Nicholas Heiner leads the Laser Standard class at the end of the first day of Carnival Regatta.

Joaquin Blanco is the first Spanish while Laser Radial is dominated by Roelof y Marit Bouwneester. Canarian sailors Yolanda Luque (RCNGC) and Alejandro Bethencourt (RCN Arrecife) are the first spanish in female Laser Radial and male Laser Radial respectively.

The race this Friday has started with great conditions, northern winds from 15-18 knots, gusts of over 20 knots and big waves, providing a great environment to close the last Regatta of the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter program.

The best international Laser sailors worldwide have come to Gran Canaria to train for the European Laser Championship which will take place at the end of the month.

Nick Thompson, current World Champion in Laser class holds the second position while Dutch Heiner holds the pole -Heiner was Gold in the World Olympic Championship in Santander 2014.

Joaquín Blanco, first spanish sailor, scored a 19th and 12th in the first day, holding a 12th position at the moment.

Marit Bouwneester leads the female Laser Radial class -she holds a runner-up title worldwide and Gold medal in the World championship in Santander last year. Marit, second overall after her brother Roelof  leads the female board with confidence. Five women are at the top of the ranking.

Local sailor Yolanda Luque is the first Spanish in the 19th position, with a 19th and 4th position in today’s races. A bad start in the first race set her club mate Martynia Reino to the 32nd position currently while Alicia Cebrian is 43rd after achieving a 22nd and 23rd respectively.

Carnival Regatta has 194 boats from Laser Standard, Laser Radial (female and male) and Laser 4.7. Also worth noticing that for Laser Radial, this race is also the official Championship for Canary Islands.

While Friday had only two races, there are 3 scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday. Laser Radial has a great number of boats so the organization has divided them in two separate groups (yellow and blue) with qualifying rounds for the big final this Sunday. Three Judges for the Carnival Regatta will also be part of the technical comittee that is responsible for the European Championship that will take place at the end of this month.

Julio Jordan (Club de Mar Radazul), Nelly María González (RCN Tenerife)  and Guillermo Aranaz (RCN Tenerife) are the first three sailors currently in Laser 4.7

This Saturday the race will kick of at 11:00.

RCNGC’s event becomes the final test before the European Championship held at the end of the month

Sailors include Gold medalist Xu Lijia and World Champion Nick Thompson

Medalist such as Chinese Xu Lijia – Gold in the Laser Radial in London 2012- or current World Champion in Laser Standard Nick Thompson are examples of the level of participants that will compete this weekend in the Carnival Regatta held in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where sailors will have a final test before the European Championship that will take place in the same racecourse at the end of this month.

The weather forecast foresees a typical northern wind and envisages great conditions for the regatta. Carnival Regatta (February 12, 13 and 14th ) will be the last event in Gran Canaria Sail in Winter; the international program organized by Real Club Nautico de Gran Canaria from December to February every year. Interest for the race has spiked as the European Championship for both Standard and Radial Laser classes is around the corner (February 26th – March 4th) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and will allow all sailors to fine tune their boats against their rivals with similar weather conditions at the end of the month.

The entire Spanish Olympic team for both Male Standard and female Radial, composed entirely by Canarian sailors will take part in the competition. Three sailors belong to RCNGC (Joaquín Blanco, Joel Rodríguez -current under-21 World Champion- and Martina Reino, and Alicia Cebrian – European Runner-up from RCN de Tenerife. Many of the participating sailors will also represent their countries in the summer Olympic Games in Rio next August 2016.

For some of the sailors this race takes special importance as they can earn vital points to secure a place for Brazil. The best of the best sailors in the world are gathering in the facilities of Real Club Nautico de Gran Canaria, including Marit Bouwmeester, Silver Medal in London 2012 as well as other top 10 sailors worldwide such as Finish Tuula Tenkanen or Swedish Josefin Olsson.

8 races have been schedules within these 3 days and there are almost 200 boats registered: 70 Laser Standard, 100 Laser Radial and 20 Laser 4.7. The Laser Radial fleet will be divided in groups with classifying rounds these next two days and finals on Sunday. First race is scheduled to start at 13:00 this Friday.

The technical team at one of its regular meetings

This February, Gran Canaria will become the European Capital of Olympic sailing

The race will qualify sailors for the Summer Olympic games of Rio 2016

500 sailors, technical teams and team leaders will attend the European Laser Senior Championship that will take place in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria between 26th February and 4th March.

Organizers include Royal Spanish Sailing Federation (RFEV), the European Laser Class Association (EurILCA) and Real Club Nautico de Gran Canaria (RCNGC), host for the event in the shores of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Some of the sailors have been training and preparing for weeks for this race as part of the programme Gran Canaria Sail in Winter that RCNGC organizes every year.

The event has been rise the attention of sailing fans around the world by virtue of qualifying for the Summer Olympic Games in Brazil. National teams around the world have chosen to send their sailors to Guanabara Bay, race course for Rio 2016.
Commodore’s race, a race with great tradition at RCNGC, had the pleasure of hosting sailors from eight different nationalities.

Martina Reino, member of the Spanish Olympic Team from RCNGC alongside Alicia Cebrián from RCNT,  won the race last January.

267 sailors from 45 countries registered for the European open championship, which aggregates the Standard (male), female Radial and male Radial.

More than 90 sailors have chosen to get their boats ready for the European Championship and will participate in Carnival’s Sailing Race on 12th-14th February, as part of Gran Canaria Sail in Winter.

267 sailors from 44 countries have already formalized their registration to participate in the European Laser Senior Championship being held in Las Palmas from 26 February to 4 March.

The Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria, Real Federación Española de Vela and the EURILCA organize the regatta in which several Olympic medalists and world champions are participating.

The Europeans in Gran Canaria serve several Olympic teams like the Spanish or the United States as a selection regatta to designate their representatives in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which begin on August 5.

Three competitions will be held: The male Olympic (Laser Standard) and female (Laser Radial) and male  Laser Radial.

As host country, Spain has the largest team, with a total of 36 sailors. The current Spanish Olympic team is composed of Canarian sailors: Joel Rodriguez and Joaquin Blanco, both of RCNGC in Laser Standard, and in Radial Martina Reino (also of RCNGC) and Alicia Cebrian from Tenerife.

Olympic medalists Cypriot Paulos Kontides 2012–silver in London and the Dutch Marit Bouwmester silver (also in London) have registered and the current world champion, Denmark’s Anne Marie Rindom, Croatian Toni Stipanovic, fourth at the last Olympics.

The largest fleet only a month to start the championship belongs to the Laser Standard class, with 130 registered sailors. The most represented continent is Europe with 27 countries. Being an open competition, also sailors from they travel from New Zealand, Peru, United States, Hong Kong and Korea have registered.

109 female Olympic sailors have formalized their registration: 24 European teams plus Australia, Canada, Singapore, United States, Turkey and Japan.

Laser Radial Men has 40 competitors.

The Trofeo Isla de Gran Canaria event was conceived to respond to the increasing number of sailors from various countries who choose to extend their winter training sessions at our club. Created as an incentive to help sailors prepare for competition, the Trophy’s become a well established regatta in a very short time. Last year’s event included British Olympian Alison Young, who took the gold in the Laser Radial class in a field of Norwegian, Hungarian, Dutch, Polish, Ukrainian and Spanish competitors. In Laser Standard the victory went to local sailor Joaquín Blanco, the Spanish champion responsible for securing Spain a place at Rio. Trofeo Isla de Gran Canaria will be held from 8-10 January, just one month before the next event on our Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme.



November training camp

«For us who come from Norway to train in Gran Canaria in winter is a luxury,» said the Olympic RSX class sailor Sebastian Wang-Hansen.

Wang-Hansen, member of the Norwegian Olympic team at the 2012 London Games, has spent a training week in November as part of the Real Club Nautico de Gran Canaria Gran Canaria “Sail in Winter” program, along with other athletes of his country and Britain’s Sam Sills

«This is a great place to sail, with good waves, good winds, and very good temperature, especially for us who come from Norway,» he said in reference to Las Palmas.

Wang-Hansen has highlighted the facilities of the Real Club Nautico de Gran Canaria, he mentioned the gym, the pool and the fact that «everything is very simple.»

The good temperature and seaside facilities allow «many hours in the water,» he adds.

Sills is of the same opinion and spoke of «a perfect temperature.»

Both sailors return in December to train and participate in the XVII Canarian Sailing Olympic Week


Sailors from 15 countries have already registered in the “Canarian Sailing Olympic Week” this December that celebrates its 17th  edition.

Athletes from the Netherlands, Norway, Finland , Ukraine , Poland, Germany, Lithuania , Denmark , Switzerland , Sweden, Guatemala , Hungary and Turkey have announced their presence at the flagship event of the sailing in the Canary Islands .

The Laser class is the queen in this “Olympic Week”.

The Real Club Nautico de Gran Canaria, organizer and host of the event, will be at the beginning of 2016 the headquarters of the European Championship of Laser class , which is an added attraction for its program Gran Canaria Sail in Winter .

Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria’s 2015/2016 season of the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme will run into March this time round, with the holding of the Laser EuroMaster Series 2016. In an Olympic year, this event provides a great occasion to test your skills and is a perfect round off to a winter of competing and training in our fantastic race area. Our best references are the sailors and coaches from more than 20 countries who come back year after year for their rendezvous with the gentle Canary Islands winter.

(First staff meeting)

Zan Luka Zelko (Slovenia) and Martina Reino (Canary Islands) took the gold after a brilliant regatta in which neither relinquished their lead. Zelko and Reino collected their trophies as the winners of the Regata de Carnaval Ciudad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the first race of the Europa Cup Gran Canaria 2015 in Standard and Radial, the two Olympic categories in the Laser class.

The carnival atmosphere of the Regata de Carnaval was enhanced by a performance from drag queen Kuki at the end of the prize giving ceremony. The organisers’ surprise show captivated international visitors.

150 sailors from 19 countries took part in this final event of the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter series, which opened the Europa Cup this year for the first time. Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria organised the event in conjunction with the European Region of International Laser Class Association (EurILCA) and the Spanish, Canary Islands and Gran Canaria sailing federation, with the support of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Hall and Gran Canaria Cabildo.

EurILCA chairman, Jean Luc Michon, who’s been at RCNGC during the regatta, said it was “a great event with good sailing conditions, providing an excellent outlook for the European Championship 2016”, which will also be organised by RCNGC.

“It’s the perfect spot to prepare sailors who are hoping to secure a place for the 2016 Rio Olympics”, Michon said.

During the three days of competition, all of the eight races scheduled went ahead, thanks to favourable wind and sea conditions. Sailors in the Laser Class competed in the Europa Cup and their points also counted for the Regata Internacional de Carnaval Ciudad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which included F18, Nacra 17, 29er, 420 and 2.4mR.

Slovenia’s Zan Luka Zelko was joined on the Laser Standard podium by Lithuania’s Martis Pajarskas (2nd) and Canary Islander Joel Rodríguez (3rd). In women’s Radial, the podium places went to Martina Reino (1st), Maria Erdi (2nd) and Agata Barwinska (3rd).

In men’s Radial, the podium was dominated by RCNGC sailors Luis Cabrera (1st); Ismael Iess (2nd) and Jorge Martínez (3rd).

In the women’s 4.7, Carlota Sánchez (RCNGC) took the gold, Nelly González (CM Radazul), took the silver and third place went to Marina Martín (RCN Arrecife).

The winner in the men’s 4.7 was Alejandro Bethencourt (RCN Arrecife), followed by Ivo Marrero (RCNGC) in second place and Nicolás Fajardo (RCN Arrecife) in third place.

The first prizes awarded in Nacra 17 and F 18 for the Regata de Carnaval went to the German crews of Ecki Kaphengst/Tine-Marie Kaphengst and Robert Schuetz/Ra Kahuel.

The crews on the 420 podium were Elias Aretz/Helenio Hoyos (1st), Patricia Medina/Lara Martínez (2nd) and Pablo García/Raúl Naranjo (3rd). In 29er the victory went to Jorge Cantero and Néstor Vega, current Canary Islands champions. Second place went to Alejandra and Elena Oliva, and Andrés Barrio and Guillermo Maya came in third.

The line-up on the Paralympic podium was entirely Swedish: Hans Asklund (1st), Per Ahrbom (2nd) and Claes Bengtzon (3rd). José Guerra (RCNGC), in 11th place, was the highest classified Spanish sailor.

Translated from Spanish by Jane McGrath


Laser Standard is headed by Slovenia, but the Spanish sailors are leading in Laser Radial at the first event of the Europa Cup, currently being held in Gran Canaria. Martina Reino, number one on the Spanish ranking, is holding onto first place in the girls’ category and Luis Cabrera has taken the lead in the boys’.

The Regata Internacional de Carnaval Ciudad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is kicking off the Laser Europa Cup series this year. It’s the first of 23 regattas in the series, which will be held at 23 venues throughout Europe.

A 12-14 knot northwest wind and a long, slightly tricky wave typical of the area were the predominant conditions today on the second day of competition, in which 150 sailors from 19 countries are taking part.

Slovenia’s Zan Luka Zelko notched up three firsts after six races in Laser Standard and has a lead over Lithuania’s Martis Pajarskas and Gran Canaria’s Joel Rodríguez, who are currently heading for the podium. The second placed Spaniard is 16-year-old Mallorcan sailor Joan Cardona (RCN Palma), who’s eighth in the overall classification.

Rodríguez had no comments about his disqualification on the first day. He said that this isn’t a crucial regatta and he’s hoping the wind will intensify on Sunday, the final day, to secure him a place on the podium. The 14 sailors competing in Laser Standard are from 10 countries.

Martina Reino (RCNGC), current number one on the Spanish ranking, is holding onto the lead in women’s Laser Radial, after a first place in the 6th regatta, the final race of the day, finishing neck and neck on 12 points with Poland’s Agata Barwinska. The second Spanish sailor is Silvia Morales, from RCN Tenerife, with 28 points and a third place as her top result. The 25 sailors in women’s Radial are from Denmark, Great Britain, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and Spain.

The Spanish dominate in the men’s Laser Radial, with seven sailors in the top eight places. Luis Cabrera (RCNGC) took first place in the classification with a two-point lead over fellow club member Ismael Iess. In third place on the podium is José Cabrera, who’s also from the host club. The 25 competitors in this category are from seven countries.

Although Cabrera’s happy after taking the lead, he’s not sure he’ll keep it. “There are lots of strong sailors behind me”, he said back on shore. Cabrera would like the wind to ease on Sunday so he can secure his place. Jorge Martínez (RCNGC), in sixth place and just two points from finishing third, is also a contender for a spot on the podium.

Lanzarote’s Alejandro Bethencourt continues to lead in 4.7. He’s notched up four firsts in the six races held, although Ivo Marrero (RCNGC) is just one point behind him, with two firsts and three seconds. In a field of 17 competing sailors, 15 are from the Canary Islands.

In the women’s Laser 4.7, where 11 of the 14 competitors are Canary Islanders, local sailor Carlota Sánchez (RCNGC) has taken the lead with two firsts and three seconds, five points ahead of Marina Martín (RCN Arrecife) and Nelly González (Club de Mar Radazul de Tenerife).

Points won by Laser sailors will also count for the Regata de Carnaval, which includes 2.4 mR (Paralympic), catamarans (Nacra 17 and F18) and from today, 420 and 29er.

In 2.4 Rm Sweden’s dominating, with Hans Asklund in first place. The fleet in this class is nearly all Scandinavian. Only two of the 14 sailors in 2.4 Rm are Spanish; eight are from Sweden and four are from Finland. Canary Islanders José Guerra and Javier Ugarte, members of the recently created RCNGC Paralympic team, are battling it out in 10th and 13th position.

Racing in 420 and 29er started today in the Regata de Carnaval, with entirely local fleets. Jorge Cantero and Nestor Vega, current Canary Islands champions in 29er, won two of the three races and are in first position. 420 is headed by Patricia Medina and Lara Martínez, who won two of the three races.

Sunday is the third and final day.

The prize giving ceremony will be held at 17.00 hours.

Translated from Spanish by Jane McGrath