The first day of M32 Gold Cup in Miami greeted the seven M32 teams with cold rain and grey skies but as soon as they went under the Rickenbacker Causeway Bridge and entered Biscayne Bay, the sun came out and the breeze filled in. The setting couldn’t be any better.
But it would be a day that really tested the crews, and especially the tacticians hade to prove themselves as the vind varied a lot with many light patches. And in a fast catamaran it’s devastating to get stuck at five - six knots when the competition is doing 20+.
And there was one team that showed the fleet how to do it: Wallen Racing managed to get out on top, despite some ups and downs during individual races. Several times teams went from first to last and back again as wind strength varied. Spectators might think that luck is a big factor in those conditions, but somehow the best teams always end up at the top anyways.
Hans Wallen and his crew managed to place one – one – two – one – two – two, three points ahead of the earlier dominant Mattias Rahm with two – two - one – four – six - one.
Is this the start of a new era - or just a flash of brilliance?
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Hans Wallen started his sailing career with World titles in both Optimist and Europe Dinghy and became the poster boy for a whole generation of Swedish sailors. A number of world titles followed, as well as an Olympic Silver in the Star Class in Atlanta. Getting into M32 in June last year, the team never managed to sail the boat to it’s potential. But now it’s a different story.
The US teams showed great speed and often fought about the top spots, but mixing good with bad results is never a good idea in a strong fleet.
The weekend is promising more stable winds. Let’s see if this will mix it up.