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The TP52 fleet sailing on the Bay of Palma during the last edition of the Sail Racing PalmaVela © Nico Martinez
The TP52 fleet sailing on the Bay of Palma during the last edition of the Sail Racing PalmaVela © Nico Martinez

16th Sail Racing PalmaVela

The very best in TP52 racers in the world have chosen the Real Club Náutico de Palma’s 16th Sail Racing PalmaVela regatta to line up on a race course for the first time this season.

The ten participating TP52 teams which form the Box Rule class, naturally include the 2018 Sail Racing Palma Vela champions, the Italian-Argentinian team Azzurra, the Russian team Bronenosec, who will be racing their new boat for the first time at Sail Racing PalmaVela, and the 2018 52 Super Series champions Quantum Racing.

Ten teams and eight nationalities have confirmed their participation in the Box Rule class at the 16th Sail Racing PalmaVela, held from 8th to 12th May; the first of the major regattas in the 2019 sailing calendar.

The 52 Super Series, the most prominent grand prix monohull circuit in the world, will see the main majority of its fleet warming up on the Bay of Palma at this key curtain raiser regatta.

Crews will have the opportunity to line up against each other for the first time this year in full race mode at the RCNP regatta, following the winter break, and ahead of their new season, beginning on May 18th in Mahon, Menorca, Spain.

International and professional

The Box Rule class unites teams from Germany, Argentina, United States, France, United Kingdom, Russia, South Africa and Turkey, emphasising the truly international nature of Sail Racing PalmaVela, whilst adding a truly professional touch that is highly-prized by the event’s organisation,

“The presence of these teams in the event is extremely important for us, since it raises the technical quality of the regatta, and has huge international repercussion,” explains Manu Fraga, the Real Club Náutico de Palma’s Sporting Director.

“The fact that the TP52s have chosen Sail Racing PalmaVela to open their racing season, brings us great satisfaction, and also proves that things are being done well. Their teams are very professional, and choosing our regatta as preparation ahead of their circuit this season, is indeed significant. The presence of the teams in Palma adds an element of professionalism to the event, which also includes amateur teams and Disabled Sailing. It is an example of the pro-am community that the regatta has aimed to achieve since the very beginning.”

Top level

Reading through the list of participants of the Box Rule class fleet is enough to confirm that the RCNP will be hosting the very best TP52 specialists in the world. It includes teams such as the Roemmers family’s’ Argentinean team Azzurra, currently defending their title at 16th Sail Racing PalmaVela and one of the true specialists in the regatta, having won on four previous occasions 2015, 2012, 2011 and 2009.

Another leading competitor and important challenger to the title, also with an impressive curriculum is Doug DeVos’ American team Quantum Racing, the current world and 52 Super Series champions, and winners of Sail Racing PalmaVela in 2016. The crew will be skippered by America’s Cup champion Ed Baird, and reinforced this year by Cameron Appleton as tactician, and Barcelona-born Joan Vila as navigator.

German Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon is another noteworthy competitor. World champion and runners-up in the 52 Super Series in 2018, they arrive in Palma having shown excellent form in the training days held in Valencia.

On board the team has significant Spanish representation, including first-class sailors such as Palma’s Jordi Calafat, Pepe Ribes, Pedro Mas and Víctor Mariño. British sailor Jules Salter makes his début with the team as navigator.

Great expectation surrounds the return of Vladimir Liubomirov’s Russian team Bronenosec, who will race their brand new boat in Palma for the very first time. The Botín design was built in Castellón and has yet to be sailed in competition. This year the team has recruited Croatian 470 Olympic Champion Sime Fantela as strategist.

A début also for Team Vision Future, skippered by Mikael Mergui. Runners up in Palma at the Copa del Rey MAPFRE in the IRC class in 2017, IRC 1 in 2013 and 2014, and third in 2015, the French team enters the 52 Super Series for the very first time with a mainly amateur crew.

The Box Rule class line up for the 16th Sail Racing PalmaVela is completed by Sled, skippered by Mr Okura (tactician Adam Beashel), Ergin Imre’s Turkish team Provezza 10 (with Palma’s Nacho Postigo as navigator), Kristina Plattner’s South African team Phoenix, Andy Soriano’s British team Alegre and Tony Langley’s Gladiator.

2018 Sail Racing PalmaVela - photo © María Muiña
2018 Sail Racing PalmaVela – photo © María Muiña

Full competition programme

The Box Rule class sailing programme at Sail Racing PalmaVela includes a maximum of eight scoring races in windward-leeward format. The first race will be held on 9th May from 12h00 onwards. On Sunday 12th May racing will commence no later than 15h30. Teams are invited to participate in a non-scoring training race on Wednesday 8th May.

The 16th Sail Racing PalmaVela is organised by the Real Club Náutico de Palma, with the endorsement of the Real Federación Española de Vela (Spanish Sailing Federation), sponsored by Sail Racing, and with the institutional support of the Govern de les Illes Balears (Balearic Island Regional Government) and the Ajuntament de Palma (Palma Town Hall), as well as the collaboration of the Federación Balear de Vela (Balearic Islands’ Sailing Federation), Club Náutic Arenal and the Autoridad Portuaria de Baleares (Balearic Islands’ Port Authority).

www.palmavela.com

by Alejandro Varela

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