District 15  Regatta Report

Sun Apr 1st, 2007 through Mon Apr 16th, 2007

Winners Bruno Prada and Robert Scheidt, Photo by Rubén Ballester

Winners Bruno Prada and Robert Scheidt, Photo by Rubén Ballester

38th Trofeo Princesa Sofia


Final Results for six days and ten races
Event Website

Princess Sofia Trophy Report – Day 1
by Brad Nichol

I am back in Europe for the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma di Majorca, Spain. Majorca is an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea to the south of France and to the east of the Spanish mainland. The regatta is an ISAF Grade 1 event and part of the fledgling World Cup of Sailing and includes all 11 Olympic Classes plus the invited Dragon class. I am sailing with Hamish Pepper (NZL) while his crew and Andy Horton (my skipper) sail the Americas Cup.

Day one saw light and shifty conditions out on the water and many classes did not even get a race started. The Stars are the largest boat competing so our course was the furthest out to sea and we actually got a nice sea breeze. In the first race the boat end of the line was very favored so Hamish and I battled for a good starting position at that end. We tacked out immediately into clear air and were able to work our way up the right side of the course.

The conditions were very tricky with ocean swells coming from the right and lots of confused waves over the swell. We had to constantly move around the boat to keep it balanced and moving fast. We were able to succeed at keeping the boat going and made it to the weather mark first. The course was short and the wind was light so we were able to stay between our competition and the next mark for the rest of the race to finish first.

In the second race we were favoring starting at the boat again but with 3 min to go, Hamish saw a left shift coming. We sailed down to the opposite end of the line and were able to start and cross the fleet right off the line. The wind picked up and made the racing even more physical as we still and to move with the waves, but now had to hike hard also. We exchanged tacks with the lead pack of six boats for five legs and lost a few right at the finish by over-standing the finish line (sailing past the shortest distance) to finish fifth.

Robert Scheidt won the day with a 2, 2, followed by Pepper/Nichol with a 1, 5 and Matthias from Poland with a 6, 1. We are scheduled to sail two races a day through Thursday and then the top 10 boats will sail a "medal Race" on Friday. We then take Easter weekend off and stay in Palma to race the Spring Championships of the Eastern Hemisphere next week.

Princess Sofia Report – Day 2
It was another tricky day on the water and conditions in this Mediterranean paradise continued to be cold and overcast. Our sail out to the racecourse seemed to include wind from around the compass with a mix just left of the sea breeze direction filling in just after our scheduled start time.

The course for the first race was considerably longer then the previous day's courses with the weather mark just out of sight. Racing up the first leg the boats on the left looked to be in more pressure and had a better angel to the mark. Many of our competitors tacked out to chase the left but Hamish spotted some pressure further right and went for it. When we came ashore many of our friends commented that we "came out of nowhere" to round the weather mark second. The right shift that propelled us to the weather mark held and we reached back and fourth to the finish in second place behind Lars Kiewning from Germany.

Just before the second start of the day the wind built enough to churn up some white caps. Hamish and I dialed up our rig and started just below the pack at the boat. We had good speed off the line but were positioned between Robert Scheidt and Xavier Rohart (2nd and 3rd place in the World Champs) so we decided to tack out rather then fight with the best in the world. With one short tack onto port another right shift we were on the layline in no time and tacked just to leeward of Alex Hagen, World Champion from Germany. Rohart came and tacked on our bow and it ended up being three World Champions battling for air on the layline.

We rounded in the top ten and jibe-set to reach towards the leeward marks. Everybody held position on the next two legs as the course was so skewed to the right. At the second weather mark the race committee moved the course to square it up to the wind. The subsequent run brought the fleet together as the wind diminished down the run. The leeward mark caused quite a traffic jam and a nice game of bumper boats ensued with entirely too few protest flags.

We escaped with only three boats running into us and went for the only clear air we could find on the left side. The wind shifted right and we finished 8th to bring our point total to 26 over two days which puts us in first by seven points over Xavier Rohart.

Tomorrow we have another two races scheduled and the conditions look to be similar.

Day Three Report
Today's sail out to the racecourse felt like an early June day on Lake Sunapee with cool clear air and wind coming for every direction. You always wonder what the day is going to bring when you sail alongside someone 100 ft away in the same direction on opposite tacks! We drifted around the starting area for 45 min before the wind came up abruptly.

After Hamish and I completed a short warm up we turned back towards the start line and spotted our class flag (signaling less than 5 min to go) and after sailing a minute down wind realized the P flag was up too (less than 4 min to go). Just then the P flag came down (1 min to go) and we were still two minutes from the line. The fleet started and sailed by us as we raced back to the starting line. Other boats were caught out also, Xavier Rohart did not even have his main sail up when the race started and four other boats started late.

Hamish and I sailed our hardest as the wind built though the race, whipping up some decent waves allowing us to surf down wind. We were able to pass boats and ended up crossing the finish line 10th.

The second race saw the wind building even more and we made some adjustments to our rig and made it to the start line in plenty of time. Unfortunately, we hit the pin boat at the start and had to do a penalty turn. By the second weather mark we had moved into the top ten but when we tried to cut off a few boats at the weather mark we did not make it around and had to jibe out. By the time we found another gap on the layline we had let a dozen boats pass and were back in the cheap seat again.

We worked our way to the second leeward mark and decided to go left. Just after we rounded, the wind went 20 degrees right and continued to shift right. We did all we could just to hold our position, and to end a bad race with an exclamation point, a Russian boat hit us just before the finish line when we were on starboard.

With a 10, 17 on the day we moved down to third place. Mateusz Kusznierewic (POL) moved from 7th to first with a 2, 2 on the day and Robert Scheidt (BRA) showed incredible down wind speed winning both races and moving into second. We have two more races tomorrow and two on Thursday before Friday's medal race.

Day Four
It is always interesting to see how different teams deal with the Olympic Quadrenniam schedule when planning their campaign. We are now 15 months from the Olympics at a venue known for good sailing conditions with good competition. We have two grade 1 events back to back with five days in between. Most of the Olympic front-runners are here in Palma with new equipment, some aren't even racing the first event so they can work out the kinks. Everyone seems to have something new and different. If you look closely at the pictures, many sails don't have company logos, and rather then just Lillia and Folli, there are six different boat builders represented in the fleet.

With all that is going on there is one thing for sure, Robert Scheidt is fast. He won both races again today in very tricky conditions. Hamish and I were trying some new things, like many of the other boats in the fleet, but we just didn't feel right today. It is one of those things where we were not slow, but we just didn't feel good and so you start playing with things and loose focus. The end result was a 6, 9 today with keeps us in third place with two fleet races and a medal race remaining. Marc Pickel moved into second place and second through sixth is very close in the regatta.

Day Fice
I went on the record saying it was not that cold here in Palma… Well, I changed my mind. The mix of cold cloudy skies, HAIL, and cold water made for a very unpleasant day. Top it off with difficult shifty conditions and poor race committee work and we finished the day a bit sour and with some work to do tomorrow.

In the first, and only race of the day we had one general recall and a start that should have been a general. With one minute and thirty seconds to go the fleet was lined-up right at the line and a micro puff blew down the line and all the boats lurched forward a length. At thirty to go I told Hamish I saw my line sight and we were well over the line. The boats around us trimmed on at 20 to go and we went with them. We were a good three or four boat lengths over when the gun went off and there was only 1 boat called over -- the Spanish who sailed up the course before the start. This has been the case all week with the Finn class and really makes for bad racing.

The race went on and was dominated by big shifts. Hamish and I made it to the weather mark in 35th and jibe-set downwind because everyone ahead of us was reaching to the leeward mark. Four boats behind us split from the fleet on a flier (aka hail mary) and ended up rounding the second mark in the top ten after a big left shift.

On the second beat we hung it out to the right where we saw a big, dark cloud and caught a nice righty. Even though we over stood the layline, we still rounded in the top 15. Again, we could lay the finish line from the weather mark and reached towards the finish in a big pack. Right at the line the wind died and Hamish and I were able to keep the boat moving and squeak by the committee boat to finish tenth.

Our tenth place finish moves us back to 5th overall. Robert Scheidt won his fifth race in a row to lock up the victory as long as he takes his victory lap and finishes last or better in tomorrow's medal race. Second through eighth place is very tight going into the medal race with points counting double and we could easily end up anywhere from second to eighth in the regatta.

Place Boat Skipper Crew Sail #: Fleet 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10-Medal Total
1 BRA 8127   Robert Scheidt   Bruno Prada   BRA 8127   GuB   2.0 2.0 16.0 15.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 9 42
2 GER 8213   Marc Pickel   Ingo Borkowski   GER 8213   Brm   16.0 13.0 6.0 [6.0, RDG] 1.0 3.0 5.0 4.0 5.0 11.0 1 50
3 NZL 8187   Hamish Pepper   Brad Nichol   NZL 8187   Isol   1.0 5.0 2.0 7.0 10.0 17.0 6.0 9.0 10.0 3 56
4 GER 7991   Matthias Miller   Manuel Voigt   GER 7991   UB   3.0 4.0 6.0 [6.0, RDG] 6.0 [6.0, DNC,RDG] 6.0 11.0 7.0 8.0 3.0 8 59
5 FRA 8107   Xavier Rohart   Pascal Rambeau   FRA 8107   NI   4.0 10.0 7.0 2.0 42.0 [DNC] 3.0 2.0 13.0 5.0 7 60
6 AUT 8226   Hans Spitzauer   Christian Nehammer   AUT 8226   Att   8.0 6.0 3.0 5.0 9.0 4.0 10.0 7.0 42.0 [DNC] 5 62
7 ITA 8266   Diego Negri   Luigi Viale   ITA 8266   VE   7.0 8.0 10.0 13.0 42.0 [OCS] 6.0 9.0 4.0 6.0 2 67
8 POL 8170   Mateusz Kusznierewicz   Tomasz Holc   POL 8170   Isol   6.0 1.0 8.0 25.0 2.0 2.0 20.0 17.0 4.0 6 72
9 GER 8149   Alexander Hagen   Frithjof Kleen   GER 8149   Glu   42.0 [OCS] 14.0 5.0 4.0 16.7 [16.7, RDG] 16.7 [16.7, RDG] 3.0 12.0 9.0 4 88.4
10 IRL 8254   Maurice O Connell   Ben Cooke   IRL 8254   Isol   42.0 [OCS] 18.0 12.0 [12.0, RDG] 3.0 8.0 8.0 16.0 10.0 8.0 DSQ 105
11 ITA 8290   Silvio Santoni   Sergio Lambertenghi   ITA 8290   NG   14.0 9.0 13.0 17.0 5.0 9.0 5.0 11.0 18.0 DNC 167
12 GER 7971   Robert Stanjek   Carsten Witt   GER 7971   BF   21.0 3.0 42.0 [OCS] 6.0 15.0 13.0 12.0 2.0 14.0 DNC 170
13 ESP 7581   Roberto Bermudez   Pablo Arrarte   ESP 7581   P-San   18.0 11.0 9.0 42.0 [DNC] 22.0 12.0 15.0 3.0 7.0 DNC 181
14 RUS 7   Serguei Chevtsov   Roman Sadchikov   RUS 7     22.0 16.0 6.0 42.0 [OCS] 20.0 20.0 8.0 15.0 2.0 DNC 193
15 FIN 8094   Staffan Lindberg   Erkki Heinonen   FIN 8094   FIN   11.0 12.0 18.0 18.0 7.0 7.0 17.0 22.0 26.0 DNC 196
16 SUI 7990   Daniel Stegmeier   Beat Stegmeier   SUI 7990   TB   15.0 19.0 12.0 8.0 13.0 10.0 13.0 23.0 23.0 DNC 197
17 IRL 8158   Maxwell Treacy   Anthony Shanks   IRL 8158   Isol   12.0 15.0 4.0 42.0 [DSQ] 4.0 19.0 42.0 [OCS] 6.0 13.0 DNC 199
18 ITA 8014   ALBERTO BAROVIER   Nando Colaninno   ITA 8014   SG   5.0 21.0 42.0 [OCS] 20.0 12.0 15.0 11.0 28.0 15.0 DNC 216
19 UKR 8247   Vasyl Gureyev   Volodymyr Korotkov   UKR 8247   Ukr   13.0 17.0 17.0 12.0 19.0 14.0 25.0 19.0 42.0 [DNC] DNC 220
20 ITA 8242   Giulio Gatti   Manuele Laporta   ITA 8242   IC   20.0 7.0 26.0 11.0 17.0 42.0 [RAF] 14.0 16.0 30.0 DNC 230
21 GER 8190   Lars Kiewning   Niels Hentschel   GER 8190   BSL   19.0 22.0 1.0 10.0 42.0 [DSQ] 21.0 42.0 [OCS] 26.0 12.0 DNC 237
22 GER 7989   Peer Wilhelm   Nils Hollweg   GER 7989   KF   23.0 27.0 21.0 16.0 21.0 28.0 24.0 14.0 27.0 DNC 257
23 UKR 820   Yevgen Avksentiev   Mykola Shapovalov   UKR 820   Ukr   29.0 24.0 23.0 14.0 23.0 18.0 21.0 25.0 31.0 DNC 261
24 RUS 8119   Vitaliy Tarakanov   Alexey Bushuev   RUS 8119   Mosc   42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNS] 9.0 11.0 16.0 19.0 18.0 20.0 DNC 266
25 SUI 7582   Roman Timm   Kaspar Huber   SUI 7582   ZU   34.0 29.0 15.0 26.0 24.0 26.0 23.0 27.0 16.0 DNC 270
26 GER 7577   Christian Paucksch   Michel Merk   GER 7577   Sta   28.0 20.0 42.0 [OCS] 23.0 16.0 22.0 18.0 20.0 29.0 DNC 275
27 NED 7876   Jeroen Geysen   Vincent Geysen   NED 7876   Med   27.0 30.0 11.0 27.0 18.0 25.0 29.0 21.0 24.0 DNC 276
28 UKR 8205   Kostyantyn Datsenko   Olexandr Evseyenko   UKR 8205   Ukr   9.0 26.0 27.0 19.0 14.0 19.0 [19.0, RDG] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] DNC 282
29 HUN 7961   Huba Holovits   Andras Felegyhazi   HUN 7961   Bud   24.0 23.0 19.0 28.0 25.0 23.0 26.0 32.0 19.0 DNC 286
30 RUS 8134   Alexey Lavrov   Tatiana Penkina   RUS 8134   Mosc   25.0 25.0 22.0 22.0 27.0 42.0 [DNC] 27.0 34.0 22.0 DNC 298
31 UKR 6950   Eugen Galanin   Ilya Bazyrin   UKR 6950   Ukr   17.0 28.0 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [OCS] 26.0 24.0 28.0 30.0 21.0 DNC 300
32 GER 8150   Olaf Richter     GER 8150   Lub   30.0 34.0 24.0 24.0 30.0 42.0 [DNC] 22.0 31.0 28.0 DNC 307
33 ESP 7754   Diego Gonzalez   Joan Girones   ESP 7754     32.0 32.0 29.0 21.0 29.0 27.0 31.0 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [OCS] DNC 327
34 LAT 8135   Eizens Cepurnieks   Dimitry Muzichenko   LAT 8135   Isol   26.0 31.0 25.0 42.0 [OCS] 28.0 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [OCS] 24.0 25.0 DNC 345
35 GER 7750   Jens Burmester   Patrick Burmester   GER 7750   ED   33.0 33.0 28.0 29.0 31.0 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [OCS] 33.0 32.0 DNC 345
36 HUN 7026   Viktor Martin   Zsolt Puskas   HUN 7026   Ore   31.0 35.0 42.0 [DSQ] 42.0 [DNC] 32.0 29.0 30.0 29.0 33.0 DNC 360
37 DEN 8147   Benny Andersen     DEN 8147   DF   10.0 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] DNC 388
38 ESP 7021   Santiago Fuster   Francisco Juarez   ESP 7021   Isol   35.0 36.0 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 34.0 DNC 399
39 SUI 8296   Flavio Marazzi   Christoph Christen   SUI 8296   TB   42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 17.0 DNC 420
39 RUS 8047   Andrei Berezhnoz   Vladimir Lyasnikov   RUS 8047   StP   42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] DNC 420
39 SUI 8232   Henrik Dannesboe     SUI 8232   Sem   42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] 42.0 [DNC] DNC 420

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