By John Ensor •
Published: 01 Sep 2023 • 16:33
King Emeritus Juan Carlos I.
Credit: Imaxe Press/Shutterstock.com
Can the 85-year-old former king of Spain reclaim his sailing title for the third time?
King Emeritus Juan Carlos I arrived in the United Kingdom on Monday, August 28, to participate in the World Sailing Championship. The event, taking place in the 6m class, will be held on the Isle of Wight until September 8, writes Nuis Diario.
Juan Carlos I has been rigorously preparing with the crew of the sailing boat ‘Bribon,’ captained by his friend Pedro Campos. They recently clinched first place in a regatta in Sanxenxo, Pontevedra, at the end of last July. Sources close to the King Emeritus told EFE, ‘His intention is to take part in this competition.’ However, the final confirmation won’t be until Sunday when the composition of the crews will be officially announced.
This isn’t the first time Juan Carlos I has set his sights on this championship. He previously won titles in Vancouver, Canada, in 2017 and in Hanko, Finland, two years later. The championship in Cowes, on the northern part of the Isle of Wight, will be his third appearance.
Juan Carlos I chose not to participate in the last championship, held in Sanxenxo in June 2022. This decision came a month after his first visit to Spain since moving to Abu Dhabi in August 2020, a move that stirred controversy and media attention.
Four months shy of his 86th birthday and grappling with mobility issues due to joint problems, Juan Carlos I has been physically preparing at his residence in Abu Dhabi. In recent months, he has lost 20 kilos.
The World Championship regattas on the Isle of Wight are scheduled from the fourth to the ninth of September. Training sessions started on August 31, two days after the boats began to arrive. ‘Bribon’ will compete against 20 yachts from nine different nations, making the competition a truly global event.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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