With just 15 months to go until the 2020 Summer Olympics, the athletes are now on track for the main event of the quadrennium. To get a glimpse of their current form, the world's best athletes from the 470, 49er, 49er FX, Finn, Lazer, Lazer Radial, Nacra and RS:X windsurfers have come to Mallorca. On April 1, the anniversary, 50th annual Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta kicked off here.
«Too many good teams! » " exclaimed Mat Belcher, two-time Olympic medallist from Australia, who with team-mate Will Ryan, was 30th (out of 73) in the men's 470 class at the time of writing.
Almost the entire Russian national team came to Mallorca. Only windsurfer Stefania Elfutina does not participate.
«At the beginning of the year it was decided that she will be preparing for the continental championship that will begin immediately after Regatta Princess Sofia. Otherwise, the athlete may not have time to recover. Stephania is now training here; everything is going according to the plan», - Natalia Ivanova, the national team head coach, said.
For Russians the results of this competition are doubly important - who will defend the honour of our country at the European Championships will depend on them.
On April 1 participants of the regatta were not lucky with the weather; it was a hard day. In 49er and RS:X classes and races were not held.
«The day turned out to be very long: first everyone waited long on the shore, then on the water. The wind was blowing strongly: it blew from one direction, was weak, then it "died" and went from the other side», - Natalia Ivanova says about the first day.
Next day weather improved. The best results among our sportsmen after 1-4 starts are shown by men so far. Crew of Pavel Sozykin and Denis Gribanov moved up to 8th place in 470 class; Sergey Komissarov and Maxim Nikolaevare on 4th and 8th places in the most numerous class (187 participants) - Lazer; Vladislav Burmistrenko, Alexander Askerov and Evgeniy Aivazyan are on 6th, 7th and 10th (from 52) among windsurfers.
The crew of Jan Ciech and Ivan Zotov is in the top 20 (among 108 competitors) in 49er class - they are on 20th place. Maria Kislukhina (22nd place out of 118 in Lazer Radial class) and windsurfer Maria Lemenkova (21st place out of 49) are just a little bit behind the top 20.
«Positive dynamics of girls in 49er FX class can be seen - they came 11th in the first race. Last year, when Zoya (Novikova) and Diana(Sabirova) just got in this boat, we certainly haven't seen such results. The girls have been working really hard during the winter, and we can see the results already»," Natalia Ivanova commented, adding that if the girls continue working at the same pace, they can hope to win an Olympic license.
At the time of writing, the pair were ranked 48th in their class. There are a total of 66 teams on the starting line during the 49er FX races.
The competitions will continue until April 6, so athletes still have 4 days ahead. It's still too early to predict the results.