14 epic races were sailed this past weekend over the three-day event which was the penultimate in the M32 Valencia Winter Series.
Valencia again delivered on its promise of warm weather and glamorous sailing conditions, even throwing in a strong swell for the final day of racing.
“Valencia has yet again proved it was the best choice to host the M32 winter series this year.” Commented Pieter-Jan Postma, event organiser and skipper of Sailing Team NL. “With Alinghi joining us this weekend it proves we are an attractive series and we see this momentum continuing with even more interest for the third event.”
“There is great communication from the race committee to get races off quickly and on time. Its rare to see such great race management.” Said Will Alloway, new to the M32 this winter season in Valencia.
Will is used to sailing the GC32, but compares this boat as “so much more simple to sail and to setup. The M32 is so light that is feels more like a dinghy and sailors could easily transfer those skills acquired from smaller boat sailing.”
His former GC32 crew mate, and also new to the M32, Oli Greber added, “It might not be a foiling boat but the M32 draws so many similarities to the GC32 with its curved boards giving great lift. The simple and mechanical setup makes winning about sailing the boat the best and not limiting breakages.”
Arnaud Psarofaghis skippered Alinghi to victory at this event, their debut M32 regatta. With their long history of success in multihull racing it seems that this is a crew who can pick up any boat and win.
“With such a rich and successful sailing history, it is a great pleasure to have this team join the M32 Series and we hope to have them back at more events this year.” Remarked Pieter-Jan Postma, event organiser and skipper of Sailing Team NL. Before continuing, “Even if they turn up and beat us all they are a fantastic group of guys to sail with, learn from and relax with after racing.”
As seems to be the story at each M32 Series regatta, whether in the Mediterranean, North America or in Scandinavia, it was down to the final race to decide the podium positions. At his first regatta back at the helm for 2018, Section 16 skipper and M32 International Class Association President Richard Davies commented, “The first regatta of 2018 went pretty well. As always in M32 racing after multiple races it all came down to last race. We didn’t quite pull it together and dinged below the fold into 3rd place. Congratulations to Alinghi and Sailing Team NL, great racing.”
After back-to-back podiums, Section 16 and Sailing Team NL top the podium for the overall series leaderboard, with Cape Crow Vikings just behind them. The top three positions have just two points between them. It really will come down to the final regatta to decide. The M32 Valencia Winter Series concludes 16-18th March.
1 Arnaud Psarofaghis, Alinghi (SUI) – 25.8pts
2 Pieter-Jan Postma, Sailing Team NL (NED) – 32pts
3 Richard Davies, Section 16 (SUI) – 37pts
4 Håkan Svensson, Cape Crow Vikings (SWE) – 47pts
5 Dirk-Jan Korpershoek, Team DMTRA (NED) – 59pts
by Ben Blake