No Tricks as Bay of Palma delivers strong breeze for PalmaVela Finale
With a second place in the brisk 16-20kts SW'ly winds and choppy, wavy conditions Vladimir Liubomirov's Bronenenosec won the highly competitive, ten boat TP52 class which used the regatta as a perfect warm up for the Rolex TP52 World Championships which start on Tuesday on these same waters. Hasso Plattner's Phoenix team, with Tom Slingsby calling tactics and Cameron Dunn as strategist, took today's winning gun to finish third overall just behind Quantum Racing.
With the right side of the course favoured it was Code Zero, steered by Marc Blees, which led up the first beat after identifying the gain to be made on this side. But, on their first race in the fleet together, they could not hold off Phoenix and Bronenosec but the Dutch flagged team still managed a good third, an auspicious debut for a crew comprising Blees' sailing friends on the chartered Xio.
With a first, a second and third Bronenosec won the class ahead of Doug DeVos' Quantum Racing which finished fifth today, Harm Müller Spreer's Platoon – sixth today – took third step on the podium.
Of their first regatta win for the TP52, Bronenosec's Russian winning owner Vladimir Liubomirov enthused, "We had a great wind today and the boat was flying at it was great fun. So many times this season we have had not much wind and so it was good to get a good breeze and go fast. Three races are not enough but that is the way this season seems to have gone so far. But this has been a good practice for the world championship. And we are happy to win the practice regatta. We can improve but we are in very good shape for next week. At least we are well prepared, let us see how we do."
Tom Slingsby, the Australian Olympic gold medal winning tactician on Phoenix said, "We did not have the best of starts but often with the big right hand shift up the first week the guys get the false starts end up doing pretty well and we were one of these guys. I think we are in good shape for next week. Our goal is simply to be in the hunt on the last day, we will see how it plays out. But the boat is going well, the guys are sailing it well. We are happy with any conditions that comes, it looks like we might get a few light days but we are happy with anything."
ORC Class Zero sailed two races today in winds topping 25 knots in the gusts. The Spanish Navy's evergreen TP52 Aifos 500, one of the very first MedFleet Farr boats dating back to 2005, won twice today to clinch the class overall.
Ricardo Maldonado, sailor of Aifos: "We are very happy with this overall victory, it is our first for the Aifos team at PalmaVela. We sailed very well and we managed to overcome the damage we suffered in the first race when the genoa halyard broke and the sail went overboard. We had to put a crew member up the mast and we were able to fix things enough to finish that race. Today we sailed with a lot of wind, especially in the second race of the day when we had gusts of 23 knots on the instruments and I saw we hit 21 knots of speed. It has been a spectacular day ".
And just as it is the first ever class win at PalmaVela for regular campaigner Aifos 500, so too it is the first overall PalmaVela triumph for the local Club Swan 42 Nadir in ORC Classes 1 and 2.
Nadir's owner Pedro Vaquer admitted, "It was pretty difficult today with the wind and big waves but we sailed quite well. We have just been talking together and this is the first time we have won PalmaVela so we are quite pleased about that. We have improved a lot as team over the years, three years ago we were fourth and competing in the Swan class. We had great racing at Copa del Rey this year and finished second to Natalia and so I think we are getting better."
In ORC Class 3 a win in the final race gives Nicolás González' Dufour 40 Lady the overall class win by a single point, while regular campaigner Scott Beattie and his crew won Class 4 on the J/97 Just the Job with three consecutive wins from three starts.
Zachary Lamb and crew won the J/80 class by a single point taking the three final races back to back on Mikaku while in the Dragons, which also sailed five races, it is Javier Scherk's Gunter which win the Spanish Cup on tie break. Patrick Harris won the Flying 15 class counting four wins.
Dr. Tim Leisenhoff and crew on the majestic Marigan, the 1898 Charles Livingstone 50 foot gaff cutter, who have won many of the Mediterranean's classic yacht honours, triumphed with two wins in the Vintage Classics fleet, just ahead of Sir Keith Mills' and his crew on his freshly restored 78 foot 1929 Frank C Paine schooner Viveka. These were the first races for Mills' Viveka since he shipped the beautiful yacht from the USA where she was restored. Originally designed for JP Morgan she was drawn by the same designer as the J Class Topaz which is berthed across the harbour in Palma.