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The Wally Class in the Trofeo Conde Godó by Nacho Postigo, Wally OPEN SEASON

23-05-2012

The Wally class is still in good shape. There are currently six boats racing in Barcelona and two new boats under construction; one is due to join the fleet this summer and the other at the beginning of next year.

The Wally class is still in good shape despite the long and deep-rooted economic crisis that we have been suffering since 2007. There are currently six boats racing in Barcelona and two new boats under construction; one is due to join the fleet this summer and the other at the beginning of next year. It is the only fleet of maxis that has a decent number of boats competing on a well-founded circuit.

The boats are spectacular- not only for their innovative and futuristic appearance, with open decks and an exhaustive use of technology, but also taking into consideration the fact that these boats are really leisure cruising yachts, they have a surprising number of features and systems -  cabins, bathrooms, air conditioning, generators, fitted kitchens, anchoring systems and a truly competitive spirit. I am one of the great believers that the Wally class will go down in history as the “J class” of the XXI century.

The Open Season, the boat I am fortunate to be sailing with as navigator, is a 94 foot design by German Frers. This year the boat has had a refit that included changing the keel, the bulb and the forestay in the aim to optimize its features whilst improving its IRC rating. The boat is significantly heavier that our main competitor the Magic Carpet and we also have a much more limited sail inventory since the owner uses the boat mainly for leisure sailing rather than racing.

It is one of the many things that make this class so special.

With a real passion for Spain, the owner bases the boat permanently in Palma de Mallorca and likes to sail with a Spanish crew, including Pedro Más as bowman, Pachi Caro as pitman, and Marc Patiño as strategist working alongside me in my role as navigator.

In such a competitive and impressive class with the beautiful line-up of elegant hulls the favourite is currently Magic Carpet, having proved its position with a resounding victory in the Trofeo PalmaVela.

Another competitor to be watched (as well as the Open Season of course), is J-One, the smallest boat in the Wally fleet, and one that might surprise us all if the garbí (Leveche, the south-west wind in the Mediterranean ) is not too strong and we have particularly light racing conditions.  

It will also be interesting to follow the performance of the home contender Tiketitoo from the Real Club Náutico de Barcelona, although in my opinion the Barcelona regatta is not the most  suitable for the design of this particular boat which usually performs best in the coastal races rather than the typical windward-leeward races. 

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