PalmaVela - Flying Fifteens battle on the Bay of Palma

2013 Gaastra PalmaVela - Flying Fifteen fleet
As part of the Gaastra PalmaVela - organised by the Real Nautico Club Palma, the Flying Fifteen fleet completed three days of close racing in testing and tactical conditions out in the Bay of Palma. Nine races were organised using windward/leeward courses with racing run by RNCP.

The first day of the regatta brought cool Spring weather and a very shifty 12 - 15 knot breeze which eventually fillled from the land, which meant some big shifts at the windward mark.

Vincent and Patrick Harris from CNC Gamba sailing Flying High started the regatta series on good form finishing with two bullets for the day but carried a fifth as their third race score. David Barber, also from CNC Gamba, sailing Fine Fettle, scored a very consistent 2,2,2, to end the day on equal points to top the leaderboard.

The shifty breeze meant a number of place changes throughout racing keeping the fleet on their toes all the way to the finish line. Emiliano Llinas Martinez onboard Tro scored a breakaway win in the second race of the day to finish the day in third overall.

Saturday was a long day ashore sipping coffees and comparing boat set-ups as the fleet was held due to a stubborn offshore breeze which fought with the seabreeze all morning for supremacy.

Eventually the fleet was called out to the racecourse but had a long wait whilst the ever patient race committee tried to set a course. The Flying Fifteens shared a race course with a fleet of J80’s and some Dragons and had to wait around two hours for the J80’s to get started.

2013 Gaastra PalmaVela - Flying Fifteen
The first race of the day was started in a light 8 - 10 knots but for some unapparent reason abandoned halfway down the second leg when the breeze dropped to five knots or less. At the time class stalwart Michael Clough sailing with a guest crew Jonny Fullerton, had opened up a sizeable lead in Gecko followed by the Harris brothers in Flying High.

Another long wait and the fleet were away in 180 degrees the opposite direction when the weak seabreeze tried to fill in. When it did, Michael Clough’s Gecko got a textbook pin end start to cross the fleet and lead at the top mark. The British registered FF held off another CNC Gamba boat Fuego Fatuo sailed by Walker Babbage to pick up their first win of the regatta.

The second race of the day saw the Harris brothers back in control on Flying High crossing the finish line just a boat length in front of Michael Clough and Jonny Fullerton in Gecko.

So by the end of day two Vincent and Patrick Harris had opened up a seven point lead over the chasing pack but second, third and fourth places were still separated by a single point.

2013 Gaastra PalmaVela - Flying Fifteen
All to play for on the final day but Sunday dawned with a steadier seabreeze of 12 – 16 knots and a bit more chop on the Bay of Palma. Racing started on time and an OCS at the start by the Harris brothers could have been an invitation for the chasing pack to close but alas the boys worked hard to close the gap taking the opposite gybe all the way down the final run to close withing a boat length of the winners David Barber in Fine Fettle.

Indeed David seemed to enjoy the stronger breeze and fought hard with Michael Clough’s Gecko tooth and nail in race eight. In the end Gecko just managed to seal the deal and hold off Fine Fettle to set up a grandstand finish in the last race.

Michael and Jonny led the last race with another great committee boat end start and held the lead all the way to the last leg when aching limbs and tired muscles gave way to the boat speed and agility of David and his crew on Fine Fettle. The Harris brothers crossed in third and clinched victory in a well sailed series.

It was a testament to the class that there were four different race winners and all crews were in race winning positions at some time during the nine races. Congratulations go to the Harris brothers who were definately Flying High in Palma.

01/05/2013 - 05/05/2013 
1ESP3592Flying HighVincent HarrisPatrick HarrisC.N.C.Gamba15131123315
2ESP3728Fine FettleDavid James BarberDavid James BarberC.N.C.Gamba22254512119
3GBR3817GeckoMichael CloughMichael CloughMusket Cove YC34412441221
4ESP589TroEmiliano Llinas MartinezEmiliano LlinasC.N.C.Gamba41345334527
5ESP3577Fuego FatuoWalker BabbageWalker BabbageC.N.C.Gamba9DNC9DNC9DNC23256440
6ESP3471TriffidStephen ParryStephen ParryCNCG63677667647
7ESP3763Ffeil GoodA.HarveyScott WalkerR.C.N.P.Pollensa56566775747
8ESP3610Stormtrooper 3David MilesDavid MilesC.N.C.Gamba9DNC9DNC9DNC9DNC9DNC9DNC9DNC9DNC9DNC72
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For full results see: PalmaVela