Around 100 boats and 150 sailors from 19 countries, other parts of Spain and the Canary Islands will be competing in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria this weekend (12-15 February) in the Regata de Carnaval Ciudad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Europa Cup Gran Canaria 2015.
The club is backed by Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Hall and the Gran Canaria Cabildo for the organisation of both competitions, and is also supported by the Spanish, Canary Islands and Gran Canaria sailing federations.
Europa Cup Gran Canaria 2015 has brought the start of this series to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for the first time. The inaugural regatta will be followed by 22 more events in Europe throughout the year, organised by the European Region of International Laser Class Association (EurILCA).
Jean Luc Michon, chairman of EurILCA, is visiting the club not only for the event, but also to learn more about the venue with a view to making it the host of the Laser Euro Master Series 2016.
All three Laser categories compete in the Europa Cup.
In the Regata de Carnaval, in addition to the sailors in the Laser class (whose points will count for both events), competitors will also be racing in 2.4 mR (Paralympic), 420, catamarans and 29ers.
The organisers have set up three race areas in the harbour and will have an international jury to monitor the races.
The Regata de Carnaval is the final event on the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme, which includes three other international competitions (Semana Olímpica Canaria de Vela, Trofeo Internacional AECIO – Optimist, and the Trofeo Isla de Gran Canaria).
Gran Canaria Sail in Winter makes the island’s capital city a winter sailing base for a number of sailors and teams from the north of Europe and other parts of the world where sailing’s not possible during the winter months.
Olympic sailors and national teams choose the waters in the bay of Gran Canaria for competing and training, drawn by the weather conditions and the assistance provided by the host club.
The list of sailors who’ve already registered for the Europa Cup include top names in the class, such as Norwegians Line Flem Host and Celine Herud, Hungarian María Erdi and Holland’s Dewi Couvert, as well as local figures Martina Reino and Joel Rodríguez, current ISAF Laser Radial youth world champions.
In Laser Standard, the men’s Olympic category, the duel between Mallorca’s Joan Cardona and Gran Canaria’s Joel Rodríguez will be interesting. Both sailors are hoping to secure the only place on the Spanish Olympic team reserved for a youth sailor in the Laser class.
Laser: is one of the world’s most popular sailing dinghies.
It’s a single-handed boat and comes in three sizes, defined by the sail:
RCNGC is strong in this class, with names such as Martina Reino (currently in top place in Spain and world youth champion), Joel Rodríguez (ISAF world youth champion, EurILCA youth champion and European youth champion), Ismael Iess (runner-up world youth champion in 4.7), Luis Cabrera, Ivo Marrero, María José Marichal…. (Joaquín Blanco, a member of Spain’s Olympic team, won’t be at this competition).
2.4mR: This is the Paralympic class, a new addition by RCNGC to include disabled sailing in its line-up. The boats are scale replicas of former America’s Cup boats and allow sailors with a range of disabilities to sail using systems adapted to each particular case. Three countries will be racing in this class at the Regata de Carnaval.
29er: This class is a stepping stone to the Olympic 49er. The boats have a very modern design and aren’t common in Spain yet. They’re very fast and the hull is highly unstable when the boat’s still. The two crew members are kept on their feet.
420: A classic. The 420 is the Olympic 470’s little sister and it’s been a big success at the club, as several world championships have been won in this class. The club boasts a large 420 team.
Catamarans: These double-hulled boats reach high speeds. All the competitors at the Regata de Carnaval are from outside of Spain. Representatives from three countries will be competing.
The prize giving ceremony will be held on Sunday 16, starting at 5.00 pm.
Translated from Spanish by Jane McGrath