Cubelles Power in the Volta a Menorca 2022

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Eight of the ten expedition members of the Volta a Menorca 2022 together with the Tabac boat, commanded by Alex Esteva (on board). In the foreground, the ‘special CMDsport photographer’ on this journey and behind him, from left to right, Jordi Obach Rafel, Marc Morillo, Andreas Bredendiek, David Sainz, Quim Esteba, Nina Esteba and Rafel Figuerola. From behind, the Belgian, Cristof Delobelle. (PHOTO: Oriol Castelló)

(29-6-2022) Second day of sailing in the Volta a Menorca 2022 in sailboat and second binge of miles, many of which have been done in competition format, highlighting the power of the three sailors from Club Maritim Cubelles.

If yesterday they were 24 miles sailed, today they have been practically the same because, following the established program, it has been possible to cover the distance between Cala Galdana and La Vall. A stage in which the ten skaters of the Volta a Menorca 2022 have covered the entire western part of the island.

The nautical director of the Menorcan round, Rafel Figuerola, announced before leaving that the fleet would sail in a preserved state to Cape Artrutx, located in the extreme southwest of the island, and that from there it would begin, after the regulatory process starting point, a competition section that, depending on how the atmospheric conditions evolved, it would be decided where it ended.

The skaters have launched their boats in Cala Galdana at half past twelve in the morning. Ahead they had 24 miles to La Vall. A southerly breeze of about 5-6 knots and a fairly flat sea have allowed them to tack upwind towards Cape Artrutx.

Once there, the start process has begun and once this has been done, that wind from the south and the course towards the north has caused that section in competition to be a very long stern that the skaters have been covering by means of tacks along the to keep the skate alive despite the little prevailing wind.

ORIOL CASTELLO TAKES THE LEAD

Oriol Castello, from Club Maritim Cubelles, has taken the lead thanks to choosing not to go too far from the coast. Also his club mate, Marc Morillo, has opted for that strategy.

The fleet has been accumulating miles and progressively surpassing Cala Blanca, Sa Caleta; then the section of the port of Ciudadela. Everything at a more or less constant but very smooth rhythm and, above all, withstanding the intense heat due to the strong sun.

THE WIND STARTS TO FALL

Once past the port of Ciudadela, Cala en Blanes, Cala en Brut, Cala en Forcat have been passed… and the tip of Cabo de Bajoli has been spotted, very close to the extreme northwest of Menorca, successively marked by the Punta de Galera and Espardina and, later on, once located in the northern part of Menorca, Punta de Nati.

Once there, heading towards Punta de S’Escullera, the wind, already weak, has begun to fall and fall.
The nautical director, Rafel Figuerola, has chosen to set up the finish line, lest the entire fleet be left ‘out of time’ by a calm sovereign.

INPUT ‘ADJUSTED’

Paradoxically, after about twelve miles in competition, the entry has been so ‘tight’ that the first four to cross the finish line, located approximately between Punta de S’Escullera and Cala Morell have entered in one minute.

Despite having led the entire race, Oriol Castelló was overtaken by the youngest of the fleet and fellow club member, Marc Morillo, who, very skilful as a wind breaker, managed to give his boat more speed and crossed the line first arrival. Second was Oriol Castelló and third was Nina Esteba, from Club Nautic Tamariu, and the only female participating in this edition. The fourth to enter was Jordi Obach Rafel, from Club Maritim Cubelles.

THE FACE AND THE CROSS

Three skaters from Cubelles, because they are in the top-5 of the first heat which, for sure, will have filled the president of the Club Maritim de Cubelles, Jordi Aránega, with ‘pride and satisfaction’, who, by the way, was the winner of the first Volta a Menorca disputed in 2006.

Faced with this ‘commemorative’ success of the Cubelles army and that of Nina Esteba, her father Quim Esteba, has admitted not having found out how things went. His has been the cross sleeve of the day. As the ‘Merlot’ skipper explained to CMDsport, “I got confused in the starting process and I was left off center by the Santa Eulalia and with no option to leave. I was the last standout from the beginning and I was only able to catch the Belgian Cristof Delobelle”.

Today’s stage has meant spending up to six hours in the water. Six hours that could have been much more is that, after concluding the regatta, the calm has flooded the stage. The boats that accompany the expedition commanded by Gerard Esteva, Lluís Gai and Rafel Figuerola, have towed the expedition members. In any case, two skippers have refused the trailer and have decided to arrive in an ‘authentic’ plan and without help to La Vall. His arrival has been about three quarters of an hour later.

BLESSED FINAL SUPPLY

And when arriving at La Vall, there was Alex Esteva, the ‘Guardian Angel’ of the Volta who watches over the provisioning of the skaters at the end of the stage. From his boat, the ‘Tabac’, he has delighted sailors with mussels and canapés of fuá and others of anchovies.

After the first two marathon days (five hours yesterday and six hours today), tomorrow is the stage between La Vall and Fornells. A stage full of high cliffs that loom over the sea but which, depending on the wind, should be ‘licked’ (yes, like in Tamariu) to achieve good bows.

The good thing about tomorrow is that, after what happened yesterday and what happened today, the expeditionaries still think it’s childish. The distance they will have to navigate is about 12 miles. But you know, adventure is adventure and uncertainty rules.

Today the ten skates of the Volta a Menorca 2022 sleep in La Vall, an idyllic cove. (PHOTO: Oriol Castelló)


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