PalmaVela 2022: Wally Cento Galateia win PalmaVela Maxi Class
The Wally Cento Galateia won the IRC-IMA Maxi division at Mallorca's big boat season opener PalmaVela with a perfect scoreline of six wins from six starts. Victory in a final light-winds coastal race back-and-forth across the Bay of Palma maintained their perfect tally to win by eight points ahead of Andrea Recordati's recently acquired Wally 93 Bullit. Second place today ensured the Italian flagged team finished runners-up at their first competitive outing on the boat.
In the fleet of seven Maxis, four of them 100 feet or bigger, Galateia again finished more than two minutes ahead after time correction, leading all the way around the 30 nautical miles course.
"Once again it was not easy out there. But it was good fun and challenging. The breeze was quite streaky and changeable, sometimes filling right into the Bay and then withdrawing again so sometimes we were stretching away and sometimes losing to the fleet. It was a close race all the way until Magic Carpet had an issue with their kite and then even after that it was close with Bullit. I think we had a good week, we had fun." Palma's Jordi Calafat, 470 Olympic gold medallist who is strategist on Galateia enthused.
Luna Rossa's Francesco Bruni, Bullit's tactician, confirmed the new owner and the team are delighted with their Palma debut, "We are super happy with second as we have never raced it before and so it was like racing a new boat, so to finish second is great. It is a hard boat to sail here in this class because it is slower than the big boats and so tactically it is difficult as you are always compromised by the big boats. But it is a nice boat, lighter and more agile than the others in some situations. The boat is still improving. We will make some small changes. Now we have a good feeling for how to improve the boat, like where to position the weight, improve the sail and mast set up."
Today's coastal race proved the decider in ORC Class 0-1 where the consistently successful DK46 Urbania which has Iñaki Castañer calling tactics sealed the class title by winning today's long race whilst their nearest challengers, the Spanish Navy's TP52 Aifos 500, could only make fourth. The chartered DK46 has won their class at Copa del Rey MAPFRE four years in a row with Luis Martínez Doreste in charge.
ORC Class 2 was won by another Real Club Náutico de Palma regular, Christian Plump and the Spanish Sailing Federation's president Javier Sanz on the Club Swan 42 Elena Nova. With ace Palma Bay navigator Nacho Postigo guesting on the boat this week Elena Nova won two of the three races which were sailed.
"It was a little bit unlucky for our class that we only managed three races, as most had four or five, and so I think that if we had done more races then it would not have been the same for us, it would have been much more even. If there were five races then Plan B or M8 could have beaten us." Said Postigo.
The visiting German team from Kiel YC on Immac Fram, the Italia 9.98 won both races today in ORC 4 to clinch their first ever win in the Mediterranean.
"We had sun, we had wind and we had two good races and took two bullets. We sorted out our communication issues before the start and so we are super happy to win. We could not be more happy." Said Florian Schluender, mainsail trimmer. Second was Scott Beattie's Andratx's based J/97 Just the Job.
Nicolás González's Dufour 40 Lady triumphed in ORC Class 4 counting all wins in their scoreline, "The performance of the boat has been excellent, we sailed to four first and in the end it was quite comfortable. The key is that we really do have a good crew. We have been sailing together for a long time and we really wanted to win."
A last day surge by the Pez de Abril crew of José María Meseguer from Murcia gave them the Club Swan 42 title, "It's been complete regatta in the sense that we have had all kinds of winds. And it has been really gorgeous. We have been able to improve more and more as a team and that is what has made the difference."
Spain's double Olympic silver medallist Natalia Vía-Dufresne and crew won the J/80 class whilst Germany's Michael Zankel won the Dragon class on Pow Wow.