Sun, strong wind and waves were the ingredients of a first day that required the best of skills.
Today, Thursday, the 18th PalmaVela has started in the Bay of Palma with the first two classes to compete: IRC/IMA Maxi, with the longest boats in the fleet, and the ClubSwan42 monotypes. The first leaders of this 18th edition after this first day are Galateia (IRC/IMA Maxi) and Nadir (ClubSwan42).
The Tall Ships debut with a coastal race in which Galateia reigned supreme
The majesty of the tall ships has returned to the bay thanks to PalmaVela and it has done so with a 28-mile (45 km) coastal race, including a passage through Illetas and El Toro.
The Wallycento Galateia sails under the banner of the New York Yacht Club. The 2015 boat is over 30 metres long and has more than 20 crew members on board, including well-known round the world sailors such as Volvo Ocean Race winner Daryl Wislang, navigator Simon Fisher and Mallorcan Jordi Calafat, who has been praised by his partner Kelvin Harrap, helmsman for the day in the absence of the owner: “I think in the first half Murray Jones and Jordi Calafat took a couple of roles very well and that made the difference.
This boat has always done well in strong wind conditions and today it was good for us – we got up to 26 knots downwind! We didn’t have the best start, but as we approached the first mark, the wind quickly picked up to 25-30 knots.“, he commented on his arrival on shore.
Leopard 3 finished second after almost two and a half hours of racing. It was a good result for Chris Sherlock’s team as they had to penalise themselves at the start of the race by turning around and starting again for an early start. The provisional podium of the IRC/IMA Maxi Magic Carpet 3 is completed.
The only Spanish entry in this class is the Pelotari Project, owned by Andrés Varela Entrecanales and winner of La Larga de PalmaVela. On this occasion they finished sixth on a day when they were expecting strong winds, but not that strong, as Canary Islands crew member Luis Doreste acknowledged: “We were expecting strong wind, but the conditions have been a bit stronger than we expected. The start was spectacular because we were able to enjoy sailing close to the Maxis, although due to the difference in boat size they were leaving. A good day to enjoy sailing and the bay, we hope to continue enjoying the rest of the week“.
Spain’s Nadir leads with two ClubSwan42 firsts
On a day in which the strong wind and waves were the protagonists, the skill of the crews was more decisive than ever. With 18 knots (33 km/h) of wind, at 14:00 hours the ClubSwan42s inaugurated their participation in this 18th PalmaVela, an intensity that has reached peaks of 30 knots (more than 55 km/h) in the second race of the day.
At the controls of Nadir is its owner Pedro Vaquer. The CVP Andratx boat has a 100% Spanish crew and has started PalmaVela with a strong start: two races, two firsts and first overall leader in the ClubSwan42 class.
Canarian Rayco Tabares, crew member of Nadir, highlighted the spectacular nature of the day: “.We had a very nice day for sailing, with quite a strong wind. It’s been a good start to the season, winning both races, and we’ve had a lot of fun, so let’s hope it stays that way for the remaining three days. The crew did the perfect manoeuvres, which was very important today in these wind conditions and gave us a plus, along with the boat’s set-up. Let’s see if we can keep this momentum going even if conditions ease.“.
Tomás Dolezal’s Daring Sister (4-2) and José María Meseguer’s Pez de Abril (2-4) exchanged places in the two races of the day, finishing tied in the overall standings with six points, the same as the British Long Echo, fourth.