|PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN-(14-4-2006) Despite being the winner in the Neil Pryde RS:X M with 25 points advantage over second classified, Nick Dempsey assured today at the end of the medal race, that “it hadn’t been easy to reach the victory”. In his opinion, the 37 Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia – Mapfre has been the meeting point of the best sailors of this new board and “beating them is not easy at all”. Besides, as he explained, the introduction of the medal race has brought a most exciting last day but also more stressing because “if you make a mistake on that day you can lose everything in a matter of minutes”.
But that has not been the case. This young sailor (25), born in Norwich, faced the medal race with 15 points advantage over Brazilian competitor Ricardo Santos and today he reconfirmed his big triumph with a victory in the medal race. Besides, with 6 wins in 12 of the races sailed, Dempsey is the absolute winner of the 37 edition of the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia.
The medal race, in which only the top 10 sailors of each class participate cannot be discarded and scores double points, being one of the novelties of the new Olympic format. It will be used in Beijing 2008 and the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia - Mapfre is one of the first international sailing events where it has been used. “It is a good format for those sailors that are down the lists – said Dempsey–, but it is quite tough for the leading boats … today I would have been relaxed sailing the traditional format but not with the medal race in which too much is decided”.
Besides, “the Sofia marks the beginning of the season and it is the time to see who has been training hard over the winter time, it is a very important event”, added the sailor, who began sailing when he was seven and belongs to Castle Cove Club, Portland Sailing Academy.
A few months ago he became the winner of the Miami Rolex OCR, which together with the victory at the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia, confirms his good shape and preparation in this new Olympic class. In this sense, he explained that “with the Neil Pryde they have gained speed and they can also sail with a wider range of winds”.
After being bronze medallist in the Mistral class at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Nick Dempsey is sure he can win the Gold in Beijing 2008 in Neil Pryde RS:X. “One can never be sure, but I am confident with the work I am doing and my capacity to control the stress”, assured the winner.
Dempsey was also the winner in the Mistral class in the 2001 and 2003 Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia so this is his third victory but his first absolute winner title: “I like the Sofia, not because it’s the third time I win here but because it is an excellent racing area”, said the British sailor that has given his support to the application of the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia to become an ISAF Grade 1 event: “Besides being very well organised, the weather is excellent, the sun shines almost every day and we enjoy good winds. At other Grade 1 events, such as Hyères or Spa, we are always under the rain”.