Friday, December 9

Phoenix «roars» first in the bay of Palma

Palma de Mallorca



The Rolex World Championship of the TP52 class began in the bay of Palma, in which three titles are at stake, the last of the 2021 season. On the one hand the regatta itself, on the other the World Championship and finally the Circuit of the 52 Super Series, where the best sailors in the world really race.

The day was not looking good. The weather reports were quite pessimistic so Maria Torrijo, PRO of the regatta, decided a first postponement on land, which lasted until 12:30, the time when the boats put to sea. New postponement this time in the middle of the bay because the wind did not finish picking up and blowing at the right intensity. With six knots of wind intensity it is possible to sail perfectly, but it is not ideal for these TP 52, used to 18-20 knots, which is when they generate spectacle.

But with six knots of wind it is also necessary to haggle from time to time, since the skill of the navigators, tacticians and strategists is put at stake.

Nico Martinez
Nico Martinez

Sin Azzurra

There are ten boats that are fighting for the world title, all of them of great tactical and technical level, which is why a very exciting Rolex World Championship is going to be played. It is true that when we went out onto the race course we have missed a team that has marked an era in this sport. The Azzurra, or also called in its origins Matador, that the Roemmers family put together and that Guillermo Parada captained with great success is no longer on the 52 Super Series Circuit. Two Rolex World Cups to his credit, one as Matador and one as Azzurra. This Rolex World Cup will not be the same without them.

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Little wind in Palma

The Plattner family’s Phoenix had its glory day on the first day of the Rolex TP52 World Championship. The boat skippered by South African Tony Norris made two first places, which is worth it to be the first leader of the Rolex World Championship and to climb to the lead of the general of the 52 Super Series circuit that is also decided this week. The other solid boat of the day was the current defender of the world title, the Platoon, of Harm Müller-Spreer, with a third and a second place that keep him in the ointment to fight for all the prizes that are distributed this week in the Royal Nautical Club of Palma. The provisional podium is closed by the Sled, by Takhasi Okura and skippered by Murray Jones.

In the first sleeve, the wind was the protagonist. It took a long time for María Torrijo, PRO of the Regatta Committee, to find conditions that were not too unfair for the fleet and when she did so at two in the afternoon there was a wind of about 7 knots from the southwest very shifty. Halfway through the race, Torrijo had to change his course and cut the distance due to the fall of the wind.

Max Ranchi
Max Ranchi

Vascotto genius

The boats that went out looking for the most the pin to go up the right side of the field. There was traffic jam on that side, although the Bronenosec was one of the few that opted for a committee. Throughout the sleeve there were dramatic drops of the wind that left part of the fleet without wind and others sailing with difficulty.

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On the windward side, the Phoenix won, followed by the Gladiator. The first ship that passed through there having started from the right was the Bronenosec with Vasco Vascotto at the tactic and Morgan Larsson at the helm. Vascotto found himself very comfortable in these conditions and was recovering positions until in the second lap when passing by the buoy above, Vladimir Liubomirov’s sailboat passed first. There was a stern left and Vascotto opted to go to the right side of the field for the descent while Slingsby in the Phoenix went to the left looking for the role that would give him the lead again. And despite the fact that at times it seemed that this so-called tactic was going to be a disaster, in the end it was perseverance in that idea that led the South African sailboat to win the first round of the Roles TP52 World Championship.

Nico Martinez
Nico Martinez

Second sleeve

Already in the second heat the wind rose a bit, but the difficult conditions to read the race course remained. And again it was the sense of smell to read Slingsby’s field that led them to win the second heat of the day. At the start Gladiator and Provezza did an off-line which already conditioned their entire sleeve. And the Phoenix was always controlling the fleet passing all the buoys in first position and maintaining absolute control over the Platoon.

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