The Rolex Sail GP Circuit arrived in Cádiz with unusual expectations. Fans wondered if those waters of the bay would be able to keep up with a regatta of foiling catamarans. To begin the event, the Hydrographic Institute of the Navy presented the commemorative letter of the Rolex Spain Sail Grand Prix Andalucía – Cádiz that would be held on the weekend of October 9 and 10, in the context of the events surrounding the Fifth Centenary of the First Circumnavigation.
The event was attended by Mónica Recchia, director of the Rolex Spain Sail Grand Prix, and Miguel Ramos, local manager of the event. On behalf of the Navy, the representatives were the Captains of the Navy José Daniel González-Aller Lacalle, Commander-Director of the Hydrographic Institute of the Navy and Jorge Flethes, liaison between the Navy and the Regatta.
One of the goals of the Rolex SailGP Circuit is to create a more inclusive competition. The sixth event of the season will feature six sailors aboard all F50s – a first for the world league – resulting in the Women’s Pathway Program sailors participating in the league competing in SailGP for the first time. Andrea Emone was the sixth crew member of the Spanish team and the first woman of the Spain SailGP Team to compete aboard the F50 Victoria.
Rolex SailGP introduced the Women’s Pathway Program earlier this second season as part of its sporting strategy to promote inclusion, inspire change and provide opportunities for women at all levels of the sport. With the addition of a new crew member, a new standard is set, and WPP sailors will be able to gain the experience they need to compete in the fast F50s, even in light wind conditions.
Visit of King Felipe
With an unusual expectation and with a city focused on its event, the Cádiz event of the Rolex Sail GP Circuit began, with the addition of an unexpected visit from King Felipe VI, although scheduled, but not announced. The thing began with a massive press conference with more public than journalists, somewhat anodyne since, as usual, everything is in English, although an efficient simultaneous translation service brought us up to date with what was expressed by the 8 skippers of the catamarans representing Spain, Great Britain, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, France, Japan and the United States gathered at the Silver Cup, in the sixth round of a circuit that has previously been held in 5 cities around the world and that after the From Cádiz it will travel to Sydney and finish in San Francisco.
Regarding the Spanish ship, Florián Tritell attended the press conference, commented that the reception of “Cádiz has been formidable, they have received us with open arms. We feel with a great responsibility. We have been working all week, and in Saint-Tropez (France) although we had a good result, we have to keep improving and achieve the great goal of reaching the final race in San Francisco. We have changed some things that we believe will bring us improvement “.
Cádiz gave the size
Cádiz wrote one of the most beautiful pages in its history related to the sea with all of Cádiz and the multitude of visitors who have come from outside in the street and crowded the balustrades of the regatta field, Alameda Apodaca and Paseo de Santa Bárbara to witness the first day of the Rolex Sail GP. Despite the time, 4:45 p.m., a sun more typical of the summer season than the autumn season and the typical uncertainty and conformism that characterizes the people of Cádiz, they forgot everything and took the walls to contemplate some regattas that, despite the weak wind were spectacular. But it was not only the citizens of Cádiz on foot who concentrated on land, but the many ships that did so from the sea, according to the 1,200 organization, although I do not think they reached 600, which marks a milestone in history from Cádiz sailing.
Recognize that when the place where the race courses were to be anchored was published, doubts about that choice were accentuated since it was not believed that it was the most suitable place to sail, but although technically due to the wind it was not the most suitable , for the public it was the best.
Regarding the sporting aspect, the 3 debut tests were marked by the instability of the wind both in intensity and direction. If on the one hand it blew little but enough for the boats to “foil” on the other they were completely stopped, and from these uncertainties none were spared, neither the “roosters” nor the “apprentices”.
The high point of this first day, sportingly speaking, occurred during the second test, when Victoria, who was very prominent last, with three sections remaining, gave the so-called “Gorostegui board” and the play went well since last , he went to first and in the last two stages, boosted by an aroused public, he kept the first place, very threatened by Japan and New Zealand. The reaction of the public was a show with more than 5 minutes of applause, cheers and oles.
Bad start for Spain
The first round was won by Great Britain, followed by Australia and the United States, with a blurred Spanish team that was second to last. The second test was for Spain followed by Denmark, Australia and New Zealand. The third, a little more of the same in the upper part of the field, weak wind that began to fall as they headed towards the walls, with many wind wells in the central part of the race course. Difficult regatta where the victory went to the United States followed by Australia, Denmark and with Spain in fifth position.
On Sunday the last three races were disputed, the first two to select the three boats that would go to the final and the third to determine who was going to be the winner. The overall results after the first three rounds of the Rolex Sail GP in Cádiz were as follows: 1st Australia 19 points, 2nd United States 18, 3rd Denmark 15, 4th Great Britain 15, 5th Spain 14, 6th Japan 13, 7th New Zealand 10 and 8th France With 4. Considering what has been seen, the Spanish boat had little chance of reaching the final since they still have a long way to go and improve, despite the quality that the crew treasures.
The King, crew member
The King became one more crew member and sailed sixth aboard the Victoria, the Spanish catamaran during the moments leading up to the first round of the day.
Once again and they are not coincidences, and despite what is despite the question, if this event has been a missed opportunity? Cádiz has not missed this opportunity. With a lift of the old ones, once again the people of Cadiz and the visitors went to contemplate this great spectacle. They took to the streets again and filled the walls of the promenades of Santa Bárbara, Carlos III and not to mention the dock, although in the place where the tents of the teams and the rest of the organization were located there was little to see , since most of its spaces were forbidden to the general public, with access only to guests, organization, authorities and also to the press. And without forgetting the recreational fleet, which once again went to sea and that with the east it was not easy to be watching the races and maintaining the position of the motor boat.
The last day aroused emotions everywhere, and if on Saturday things were calm more than anything because of the regime of weak winds that blew in Cádiz during the day, on Sunday it was the opposite, a good lift that began blowing between 18 and 20 knots , reaching 25 in the streak, and later and as the tests developed, reaching up to 36. And of course in the water these catamarans are sometimes uncontrollable.
Revolcón del Victoria
The first blow of effect was given by the Spanish ship. The Victoria overturned 80 minutes before departure. What happened? They went to train before departure on a long board towards Valdelagrana and when they got there, instead of stopping the boat and jibe, they wanted to do the maneuver while sailing, they left on arrival and nailed their hulls to the bow, overturning and disabling the wing. -candle. None of its 6 crew members suffered damage, the boat and specifically the wing suffered significant damage that forced it to withdraw, towing several inflatables.
But the history of the capsizing did not end there, since in the final and shortly after the start, the British catamaran at the controls of the arch-honored Olympic champion Ben Ansilie – 4 gold medals and 1 silver – also capsized and as ordered by the Immediate withdrawal fees, although this time in full competition.
After the fiasco of the Spanish boat, the 3 races scheduled for this second day of the Rolex Sail GP Circuit were contested, the first two to decide the finalists and the third to contest the final. In the first test with a lot of public and good wind, a very fair start between Denmark and Australia that almost collided. Note that the speed of these multihulls was around 26-27 knots on average and with these speeds the 6 sections of the test covered it in 12 minutes.
In the end the victory for New Zealand, followed by Great Britain and the United States. The second test the intensity of the wind was somewhat stronger and after a good start that the British team clearly won over Japan, which finally uncovered the jar of essences, leading the fleet in some of the buoys. In the end, Australia was the winner, with Great Britain in second place and Japan in third.
With the 5 partial races held in this round of the Rolex Sail GP Circuit in Cadiz, Australia, Great Britain and the United States qualified for the final. What looked like it was going to be a very close regatta was soon left in a duo, as the British boat after capsizing had to withdraw. Australia quickly took the lead and put miles in between with its rival, who had problems avoiding a collision with the crashed British ship, which forced him to stop almost completely, and after a few minutes to start, he sees how time is running out limit to finish the regatta and the jury did not consider it finished.