Warm Up’s Over. Action Time
The 12 boat fleet for the TP52 World Championship Puerto Portals go afloat for the first day of racing expecting a light sea breeze on the Bay of Palma. The morning has been hot and sticky around the dock where there is very little breeze where it is very sheltered from any breeze at all and there is very little shade.
Some will see it as a statement of intent but Quantum Racing, the defending world champions, were first off the dock to head out on the race course. They have not yet won a regatta this season and are clearly doing all they can to ensure their build up and preparation, right up to the start gun, works for them. With Ed Baird back on the helm they are back at full strength, striving to accomplish twin goals this week – collect the world title again and reduce their points deficit on 52 SUPER SERIES leaders Azzurra.
Steve Hayles, navigator of the 2013 world champions Rán Racing, believes they can win the title again but cautions:
It will be tough for sure. Every one says that but it is the truth. Everyone is sailing very well and we did not have a very good practice race yesterday. But maybe that works in our favour. Normally we win them and it goes downhill from there. It will be tough. The race course is subtle and hard to figure out. Everyone is going very fast. And for sure it is a disadvantage not having raced in Sardinia. Honestly it is. People learn most when they are racing. We try and learn and tune and take data and try and make the boat go very quick, but you learn the most in the heat of battle. We come here of the back of a win at our first regatta and we are very confident.
It will be soft sea breeze. It is all about what the gradient is doing in the moment. And where he race course is set up is important. The more to the left the more left handed the course is and the more right it is, the more right handed. Trying to figure it out and what works on the first beat does not necessarily then work for the second one. That is determined early in the morning and so getting up early and having a good look around is important, seeing what is happening. But everybody sails here so much people know what is going on.
Steve Hayles, navigator, Rán Racing
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