The twelfth edition of the Gaastra PalmaVela regatta opened with light breezes the bay of Palma, setting in train four days of earl season racing before Sunday’s prizegiving. Four of the 17 classes which will compete opened their accounts today completing their scheduled program of two races set by the organizer the Real Club Nautico de Palma. The first class leaders of the Gaastra PalmaVela 2015 are: J One in the Wally class, Interlodge in TP52, Jethou in Maxi 72 and Grupo Clínico Dr. Luis Senís in IRC.
Gaastra PalmaVela 2015 is underway. The first day of competition saw the Bay of Palma offer good races for four of the 17 classes which comprise this increasingly important curtain raiser to the Mediterranean season: Wally, Maxi 72, TP52 and IRC. 21 of the 140 boats from 16 different nationalities, crewed by a strong cross section of America's Cup, World and Olympic champions, offshore experts and amateur sailors, mustered today on the race course.
The Race Committee managed to deliver two races on schedule for each class with a southerly breeze of between five and 10 knots.
Wally: J One catches the big ones by surprise
The Wallycento Magic Carpet 3 and the Wally 77 J One shared the first two victories of the championship. Sir Lindsay Owen Jones’ boat, skippered by Danny Gallichan, began the defence their title with a partial win over Thomas Bscher’s Open Season and Piers Richardson’s J One. Winning the next race outright allowed J One, the smallest boat in this fleet (23.5 meters), to return ashore as the first leader of the championship, followed by Claus-Peter Offen’s Y3K (4-2) and Magic Carpet 3, carrying a weighty sixth place on the second race of the day.
Maxi 72: Jethou, first leader
The fight for the Maxi 72 class begins with a tie at the top of the provisional leader board between Sir Peter Ogden’s Jethou (2-1) and Dieter Schon’s new Momo (1-2), who have excelled in both races ahead of Alexander Shaerer’s Caol Ila R.
TP52: Interlodge leads over the newest fleet
The TP52 class began the week with high expectations about the performance of the three newly lunched boats: Azzurra, Quantum Racing and Alegre. But the first leader of the championship is the only team who doesn’t have a new boat, Interlodge, skippered by New Zealand’s America's Cup specialist Dean Barker. A victory and a third place allow the American flagged team to be at the top of the leader board one point ahead of owner Austin Fragomen’s compatriot, Dalton DeVos’ Quantum Racing (4-1), and Andres Soriano’s British Alegre (3-2).
IRC: Grupo Clínico Dr. Luis Senís in control
Grupo Clínico Dr. Luis Senís defended well its rating on the opening day for the class IRC. The Grand Soleil 46 from Castellon returned to the RCNP unbeaten on corrected time and with an advantage of four points over Andres Varela’s Bultaco (4-2) and the Russian Swan 60 Petit Flame (3-3).
Tomorrow, over a hundred in the water
The competition will expand tomorrow at 12h00 with a new set of races for the classes which sailed today and with the debut of the monotypes J80, Flying Fifteen and Dragon, the ORC, Classic and Vintage. In total, more than a hundred boats are brought together to put on a great show in the bay of Palma. The disabled sailing participants (2.4, Hansa 303 individual and Hansa 303 double) will debut on Saturday.
Upon returning to shore, the sailors enjoyed the cocktail organized by the IMA (International Maxi Association) in the Maxi Village and music by Pachá. Tomorrow, the social area of the regatta will offer breakfast to all participants starting at 09h00.
The Gaastra PalmaVela 2015 regatta is the first scoring regatta for the official circuit in the Wally class, and is part of the IMA (International Maxi Association) 2015 calendar. It is also the Spanish Cup for disabled sailing in the classes 2.4, Hansa 303 individual and Hansa 303 double.