11 May 2019
The one design Viper class is making a first appearance at Sail Racing PalmaVela as the fleet based at the RCNP grows. An initiative shared between the club and builders Rondar Boats is centred around allowing teams to come in and do a long weekend of racing from the club each month through the winter and spring. Ease of relatively cheap and regular flights to the island is the key, allowing sailors to fly to enjoy sunshine and sea breezes on the Bay of Palma, flying home in time for work on Mondays.
Now the 13 boat fleet at the 16thSail Racing PalmaVela is a mix of privately owned boats and boats which are available for charter. The 6.40m 340kgs sports keelboat has the speed and handling of a fast planing dinghy but the stiffness of a keelboat with a 100kgs bulb.
Racing has been furiously competitive but after six races it remains the local youngsters from the host club, skippered by coach Pedro Mari which holds a slender lead over the English crew of Hissing Sidwhich is steered by past Laser world champion Lawrence Crispin who has been sailing in the class for three years, but travelling mainly to the USA to find class racing. Crispin sails with his son Luca and his former 505 dinghy partner Hector Cisneros.
“The fleet has built here by getting British sailors to come over here to enjoy some winter sun and great racing.”Explains Crispin, “It has been very successful. We have been sailing Vipers for three or four years but it has been in the USA or we had to ship the boat to Australia. The boat is really fun, it is quick and very exciting downwind and very equal as a one design. I think the idea is to try and get the World Championship here in a couple of years time.”
The TP52s raced here last year and it was the Roemmers’ family’s Azzurrawhich won on the Bay of Palma. So far this regatta Azzurrahad performed relatively modestly. But today they were top scoring boat with a first and a second. A long debrief last night allowed the team to focus on their errors and learn from them.
“We were not sailing so it is a relief today to be sailing a bit better today. We picked the right sides today. Today we read the wind a bit better. It is a question of getting used to it again, probably we were a little bit rusty. It is tough to know where we are when you look to the start of the Super Series because it feels like everyone is going at the same speed. No one is slower and no one is faster, it really is down to racing well. We need to be smart and try to sail better every day.”Explained Santi Lange, the Azzurratactician who is a 2016 Olympic gold medallist.
Quantum Racinglead the TP52 Class after a steady 4,5 today allowing them to go into the final day of racing with a margin of one point on Harm Muller Spreer’s Platoonwhich won the second race today.
In the big boat IRC division, the head to head between the Wally Cento Magic Carpet 3and Vera, the Reichel Pugh 83 footer, saw Verawin for the second time in a row. That gives the team lead by Volvo Round the World ace Bouwe Bekking the lead, but only on countback. Both are on four points.
Of their 28 nautical miles coastal race Bekking said, “It was a very light day with the wind never more than 10kts. I think on balance we just sailed a little bit better than them. We gained on the runs as well and were good anticipating the wind changes.”
In the Mallorca Sotheby’s ORC fleets the French IRC 52 Arobas2 of Gerald Logel from the Yacht Club of Saint Tropez has not been beaten yet and with three wins leads the Class 0. Club Swan42s hold the top three places in ORC 1, Pit Finnis’ Dralion are top of the 21 boat fleet which is the biggest class at the regatta.
Eddie Owen still leads the Dragon class on the helm of Mercury.
Racing concludes Sunday.