Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - Endure

Gaastra Palma Vela - Gecko claims Flying Fifteen victory in Palma

by Jonny Fullerton, Grand Prix Sailing on 6 May 2014
2014 Gaastra PalmaVela - Flying Fiftenn 3817, Gecko in the lead © Martinez Studio / Gaastra PalmaVela http://www.palmavela.com/
More than 100 boats from 23 countries took part in Gaastra PalmaVela, the opening regatta of the Mediterranean season for a variety of classes. Flying Fifteens from Spain, Great Britain and Ireland took part in the regatta which consisted of three days racing on the Bay of Palma from 1 - 4 May, organized by the Real Club Nautico de Palma.

The Flying Fifteen fleet in the Balearic Islands includes a number of British and Irish expats enjoying the balmy Mediterranean climate and superb sailing conditions the islands have to offer.

The regatta also provided a good opportunity to brush off the rust and get some valuable training time on the water in advance of the European Championship which will be hosted by RCNPP Port de Pollensa on the north-east corner of the island of Mallorca in September this year.


The Flying Fifteen fleet enjoyed some very close tactical racing in a range of conditions with many of the races decided on the finish line with a photo finish. The opening day on Friday delivered some unseasonal cloud and a strong offshore breeze which delayed the start of racing until late in afternoon. The Fifteens sailed predominantly windward/leeward courses often with a long fetch from windward mark to spreader providing a sprint reach in the fresher conditions.

The local based GBR flagged Gecko skippered by class stalwart Michael Cough with his experienced long time FF crew Alan Green (IRL) claimed the opening day with two bullets and a second however the Anglo/Irish pair had to fight for the wins. Two races had to be abandoned due to large wind shifts and in the second race Gecko tangled with Irish crew Ken Dumpleton and Simon Murray at the top mark resulting in some turns of shame for Gecko. She recovered to win the race with the Irish boat Olive Oyl taking third. The final race of the first day was a start to finish win for local Cala Gamba sailor David Barber sailing Fine Fettle with his daughter Hannah.


Due to the shifting breeze and a shared course with J80’s and Dragons it was a long day on the water with the fleet coming ashore at 1900 hrs local time just in time for the free! Drinks and snacks offered by the RCNP on the club terrace.

A slightly hung over fleet re-assembled for day two on Saturday with a more normal sunny warm day but still with a battle between the local thermal winds and the regular sea breeze which usually fills in after lunchtime.

Three more races were held, the first two in light and shifty breeze but again with very close racing and bunched fleets. British boat Puff skippered by Stephen Hart sailed a blinder to take the bullet in the first race of the day but overall leader Gecko, (Clough/Green} sailed a shocker coming in ninth putting the pressure back on them with only one regatta discard allowed. Some blamed the quantity of free Plymouth gin and tonics drunk in the club bar the night before but the Anglo/Irish pair re-grouped to take out the next race of the day in 8-10 knots.


Another expat crew David Miles and Chris Doorly sailing a local ESP flagged boat Stormtrooper 3 enjoyed a great scrap with the Barber’s sailing Fine Fettle and local Cala Gamba fifteen Flying High, sailed by last year’s PalmaVela winners Vincent and Patrick Harris. Stormtrooper grabbed second in a close finish but the Irish entry Olive Oyl sailed by Ken Dumpleton and Simon Murray were chipping away with regular podium finishes of their own.

Olive Oyl’s consistency paid in the final race of the day which was sailed in a fresher moderate offshore breeze and a short chop. The fetch in this race was an exciting planing dash with a tough choice of whether to raise a spinnaker or wait before the turn downwind. The Irish crew went on to record their first win of the regatta and leave them five points behind Gecko with one more day to go.

Sunday delivered a typical Mallorcan Spring day with air temperatures close to 20c and a slightly more stable but cool SW onshore breeze. The overall regatta was Gecko’s to lose, Michael Clough and Alan Green needed three more conservative results to take the Gaastra PalmaVela title. However the consistent Irish crew of Ken Dumpleton and Simon Murray continued to finish in the top three to keep the pressure on.


Despite more very close and compact fleet racing Gecko managed to hold off the chasing pack to finish the day with a 2,1,3 to win the regatta by five points. Olive Oyl finished with a 1,3,2 to seal second overall.

The battle for third remained a three way tussle between David and Hannah Barber’s Fine Fettle, the Harris brothers sailing Flying High and Stormtroooper sailed by David Miles and Chris Doorly. The result had to be decided on the last run of the day, but the Barbers had done all they could winning the final race of the regatta to clinch third overall by one point.

The Balearic Flying Fifteen fleet now have a number of regattas around the island of Mallorca over the summer months with a view to preparing for the European Championship in September in Pollensa, details of which can be obtained from the website.


Overall Results (top five after nine races, one discard)

1 GBR 3817 Gecko Michael Clough/Alan Green: 1,1,2,(9),1,3,2,1,3 - 14pts
2 IRL 3753 Olive Oyl Ken Dumpleton/Simon Murray: 3,3,(5),2,4,1,1,3,2 - 19pts
3 ESP 3728 Fine Fettle David Barber/Hannah Barber: 4,6,1,(7),3,5,5,2,1 - 27pts
4 ESP3592 Flying High Vincent Harris/Patrick Harris: 2,4,3,3,(6),2,6,4,4 - 28pts
5 ESP 3610 Stormtrooper 3 David Miles/Chris Doorly: 5,2,(6),4,2,4,3,5,6 - 31pts

For full results visit: Palma Vela.

Ancasta Ker 33 660x82North Technology - Southern SparsWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Spartan wins the Gstaad Yacht Club’s Centenary Trophy at photo finish
Spartan has won the sixth edition in an exciting photo-finish with 2014 winner Olympian, skippered by Bruno Troublé. USA's flagged NYYC50 Spartan has won the sixth edition of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy in an exciting photo-finish with 2014 winner Olympian, skippered by Bruno Troublé.
Posted today at 8:48 pm
Les Voiles de St Tropez France – Crash sequence images by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from crash sequence Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from crash sequence
Posted today at 7:00 pm
Mediterranean Record Challenge – The trimaran MACIF on stand-by
Two weeks on from their arrival in La Ciotat, François Gabart and the trimaran MACIF are entering a period of stand-by Two weeks on from their arrival in La Ciotat, François Gabart and the trimaran MACIF are entering a period of stand-by from Monday 3 October, with the aim of attacking the solo Mediterranean crossing, which was set three years ago by Armel Le Cléac’h with a time of 18 hours 58 minutes and 13 seconds.
Posted today at 5:56 pm
Book your Wildwind Holiday now for February Half Term And Easter!
If you are thinking about joining Wildwind for February half term or Easter then it's already time to start making plans If you are thinking about joining Wildwind for the following peak season periods – February half term or Easter – then it's already time to start making plans.
Posted today at 3:47 pm
Count down to Nassau – All-Time Champions - SSL Finals
The fourth edition in Nassau will feature for the first time a full sailing festival, with junior and traditional racing The VIP skippers are invited for their sailing achievements in different classes, and the Star sailors invited are the ones in the top 12 of the 2016 SSL Rankings. Throughout the year, Star Sailors from across the world gather ranking points at events and the top performers make the trip to Nassau for the SSL Finals.
Posted today at 12:03 pm
Didac Costa to take part in Vendee Globe despite lightning damage
Dídac Costa has shown today he is absolutely determined to overcome one more obstacle on his way to the start line. The Spanish sailor Didac Costa has reaffirmed that he will be taking part in the Vendee Globe despite lightning damaging part of his boat’s electronics. His team has called for new sponsors to overcome this latest difficulty. Costa will be the fourth Spanish sailor who has attempted to complete this gruelling race
Posted today at 11:49 am
Vendée Globe – Kito de Pavant heading for Les Sables d’Olonne
Conditions look ideal for the delivery trip for the Bastide Otio monohull, which is due to arrive in seven to 10 days. The start is drawing near and Kito de Pavant is already on his way to Les Sables d’Olonne. On Monday in Port Camargue, the crowds were out on the quayside and on the water to offer their best wishes to Kito and his IMOCA 60 Bastide Otio.
Posted today at 11:25 am
The Azimut Challenge, a useful rehearsal before the Vendée Globe
The event was an opportunity for some of those about to take part to see how they measured up against each other. Starting from Lorient, the event was an opportunity for some of those about to take part to see how they measured up against each other.
Posted today at 11:05 am
2016 B14 World Championship - Wrap-up Video
The B14's enjoyed champagne conditions at their 2016 World Championships hosted at Circolo Vela Torbole, Lake Garda. The B14's enjoyed champagne conditions at their 2016 World Championships hosted at Circolo Vela Torbole, Lake Garda.
Posted today at 5:57 am
J70 Worlds - Paul Cayard reports on two races in a hot fleet - Day 3
Two races were held today on Berkeley Circle for the J70 fleet. The first one was in non-planing conditions Two races were held today on Berkeley Circle for the J70 fleet. The first one was in non-planing conditions of eight - twelve knots and the second had winds of fifteen - twenty knots.
Posted today at 4:44 am