Stuart Robinson's Stay Calm wins opening TP52 race at the Hublot PalaVela Regatta. Sue Pelling reports 21/4/06
Competitors enjoyed superb conditions for the second day’s racing at the Hublot PalmaVela regatta today. Thankfully the unsettled conditions that bugged the racing yesterday cleared making way for light but more stable, prevailing southerly winds in the Bay of Palma.
British sailor Stuart Robinson owner/helmsman of the brand-new TP52 Stay Calm and his super-hot racing team see previous news story here stole the show in today’s racing by notching up a first and third beating the Spanish entry Bribon. So close is the racing however, these two boats are on equal points after day one with the German entry Platoon just two points adrift and Peter de Ridder’s Mean Machine in fourth with nine points.
Having won yesterday’s opening Maxi race Neville Crichton’s 90ft Reichel/Pugh-designed Alfa Romeo was narrowly beaten in both of today’s races by Wally class boats. In the first race of the day by Tiketitan and in the second race by Gibian. This sets the scene for more exciting, close racing in tomorrow’s third day of the regatta when both classes head offshore.
In the Maxi Cruising class the situation is equally close with the beautiful-looking Koos de Ridder 60 Christina, owned by Dutchman Erik van Roessel, battling it out at the front of the fleet with the Maxi Dolphin, Aegir.
After an abandoned attempt at racing yesterday when the wind failed to settle, this class has effectively lost two races but today’s opener in the 12kt breeze more than made up for the first’s day’s lack of racing. Now in second place, the crew aboard Christina are keen to improve on their position and give their dockside neighbours a run for their money in tomorrow’s second race.
Chatting about today’s racing navigator Nils Spliethoff said: “It was great racing because the wind was so stable averaging out about 9kts. We were sailing very well as a team and the boat is feeling good. However, we basically need to cross the line first tomorrow if we want any chance of winning those beautiful Hublot watches. But whatever happens we are really enjoying this regatta. We like the format with short races out in the bay and then back to shore to enjoy the fun and entertainment. It also gives us time to prepare the boat for the next day’s racing. There’s nothing worse than arriving back to the marina after a long day at seven in the evening when everyone’s feeling tired. Here everybody is really relaxed and is interested in where you are from? incredibly friendly. I hope to be back next year of course!”
Tomorrow’s racing sees the Wally and Maxi classes head out of the bay on an offshore race while the rest of the regatta classes continue to complete their inshore series races. The Charter, local Lanteen Sail, Yachting Class Industry, and Disabled Sailing classes begin their series tomorrow and need to complete four races over the next two days.