan Seaton, Matt McGovern and the 83 other teams will face a gruelling 15 race Opening Series over the first five days followed by a further three races for the top 10 boats in the double points medal race series on Saturday. Representing Ireland in the female 49erFX class will be the relatively new pairing of Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey. The duo competed at the 49erFX World Championship last September having only teamed up together just weeks before the regatta. The girls are also targeting Santander in September and have been training hard in Sardinia over the winter with the Italian team that finished 4th in the 2013 World Championship.
A staggering 160 registered sailors, including James Espey, will make the Laser fleet the largest fleet at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca. The top ten class sailors in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings will be joined on the Bay by a number of strong and well developed racers who will all be aiming for the podium places. Similar to the Laser Radial fleet, 10 races will be sailed followed but a double points medal race for the top 10.
Dublin sailor Ross Hamilton will compete in the 99 boat Finn class.