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“it Is a risky bet, but to compete is to risk and a club like ours cannot afford the luxury of staying behind” . Hugo Ramón, a navigator and member of sailing at the Real Club Náutico of Palma, admits that introducing a new class in a team of racing is always a decision, “delicate” and even “traumatic” , but argues that the current circumstances are forced to take resolutions brave and several years ahead. And one of these is to promote the 29er, a skiff with wings and gennaker, designed in 1997 by Julian Bethwaite, at the expense of traditional 420.

The World Sailing (International Sailing Federation) will keep the 470 as an olympic class mixed in Paris, but no one will deny that this design of André Cornú of 1963 may be making his last levee, and with him his little brother, the 420, the work of the naval architect Christian Maury, whose first units were built for exactly 60 years; a boat that until yesterday it was practically the only alternative that is offered to the sailors who have concluded their term Optimist and wanted to give the step to a crew double.

“The 420 is a boat with a lot of tradition in the Balearic islands, but in recent years we have seen how, as they clung other newer models, has been losing bellows on the international circuit. The 470 may not survive to the Paris games, but so will the 49er, so the logical thing is to train crews for youth in its reduced version, the 29er, a boat that, without being novelty, connects the best with the new trends of the sail and allows you to focus on an olympic-class very strong” , explains Pedro Marí, head coach of the RCNP and one of the promoters of this initiative.

the remainder of The season 2020, and the next year will mark a before and an after in the candle light of the Real Club Náutico de Palma. Athletes children will have the possibility to choose between the Laser and the 29er. The response to the proposal of the club has not been able to be more positive. The sailors of the last year of Optimist are “happy” with the possibility of sailing in a boat “very fast and at the same time very demanding,” , and the parents, who in the end are the ones who have the last word, have supported the proposal.

“The change is radical –points to Mari–: you pass go in a boat of initiation is very slow to a skiff very unstable and with little wind it gets to ten knots. The progression of the 420 was already great, but in the case of the 29er, we must add that it is a boat that requires a lot of balance and in which the crew carries the biggest in the tight and the spí asymmetrical sterns, and, therefore, assumes a very important role, both as the pattern itself”.

The RCNP has signed coach Luis Fernandez to introduce the new class and counts with the collaboration of the sailor Albert Torres and Elías Aretz, who are preparing for the olympic games of Paris in the 49er class and accumulate a year of experience.

“We are at the beginning of a new era and the help of two seniors with a lot of miles sailed is essential for our sailors to the 29er are at a good level before the end of the year,” , ensures Marí, seconded by Albert Torres, who see “high quality” in the quarry in from the Optimist: “they Know how to navigate very well, now you just have to do with the reins of the new, which has its quirks but, once accustomed, is easy to operate and relatively simple” .

The 49er and the 29er match not only in that its appearance is very similar, and both belong to the category of boat type skiff; their common feature most prominent is that it requires a crew perfectly blended. is “The pattern governs the boat, but it is the crewman who carries the ‘engine’ and what makes them run, both in the tight and in the sterns. It is unstable, but fast, and more fun than the 420”, describes Torres.

The more immediate goal is to train the crew, so the double bedrooms will be formed by a pattern from Optimist and a crew of 420, you already know what it is to navigate in a boat twice and hung from the trapeze. The next step will be “train, train and train” for, since the coming year, begin to compete in national races.

“it Will take a bit of patience, but you have to trust in our athletes. Are excited about and have wood of champions”, concludes Hugo Ramón.