Patience on the Bay of Palma was rewarded with pleasant 7-10 knots light wind conditions as Quantum Racing (USA), the defending world champions laid down a marker when they won today's practice race for the TP52 World Championships.
The delay while the sea-breeze built to allow a start just after 1520hrs afforded the ten TP52 crews the chance to make final preparations and to ease gently into the championships enjoying the unique ambience of the Real Club Nautical de Palma.
The wait was well worth it, yielding sea breeze conditions typical of Palma with the top three boats proving to be those which started best.
The champions started slickly off the pin end of the start line, while Matador (ARG), with owner Alberto Roemmers Jr (ARG) steering, launched off the right hand end with excellent speed. Quantum were able to gain the early advantage to the favoured left side of the first upwind leg and by the windward mark were 45 metres ahead of Matador, with Russia's Synergy in touch in third place. That was the order to the finish.
Artemis (SWE), the 2007 world champions, had to tack to clear their wind shortly after the start gun and were left to scrap over fifth place with José Cusi's Bribón (ESP). Bribón took the advantage on the first run, passing ahead of Artemis, but the Swedish flagged team were able to come back on the second round to take fifth. With Valars (RUS) fourth the Russians again underlined their improvements this season as they took two of the top four places.
With the wind building to ten knots for the second round of the preliminary windward-leeward, contest conditions could not have offered a better introduction to the TP52 Class in the Mediterranean for Anthony Longley (GBR) and his crew on the British boat Henri Lloyd Weapon of Choice and the French team on Jean-Luc Petitghuguenin's Paprec Recyclage. The newcomers had a good tussle, in touch early in the race, along with Cristabella (GBR) which has had to fit their older, two spreader rig as a replacement for the mast which they broke the tip off in Cartagena last month.
TP52 World Championship
Palma de Mallorca
1 Quantum Racing (T Hutchinson, USA)
2 Matador (A Roemmers, ARG), +0:21
3 Synergy (S Pichugin, RUS), +0:32
4 Valars III (S Chevstov, RUS), +1:33
5 Artemis (T Tornqvist, SWE), +1:53
Quotes of the day:
Tom Burnham (USA) pit Quantum Racing (USA):
“We are just looking forward to a really good week of sailing here. There are a lot of good boats in this fleet and so I think it will be a tough week for everybody. We'd hope that today is advance warning of how it will be this week, but for sure there are ten boats and the forecast is very strange this week. It could be very light, so it could be a little bit of everything.”
Guillermo Parada (ARG) skipper Matador (ARG): “It was good for us we had a clean start on the right of the fleet and we were able to extend all the way to the left lay line where everybody wanted to go. Only Quantum who started on the pin were able to cross by two lengths. They protected well on the run, we got a little bit of trouble holding Synergy on the first run. From there it was Quantum holding us and us holding Synergy.
“For us this is the perfect chance to finish the season on a high note. The last two regattas of the Audi MedCup were not good for us, so this is a pretty good opportunity to reverse that tendency, and finish on a good one.”
“We have Alberto driving and he is doing a great job and enjoying the boat.”
Cameron Dunn, (NZL), tactician Synergy (RUS):
” I think we are motivated as ever. This is a one of event and a great opportunity and so we are concentrating on making the best result we can here. We have now won races at almost every event, except one I think, so we know we can win races, the key for us is to become more consistent, which we are doing. We won the last race in Cartagena which is good for the confidence coming here. And we had a good race today in very typical Palma conditions, even if the wind came in later than you would expect here. When it did it was a very left sided track, and the three boats which got the best starts and got to the left side earliest were first second and third.”
Tony Longley (GBR) owner-helm of Henri Lloyd – Weapon of Choice (GBR):
” Our first day was yesterday, but this is a new boat with a team put together from various different quarters, so they have not sailed together a lot. But we were in touch today. It is good. We don't have any expectations or hopes here. We are just here to get to know the new boat and the best way for us to do that is in a competitive situation. So this is quite opportune for us. We just got the boat a few weeks ago.”