Sailing: Final Qualifiers Decided After Princess Sofia Trophy

The final qualification event in sailing has concluded with the 2016 Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta. The event was a continental qualifier for both Africa and Europe. In Africa the five remaining continental events were decided, namely the men’s finn, women’s 470, men’s 49er, women’s 49erFX and mixed Nacra17 where the top ranked eligible boat qualified to the Olympics. For Europe all ten events had quotas up for grabs. The men’s RS:X, men’s laser and women’s laser radial quotas went to the two highest ranked eligible nations while the highest ranked eligible boat in the other seven events qualified to the Olympics. The Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta was held in Palma de Mallorca, Spain from March 25th to April 2nd 2016.

Reallocation was the big theme in the African qualifiers as no African nation competed in the women’s 470, men’s 49er and women’s 49erFX. The boats were reallocated to the next best nation at the 2015 World Championships, specifically, Switzerland, Belgium and Ireland respectively. The mixed Nacra17 went to Tunisia as they were the only African boat competing while the men’s finn went to four-time laser Olympian Allan Julie of the Seychelles.

The European qualifiers were quite split with only Hungary winning two quotas in the women’s RS:X and women’s laser radial. Also qualifying in the women’s laser radial is Portugal’s Sara Carmo whom did just enough to finish ahead of Switzerland’s Maud Jayet. The two nations which qualified in the men’s RS:X were Croatia and Belarus while the two which qualified in the men’s laser were Russia and the Czech Republic.

Finland’s boat in the women’s 49erFX not only qualified to the Olympics, but also reached the medal race though they would go to finish ninth overall. Sweden was the only eligible nation whom reached the gold fleet in the men’s 49er and thus qualified. Two disqualifications for Sweden in the Nacra17 ultimately cost them the Olympic quota as Greece finished ahead of them by an 18 point margin. In the men’s Finn it was Turkey’s Alican Kaynar whom did just enough to qualify over the Czech Republic and Russian boats. Israel qualified in the women’s 470 by reaching the medal race and finishing an overall ninth place. The closest match for Olympic qualification was in the men’s 470 as Italy and the Ukraine finished leveled on points. Ukraine would be given the quota since they had a better best result than Italy (a second place vs. a sixth place).

In the overall races New Zealand was the only nation in which they won two events, the men’s laser and men’s finn. Other gold medalists include Australia (men’s 470), Finland (women’s laser radial), France (mixed Nacra17), Great Britain (men’s RS:X), Ireland (men’s 49er), Netherlands (women’s 49erFX), Poland (women’s 470) and Russia (women’s RS:X).

This was the final qualification event in sailing. All that is left is for all nations to confirm their quotas and assign sailors. Also two tripartite invitations each will be given out in the men’s laser and women’s laser radial to nations expected to send small teams. Overall 62 nations have qualified at least one boat to the Olympics.


Boats by Nations

  • Hungary – 2
  • Belarus – 1
  • Belgium – 1
  • Croatia – 1
  • Czech Republic – 1
  • Finland – 1
  • Greece – 1
  • Ireland – 1
  • Israel – 1
  • Portugal – 1
  • Russia – 1
  • Seychelles – 1
  • Sweden – 1
  • Switzerland – 1
  • Tunisia – 1
  • Turkey – 1
  • Ukraine – 1




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