Gaastra PalmaVela to open the Med sailing seasonPalma de Mallorca May 1 2016
An impressive fleet of 116 boats from 17 countries confirms the Gaastra PalmaVela as the 2016 Mediterranean first big sailing event. The Real Club Náutico de Palma is finalising preparations for the 2016 edition of the regatta, which will see 11 Wally boats racing off Palma - together with Swan 45s - for the first time - and a local gastronomy initiative: “Saborea PalmaVela” (Savour PalmaVela). The competition begins Thursday 5th May.
Just under a week away, the 13th edition of the Gaastra PalmaVela confirms its extraordinary pulling power, with an impressive fleet of 116 boiats already registered, including the powerful latest generation of carbon monohulls, classic and disabled sailing classes, both professional and amateur crews, compensated and real time classes. Enties come from 17 different countries: Germany, Antigua, Argentina, Spain, United States, France, Great Britain, Holland, Ireland, British Virgin Islands, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
The Organising Committee has divided the fleet into 13 classes: Wally, Maxi, TP52, Swan 45, J80, Flying Fifteen, Dragon, IRC, ORC (groups 0, 1, 2 and 3-4), vintage, Classic, Hansa 303 Individual and Hansa 303 double.
Quality and Quantity
11 boats in the Wally class is a milestone for the Gaastra PalmaVela. Measuring more than 30 metres, giants such as Sir Lindsay Owen Jones’ Magic Carpet 3, Thomas Bscher’s Open Season (winner of Gaastra PalmaVela 2015) and Carla Comelli’s Kenora will be back on the water in Palma.
The Maxis include the incredibly fast American Rambler 88, and the beautiful Dutch J-Class Lionheart, the largest boat in the fleet, at over 43.7 metres long.
In the TP52 class nine boats will compete from eight different countries, including the 2015 world champion and defenders of the title, the Argentinian Azzurra, and the most awarded boat in the history of the category, the American team Quantum Racing.
The ORC class will once again be the most numerous and diverse, with 40 boats confirmed, competing in four different groups: ORC 0, ORC 1, ORC 2 and ORC 3-4. In the IRC category, there are seven boats from five different countries, including Andrés Varela's Dos Munch, and Bultaco, second place in 2015.
This year will see four monotype classes competing, with the Swan 45 making their debut as a powerful fleet of seven teams, including the four-times world champion, the German Earlybird. Real time racing will also include the J80s (eight boats), the Flying Fifteen (nine boats including the title defenders Flying High) and the Dragon (ten boats including the 2015 champion Lazy Daisy).
Classic sailing will also be back on the Bay of Palma in two categories: Vintage (three boats) and Classic (three boats), special mention going to the winner of the combined category in 2015, the beautiful 1914 design Moonbeam IV.
Finally, the disabled sailing fleet will be divided into the Hansa 303 Individual (including the participation of the 2015 champion, Toni Ferra) and the Hansa 303 Double (including the defenders of the title, Ángel Vega and Mari Carmen García).
The sports programme will last four days, with racing areas distributed across the Bay of Palma, alternating coastal races with windward/leeward events. The first race start of the week has been programmed for 12:00h on Thursday 5th May, and the last race to start no later than 15:30h on Sunday 8th May.
As well as the racing
The social agenda will be held on the RCNP terraces, at the Puro Hotel and across the city of Palma. The club’s activities will begin on Wednesday 4th May, with the official media presentation of the Regatta at 12:30h. From Thursday to Saturday, the RCNP will host the Gaastra PalmaVela family from 17:00 - 21:00h; which will continue on later at the Puro Hotel with music and entertainment.
This year’s regatta has involved the whole city of Palma in the project Saborea PalmaVela (lit. Savour PalmaVela), including twenty restaurants and small local venues offering the Gaastra PalmaVela family the chance to discover the very best of Mallorcan cuisine.
Gaastra PalmaVela is organised by the Real Club Náutico de Palma and the Real Federación Española de Vela (Spanish Royal Sailing Federation), with the collaboration of the Federación Balear de Vela (Baleares Sailing Federation), the Club Náutic S’Arenal and the Autoridad Portuaria de Balears (Baleares Port Authority).
Media - Gaastra Palmavela 2016
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José Luis Miró
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