- Moonbeam III, in Big Boats, and Alba, in Classics 1 achieved their fifth victory and maintained equality in honorific classification of titles achieved in the top ranking
- Sonata debuts as the winner in Marconi Époque, while Marigold adds its third consecutive win in the category Cangreja Époque
- Guia also opens its record book in Classics 2 fleet, in the most prestigious event of the Mediterranean sea that brings together the major legends of the sea
The ninth edition of the Puig Vela Clàssica Regatta will be remembered for its excellent wind conditions. Never before had they been so constant for three days, and if it is true that wind did not blow as strong as in any of the preceding meetings, the course of Barcelona regattas offered a Garbí thermal wind never lower than 10 knots, averaging in 13 or 14 along the competition. It also blew following a British punctuality and facilitated the development of a sports programme with three tests, whether on routes between buoys or coastal tour. The sun would not miss the call, while the current was an exceptional protagonist. Upwind the first two days, the current altered timid waves, making them shorter, choppy and messy, especially affecting small boats and medium length.
The fleet gathered this year exceeded again the number of 40 vessels, representing nine countries and more than 500 sailors in competition. They were grouped in Big Boats (bigger than 22 meters length), Vintage (before 1950) and Classic (pre-1976) categories. In turn, Vintage category was divided into Cangreja and Marconi, according to their type of sails, while Classics, divided into 1 and 2 types, were formed according to their size and performance.
One of the novelties of this edition was the right decision made by the Regatta Committee to combine different sections in the routes by categories, so that regattas were carried out in accordance with the technical possibilities of each fleet, which did not interfered with each other and so that the duration was as evenly as possible.
The fifth of Moonbeam III
The majestic Big Boats regained the prominence of previous editions with the participation of four boats. Neither Moonbeam III quotes, winner of four editions, nor Moonbeam IV, with the victory of 2014 in its record book, did not miss the meeting. The always impressive Eleonora and the debutant of this year in such Barcelona event, Sumurun, coming from the United States, joined both Moonbeams in the regatta. Mariette from 1915 was unable to start sailing in the regatta course by logistical problems.
Far from what it may seem, and as had already been witnessed in previous years, competitiveness in this fleet of large boats breathes through every pore of their woods. Come-outs as those witnessed in the third and final test are a good example of tactics and markings without compassion. When Moonbeam IV was trying to start sailing on port tack, it tacked to yield the right of way to Eleonora, thus leaving Moonbeam III without wind, which in turn decided to veer looking for clean wind again. But Sumurun did not waste its chance and bow veered to keep it without wind. And everything happened in a span of 80 seconds after the come-out!
The final victory was decided in the last test, in which Moonbeam IV began with a point ahead of Moonbeam III and two regarding Sumurun, wehearas Eleonara was already mathematically discarded. After a breathtaking come-out, Moonbeam III knew how to recover itself from the former markings and sign the test, just ahead of its main rival, Moonbeam IV. Tied to 5 points, its best partials (first two regarding only one of its rival) pushed it to the highest step, and so Carsten Gerlach’s boat, skippered by Erwan Noblet, signed up for the fifth time its name on the winners book of this current Puig Vela Clàssica. After Moonbeam IV, Sumurun from Armin Fischer completed the podium, and Eleonora, led by David Martirano closed the classification.
Jordi Cabau achieves it
One of the owners and most appreciated skippers in the Puig Vela Clàssica is the Spaniard Jordi Cabau, from Mallorca Island, who does not usually miss this appointment with his Mercury, initially, and lately with Sonata. He was always close and stroked the trophy, but could never raise it. Undoubtedly, the victory this year in the category Marconi Époque allows us to quote the saying: “Who follows it, gets it”.
And how true it is, since he reached the final day in third place, one point behind Halloween and two behind the leader Islander. In the third and decisive test, Sonata sailed ahead of Halloween and Islander, and thus the trio was tied at six points in the final classification. Equality remained after the first tiebreaker, since they all had identical partial results, so that the order of the last test was the one that would elucidate the final classification.
Third and consecutive victory of Marigold in Cangreja Époque category of the regatta. Doubts about its options against the most modern Kelpie of Falmouth or the smallest Gipsy, winner in 2008 and 2011, were cleared over the three days of competition. By stringing together one victory after another, the boat skippered by Jason Gouldstone gave no chance to its feared rivals. Kelpie of Falmouth, skippered by Charlie Wroe, took the silver, while Gipsy by Petete Rubio achieved the bronze.
Classics fleet gathered the largest fleet, with 21 boats, 10 in the Classics 1 category and the remaining 11 in Classics 2. In both, beyond the results, regattas were absolutely exciting, in part prompted by the best manoeuvrability these vessels respect to the veterans of the other categories. Its come-outs, buoys or manoeuvres were in the line with the current competition boats, and were always worth seeing. Eight winners of previous editions were present this time, competing in one category until last year, and insinuating how tied and competitive would be this ninth edition.
The maximum candidate in Classics 1, Argos, from Barbara Trilling, skippered by Eduardo Mendez, with permission of the former four-time winner Alba, saw all its aspirations leaving deep in the waters after the first test. Winner of the same, an incident in the pre-start was the subject of subsequent disqualification, charging it with 12 points. A burden that allowed Alba from Damian Ribas compete with less pressure and gain the first two tests, against Kanavel, which started the third and decisive test two points behind the leader. Alba fought strongly to keep its positions and, achieving the third partial, won the Puig Vela Clàssica for the fifth time. After Kanavel from Javier Mestre, Atrevido from Nicola Bocca was classified.
More doubts on the list of candidates to have the trophy in their hands, in Classics 2. Guia from Ramon Rosés gave few options, and finally the three partials were signed up by him, whereas in its wake, Samarkand from Ulf Bhone, Yanira from Andrés de León and Outlaw from Mike Horsey struggled every length to make a step on the podium. They left tied on points at the regatta course to contest the final round, and such classification would undo equality. Finally, Outlaw won the second position, ahead of Yanira and Samarkand.
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