The Christmas Race, organized by the Club Nàutic Costa Brava Vela Palamós, reaches its 45th edition with a participation of close to 300 crews and 400 sailors both in Olympic sailing (470 Mixed, ILCA6 Women and ILCA7) and dinghy sailing (ILCA4, ILCA6 Male and 420 Male and Female), representing 17 countries. After the suspension of the 2021 edition due to COVID19, the Palamosense regatta returns with force and has hung the compliment poster.
Saturday 18th will be the registration day and from Sunday 19th to Wednesday 22nd December, the waters of the Bay of Palamós will once again receive the best sailors in Europe and the great Olympic promises, in this case with their sights set on Paris 2024 .
For several years now, the Girona regatta has been the great test bed for the most powerful teams on the continent, such as Great Britain, France or Italy, who do not hesitate to send their best teams to compete in the waters of the Costa Brava.
Palamós has always been highly regarded on a continental level, being the Spanish regatta of reference in the Eurolymp Circuit, which included in the 80s and 90s the main regattas of the Olympic classes in Europe until its disappearance.
Participation will once again be at the highest level. In the Olympic classes, the Catalan Cristina Pujol stands out, who participated last summer in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in the ILCA6 class and who two weeks ago finished tenth in the World Championship of the class held in Mussanah (Oman). In this class the competition will be important because the Canarian Martina Reino will also be there, with whom Pujol played the Olympic place in Japan.
Regarding international participation in the new 470 Mixed Olympic category, the level was very high with the presence of the three-time Optimist world champion, Italian Marco Gradoni; the also Italian Benedetta Di Salle, twice world champion of 470 Women Youth; the current absolute European champions, the Israelis Nitai Hasson / Saar Tamir and the absolute world runner-up, the Portuguese Diogo Costa, among others. Also the current champions of Spain of 470 Mixed, the Balearic María Bover, European champion, a world bronze of Optimist and several world and continental podiums of 420, which teams up with the Canarian Pablo García will fight for victory in Palamós.
The 420 are already consolidated
By classes the participation will be as follows: ILCA4 Male (32 registered), ILCA4 Female (17 registered), ILCA6 Male (43 registered), ILCA6 Female (32 registered), ILCA7 (24 registered), 420 Male (72 registered), 420 Female (31 registered) and 470 Mixed (21 registered).
Countries present at the 45 Christmas Race: Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Ukraine.
Two regatta areas
Two years ago, the Christmas Race decided to re-concentrate all its classes in the facilities of the Club Náutico Costa Brava Vela Palamós, as it was at the beginning of the 70s.
Placing everything in a single location allows you to concentrate resources in a single space. At sea, the regatta director, Carles Palomares, has planned two regatta areas, one for the doubles 470 and 420 boats and the other for the individual ILCA4, ILCA6 and ILCA7.
Palomares explains that “we are very happy since we have a registration very similar to the one we had before the pandemic.”
For almost a decade the Christmas Race has combined Olympic sailing with the International Federation promotion classes: “The world of sailing is changing very rapidly. Having a regatta exclusively with Olympic classes is no longer possible, unless you are within the World Sailing circuit. That is why we decided to take a turn and include in the World Sailing classes designed for juniors such as 420 and ILCA4 and 6, although the latter in the female category is also Olympic ”.
It is planned to hold a maximum of eleven tests distributed over the four days of competition, three from Sunday to Tuesday and two on Wednesday, the day that the awards ceremony will take place at 5:00 p.m.