09 May 2019
The racing programme starts today at the 16th Sail Racing PalmaVela, the first major multi class regatta of the Mediterranean racing season. Today there is racing on the Bay of Palma for the IRC classes and for the TP52s. The rest of the 123 boat fleet from 23 nations starts racing on Friday.
Today’s racing starts at 1200hrs, midday local time. The TP52s will race a couple of windward-leeward races while the IRC fleet race a coastal passage.
It is a key warm up regatta for the TP52 fleet, just ten days before the fleet assembles next weekend in Mahon for the first 52 Super Series regatta of the season. The newest boat in the fleet is Vladimir Liubomirov’s Botin designed Bronenosec which has been built from the same mould as Quantum Racing at Longitud Cero by Castellon near Valencia. They have had only three shake down days of trials before coming here. And the French crew on Team Vision Future are here preparing for their first foray on to the 52 Super Series after multiple successes at the MAPFRE Copa del Rey.
There are ten TP52s entered to race over the coming days at Sail Racing PalmaVela on the Bay of Palma. With just a week left until the start of the season this is a great opportunity to be perfectly ready for Mahon next week.
Rob Weiland the class manager introduces the class here in Palma:
“ Bronenosec is made from the same hull mould as Quantum Racing but the internal structure has been upgraded which means a slightly stiffer boat for slightly less weight which is what you really want. All the Botin designed boats have been looking at how to update their keel bulbs mainly. Last year eight of the boats were new and since then almost all of the Botin boats have a new bulb including the new Bronenosec of course.”
This is always an important opportunity for the TP52 teams, as Weiland notes, “ Before you go into the 52 SUPER SERIES which is a five regatta circuit of at least, we hope, forty or ideally more races which has no discard, so you score every race, so the better prepared you are the better it is. And from race number 1 the better there is a chance to create a little gap ahead of the fleet, the better it is for you. So this event, Sail Racing PalmaVela, if you are not here you will not do well at the first 52 Super Series event, you will be catching up. So that is why we see ten TP52s here.”
He sees there are two or three different favourites this season. “ Quantum Racing and Azzurra are still the boats top beat I would say but the most impressive of recent years has been the owner driven Platoon and Harm Muller Spreer is a good helmsman in his own right. Platoon can win this year. If you can average a third in every race in the season you will win the title. “
“ We love Palma because the wind is reliable and it comes in at the right time, around 12 o’clock and then it dies down in the evening when you can have a nice drink and meal. So you don’t have to be up at six and you don’t need to spend three days racing around the Fastnet Rock,”
And it is the first racing day for the very new Bronenosec. Tactician Morgan Larson (USA) sails with 470 gold medallist and 49er world champ Sime Fantela as strategist on the new boat, which has several new faces on board. Larson explains: “ The new boat is fantastic, one of the nicer builds I have seen but we did only three days shakedown sailing in Valencia, just setting up really, and it was finally only yesterday when we ground things on a bit and started to show that we need to be a bit careful. This is just a tune up for us, this is the same boat effectively that these guys were racing a year ago, they have had a week of training in Valencia and so we are a long way behind them. The boat feels great, it feels a lot like the Quantum, they are all as close you can get now. We have five new guys who have not done the 52 Super Series before and so we have talent from all over, from Croatia, some young Russian guys who have a lot of talent.”