Paul Beckett’s Review
The 2018 worlds are now behind us and it was a great event in spite of what the weather tried to throw at us. As we were leaving Mallorca it was freezing cold with light snow flurries falling on the hills in the region.
Only one week before the Spanish open Was cancelled due to rain and a flooded venue and the Worlds event seemed in jeopardy. However the rain cleared and the warm winds dried the track and was sailable by Sunday but a decision was made to forgo the last day of the Spanish event to preserve the condition of the track.
Sunday evening was supposed to be the Spanish Open Prizegiving, instead it was solely the Meet and greet and tapas evening for the 2018 worlds. The event was held on the rooftop of a hotel in Palma overlooking a small marina. What a great way to meet the team and catch up with old friends and meet new competitors and families. Mateo gave an excellent welcome to all competitors and set the tone for the upcoming event.
The Monday morning worlds briefing was held in balmy conditions with a light breeze settling in for the first heats of the event. The wind built throughout the afternoon and provided some great racing, and Tuesday saw similar conditions with tactical racing in all divisions with the Spanish team sailors excelling on their home track.
A great social evening at the hangar was put on by the Spanish with Paella and music by local Rag-time jazz band, The Monkee-doos….brilliant!. The free complimentary local beer and wine saw a few taking full advantage of the hospitality resulting in a few dusty heads the following morning.
All divisions had enough races for their drop so Thursday’s plan as posted was taken as a lay day which was good as there was little wind, but a great opportunity for some sightseeing and relaxing.
The final day of racing was Friday and the morning was notably cooler than previous days. The wind filled in right on time after briefing and we managed two and a half rounds to finish the event at 3.00pm with no races started after that time as in the NOR.
The implementation of Gate racing was a brilliant addition to the racing and made for close and technical sailing which was enjoyed by sailors and spectators alike. I for one would love to see this style exploited at future events.Everyone packed down having had a great event and went home for showers and a freshen up prior to the NZ team meeting for dinner at a local restaurant in Binnisalim.
There was a real celebration atmosphere trackside with the great music playing really set the mood. There was a lot of shouting and clapping and people standing or lounging on big bean bags in the spectator area. So all said and done another excellent event
It was a good thing we packed down on the Friday as Saturday morning saw The venue under inches of water again. (Shadows of Ivanpah) and it would have been a muddy mess, in fact we really were blessed since it is reportedly the wettest month on the Island!
The Blokart racing venue at Son Vent was meticulously prepared by the Spanish team and sailing on it very much resembled Ivanpah apart from a few areas that were a bit like the Perth track. No complaints in this department. The size of the track itself was absolutely perfect and the village layout worked well. Full marks to those responsible.
The prize giving dinner was held Saturday night in a Mountain top restaurant that overlooked the track except the cloud and rain obscured the view.
All in all a very successful event and full points to the Spanish organizing committee and sailors that prepared the track and attended to all the mark changes and on course work.
Special thanks to Maaike and Jan for pulling it all together helping to make the event run seamlessly between the event hosts and Blokart International.
It was great to catch up with Santi,Javier and all the usual suspects that make up the “Spanish rolling circus”. Meeting the greater European teams again was also a highlight and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.
See you all at the Worlds 2020 in New Zealand.