by Eva Dallo
Mapfre PalmaVela - The start gun of the Mapfre PalmaVela was fired today in the bay of Palmain with easterly winds of 14 to 16 knots.
The majestic Maxi Wallies and Maxis, both of which racing in compensated time, and the competitive TP 52's, which run in real time, were the first fleets to go on the water where a course of eight, six nautical miles was set up for each of them.
The TP52 fleet, with three new builds in this year's Mapfre Palma Vela which had aroused great expectation, was dominated by Audi Azzurra Sailing Team. The Italian campaign skippered by Argentinian Guillermo Parada had no rivals and signed three dominant wins in as many races today.
32nd America's Cup winner Ed Baird skippered Quantum Sailing was expected to challenge the YCCS flagged TP52, but they finished six points behind the Italians, whereas Swedish newcomer RÀN finished fourth, tied in points -eleven- with British Gladiator which is third.
In spite of an early start in the second race, Guillermo Parada didn't give the rest of the fleet any chances throughout three very good contests. These three bullets place them in the first position with a nice advantage over the second qualified Quantum Sailing. The US flagged TP52 didn't fill the expectations and paid for their lack of consistency. Their performance decreased along the day finishing second, third and fourth in the three races held today.
Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström owned and skippered RÀN, which couldn't finish the first of the races, managed a second and a third place in the second and third race respectively. José Cusí's Bribón with Gonzalo Araújoat the helm didn't perform as expected and could only be fourth in the first race, abandoned in the second after a problem with their spinnaker at the gate rounding, and was fifth in the last one, what places her in the fifth provisional position.
British Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones' Maxi Wally Magic Carpet 2 signed a first and a second place thus currently leading her class, with one point of advantage upon also English Open Season of Thomas Bescher which finished third and first with Michael Atkinson at the helm. German Claus-Peter Offen's Y3K is provisional third after finishing first and second, tied on eight points with two other boats, Italian flagged Into of Lauro Buoro and Jean Charles Deacaux and Piers Richason's British SyJ One.
The largest boat of the fleet, Lorenza Guerra's Italian Esense was first in real time but could only manage seventh in compensated time.
Also British Alegre of Andrés Soriano comfortably won today's two opening races of the Mapfre PalmaVela. Monaco flagged Highland Fling XI of Irvine Laid law skippered by Xavier Mecoy was third and second, whereas Sir Peter Odgen and Stuart Branson's English Jethou finished second and third.
Both are now tied on five points and placed second and third respectively. Four points away from the podium is now Danish Vertical Smile of Peter Lerbrandt after signing a fourth and a fifth place.
Palma Vela website
Tomorrow Friday the IRC,ORC, RI and one design (J80, Flying Fifteen and Dragón) classes will join competition .