29th of July, 2013

Ready for Action in Palma

The Real Club Nautico de Palma always enjoys a special ambience when it is regatta time but as the start of the 32nd Copa del Rey MAPFRE approaches this morning, there is a great mood of anticipation. The dockside is tightly packed with sailors making ready for the first races today with the Gaastra IRC 52 fleet enjoying pride of place in front of the yacht club.

With nine boats set to line up to challenge for the overall honours at the third 52 SUPER SERIES regatta of the season, the return to Palma is a popular one, coming back to a race course which is well understood and usually delivers good breeze.

But although there has been a brisk NE’ly breeze blowing through the marina the forecasters and navigators suggest that by start time and through the afternoon the breeze will drop away and it will be quite light and very shifty.

Palma based Nacho Postigo (ESP) who is sailing as navigator on Interlodge (USA) explains the weather situation for today:

There is some good NE’ly gradient wind this morning as a front passed over the island during the night and as that moves away the breeze should go left. The problem then is that there will be little wind in the middle of the island and what there is then tends to align with the mountains and does not then really make it much to the coasts. It might be a very difficult first day, with light winds, very shifty and unsettled. But the good news is that it looks better for tomorrow. The morning breeze tomorrow will be from the E and that is the best for the generation of the sea breeze.
Nacho Postigo, Interlodge

Quantum Racing do hold the whip hand in the 52 SUPER SERIES so far having won in both Barcelona and Ibiza. But Azzurra are determined to make their mark and redress the balance. It is 30 years since the Azzurra raced for the first time at the America’s Cup in Newport, and that is an inspiration that Vasco Vascotto holds dear:

We have everything here to be competitive, but for us it is not just a matter of us and Quantum Racing. The other boats can bee competitive. Palma Bay is not easy and you really have to play the starts well. I am sure we can be very competitive here.

For me I am Italian and I remember well the America’s Cup in 1983 and the Azzurra team. Those guys were my idols when I was young, all these guys wrote the history of sailing in Italy I am so proud to be on board Azzurra thirty years later. Maybe there will be other young guys who are following us now, dreaming that sooner or later they can be on Azzurra. It is a great anniversary for us. It is exciting that the history of Azzurra is still moving forwards and we need to try to do our best to give to the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, to the brand Azzurra the opportunity to win regattas and to make people happy in Italy when they are watching us.
Vasco Vascotto, Azzurra

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