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Sailors highlighted the excellent conditions of wind and sea at the end of the second day of the 17th Edition of the Canary Islands Sailing Olympic Week, in which the sailors of the Real Club Nautico de Gran Canaria Onán Barreiros/Juan Curbelo in 470, and Ángel Granda, in RS:X 8.5, are still unbeatable.

124 crews from 24 countries participate until Tuesday in the most important sailing event of the Canary Islands, a classic winter organized by the Real Club Nautico de Gran Canaria with the support of the City of Las Palmas and the Cabildo de Gran Canaria.

Canary Islands Sailing Olympic Week paves the “Sail in Winter”, an international winter programme that combines training and competitions taking advantage of the goodness of the islands’ climate and the exceptional conditions of the bay to the practice of sailing. This season ends with the Laser EuroMaster Series 2016, an appointment that the proximity of the Olympics gives special relevance.

Joaquin Blanco, Standard; Onán Barreiros and Juan Curbelo, 470, and Ángel Granda, junior RS:X, all members  of the host club together with  Hungarian Maria Erdi are the provisional leaders in Laser Radial; Helge and Christian Sach the Germans in F-18; Finnish Oskari Muhonen, Laser Radial Men and the Portuguese Joao Rodriguez in RSX 9.5.

About 12 knots with peaks of 15 have provided a great day of sailing  on the second day in which the sailor of RCNGC Ángel Granda continues its full partial victories in the RSX class 8.5.

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 .

In the edition of the Semana Olímpica Canaria de Vela (Canarian Sailing Olympic Week) 2015 there will be no transport aids to ship containers with competitors’ boats. Our budget will be mostly destined to the organization of the various winter events especially the European Laser Championship.

All information of our upcoming events on our website has been updated. NOR of Semana Olímpica and AECIO Trophy next December 2015 and Trofeo de Gran Canaria in January 2016 are already available.

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

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.

The classes:

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:

  • Standard (the men’s Olympic boat): 12 boats will be competing
  • Radial (the women’s Olympic and boys’ boat): 50 boats
  • 7 (junior): 30 boats

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

Alison Young and Matías GómezAll winners

Joaquín Blanco (RCNGC), Alison Young (British sailing team) and Alfonso Fernández (RCN Tenerife) took the three golds in the Laser class in the International Gran Canaria Trophy (Trofeo Isla de Gran Canaria), which finished today in the bay of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. RCNGC sailor Luis Cabrera won the gold in the men’s Radial and Carlota Sánchez took the gold in the women’s Laser 4.7.

Blanco, member of the Spanish Pre-Olympic team, had a tough win over fellow RCNGC sailor and world youth champion Joel Rodríguez, sewing up a championship that didn’t get off to a great start for him. This is Blanco’s third gold in a row in just over a month, after his wins at the 16th Semana Olímpica Canaria de Vela and the Palamós Christmas Race.

“These results help to boost my confidence and are a step up before the important events I’ve got coming up. I’m off to the world cup in Miami now and then I’ll be back in Gran Canaria for the Regata de Carnaval, followed by the Semana Olímpica de Cádiz, the Spanish Championship in Valencia, and the Trofeo Princesa Sofía, finishing in June with the Olympic class worlds in Canada.”

During the award ceremony, held this afternoon and attended by City Councillor Mimi González (Ciudad de Mar) and the president of the Canary Islands Sailing Federation, Joaquín Blanco, RCNGC president Óscar Bergasa commented on the presence of 12 boats in the 2.4mR Paralympic class, saying that, in his opinion, this consolidates the club’s support for disabled sailing.

Representatives from 16 countries took part in the international regatta, the third event of the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme, organised by Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria with the support of the Gran Canaria Cabildo and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Hall.

The third and final day of competition started as expected, with 10-12 knot winds and a heavy swell, but as the day wore on the winds shifted from northeast to southeast. The drop in the wind intensity meant all scheduled races could be held.

Joel Rodríguez, who fought until the final day for first place in Laser Standard and ended up with the silver, said his result was “very positive”. At the end of the race he said that the most important thing was to take advantage of the chance to train with top sailors.

His next event is the Regata de Carnaval, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the final race in the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme and the first in the Laser Europa Cup series. Just a few days later, he’ll be sailing in the Semana Olímpica Andaluza, the second race that counts towards the Spanish Pre-Olympic team after the Canary Islands Olympic Sailing Week.

The gold in Laser Radial was for British Olympic sailor Alison Young, who came fifth in London in 2012. She had a poor start in the Canary Islands event but came through on the second and third days, taking first place.

RCNGC sailor Luis Cabrera, silver in the overall Laser Radial and gold in the men’s, said “I knew I had a chance, but I knew I had some tough competition as well”.

Cabrera mentioned the importance of the wind shifts during the race and was positive about his results as he looks forward to his next race, at the Canary Islands Radial championship, in Tenerife.

Alfonso Fernández, from Tenerife, took the gold in Laser 4.7, a class initially led by RCNGC sailor Patricia Reino. As expected, Sweden’s Hans Asklund won in the 2.4mR Paralympic class, with five firsts in the eight races held. The first Spanish competitor was Pablo García, in seventh place.

The crew of Nahuel Rodríguez (RCNGC) and Nicolás Rodríguez (RCN Vigo) won the gold in 470, a class with few competitors at this event.

In Techno (boards), the victory went to Britain’s Joshua Carey. Magüi Suárez (RCNGC), the top Spanish Techno competitor and the only girl in this class, took the silver.

 Translated from Spanish by Jane McGrath

Joaquín Blanco, Foto: Alberto Sánchez

Joaquín Blanco and Joel Rodríguez fought the closest battle on the second day of the International Gran Canaria Trophy (Trofeo Isla de Gran Canaria), which finishes on Sunday in the bay of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The two Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria sailors are evenly matched going into the final day, with a slight advantage for Blanco, who’s jumped from sixth place to the head of the classification table. The pre-Olympic sailor won two of Saturday’s three races.
Representatives from 16 countries are taking part in this international regatta, the third event of the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme, which is organised by Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria with the support of the Gran Canaria Cabildo and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Hall.
The weather conditions changed dramatically today for the second day of racing. After starting out with southeast winds of 14-15 knots, the day ended with 10 knot winds, allowing all three scheduled races to go ahead. Sailors also encountered a short wave from the southeast and a long wave from the northeast, which complicated sailing.
The other important news of the day was in Laser Radial, where the lead was taken by Alison Young, Olympic sailor at London in 2012 and member of the British sailing team. Young stole the lead from Canary Islander Luis Cabrera (RCNGC), who dropped to second place and is followed by Chloe Martín, the other British sailor racing this weekend at RCNGC.
In Laser 4.7 the lead also changed, as Patricia Reino (RCNGC) gave up her first place to Alfonso Fernández, from Real Club Náutico de Tenerife. In second place is Carlos Pavillard, also from RCNT.
In 470 Nahuel Rodríguez and Nicolás Rodríguez won the three races during the second day, taking them to first place in the classification for this small fleet, ahead of the Russian and Finnish teams.
In the 2.4mR Paralympic class the Swedes continue to dominate, with Hans Asklund maintaining the lead. The first Spanish sailor classified is Pablo García, in sixth position. The Paralympic class is new to this season’s Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme and is a step forward for the host club, which is aiming to boost the level of this class.
Techno (boards) had its first day of racing today. Britain’s Joshua Carey is in the lead with a third and two firsts. He’s followed by RCNGC team members Eduardo Santana and Javier Rodríguez. Magüi Suárez, the only girl competing in this class, had a very good start but was penalised for being over the line in the third and final race, finishing fourth.
Three races have been scheduled for Sunday, the final day of competition, and the award ceremony should start at around 16.00 hours. Similar wind and sea conditions are expected, as well as an exciting final in all classes, as the points in the top places are very close.

Photo by Alberto Sánchez

Translated from Spanish by Jane Mcgrath

European Region of International Laser Class Association (EurILCA) has chosen Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria as the venue for its European Laser Standard Senior Championship 2016.
This is the second international Laser class event awarded to the club in a short period of time. From 13 to 15 February 2015, RCNGC will be hosting the first regatta on the Europa Cup calendar, as its “Regata Internacional de Carnival – Ciudad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria” has joined the series for the first time. This event is part of the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme, which makes the island’s capital city a focus for international dinghy sailing every winter.
The decision on the European Senior Championship 2016 was made in Paris at the association’s annual general meeting, which was attended by representatives from Germany, Poland, Israel, Switzerland, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Italy, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal, France, Holland, Belgium, Rumania, Austria, Croatia and Hungary.
The AGM was held at the headquarters of the French Laser Class Association on 7 and 8 December, the same weekend RCNGC hosted its 16th Semana Olímpica Canaria de Vela.
The European Senior Championship 2016 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is particularly important because 2016 is an Olympic year. The final two places in this class for the Rio Olympics could be decided in Gran Canaria, although this is yet to be confirmed.
Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria is strong in Laser, the world’s most popular sailing dinghy.
The current ISAF youth world champions in the boys’ and girls’ categories, Joel Rodríguez and Martina Reino, belong to the RCNGC sailing team. They’re both Spanish champions and Rodríguez is also European youth world champion and winner of the ILCA youth worlds.
Other team members include Joaquín Blanco, outstanding Laser Standard champion of the 16th Semana Olímpica Canaria de Vela; Ismael Iess, runner up in the Laser 4.7 world championship in Japan this summer; Kevin Cabrera; Luis Cabrera; María Cabrera; Yolanda Luque; María José Marichal; and Ivo Marrero, current Canary Islands 4.7 champion and fifth in the latest Spanish championship.
The size of the sail defines the category in the Laser class. The 4.7 has the smallest sail and is a beginner’s boat. After that is the Radial, the Olympic class for girls and the youth class for boys. The men’s Olympic boat is the Laser Standard, which has the largest sail.

Translated from Spanish by Jane McGrath

Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria has taken the gold in the three premier classes of the 16th Semana Olímpica Canaria de Vela: Onán Barreiros and Juan Curbelo in 470, Joaquín Blanco in Laser Standard, and Kevin Cabrera in Laser Radial. In the new Paralympic class, the gold went to RCNGC sailor José Guerra, who’s about to embark on a challenge that will take him to 15 regattas throughout continental Europe in 2015.
Sailors from 23 countries have taken part in the 16th Semana Olímpica Canaria de Vela, the first event on the new Spanish Olympic series. Spanish Royal Sailing Federation President, José Ángel Rodríguez Santos, and pre-Olympic team manager, Tony Ripoll, travelled to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to attend the competition.
The participation of representatives from 23 countries was one of the strong points stressed by Mimi González, City Councillor for Ciudad de Mar (Sea City). She said that Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Council, one of the main supporters of this project, values the way the presence of these young sailors and their coaches and the ripple effect of the social networks help to promote the city as a tourism destination.
Sailing on the final day of this year’s Canary Islands Olympic Sailing Week was once again characterised by strong wind and sea conditions, which allowed all the scheduled races to be run on time.
Joaquín Blanco (RCNGC) has been one of the key figures in the competition. He’s a member of the Spanish Pre-Olympic team, which dominated the field from start to finish. Blanco barely stepped down from the podium. “Today conditions were very stable and that allowed me to secure the victory. A home win is always very special”, he said.
In 470, Onán Barreiros and Juan Curbelo (RCNGC), eighth in the international ranking, are ending the year with a victory they fought the two Russian crews for right up to the last minute. The Russians took second and third spot on the podium.
In the women’s 470, the win went to Mallorca’s Marina Gallego and Fátima Reyes. Russians Alisa Kirilyuk and Lyudmila Dmitrieva came second and the bronze went to Spain’s Ángela Pumariega (Asturias) and her crew member, Gran Canarian Patricia Cantero (RCNGC).
Kevin Cabrera, from RCNGC, took the gold in Laser Radial after a very even battle with Holland’s Benjamin Wempe. Third place went to another member of the RCNGC team, Luis Cabrera, one of the three sailors distinguished at this event by the Spanish Olympic Committee. During the Canary Islands Olympic Sailing Week award ceremony, Cabrera, Gustavo Martín and Patricia Reino received the medals awarded last year by the Spanish Olympic Committee in recognition of their sports achievements.
In the women’s Laser Radial, Lithuanian Viktorija Andrulyte had a strong win. Martina Reino, an RCNGC youth sailor, took the bronze medal. The silver went to Poland’s Agata Barwinska.
Races were held in three categories of board sailing. In RS:X 9.5, Club de Vela Formentera led the field, with Joan Cardona first and Sergio Escandell third. Second place went to Holland’s Matthijs Van’t Hoff.
In the women’s RSX:8.5, the victory went to Pilar Lamadrid, from Club Puerto Sherry (Cádiz), ahead of her two Dutch rivals.
In RS:X 8.5 junior, the Dutch took first and second place, leaving the bronze for Ángel Granda, from RCNGC.
The Olympic Sailing Week closed with the invitation to the 420 class, which included local competitors. The final placings were Elías Aretz/Elio Hoyos (1st), Wichy Hernández /Guillermo López (2nd) and María Caba/Carla Díaz (3rd).
F18 and Nacra 17 were dominated by the Germans.
The award ceremony was held this afternoon.

Translated from Spanish by Jane McGrath