Moral victory for local boat
As its name implies, the practice race was used as a test for the latest modifications, equipment and configurations of the eight GP42s competing. While it does not count for points, for the record Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, helmed by José Maria Ponce, crossed the finish line ahead of the fleet, while the Italians on Airis, with Cameron Appleton calling tactics, were second.
Third position was for the French/Swiss of Near Miss, with Bertrand Pacè at the helm, followed by the current Quebramar GP42 Cup leaders, the Spanish Desafío, helmed by Laureano Wizner. After getting back to port, all crews were satisfied with the results of the test carried out during the practice.
For Paolo Cian, helmsman of Roma GP42.2, his smiley face once ashore was evident: “Even though today’s conditions were quite tough to judge, the wind was quite shifty and there was a considerable swell, I feel confident to state we are happy with the modifications to the keel. They were carried out mainly with the aim to have better wind angle and speed and they seem to have worked out nicely.” This was also confirmed by navigator Andrea Caracci, racing for the first time this year aboard Filippo Faruffini’s boat.
Paolo Massarini, GP42 General Manager stated: “We are very happy to have maintained a stable number of boats during the whole circuit. Probably here in Lanzarote we will have wind conditions that will allow us to put the best ever end to the season. We can count on an excellent race committee. The association would like to thank its sponsor Quebramar and the organization in Puerto Calero for the great effort put into this regatta. We look forward to the 2009 season with optimism and quite soon we will communicate news on next year’s calendar.”
Santi López Vázquez, tactician on Desafío, was equally happy: “Today’s racing was real fun, the breeze was excellent, between 16 and 19 knots, and the competition quite intense. Not for us, we closed in fifth, but it is all right. We start the last leg being leaders of the circuit, and that has been our aim from the very beginning. It was anything but easy, with three new boats in the Quebramar Cup. They are just behind us in the overall scoreboard and are not going to come away easily in this last event. We have a good margin but we must be vigilant and try not to make any mistake, because you can lose points in a day in such a competitive class. I know that some of our competitors added new members to their crews to be even better, and this gives you an idea of how high the level is here.”
Today’s practice race was also an excellent opportunity to fine tune the GPS systems of the GP42 fleet, in order to make sure that from tomorrow, and for the first time ever, racing will be broadcast online and in real-time thank to the Virtual Eye technology.