18 September – Trofeo Mortitx – Pollença
This regatta is sponsored by Mortitx Vineyards, and this year attracted a fleet of 11 for the flying fifteen class. Two up and down races were sailed, in unusual conditions. The first race started in unusual conditions, with a torrential rainstorm reducing visibility to tens of metres and suppressing the wind completely. The good news was that it wasn’t wet rain, and also warm. After five minutes, we had a couple of inches of water in the bottom of the boat, but at least it wasn’t cold. As suddenly as it started the rain stopped, and within 30 seconds we had bright sunshine to dry us off.
The wind had shifted dramatically, and those who had gone right were able to come in on a fetch at high speed. First round was Martini, followed by fuego fatuo and Speedy Gonzales. Deft downwind work pulled fuego ahead, and they finished in that order.
Race two saw more stable winds, and Michael Clough pulled Speedy to a convincing win, with Martini again second and fuego third. This left the three of them all on 4 points, the final positions being decided on countback.
|1||ESP 3804||Speedy Gonzales||Michael Clough / Teresa Parry||4|
|2||ESP 3577||fuego fatuo||John Walker / Michael Lorber||4|
|3||GBR 3382||Martini||Pilar Casares||4|
23 October – Liga de Tardor 1
Conditions were blustery for this first race in the RCNPP autumn series. The flying fifteens were sent off first, before a large cruiser fleet. A long course was to take us up to Formentor island, across the bay to Bon Aire, back to Formentor and home to the finish. A big shift after the five minute gun further favoured the pin end, and fuego fatuo took full advantage to start on port and get off fast. The fleet soon followed and headed off across the bay. Halfway up the beat, the fleet split, with fuego and half the boats heading for the north side, whilst the others went south. Coming in to the top mark, it was clear that the southerners had gained, and fuego rounded sixth. The leg across to Bon Aire was a spinnaker reach, fuego and Wight Flyer staying high, and picking up places. Arriving at the mark, they had made up to second place, and rounded tight behind Heaven Sent. The drop wasn’t fully complete, and the spinnaker went under the bow, allowing most of the fleet to pass before they had recovered.
On the fetch back to Formentor, Heaven Sent consolidated their lead, with Ffuga pulling up quickly. Wight Flyer rounded third, and the top 3 held these positions on the run to the finish. fuego rounded eighth, and quickly despatched Dragonfly who later retired. They managed to pass Flying Uschi as well but couldn’t catch Fiskardo before the line and had to settle for fifth.
|1||GBR 33420||Heaven Sent||David Miles / Alan Foreman||1|
|2||CHI 3598||Ffuga||Francisco Gadala-Maria / Ximena Rubio||2|
|3||ESP 3728||Wight Flyer||Stephen Parry / Philip Parry||3|
29-31 October – Palma Vela
he 17th edition of the PalmaVela regatta was postponed from early May, it usually marks the opening of the Mediterranean season with a good entry of keelboats ranging from the latest TP52 fleet to keelboats including Flying Fifteens, Dragons and J80’s. The regatta usually enjoys a strong entry from a number of nationalities but this year the pandemic combined with a rather daunting forecast for heavy winds and big showers over the 4 day regatta, restricted the entry to 80 boats.
The Flying Fifteen fleet was also depleted but nonetheless extremely competitive with sailors from a mixed bag of nationalities including Spain, UK, Ireland, Australia, Chile and Germany. Whilst the bigger fleets started their racing on a grey and damp day on Thursday, the Flying Fifteens began their regatta on Friday with 3 good races in shifty winds ranging from 10 – 14 knots with a confused sea testing the tactics of the best of sailors.
The courses were all windward/leeward with 2 laps each, around 40 minutes race time in duration. Three races were completed in succession. The wind did pick up a bit in the final race and accompanied by quite choppy seas proved quite a tough course for some competitors.
The standout crews were the local team of Harris brothers (Patrick and Vincent) and James Waugh and his Australian crew Lockie Stewart-Baker who battled for the winning gun in all three races. The Harris brothers just crossed ahead in the first and third races, James Waugh and Lockie Stewart-Baker setting for a consistent row of second places.
The two lead boats were split by the Chilean/Brazilian entry entered by Christian Siegmann who just got past on the second lap to take the gun in race 2. Local team Jonny Walker and Stephen Babbage challenged for third place with the Chileans, finally getting a breakthrough in race 3 of the day. The rest of the lead bunch traded places on all legs but a pattern was forming on the first day of the regatta.
Day 2 of the regatta on Saturday dawned with a howling wind off the mountains and a building sea. The whole fleet in all classes were postponed ashore in a long wait on the club terrace. The race management tried in vain to get a window of opportunity to send the fleets afloat so racing was abandoned for the day.
James had planned a dinner for the fleet at Hogans and many of the crews spent and enjoyable evening eating, drinking and chatting. Charles Apthorp joined us and shared some tips, which was of interest to all. At the end of the evening, we were told that there was no bill, Hogans were treating us! Many thanks to James for organising, and our special gratitude to Hogans for sponsoring the evening.
So Sunday would be the decider for this prestigious regatta with another 3 windward/leeward races. The forecast was for another blustery day with some big rolling waves. With an earlier start time of 1100hrs the Fifteens had to head out quite early to get to their race course in the Bay of Palma. However race management did manage to get racing going on time.
The first race of the day was held in a building breeze in the late teens with a few strong gusts of much more. The leaders remained the same with the Harris brothers pulling through to take a narrow victory in the first from James Waugh and his new stand-in crew, a 49er sailor from Brazil. Putting Charles’ tips to good use, locals Jonny Walker / Stephen Babbage squeezed over the line in third.
The second race of the day started to get quite fruity with the breeze up a notch and some seriously fun downwind racing in the swell. This race proved to be the undoing of James Waugh’s challenge when his forestay gave way causing him to retire for the day. This left the Harris brothers only needing to cross the line in one piece to claim the regatta win which they did by some margin. The last downwind leg was a real belter with gusts of 30 knots and a big sea. Most of the fleet broached and the race became a war of attrition.
The South Americans came in second and a way back David Miles and Jonny Fullerton sailed through the fleet to cross third with the remainder of the fleet pulling out on the last leg to escape to the comfort of the marina.
Winds on the Bay of Palma proved just a little too fresh and the racing schedule was cut short without sailing the final race. The sail home was a real slug fest with some huge gusts but all got home safely to the terrace bar and more free beverages.
Although we only got 5 races in, everyone enjoyed the regatta – many thanks again to Real Club Nautico for inviting us! We look forward to next year.
|1||ESP 3592||Flying HIgh||Patrick Harris / Vincent Harris||4|
|2||GBR 3724||Puffin||James Waugh / Locke Stuart||8|
|3||CHI 3598||Ffuga||Christian Siegmann||9|
11 Dec Pollença Trofeo Navidad
Tba Pollença New Years Sail
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