|PALAMOS, SPAIN-(16-12-2004) Around 200 crews representing 13 nations will take part in the traditional Christmas regatta. The 29th Palamós-Christmas Race was presented today at the Museo de la Pesca de Palamós (Museum of fishing) with the attendance of the Mayoress of Palamós, Maria Teresa Ferrés; the Delegate of the Catalan Sports Council in Girona, Josep Saguer; the Delegate of the Catalan Sailing Federation in Girona, Agustí Blanch and the Palamós Sports Councillor, Jordi Ors.
It will be a post-Olympic edition but many outstanding sailors have confirmed their participation; such is the case of Athens 2004 Olympic silver medallists Rafael Trujillo in the Finn class and Austrian Laser sailor Andreas Geritzer.
The regatta will be the first point of reference for the pre-Olympic teams towards the 2008 Olympics.
The Delegate of the Catalan Sports Council in Girona, Josep Saguer, pointed out the importance of the Christmas Race and announced that “the Catalan Government had chosen ten sport events to project the image of Catalonia worldwide and the Christmas Race is one of them”.
The participating classes will be: Mistral men and women, Europe men and women, Laser, Finn, 470 men and women, 49er, Tornado and the new Olympic single-handed discipline for women, the Laser Radial. There will be no participation of the new Olympic sailboard Neil Pryde RS-X as there is not yet a consistent fleet in Europe.
The President of Club de Vela Palamós, Xavier Ribera, outlined that “the fact that the Christmas Race was the launching event of the new Olympic classes, made of the regatta a worldwide point of reference. The 29th edition of the regatta will witness the debut of the Laser radial as Olympic class.
Palamós is a web known racing area in Europe and many teams will son be in Palamós for training purposes.
The Christmas Race is the considered by the ISAF sailing calendar as the first 2005 sailing event and it is the only Spanish race included in the Eurolymp circuit, a circuit formed by the eight main Olympic classes European regattas. The regatta is a graded event scoring for the World and European Olympic classes ranking lists.