Preparations for Gaastra PalmaVela are well underway, and 2016 is already looking set to enjoy great participation. With three months still to go before the Real Club Náutico de Palma event (4th-8th May), there are already 34 boats confirmed, none wanting to miss out on this important date in the calendar.
The year’s fleet has been divided into Maxi, Wally, Monotypes (Swan 45, J80, Flying Fifteen and Dragon), Box Rule (TP52), ORC, IRC, Traditional and Classic yachts, Lateen Rigged boats and Disabled Sailing, as in previous editions, and all which have contributed to the great success of the Gaastra PalmaVela, and its inclusion in the major Mediterranean circuits. Such is the case for the official programmes of the International Maxi Association (IMA) and the Wally class, whose owners have declared themselves, “lovers” of the regatta, and of the RCNP organisation.
The inclusion of two such prestigious calendar circuits within the regatta, is already evident from the number of online inscriptions currently underway via the event’s website, palmavela.com.
Five Wally class boats, considered to be one of the most exclusive in the world, have announced their presence on the Bay of Palma: Thomas Bscher’s local Open Season, Tango G, J One, Magic Carpet 3 and Ryokan 2. Moreover, Lionheart, a fantastic 40-metre J class, is the first to enlist on the table for the Maxi class, followed by american Rambler (3rd in the last Sydney – Hobart Race) and the Dutch boat Aragon.
Once again the Gaastra PalmaVela has the support of the Real Federación Española de Vela (lit.Spanish Sailing Federation), sponsorship from Gaastra, and institutional backing from the Regional Government, the Govern de les Illes Balears and Palma Town Hall, as well as the collaboration of the Federación Balear de Vela (Balearic Sailing Federation), the Club Náutic S’Arenal and Baleares Port Authority.
In this edition of the event, the Real Club Náutico de Palma’s great “open” regatta, will also count towards the Spanish Championship for Traditional and Classic boats, and for the Flying Fifteen Baleares Championship, and both categories are expecting high participation.
The TP52 is also certain to see much of the same, with six of the usual boats already signed up to take part in what is quite likely the most competitive sailing circuit in the world. Turkish team Provezza IX, Andy Soriano’s Alegre, North American Sled, current class world champions Alberto Roemmers’ Azzurra, the Swedish boat Ran, owned by technology magnate Niklas Zennström and the German boat Platoon.
The main novelty in Gaastra PalmaVela 2016 will be the individual category for the Swan 45 class. To date, confirmed on the Bay of Palma are British boat Tala, Dutch teams Esthec, K-force and Motions, and the German boats Earlybird and Elena Nova. In previous editions of the event, the Swan 45s were integrated within the ORC compensated time category, but this year will see even competition, promising some very exciting racing indeed.