· Twelve boats start the first offshore regatta of the event organized by the Real Club Náutico de Palma.
· The giants of the fleet will travel 225 miles between Palma, Dragonera, Ibiza and Cabrera.
· Luis Doreste, Pelotari Project crew member: “This regatta is a fantastic initiative”.
The seventeenth edition of the PalmaVela regatta, organized by the Real Club Náutico de Palma, cast off at noon with the premiere of the “La Larga” high-altitude regatta, which this year is incorporated into the competition program as an independent event. Finally, there were 12 boats that appeared on the starting line, three from the IRC class, six from ORC and four from ORC A2.
The Race Committee opted for the westbound course. The IRCs will complete a crossing between Palma, Dragonera and Ibiza -which will turn on the port side-, Cabrera and Palma (225 miles), while the ORCs will follow the same route, but leaving the islet of Tagomago on the port side instead of Ibiza (150 miles ).
The departure was at 12:00 hours with a northwesterly wind of between 13 and 17 knots in the Bay, which is sheltered from the Tramontana, and the forecast is that it will increase as the fleet advances towards Dragonera, with streaks of up to 21 in the Canal de Mallorca. The most complicated section can be seen in the Pitiüsas, where all the models this morning predicted a sharp drop in wind pressure.
“La Larga” brings together in its first edition a part of the regional cruise fleet, grouped in the ORC class, but it has also attracted three large vessels that are common on the international high-altitude regatta circuit. The best known is undoubtedly the Trifork sailboat, a VO70 converted to smash long-distance records. The boat built by the Danish Joern Larsen has the current best record of the return to Mallorca, after stopping the clock in 13 hours and 15 minutes taking advantage of the storm Gloria in January 2020. Larsen has assembled a first level team for the regatta tall from PalmaVela, with the eight-time participant in the Volvo Ocen Race (now The Ocean Race) Bouwe Bekking, who was responsible for the tactics.
The owner of the Trifork explained moments before taking the start that PalmaVela’s “La Larga” is the first regatta of this boat in 2021, after the suspension of numerous competitions due to the pandemic. “We are very proud to re-hoist the sails at an event organized by the Real Club Náutico de Palma. We like regattas of more than one day, as this boat needs offshore tours to demonstrate its full potential. With the meteorological information that we have, we calculate that we can make the crossing in about 24 hours, approximately. We will have a good wind at the start and on the section to Ibiza, but there are three points where the intensity will drop a lot, “said Larsen.
Trifork’s main rival will be the V68 Pelotari Project, by Jonsi Seguí, which has among its crew Javier Banderas, winner of the last Copa del Rey MAPFRE, and the Olympic champion Luis Doreste. Another of the teams that chose to be in the lead, Jean Philippe Blanplain’s VM62 Leaps & Bounds, withdrew from the test before taking the start due to a breakdown on the boat.
“The parties tell us that we will have a N-NW wind. Up to Dragonera and then on the canal it will be fine, but as we get closer to Ibiza, towards late evening, it will diminish. You have to do a good sprint to try to pass quickly. Calculating the time we will invest is complicated, but I think we will arrive on Monday afternoon. It will depend on the break we make in Ibiza and Formentera ”, stated Doreste, for whom the creation of“ La Larga ”is a“ fantastic ”initiative:“ It seems like a great idea to me. Having a high-altitude regatta and then the PalmaVela inshore can encourage many large boats that are based in Palma to participate in the event. I think that when the regatta returns to its usual dates, in May, this project will finish consolidating ”.
Manu Fraga, RCNP sporting director, explained that “La Larga” intends to reinforce the club’s high-altitude regatta calendar with a “classic, attractive and very solvent” route, while at the same time attracting large vessels specializing in “offshore” voyages. of the Mediterranean, taking advantage of the PalmaVela pull. “The test can be carried out in two different compensation formulas (ORC and IRC) and also with a reduced A2 crew, which makes it attractive for shipowners with different philosophy. Over time, this regatta can become one of PalmaVela’s hooks ”, declared Fraga.