Jesus Renedo /

Three bullets for Azzurra

New Italian TP52 sets the pace on the opening day of Mapfre Palmavela

Thursday April 21st 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: Spain

Mapfre PalmaVela set sail for the maxis and TP52s today on the Bay of Palma in 14-16 knot easterly winds of 14 to 16 knots on a 8.6 mile long course.

Focus of attention was on the TP52s, which includes three new boats. The three races held today were dominated by Audi Azzurra Sailing Team helmed by by former Matador skipper Guillermo Parada. The Argentine-Italian team posted bullets in all three. Holding second after day one is the new Quantum Racing, this year being skippered by Ed Baird but they are now six points adrift of the Italians, with Niklas Zennstrom's Ràn 4 is tied on points with the British boat Gladiator, skippered by Tony Langley, after failing to finish today's opening race.

"This is really a good way to start the season after the long winter months of design and construction," said Guillermo Parada of their success. "Today we saw that the fine tuning done over the past few days is reaping results and we realized that we are moving in the right direction. The boat is beginning to show her potential and we are learning something new about Audi Azzurra every day."

Bringing up the rear is José Cusí's new Bribón, with Gonzalo Araújo at the, and after finishing fourth in the first race, abandoned the second following a spinnaker problem during their leeward gate rounding.

Among the Wallys, Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones' Magic Carpet 2 posted a first and a second to lead her class, but is only one point ahead of Thomas Bescher's Open Season with Michael Atkinson at the helm. German Claus-Peter Offen's Y3K is provisionally third after finishing first and second, tied on eight points with two other boats, Lauro Buoro's Inti and Jean Charles Decaux and Piers Richardson's J One. The largest boat of the fleet, Italian Lorenza Guerra's Wally 143 Esense was first on the water, but could only manage seventh on corrected.

In the Maxi class, Andrés Soriano's Alegre comfortably won both today's two opening races. Tied in second is Irvine Laidlaw's Highland Fling XI skippered by Xavier McCoy and Sir Peter Odgen's J-V 60, Jethou.

Tomorrow the IRC, ORC, RI and one design (J80, Flying Fifteen and Dragón) classes will join the competition at Mapfre Palmavela.

From Jesus Renedo/


 From Nico Martinez:


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