I love Poland approaching the finish line in front of the Palma Cathedral © María Muiña/PalmaVela
PalmaVela 2023: I Love Poland finishes La Larga
The Polish Volvo Open 70 completes the 240-mile route for the IRC and ORC 1 classes in under 25 hours. The leading pack are approaching Cabrera whilst the majority have already left the Island of Aire (Menorca) behind them.
The first boat in the fleet competing in real time crossed the finish line situated opposite Palma Cathedral shortly after the first 24 hours of competition. The Offshore Race, called "La Larga", is the prologue to PalmaVela, organized by the Real Club Náutico de Palma.
The VO70 "I love Poland", built in 2011 with a length of 21.5 metres, was a participant in the Volvo Ocean Race that year as "Puma". Skippered by Grzegorz Baranowski, the Polish boat took just 24 hours 38 minutes and 50 seconds to complete the 240 nm of the offshore route for the IRC class, and an average speed of 10 knots throughout the race.
Meanwhile at 17:30h the rest of the fleet was fighting with the prevailing drop in wind speed, testing the fortitude and patience of all participants, with conditions between two and five knots.
The great majority of the ORC 1 fleet, measuring between 13 and 17 metres in length, is advancing slowly towards the island of Cabrera, to the south of Mallorca, which they need to leave to starboard, and "Aviador", "Caveman IV", "Intrigue" and "X-Odessa" are sailing almost on a line with just one knot of boat speed.
Sticking closer to the coast and preparing to pass between Mallorca and Cabrera are "Brujo" and "Smerit", the boats with just two crew members competing in the A2 class (0-3). Their major rivals are 22 miles astern and have passed the Island of Aire, to the southeast of Menorca. At 17:30h local time today, four boats hadn't yet reached this point.
The next boats expected to cross the finish line are estimated to arrive around midnight, whilst the rest may finish in the early hours and into Monday morning.