Friday, June 24

“Phoenix” takes command at Bayona Sailing Week


Bayonne (Pontevedra)

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The day dawned with a downpour threatening Bayonne, but that only caused a short delay on land, because the fleet was eager to sail through the waters of this wonderful Galician spot. The race course was set up in the Vigo estuary with a north wind that fluctuated throughout the day between 9 and 15 knots and flat seas.

The day was very propitious for the sailing of these 9 TP 52s that make up the fleet of the Rolex 52 Super Series Circuit and which have made their debut in the 2022 season at Bayona Sailing Week. The organization premiered beacons, adapting to new technologies. Some buoys with motors that are positioned via GPS and no matter how strong the sea or how windy it is, they don’t even move.

Two clear protagonists. The South African “Phoenix” and the Thai “Vayu”, who with a first and a third and two seconds share the first partial leadership of the season. “Platoon” is third after a mediocre first heat, “Sled” is fourth and “Quantum” fifth.

The feelings of the fleet regarding Bayonne and its surroundings are very favourable. A great environment, good infrastructures, excellent gastronomy and above all a very special regatta course in which they had never sailed before. The entire Monte Real Club de Yates has thrown itself into organizing this first round of the Rolex 52 Super Series Circuit. The 18 container-workshops that the circuit carries attached, have been placed millimetrically in the main car park of Monte Real and a village has been arranged on the north terrace of the club, from which the entire Bay of Bayonne can be seen.

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The site, then, is ideal for everyone. The boats sail comfortably and the race course is very tactical thanks to the roles and, above all, the currents, which are exchanged depending on whether the tide is high or low. A new situation for the Rolex 52 Super Series Circuit fleet of boats, which should be maintained for a few more years.

Vayu knew how to control the fleet – Nico Martinez

«Vayu», protagonist of the day

The Thai boat, which debuted in the Rolex 52 Super Series in 2021 with a tenth place in the Menorca regatta, surprised with an exceptional performance in Galician waters, leaving behind teams with much more experience on the circuit. Led by Don Whitcraft and with the tactics of the British Olympic medalist Nick Rogers, the team reinforced its crew in Bayonne with the incorporation of Antonio “Ñeti” Cuervas-Mons, who lives in Vigo. “It is a new team on the circuit but they have been sailing together in Thailand for a long time”explains Ñeti. “The key today has been that we have had a couple of very good starts that have allowed us to be in the leading group at the first mark, and from then on it is easier to maintain that position. The tactician has read the course very well, especially in the first sterns, always going to the right, but above all it should be noted that Don, the helmsman, has handled the boat like a true professional. Today he has had nothing to envy the other skippers, he has taken the boat that gives pleasure ”. Vayu’s best split in the only race he contested in the Rolex 52 Super Series in 2021 was a fifth.

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