Sailing was stalled by light winds (5-6 knots) this morning and racing didn’t get underway until 13.40 this afternoon. The race committee decided to take the fleet around a mark off Cabo de la Mola (via a windward mark) and Llot de Sec, a buoy in the bay of Palma, before finishing close to the fleet’s starting point.
The Nigel Irens-designed Allegra crossed the El Toro start line first, yesterday’s winner Coco de Mer crossed a second later. Last year’s first-home heroes Allegra reached the upwind mark first with the fast and nimble 60 ft. Dragon not far (2 min. 11 sec.) behind.
The wind picked up nicely on the long beat up to Cabo de Mola and Allegra rounded first with the Bañuls 6o Dragon, still, hot on her heels. As the kites popped open Allegra held unto her lead over Dragon as she powered towards the Bay of Palma. 2016 champion R-Six, a regular racer boasting a trophy cabinet bursting with silverware, remained behind yesterday’s victor Coco de Mer. The iconic Gunboat 66, in turn, was third in today’s down-wind procession.
A dual raged during the reach to Isle de Sech and back between avid racer Coco de Mer and Dragon’s wave-piercing hulls. Allegra and her fast cast of record-breaking sailors (Paul Larsen and Helena Darvelid, to name but a few) strengthened her lead on the upwind leg to the finish while Coco (no doubt benefitting from her newly optimized rig and boards) managed to slide away from Dragon. APC78 Allegra slipped over the finish line first, the 66 ft Coco de Mer second and this year’s smallest cat, Dragon, third. Note that a mere minute and 13 seconds separated repeat-contenders Dragon and Coco de Mer.
A strong showing of R-Six‘s grizzled professionals led to her triumph today. She sped over the finish line one minute and 56 seconds ahead of Dragon on corrected time. Coco de Mer cinched third today and this year’s giant, the Green Marine-built Allegra, fourth. “We’re satisfied today, we made less tactical mistakes than yesterday,” smiled R-Six’ tactician Tomasz Januszewski. The Polish Olympic sailor added that: “we were glad to see the breeze build which resulted in our speeds of 12+ knots.”
Coco de Mer and Dragon go into the final race with a lead of 1 point over super cat R-Six while 2 points separate this pro-laden team from Allegra.
Impassioned discussions of today’s rollercoaster ride in the race village made for a prefect prelude to dinner at seaside-chic Restaurante Bruno. The conversation is expected to match Bruno’s delectable dishes and postcard views in intensity as tomorrows racing is quite likely to overtake every other topic, there’s no two ways about it.
Multihull excitement is set to continue tomorrow at 12.00. Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram for updates of all the action on and off the racecourse and/or follow the race live via TracTrac.