Carlo Borlenghi /

Ran 5 wins her race debut

New hardware takes to the race course at Gaastra Palmavela

Thursday May 1st 2014, Author: James Boyd, Location: Spain

The opening day of racing at Gaastra PalmaVela saw the initial races for the Wallys and Mini Maxis out on the Bay of Palma. After a delay of one hour two races were held with the WallyCento Magic Carpet Cubed and her predecessor Magic Blue are tied on points in the former while Niklas Zennstrom’s brand new Rán V leads the Mini Maxi fleet, having won her first ever race.

In the first Mini Maxi race the old Rán, now Roberto Tomasini Grinover's Robertissima was OCS as Rán V won the pin. However it was the new Jethou belonging to Sir Peter Ogden, on which AC legend Brad Butterworth is calling tactics that led around the first mark, only for the new Rán V to take lead on the first run, then extending away.

In the second race, the former Wild Oats Admiral's Cup winner, Wild Joe was over considerably early at the pin and it was Robertissima (where Vasco Vascotto is calling tactics) that led from start to finish.

As Ran V's Adrian Stead observed: "It was a good opening race. We had a good start down the pin. Jethou led around the top and we were able to jump her on the first gybe and extend down the rest of the run and had a comfortable win. It was a good first proper race on the boat."

While Rán V is looking highly competitive straight out of the box Stead says they are still on a steep learning curve with the boat. "We are very lucky that the old boat is in very capable hands with Robertissima. In terms of tuning with them, we know what are old boat used to do and we are learning from that. At the moment it is too early to say where her strengths and weaknesses are. We have got what Niklas and Tim asked for and it seems to be going in the right direction. We haven’t really seen the full range of conditions ye -  so far we’ve had windward-leewards in 7-12 knots and there is the breezier end of the spectrum, the very light end and the offshore reaching around sailing which we’ll see on Saturday and Sunday’ coastal races."

Overall Rán V leads on five points, two ahead of Robertissima with three points on Andrés Soriano’s Alegre, which is tied in third with Jethou. No doubt there is still a long way to go.

In the Wally fleet leading the charge around the race course were the WallyCentos Magic Carpet Cubed and the former Hamilton, now Thomas Bscher's Open Season with a line up that includes Ross MacDonald in the afterguard.

However under handicap in the first race it was the old Magic Carpet, now called Magic Blue and owned by Antonio Cacace that took victory, while in race two Magic Carpet Cubed prevailed.

"It was very exciting, it was a very nice way to start," said Magic Carpet Cubed owner, Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones. "There was wind, but not too much, so it was a gentle way of getting into the racing. It was very close with all the corrected times. We have probably the fastest boat in the fleet, but when you correct the times afterwards for the handicap it is very difficult for us to come first on corrected time. But one time we came second and the other time we won, so it was a lovely first day for us.

"We are very competitive people. We like winning, so our goal is to make our boat go as fast as she possibly can. You never can do that, it’s an impossible idea, but that's what you try to get close to."

Open Season currently lies fourth overall. Crewman Marc Patiño said that the team is currently adapting to their new boat which they have only been sailing for a few weeks. "In the first race we thought we had a really bad result, but after the corrected time was applied we finished fourth. We improved in the second race, because we managed to reduce the gap with our rivals, but we also finished forth, so we have to keep improving."

Patiño explained that the lack of wind strength wasn’t an obstacle as Open Season creates a lot of her own apparent wind: "With a true wind speed of six knots we were sailing at 10 knots of speed. These boats are amazing, an absolute wonder."

Tomorrow the more classes join racing at Gaastra PalmaVela -the Soto 40, J/80, Flying Fifteen and Dragon one designs, plus the ORC, IRC and Classic Boats and Vintage, sailing windward-leewards on three different race courses.

Photos from Jesus Renedo/




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