The Canary Island hosts a new event for Olympic sailing classes from February 9 to 17, an event that keeps growing, setting a new record number of entries and adding four new classes to the Lanzarote start line.
369 sailors from four continents and in six Olympic classes are already prepared for a competition that will once again focus the Olympic sailing spotlight on Lanzarote.
Lanzarote continues as the winter epicentre of Olympic sailing. After the success of the recent Lanzarote iQFOil Games, now it is the turn of the Lanzarote International Regatta, a test that hosts a total of six Olympic classes -49er, 49erFX, 470, iQFOil Women and Men and Nacra 17- that will bring together more than 350 sailors from Asia, America, Oceania and Europe, including Olympic champions and medallists, world and continental champions and many of the Top 3 in the world.
The first classes to compete will be 470 Mixed, 49er and 49erFX, with registrations on Thrusday the 9th while competition will start on Friday the 10th. iQFOil and Nacra 17 will begin racing on the water on Tuesday, February 14th
49er, 49erFX and 470, first classes to be on the starting line
The world champions of these three classes, as well as Olympic medallists and champions, are already training in Lanzarote and have not wanted to miss the opportunity to add hours of sailing in the amazing different conditions offered by this Canary Island.
The fast 49er and 49erFX skiffs already know what it's like to participate in Olympic Games, while the 470 mixed class will debut as an Olympic fleet in Paris 2024 and it also does so as a class here at the third edition of the Lanzarote International Regatta.
More than 30 crews from countries such as Argentina, Italy, France, Sweden, Germany, Israel, Turkey and Spain will be at the 470’s start line. There is no shortage of the last world and European class podiums, with the current world champions, Germans Luise Wanser and Philipp Autenrieth; the world and European runners-up, the Spanish Jordi Xammar and Nora Brugman; and the European champions, the Swedes Anton Dahlberg -silver in Tokyo in the former 470 Men now racing with Lovisa Karlsson-.
As the 470 class is now mixed, we also see in its ranks many Olympic medalists now sailing with new crews. Thus, athletes like Spaniard Nico Rodríguez (bronze medal in Tokyo together with Xammar) is now sailing with his compatriot Silvia Mas, or the French Camille Lecointre and Aloïse Retornaz (bronze in Tokyo) will also compete for the title in Lanzarote with a new crewmember.
At the start line of the 49erFX class, we will see a total of 58 sailors with the Brazilians Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze, two-time Olympic champions (Rio 2016 and Tokyo), as well as world champions.
The Brazilians are undoubtedly one of the benchmarks in the class, however it is a very close category in which we will also see the current world champions, the Dutch Odile van Aanholt and Annette Duetz, who are already in Lanzarote.
A beautiful fight is also expected in the 49er class, with the presence of crews from 15 countries, including the current Top 3 in the world: the Dutch Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken -world champions-, the Spaniards Diego Botín and Florian Trittel -runners-up- and the Croatian brothers Sime and Mihovil Fantela. Let's remember that Sime already knows what it is to win an Olympic medal thanks to the gold achieved in Rio 2016 in the 470 Men.
The Nacra 17 mixed catamaran makes its debut at the Lanzarote International Regatta with almost fifty sailors from 16 countries.
Flying windsurfing stays in Lanzarote after the success of the iQFOil Games
The only ones who will be in the Lanzarote International Regatta that will compete here not for the first but for the second time of this new season are the iQFOil, the Olympic windsurfing class that will debut in Paris 2024. They ended the Lanzarote iQFOil Games just one week away and they are already prepared for a new assault on their way to the next Olympic Games.
They will be the largest classes, with 77 male competitors and 65 women.
Once again the current world champions Sebastian Kölder (GER) and Marta Maggetti (ITA) will compete in Lanzarote, as well as the European champion Nicolas Goyard (FRA) and the current #1 in the world ranking and winner of the 2022 & 2023 Lanzarote iQFOil Games, Pilar Lamadrid (ESP).
Racing: 49er, 49erFX and 470, from February 10 to 13. Nacra 17 and iQFOIl, from 14 to 17.
It is expected that the 49er and 49erFX classes will complete from Friday, the 10th, and until Monday, the 13th, a maximum of 12 races plus the Medal Race, a double-scoring race that only the 10 best classified will have access to. In the case of the 470 Mixed there will be a maximum of 10 races and the Medal Race.
The rest of the classes that compete in the Lanzarote International Regatta 2023 -Nacra 17 and iQFOil Women and Men- will compete from the 14th until Friday, the 17th. In the case of the Nacra 17, the maximum number of scheduled races is 12 plus the Medal Race, while iQFOils could complete up to 16 races of up to three different formats –marathon, slalom and course racing-, and then also the Medal Series.
This international event organized by Marina Rubicón with the support of the Royal Canarian Sailing Federation is possible thanks to the institutional sponsorship of Promotur Turismo de Canarias with the financing of the REACTEU Fund and Tourism of the Cabildo de Lanzarote through the sports product European Sports Destination (managed by SPEL-Turismo Lanzarote), as well as the public collaboration of the Yaiza City Council and the private entities Dinghycoach, Naviera Armas & Cabrera Medina (Cicar).
Text: Helena Paz Cornes