Gladiator, first leader of the 52 SUPER SERIES 2024

Gladiator team ready to deploy the spinnaker
Gladiator team ready to deploy the spinnaker

After an initial day of inactivity due to a lack of wind, the 52 SUPER SERIES PalmaVela Sailing Week pinned its hopes on improved weather for the second day of competition. However, persistent rain and the absence of breeze kept the boats waiting at the Real Club Náutico de Palma until 4:30 p.m., when the first race of the year finally got underway. With winds of 8-10 knots and a calm sea, an exciting race marked the beginning of the 2024 season.

Andy Soriano’s Alegre, one of the two new TP52s in the fleet of ten boats from seven nationalities, was the first to compete. The battle for the lead in the first part of the race focused mainly on the right side of the course, favoring Takashi Okura’s American Sled, which led at the first buoy, followed by Andy Soriano’s British Alegre and Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s American Interlodge, with Barcelona’s Carlos Robles making his debut as strategist.

After a change in the course due to a wind shift halfway through the race, the British Gladiator surprised its competitors by taking the lead after a spectacular comeback from last position at the starting line. Tony Langley’s team, with Argentine Guillermo Parada as helmsman and Italian Bruno Zirilli as navigator, maintained their lead position until crossing the finish line, securing the first partial victory of the season and becoming the initial leader of the 52 SUPER SERIES 2024.

After the race, Guillermo Parada attributed the success to a combination of strategy and luck, highlighting the bet on the left side in certain parts of the course. Sled came in second, closely followed by Quantum Racing powered by American Magic and Platoon Aviation.

The debut of the two new TP52s in the fleet, Platoon Aviation and Alegre, was eagerly anticipated. Platoon Aviation, owned by German Harm Müller-Spreer, showed good performance and came close to reaching the podium in its first race, while Alegre, with Barcelona’s Silvia Mas making her debut, showed potential but couldn’t stay in the fight due to an error in wind interpretation.

The competition will continue the next day with the forecast of better conditions in Palma Bay, with three races scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. The 52 SUPER SERIES PalmaVela Sailing Week is part of the competition program of the 20th PalmaVela, held at the Real Club Náutico de Palma alongside La Larga and the multiclass regatta PalmaVela.

Source: 52 Super Series Communications Office

Images: Villegas Photo


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