Carrying the momentum of their regatta win in Sardinia to Mallorca and to the Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week, Niklas Zennström and the crew of Rán Racing top the leaderboard after only one race was completed on the first day of competition.
Patience was required. The early postponement while the breeze filled and settled was not too much of a chore for the nine crews as the onshore facilities at Puerto Portals Marina includes a shady sailors lounge a few metres from the line up of TP52s. But the first attempt at Race 1 had to be abandoned when the NW’ly breeze was turned over by some opposing, thermal sea breezing pushing in.
But after a further delay, the gradient breeze rolled back down off the island hills, building rapidly to give a start in 12-14kts of NW’ly and there was a little more wind to come.
Although Zennström nailed the pin end of the start line, coming away with pace to ease away from Platoon, Azzurra and Quantum Racing, it was the right, inshore side of the upwind that paid with a progressive right shift.
Andy Soriano’s Alegre, with Andy Horton calling tactics, did not get the start they wanted and were one of the first onto port. Pressing well to the right, they were rewarded with a small lead at the top, windward turn, just ahead of Rán Racing.
ut at the offset mark, Alegre ran slightly wide on the gybe and let Rán Racing inside them. The black-hulled Vrolijk design was quickly accelerating to their sweet spot: downwind conditions, building a decent margin on the chasing pack.
On the second beat, Alegre closed slightly, but Rán Racing’s Ado Stead and Adam Beashel defended down the run to keep their win safe. Soriano’s team finished second with 2015 Puerto Portals winners Azzurra starting their regatta with a third.
Adam Beashel, Rán Racing’s strategist explained:
“We liked the breeze on the left because it just seemed to be coming through the valley on that side of the racetrack better than on the right. Luckily for us it all played out as we hoped.”
The crew come to Mallorca buoyed by their victory in the fourth 52 SUPER SERIES regatta of the season.