Aiming for the season opening win Provezza prepare to get back on their Bay of Palma rollercoaster.

Provezza had a difficult end to the 2023 season. In effect a standing rigging failure at the last regatta of the season saw their handy season lead disappear. They finished second, tied on points, which is still Ergin Imre’s team’s best ever result at the end of a season, but it was a very bittersweet result.

Yes, they debriefed the season and perhaps it could be argued that a point saved or gained over the course of the five regattas would have tipped the balance in their favour.
But as the 52 SUPER SERIES starts Sunday, the Turkish flagged team are back with even more fire in their belly. And with a new boat coming later in the season, this 52 SUPER SERIES PalmaVela Sailing Week is their final chance to win with a quick, well optimised boat which has served them well since launching in 2018.

After good week of training in Valencia along with Phoenix – which are not racing this week – Spanish navigator Nacho Postigo recalls the pain of missing out,

“ It’s difficult to put it to bed because it’s not easy to win the 52 SUPER SERIES. There have not been many boats achieving that and having it within reach of our fingertips and seeing it slip away for an unbelievable breakage, which is very uncommon, that was hard!”

He recalls,

“We broke the vertical of the boat. The vertical shroud. It was a completely new set of shrouds. We have just installed them that year so it’s not that it was old or not properly maintained or anything like that. It was only the port one. Obviously if you see that going into pieces before you start a race, you retire. Game over at one minute before the start.There’s not much we can learn about it. It’s not like someone hit it when checking the rig or anything, there’s nothing that we can say ‘guys next time we should do this differently’.”

And Postigo reveals that Provezza owner Imre had made the choice to build new when racing at the Rolex TP52 World Championships in Barcelona,

“He always had a very clear plan. He didn’t want the boat to be built during last season because it would be a distraction from the racing and he said until we have finished the season, we are not going to start building a new boat. That means accepting that the boat will not be on time for the first 2024 events. He was not very interested in shipping this boat to the States so that worked pretty well for him because basically we’ve started the boat after the ‘23 season was over and we will race here with the ‘old’ boat and use the new boat for the last two events of ’24.” 

And while both of the new Platoon Aviation and Alegre are from the Botin design studio, Imre has stayed with Vrolijk,

“Ergan is a very close friend of Rolf (Vrolijk) and on top of that we think that Rolf’s office and his team have done a very good job. We felt that last year Platoon were a little bit better than our boat design – a little bit. Not a lot. A little bit.”

Having lined up against the new Alegre in Valencia when training, Postigo asserts,

“It was a very short test with not very good quality. What we saw is that it looks like the new Alegre is a little bit lazy in light air, it is not slow but it takes them a little bit of an effort to make the boat quick in light winds. But when it picks up in wind speed to 11/12 knots from there on it is very competitive, very competitive. We are not so scared of the new boats in Palma because the boats needs to be developed.”

And After winning the first two regattas of 2023, Postigo is confident they can pick up that same momentum,

“It would be nice to win and I think we have a good team, the same one as last year and we have a good boat. There is no reason why we shouldn’t be competitive. And if you look at the past, Ergin has not been very lucky in Palma. In Puerto Portals in 2019 and ‘24 we broke the rig.”

But despite their bad luck moments on the Bay of Palma they also won their first ever regatta here in 2017. Palma based Postigo, dubbed the ‘wizard of Palma Bay’ says he does not believe in superstitions!

“I’m not superstitious because it brings bad luck! Well maybe I’m a little but not too much. I have sailed with too many Italians!”