Jesus Renedo /

Jethou back in front

Big boats sail a coastal course at Gaastra PalmaVela

Saturday May 4th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: Spain

The wind took its time to develop again today on the Bay of Palma, but after one hour and half postponement, the Gaastra PalmaVela Race Committee has been able to provide starts to all the classes as the southeasterly sea breeze increased during the day.

The Maxis and the Vintage class yachts sailed a coastal race of 30 miles rounding Sa Porrasa off Magaluf before heading back to the Bay of Palma and the finish line. The quickest boat to complete the course was Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones' new WallyCento Magic Carpet Cubed in a time of three hours and 45 minutes.

But it was Jean Charles Decaux's J One that once again won the Wally class on handicap. The 24m Wally now has a three bullet scoreline and is four points ahead of Bscher's Open Season and five in front of third place of Magic Carpet Cubed.

Boris Gusev's Swan 90 Altair of still leads the Maxi class, but today it was the turn of Jean Michel Robert's Virtuelle which won the coastal race, pushing her up to second place, while Filip Balcaen and the team led by Bouwe Bekking aboard the Baltic 112 Nilaya dropping to third.

The Mini Maxi class remains as close as even with Sir Peter Ogden's team aboard their elongated J-V 60 Jethou today finish second in the coastal race to Alex Schaerer's Caol lla R (the former Alegre) pushing them half a point ahead of American Hap Fauth's Bella Mente, which finished a disappointing sixth today.

In the Bay of Palma the Soto 40 class completed three windward-leeward races and it is Pedro Mendoza's Portugese team on Bigamist that leads after the day’s races. However the one design fleet is very equal and each race had a different winner: first Bigamist, then Tony Buckingham's Ngoni and her all-star cast of Volvo Ocean Race sailors such as Andrew Cape, Chris Nicholson and Daryl Wislang and the last race was won by German Hendrik Brandis' Earlybird.

The other One Designs - the J/80s, Flying Fifteens and Dragons - all sailed a further three windward-leewards today and now can discard their worst result.

The J/80 continues the interesting fight between Pro Rigging and Bufete Frau. Javier Sanz' Pro Rigging added two further victories today giving them a three point lead over José Carlos Frau who finished second in the first two races of the day.

Meanwhile Vincent and Patrick Harris' Flying High leads in the Flying Fifteen class after winning two races today, followed by Michael Clough's Gecko.

Dutch competitors hold the top two spots in the Dragon class with Marcus Desauois' Adair winning two of the three races today. With five bullets in six races Desauois is clearly leading with Rom Loopik's Rogue holding second.

After three races, Christian Plump's Swan 45 Elen Nova leads ORC 1 while class having overtaken Wilhelm Wester's new Grand Soleil 43R Antilope. It is similarly tight at the top in ORC 2 where Lluis Planchar's Vrolijk 37 Comet@ leads from Felix Comas de Hevia's Sun Fast 36 Pinyol Vermell. Pulpo Negro of Pedro Gil is ahead in ORC 3, Cartujano of Joan Salvà hangs on to his first place in ORC 4.

While there are four classes for ORC, there is just one for IRC and only eight boats competing in it. This is being led by Long Echo, Barry Sampsom's Swan 42, with the TP52 Provezza 7 of Turkey owner Ergin Imre, up to second having won the two last races today with the talents of (American) John Bertrand and British 470 double silver medallist Nick Rogers manning the afterguard.

Tomorrow will be the last racing day of this 10th Gaastra PalmaVela, where light wind conditions from the southeast are forecast.

More pics from Jesus Renedo/

From Ingrid Abery/





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