Big guns out at Hublot Palmavela
Racing at the 7th Hublot PalmaVela out of the Real Club Náutico de Palma begins tomorrow with the start at 1200 for the maxis and TP52s. They are joined a day later by the ORC, RI, Traditional and Classic Yachts, and One Design classes. Finally the Disabled Sailing and Lateen Rigged Sail classes will join the party on Saturday and Sunday when the event concludes.
Between the Maxis and TP52s there are 18 boats with world class crews distributed between the Maxi Wally, Mini Maxi Regatta and Mini Maxi Cruiser-Regatta classes. In the former, the Italian 143ft yacht, Esense of Luca Bassani once again dominates the fleet through its sheer size and incredible design. Alongside Esense are the much campaigned boats such as L’Oreal boss Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’ Magic Carpet 2, Claus Peter Offen’s Y3K, J-One and Alberto Palatchi’s Tiketitoo. All4One skipper Sebastian Col is helming Magic Carpet 2, while Danish match racer Jesper Radich is calling the shots on Y3K.
However the hot competition will be in the Mini Maxis, where a return visitor is the Mark Mills-designed 68 footer Alegre of Philippines-based owner Andrés Soriano, this time competing with Spain's leading navigator and local Palma resident Nacho Postigo in her afterguard. She will face stiff competition from Shockwave, the former Alfa Junior of Neville Crichton on which Volvo Ocean Race winning watch leader Stu Bannatyne is calling tactics. German Udo Schutz returns with his STP65 Container skippered by Markus Wieser, while former Alinghi helmsman Peter Holmberg will be behind the wheel on Allsmoke.
Five TP52s are using Palmavela as a shakedown regatta prior to next month’s start to the Audi MedCup and all are featuring their latest 2010 modifications bringing them in line with the latest iteration of their class rule. The line-up comprises Argentinian entry Alberto Roemmers’ Matador and Torbjorn Tornqvist's Artemis on which Paul Cayard is calling tactics this year, while Cameron Appleton is strategist. The Russians return with Synergy while the UK is fielding two boats in John Cook’s Cristabella with John Cutler as tactician this year and Tom Wilson’s Weapon of Choice, the former Matador, will make its debut in the Hublot PalmaVela 2010.