Puerto Portals 1st Winter Series 20-22 November.

12 Teams arrived in Puerto Portals last weekend for their first winter series. No races were sailed on Friday due to lack of wind, but 3 races were held on Saturday followed by 1 more on Sunday.  Although mainly local sailors participated a few travelling teams managed to take a covid test prior to entering Spain and fly on limited flights whilst most of Europe remains in Lockdown. One of those travelling teams, Father and Son, Jan and Carl Strombeck from Sweden, were crewed by top Pro Sailor Charles Nankin (Now living in Portugal). Charles told me “After the long break from sailing that many have had this year, we were grateful to Marta Reynes, Pepe’ Vidal, Alvaro Irala and the wonderful team from Puerto Portals for going ahead with this regatta. Although many top teams still have their boats in Vilamoura after the IDA Grade 1 event, in Portals there were a bunch of boats all at a similar level which gave great close racing with many changes in leadership during all 4 races”.

Spanish Fleet Captain Carlos Carbajal ESP 99 wins race 1.

Charles continued “Saturday saw three great races in shifty winds coming from between NE and NW down the mountain range, each new gust bringing passing opportunity over those stuck in the lulls. The trick was to make sure you were lined up for the gusts so all eyes were on the shoreline between Palmanova and Portals Nous. Race 1 was won by Fleet Captain Carlos Carbajal crewed by his faithful crew Pablo Riera Marsa, Marc Patino and Tom Rohde who have campaigned with him for many seasons. For the next two races the wind increased (14-18kt gusts) and we realised to protect the left could be a winning formula. So Jan Strombeck and I sailing with Jan’s Son Carl, managed to pop out from the left and win both races!  We were delighted”.  Brilliant Charles and many congratulations to You, Jan and Carl.

Great Close Racing in Puerto Portals.

On Sunday the fleet hoped for more races, but alas only one more could be completed and that was shortened at the top of the second beat as the wind died. But after many place changes with teams having to spot the 8kt gusts coming down the course which saw AUT 207 (Werner Deuring), GER 1205 (Otto Pohlmann) and ESP 111 (Round the World Sailor Guillermo Altadill) all take the lead at some time, it was ESP 71 Javier Scherk, crewed by Iker Martinez, Hugo Rocha and Flavia Tomiselli who finally took the victory and moved them up to 4th overall. Charles Nankin finished by saying “One interesting take-a-way from the recent regattas in Vilamoura and Portals is that small fleets give very competitive racing when the majority of the fleet are at a similar level. It makes for wonderful sailing, with greater than usual opportunities to learn things during the races. Of course….  Everyone is highly grateful to be on the water!”

Winning Team SWE 402 “Galant” Jan & Carl Strombeck with Charles Nankin .

So overall, 1st SWE 402 (Jan Strombeck).  2nd GER 1205 (Otto Pohlmann). 3rd ESP 99 (Carlos Carbajal).

Pepe’ Vidal explained “Puerto Portals has decided to maintain its commitment to the Dragon Class despite the situation derived from the Covid-19 pandemic, which complicates movement of ships to Mallorca. The objective of the Puerto Portals Regatta Club is to continue organising sporting events, with the correct protocols to preserve it’s position as a top winter base for European Dragons”.

Higher, Faster, Longer……   Stay Safe….      Stavros.