Argos and FJord III, first leaders of the XXVII Illes Balears Clàssics Regatta
The Embat led to a magnificent premiere of the Club de Mar classic and vintage boat competition in the Bay of Palma
The XXVII Illes Balears Clàssics Regatta cast off today at the Club de Mar with a good wind and a legendary fleet. Twenty boats, whose launch dates are between 1917 and 1984, met in the Bay of Palma on the first day of the most important classic and vintage sailing competition in Mallorca. The Embat, thermal wind characteristic of the Balearic capital, appeared soon and blew more generously than expected, with an average of 12 knots.
The Regatta Committee set up a 12-mile route in the shape of an eight, starting and finishing in front of Palma Cathedral. The test began on time, at noon, and was concluded around half past three in the afternoon. The fleet competed divided into three classes, based on the year of construction and the characteristics of each boat: Vintage (before 1950), Classics (from 1950 to 1976) and RI Classics. The Club de Mar also allows the presence of boats that do not compete in the regatta, as they lack a certificate or by decision of the owner, but which are exhibited on the pontoons due to their historical or heritage relevance, such is the case of the Merrymaid, a Camper & Nicholson of 1904.
The Argos (1964), owned by Bárbara Trilling, one of the most successful boats on the Mediterranean vintage sailing circuit, took the lead in the Classics classification after a tough battle with the Giraldilla (1964), the boat owned by of don Juan de Borbón (grandfather of King Felipe VI) and that today is armed by the Fundación Vela Clásica de España. Both yachts crossed the finish line separated by just a second, but the Argos obtained a nine-minute lead once the time correction was applied. The Italian Navy ship Stella Polare (1965), skippered by Samuele Mondino, the fastest in the Real Time Classics fleet thanks to its greater length and sail area, occupies the provisional third position.
Trilling was very pleased with the work of her crew. “Today’s regatta has been beautiful, calm and exciting. There has been a bit of everything. I have had to act as a mole and fold the spinnaker twice”, declared the New York shipowner upon arrival at the port.
The oldest boats, grouped in the Época class, are led by the FJord III (1947), armed and skippered by W. Scott Perry, after the disqualification of the Meerblick Clàssic (1917) for having started with the Classics group. The jury applied a DNS (not successful) to Gaby Pohlmann’s sailboat, which was listed as the outstanding winner in the classification prior to the protest filed by her rivals. Jordi Cabau’s Sonata (1937), a John G. Alden design fully restored in Mallorca, had a remarkable performance and came second, less than two minutes behind the leader. Argyll (1948), by Griff Rhys Jones, rose to third place.
Cabau described the conditions in the Bay of Palma as “frankly exceptional”: “We have had a great day of regattas thanks to the fact that the traditional Embat has entered.” The Sonata crew is confident of staying in podium positions.
The January Sails (1973), the Sparkman & Stephens, skippered by Gabriel Catalá, was the best of the RI Clásicos, where only three units competed.
The competition will resume tomorrow, Saturday, August 13, when weather conditions similar to those of today are expected. “There is little wind in the parts, but we trust that the thermal breeze will kick in at noon, as happened on the opening day, and we will be able to carry out the planned test without major problems”, explained Manuel Nadal, Commodore of the Club de Mar and director of the regatta
The XVII Illes Balears Clássics Regatta has the support of the brands Howden Sturge, Allianz, BASJOSA, Gin Gipsy 1927, Absolut BBQ, Estrella Damm and Trueworld.