Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

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.

KZRaceFurlersProtector - 660 x 82RS Sailing 660x82

Related Articles

America's Cup - Two months on from start of 35th Match + Video
Emirates Team New Zealand have released this compilation from the series in Bermuda. To mark the passing of the two month milestone since the start of the 35th Match for the America's Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand have released this compilation from the series in Bermuda.
Posted today at 1:52 pm
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week cracker opening day
Racing began on Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017 in idyllic conditions Racing began on Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017 in idyllic conditions, excited and some nervous crews facing the prospect of a 25-30 knot sou’easters and strong tide making for a wild downwind run from the narrow start in Dent Passage.
Posted today at 11:16 am
Clipper Race Leg 1 preview - Liverpool, UK, to Punta del Este, Uruguay
The Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race promises a shore side spectacle when the fleet crosses the start line The Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race promises a shore side spectacle when the fleet crosses the start line in front of the large crowds that are expected to line the River Mersey at 1230 (BST) today.
Posted today at 7:54 am
470 Class Japan National Championships - Day 2
S wind, 6kt – 113 boats were devided into Yellow, Blue and Red, and R1 started as scheduled at 11:00. S wind, 6kt – 113 boats were devided into Yellow, Blue and Red, and R1 started as scheduled at 11:00. The wind stayed 6kt during R1, and then 8kt for R2. Later, it increased to 10+, and Oscar flag was up for R3 at the start.
Posted today at 6:15 am
2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship - Nail-biting final day
A massive round of congratulations is in order for newly crowned Drew Freides on Pacific Yankee. A massive round of congratulations is in order for newly crowned Drew Freides on Pacific Yankee. He and his team which includes Morgan Reeser and Charlie Smythe are the 2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Champions.
Posted today at 5:48 am
Clipper Race - British Olympians swap sports for new challenge at sea
Joining this year’s Great Britain entry in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race are two athletes Joining this year’s Great Britain entry in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race are two athletes who have already spent their lives representing their country at the highest level.
Posted on 19 Aug
470 Class Japan National Championships - Day 1 kicked off
113 entries from 15 countries – two current 470 World Champions are taking part in 470 class Japan National championship 113 entries from 15 countries – two current 470 World Champions are taking part in the 46th 470 class Japan National championship. For women, it is 31st Woman’s 470 National title. It is great to see 28 overseas teams including Olympic medalists and both Men & Women’s current 470 World Champions (AUS and POL).
Posted on 19 Aug
SAP 505 Worlds Sailor Profile - Australian skipper Earle Alexander
Retired. I worked for the last 20 years as a Consultant Mining Engineer. Earle Alexander - Retired. I worked for the last 20 years as a Consultant Mining Engineer. For 30 years before that, I worked as Engineer and Manager in underground metal mines for mining companies and Government Mine Safety Inspectors.
Posted on 19 Aug
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Three sleeps to go!
With less than 72 hours before Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet line up on River Mersey to start 2017-18 edition With less than 72 hours before the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet line up on the River Mersey to start the 2017-18 edition of the 40,000 nautical mile race around the globe, anticipation is building in Albert Dock with crowds gathering to wish the fleet well.
Posted on 19 Aug
The Landsail Tyres J-Cup - Day 2 - Biblical conditions in Tor Bay
Thirty knot squalls inter-dispersed with beautiful sunshine and flat water, produced testing race course for six classes Thirty knot squalls inter-dispersed with beautiful sunshine and flat water, produced a testing race course for six classes, competing on Day Two of the 2017 Landsail Tyres J-Cup. At times the fleet disappeared upwind into the raging tempest, to return downwind, in a halo of bright sunlight. The bizarre weather tested boat handing skills, and stamina, considering the teams had now completed six rac
Posted on 19 Aug