Palma Vela Video Link.
Please click the link above to get a flavour of the event.
We went to Mallorca still with fingers crossed, and certainly had fun participating in a great event. But we were out sailed and out classed in every one of our five races. Our team of 'weekend warriors' weren't at all phased to be mixing it with some of the worlds best sailors from 15 nations, but with only a 7th, an 8th, a 9th and two 10s, we had to accept a 10th overall in a fleet of only 11.
Not making excuses as we made mistakes, but with our ORC rating we were placed in Division 1 and not Division 2, and consequently our competitors were typically 37-40'. Most were Spanish flagged but included others from the UK, Germany, and Antigua.
The outstanding boat was the X37 Airlan Aermec with five bullets, closely followed by Vertigo Dos (Salona 37) and Zas Sailing (Gran Soleil 37), but a couple of Farr 40.7's sailing mid fleet invariably gave us issues. It was tough in our 35 footer mixing it with those well handled larger boats over the 1.5 / 2 mile short windward / leeward legs, and it didn't help that most of our rivals carried symmetric kites which advantaged them on the direct downwind legs, whilst we had no options but to sail angles......
Everyone had a challenge finding clear air in very busy waters. We had six divisions starting in sequence from one of the four start areas, all sailing similar courses. Then from three other start lines close by, we even had even larger yachts like the new Swan 50s and the TP52s at times sailing down through our bit of water.
Lots of ducking and diving even close on the marks, but it provided some awesome sights with some of those big boats fully powered up doing 10+ upwind - and sometimes a lot more down!
In our fleet we were simply out sailed by better sailors who took it all more seriously than we did. With short legs the margin for errors was not great. The fleet was always close and we were never out of touch, just never towards the front. In two of the races we were overlapped on bigger boats at the finish line, but even then the handicap differences were not great enough on such short races to see us get a decent result.
So no prizes for us this time round - but absolutely no complaints. The Palma Vela was a great event,the level of competition really high, and it's something I'd recommend other racers to try next year.
Super company and fun atmosphere both on and off the water, and whilst we didn't make the podium this time round, there were multiple videos of Jumbuck being run and rerun on the big screens (photo taken from one as you can see above).
We all enjoyed the racing and parties put on by RCNP who managed it all very professionally. The Wallys, TP52s and the new Swan 50s are stunning boats increadible well set up, and with 100% professional crews equally well sailed. Had the chance to look over several boats and think we've picked up a couple of new set up tricks to try on Jumbuck (ah ha - yes, even for such an old dog), so all round it was well worth coming over to Mallorca and taking part.
And with that new headsail now on order (thanks Sue) it's promising to give us better upwind speed, more height, with an improved rating, as well as easier trimming. ETA August.
Big thanks to Sue, Kevin, Edo, Marian, Eric and Laurent for a great effort on the water, the Club terrace, around the bars and restaurants, and in our crew quarters. You've merged into a super mob since we started racing Jumbuck less than a year ago, and I'm proud of you all. Our small band of pensionistas (average age 65) did good....
Look forward to doing it again with you next year.