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Martine Grael Wins 49er FX in Palma

Check out the moves from Martine Suffiatti-Grael, daughter of Brazil’s ultimate rock star sailor Torben Grael as she takes her first Sailor Chick of the Week award!  The young Brazilian, with Kahena Kunze on the front, took the win yesterday by over 30 points as the Arenal Training Camp Trophy wrapped up in Palma.  This event – the prelude to the Pricess Sofia Olympic Class event – has exploded in popularity recently despite a tiny budget, pulling a strong mix of next week’s World Cup competitors and young sailors who want to share the same line.  The US team didn’t enter, though after Miami we have high hopes for them at next week’s event, and French and British sailors dominated the event with Spain taking some scalps as well, most notably in the 30-boat Nacra 17 class.  Full results here.

In other Palma news, the World Cup re-branding continues to prove how incompetent ISAF can be, with costs continuing to explode, still more format changes for seemingly every event, and dismal worldwide interest except in a few sailing-crazed nations.  To make matters worse, most of the live coverage from Palma promised to the public is now gone along with title sponsor MAPFRE; the Spanish company chose to spend their millions on a new Volvo Ocean Race campaign rather than throwing good money after bad on a dinghy regatta with a comparatively tiny ROI.   This is the last year of the Palma event’s contract with sailing’s international overlords, and if the island still has to come up with the money that ISAF wants to remain part of the ‘World Cup” for 2015, our sources tell us the awesome Mediterranean venue will be out of the running.  Frankly, as great a venue and event as the Palma regatta is, we’d be surprised if the event isn’t just as big without ISAF as it is with them.

Thanks to one of Europe’s best sailing photographers - Spain’s Jesùs Renedo - for the shot of the wonderful Martine, and get over to her campaign’s Facebook page for more info.


March 17th, 2014

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