THE European regatta season gets into full swing today with the ISAF World Cup Mallorca in Palma Bay providing the backdrop for the fourth and penultimate leg of the 2013/14 World Cup tour.
Event organisers are preparing to welcome more than 850 sailors from 50 nations to the Mediter-ranean island for this 45th edition of the Princess Sofia Trophy, with some 80 British Sailing Team sailors due to compete across all 10 Olympic classes, and the 2.4mR Paralympic event.
Portland’s Giles Scott, defending his Finn title from last year’s regatta, will be among the names to watch in the men’s heavyweight dinghy event.
Scott has secured back-to-back wins at the EUROSAF event in La Rochelle last October, the Copa Brasil de Vela at Rio in January, and the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami last month since his return from America’s Cup campaigning in the autumn.
There will be a typically strong British contingent vying for honours in the Finn class, with 2013 World and European silver medallist Ed Wright, world number two Andrew Mills and world number four Mark Andrews all flying the British flag alongside Scott in Palma.
Elsewhere, Weymouth’s RS:X windsurfing world champion Nick Dempsey, 49er European champions Dylan Fletcher-Alain Sign and 470 Olympic silver medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark will all see their first World Cup action of 2014 at the event.
Mean,while Portland’s Luke Patience and Elliot Willis will be putting their new partnership through its paces at their first World Cup event together in the 470 men’s class.
World number one windsurfer Bryony Shaw will be hoping to continue her 2014 form in the RS:X Women’s event after her Miami gold.
In the Paralympic classes, Miami gold medallist Megan Pascoe, from Portland, will be gunning for a second World Cup victory of 2014 in the 2.4mR event, with Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas also aiming for the podium spots, having secured bronze in Miami.
The final day of action for the Paralympic classes is on Friday, with the medal races for the Olympic classes on Saturday.