Katrina’s Quest for Gold


The Princess Sofia Trophy held in Palma de Mallorca in March provided racing for all the Olympic classes and the Dragons as is customary each year. This year's entry was over 980 boats with 1,600 competitors, making Palma one of the largest regattas in the world. The event is also a Grade 2 Qualifier for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Amongst the classes was the International Women's 470 which I sail with Hannah Mills. Hannah asked me to sail with her full time after I stepped in last December to crew with her for the Christmas race in Palamos. Hannah and her then crew, Peggy Webster, won the 420 World and Junior European Championships in 2006, before she moved into 470s. We started sailing together in February this year and Palma was our first major regatta.

Hannah and I started the competition with the hope of qualifying to race in the gold fleet. There were 68 boats racing in the women's 470 fleet, making it a tough challenge for us to make gold. We were delighted to make the cut for gold fleet in 19th position after five good races, including a 3rd and two 9th's. The gold fleet racing was much tougher as the fleet was now split by ability, meaning we were racing the top 470 women in the world. We finished 22nd overall, a position we were both delighted with.

Hannah and I are members of the Olympic Development Squad and have a full programme lined up for this year, including the World Championships in Cascais and the Junior Europeans in Medemblik. We hope to repeat our Palma performance!

Katrina Hughes