Preparing for PalmaVela
The big boats will tomorrow kick off the 10th Gaastra PalmaVela with Sir Peter Ogden's J-V60 Mini Maxi Jethou back to defend her title (with Brad Butterworth back calling tactics) while Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones' Magic Carpet team, also winners last year, return for the first outing for their brand new WallyCento.
The 16 boats setting sail tomorrow are divided into three classes: Maxi, Mini Maxi and Wally. They will sail a maximum of two windward-leeward races on a course located near Cap Enderrocat, on the opposite side of the Bay of Palma to the port.
The rest of the classes will join in the race at Gaastra PalmaVela on Friday when 140 boats from 17 different countries are registered to take part, with more than a 40% of the competitors being from outside Spain.
Star attraction on the big boat dock in the middle of Palma's giant port, is the new MagicCarpet Cubed. Launched just two weeks ago, the latest Magic Carpet (the first one was launched in 1997 and the second in 2002) is as usual skipper by Danny Gallichan and has an all-star cast on board including Jochen Schuemann, Pepe Ribes, Marcel van Triest, Mike Joubert, Emma Westmacott, etc.
MagicCarpet Cubed suffered a small issue earlier in the week when a vital strop broke causing the boom to crash down on deck damaging the boom, vang, deck, cabin top and crushing a wheel. The crew has been working overtime to effect repairs and the blue 100 footer was back on the water training again today.
Top Spanish navigator Nacho Postigo is competing on Thomas Bscher' Wally Open Season, together with several other local sailors including Marc Patiño. Patiño is confident in winning the Gaastra PalmaVela in the Wally class: “It all depends on how the new Magic Carpet Cubed behaves out there on the water. It seems to be pretty fast reaching.”
Patiño, who has now been sailing for five years on Open Season points out that their crew is very well trained as they have been sailing together in most of the Wally circuit events. “It looks like we will enjoy very nice sailing days with our typical ‘Embat’ wind. I am sure we will all enjoy it out there.”
With the sun finally returned and a sea breeze forecast, many teams today decided to get some training in before the first races tomorrow.