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Copa del Rey MAPFRE: Normal Service Restored?

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Normal Service Restored?


GC32 fleet. © Nico Martínez/Copa del Rey MAPFRE
GC32 fleet. © Nico Martínez/Copa del Rey MAPFRE

Winds remained light to moderate for much of the day, but the 36 Copa del Rey returned to a more normal, typical breeze pattern for the penultimate day of racing. As normal service resumed, some classes enjoying three races, it was the best competition yet this week for the record 138 strong fleet.

Aifos, BMW 0RC 1 © Ricardo Pinto/Copa del Rey MAPFRE
Aifos, BMW 0RC 1 © Ricardo Pinto/Copa del Rey MAPFRE

In the Maxi 72 class the title appears to be Momo’s for the taking. With a third place then a first from today’s two windward-leeward contests, Dieter Schön’s German flagged team go into the last day of the regatta with a lead of five points.

Their victory, leading from the top mark to the finish, is their fifth from eight starts and they have topped the four boat class since the opening day. While overall victory would exorcise memories of May’s Sail Racing PalmaVela regatta when they did not manage to convert their lead to an overall win, tactician Markus Wieser is already pleased that they have asserted themselves in the uncharacteristically light conditions which would normally be Momo’s weakest range.

Proteus, Maxi 72 © Ricardo Pinto/Copa del Rey MAPFRE
Proteus, Maxi 72 © Ricardo Pinto/Copa del Rey MAPFRE

“We are pleased to be competitive in the lighter conditions.” Said the Mallorca based German ace, “ It was great to come out and win that second race today in super light conditions. In the light breeze though anything can happen. In that last race Proteus were last by 400 metres, they gybe set and nearly won the race. The thing is that in the strong breeze when you are away at the front that is it. But in the light when you came back with the gybing angles and shifts, you never know where you are going to end up. It can be horrible. Tomorrow looks better, more stable. And that has to be good.” Wieser explained at the RCNP race dock. His work with six times America’s Cup winning Murray Jones as strategist goes from strength to strength.

“We feel quite relaxed. It is a good situation. The only boat which can beat us is Proteus if they win both races. Yes, I am a little nervous after Palma Vela but we are sailing the boat so much better now. Going into the last race then, I messed it up. But the afterguard are stronger now, we are more confident in each other and we communicate better. And compared to last year the boat is so much better. The set up is better. We have good guys and we enjoy sailing together, we have fun. But even at Palma Vela when we ended up tied on points we sailed well and I just did a couple of stupid mistakes. Murray helps giving advice and making sure we don’t do these mistakes again. It is good combination.”

Sum Innovation, BMW ORC 2 © Nico Martínez/Copa del Rey MAPFRE
Sum Innovation, BMW ORC 2 © Nico Martínez/Copa del Rey MAPFRE

A perfect return of three wins from today’s three starts sees Andy Soriano’s crew on Alegre increase their lead at the top of the Mallorca Sotheby’s IRC Class. Now they go into the last day with a nine points cushion and worst score of seventh, firmly on course to deliver the triple crown – three class wins in different classes. Second places today were shared among the strong posse of French TP52s, Paprec Recyclage finishing second in the first of today’s three races, Laurent Camprubi’s Alizée in the next heat and then Team Vision Future who lie second overall.

Alegre’s navigator Will Best considers today was their best day of racing in two weeks of racing on the Bay of Palma, having come directly to 36 Copa del Rey from the 52 SUPER SERIES in Puerto Portals.

BMW ORC 3fleet © Nico Martínez/Copa del Rey MAPFRE
BMW ORC 3fleet © Nico Martínez/Copa del Rey MAPFRE

“It was one of our best day ever, a long, hot day but we went out knowing what was going to happen, we prepared well we had a game plan and we executed. It was good fun. It was the best day of racing we have had in a long time, certainly since we came to Palma. It was the nicest and steadiest breeze. We started well but nothing too gung ho, Kelvin (Harrap) did a great job on the tactics. It was typical Palma race track as we know it.” Said Will Best, Alegre’s navigator.

The full program of five races and two rounds of the ANONIMO Speed Challenge were held on the penultimate day of GC32 competition at Copa del Rey MAPFRE. From these came five different winners. Top scoring boats of the day were Iker Martinez’s Movistar and Pierre Casiraghi’s Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco, but all eyes remain on the fight for first place. Japanese skipper Naofumi Kamei’s Mamma Aiuto! was set to soar even further away from the competition winning today’s second race, but followed this up with an eight after getting attached to pin mark at the start.

Earlybird, Club Swan 50 © María Muiña/Copa del Rey MAPFRE
Earlybird, Club Swan 50 © María Muiña/Copa del Rey MAPFRE

In the ClubSwan 50 Class which is racing its first Copa del Rey MAPFRE it is the pre-regatta favourites who look set to deliver. Hendrik Brandis’ Earlybird, with Jochen Schümann on tactics, went 2,3,1 today and so have an eight points cushion, but more importantly no score worse than third. Last year’s winners at Copa del Rey in the Swan 45 class and ex World Champions, Earlybird have stepped seamlessly up to the new Juan Kouyoumdjian one design with exactly the same winning team as on the Swan 45.

“We have been together as a crew ten years and that makes a difference. And we run the same pattern, training for four days before regattas and making sure the boat is perfectly prepared.” Explains Hendrik Brandis, Earlybird’s German owner-driver.

“Tomorrow we don’t really have to do anything to win the class but we will go out and do our best to win each race. It is about enjoying it. We have already done five events and that is more than most of the other teams. And we are looking forwards to the Nations Cup here which will be looking to win.”

Elena Nova, MRW Swan 45 © María Muiña/Copa del Rey MAPFRE
Elena Nova, MRW Swan 45 © María Muiña/Copa del Rey MAPFRE

If Momo, Alegre and Earlybird appear to have relatively straightforward targets to secure overall victory in their respective classes, the combination of the discard kicking in today and variable scores today have rendered the final day hard to call.

In BMW ORC 1 Aifos, skippered by SM King Felipe VI bounced back with a valuable fifth in Race 9 to Rats on Fire’s ninth to open up a six points margin going into the last races for the regattas biggest class with 35 boats. Rafael Carbonell’s Swan 45 is a multiple Copa del Rey winner lies second, last year’s winners the Mills designed DK46 which is skippered by Fernando Léon, 1996 Olympic gold medallist Maserati, lies third.

Nadir, Pez de Abril and Red Eléctrica de España, Swan 42. © María Muiña/Copa del Rey MAPFRE
Nadir, Pez de Abril and Red Eléctrica de España, Swan 42. © María Muiña/Copa del Rey MAPFRE

It is much closer in the MRW Swan 45 class where PalmaVela winning Elena Nova have a one point lead over the Ecuadorian visitors on Negra which has Azzurra TP52 coach Guillermo Baquerizas as tactician. After winning twice at the Copa del Rey with Matador and Azzurra, he is looking to try and win with the Swan 45 team he had never met before this regatta.

“We are doing well and tomorrow is a big day. Who wins tomorrow wins overall. Today was good, a typical Palma day when you had to get left. It is very exciting.” Said Argentina’s Baquerizas.

In the Herbalife J80 class Bribon Movistar have now stretched to be six points ahead of last year’s winners Les Roches. It is a looking a whole lot better for eight times Copa del Rey champion Pedro Campos on Sum Innovation after a 1,2,1 today sees them topping their BMW ORC 2 for the first time this regatta, and on course for the ninth win. And in BMW ORC 3 Javier Banderas’s Grupo Ceres, a Dufour 34 is ten points clear.

Mallorca Sotheby´s IRC fleet. © María Muiña/Copa del Rey MAPFRE
Mallorca Sotheby´s IRC fleet. © María Muiña/Copa del Rey MAPFRE

Results. Day 5



1. Aifos (ESP), S.M. El Rey Felipe VI, 2+3+6+2+4+4+2+(9)+5=28

2. Rats on Fire (ESP), Rayco Tabares, 5+(BFD/36)+1+8+2+2+4+3+9=34

3. Maserati (ESP), Fernando León, (13)+2+7+6+6+5+3+5+3=37

… up to 35 entries.


1. Sum Innovation (ESP), Pedro Campos, (6)+1+3+6+2+1+2+1=16

2. Maverta (ESP), Jose Ballester, 3+2+1+1+3+2+4+(9)=16

3. Kundaka – Elite Sails (ESP), José Coello, (8)+3+2+2+4+5+3+3=22

… up to 21 entries.


1. Grupo Ceres (ESP), Daniel Cuevas, 4+1+1+1+1+1+1=10

2. Just the Job (GBR), Scott Beattie, 1+4+4+5+2+2+2=20

3. Lanzarote Sailing Paradise (ESP), Alejandro Morales, 3+3+3+4+5+6+4=28

… up to 9 entries.


1. Mamma Aiuto! (JPN), Naofumi Kamei, 2+3+3+2+2+2+2+1+8+3+6=34

2. Team Argo (USA), Jason Carroll, 10+6+1+1+1+5+1+3+2+7+5=42

3. Malizia (MON), Pierre Casiraghi, 6+4+7+5+7+1+3+4+1+6+2=46

… up to 10 entries.

Maxi 72

1. Momo (IVB), Dieter Schon, 1+1+1+(4)+1+3+3+1=11

2. Proteus (USA), George Sakellaris, 2+3+(4)+1+4+2+2+2=16

3. Cannonball (ITA), Dario Ferrari, 3+2+3+3+2+(4)+1+3=17

4. Bella Mente (USA), Alex Roepers, (4)+4+2+2+3+1+4+4=20

Club Swan 50

1. Earlybird (GER), Hendrik Brandis, 1+1+(3)+2+1+3+2+3+1=14

2. Cuordileone (ITA), Leonardo Ferragano, 5+5+1+5+(DSQ/7)+2+1+2+2=23

3. Ulika (ITA), Andrea Masi, 2+4+4+4+4+1+3+2+(5)=23

… up to 6 entries.

MRW Swan 45

1. Elena Nova (GER), Christian Plump, 5+(7)+1+1+2+6+1+2+2=20

2. Negra (ECU), Francisco Rizzo, (6)+1+2+2+6+1+4+1+4=21

3. K-Force (USA), 3+2+6+(8)+1+3+7+3+1=26

… up to 8 entries.

Swan 42

1. Pez de Abril (ESP), José María Meseguer, 1+2+3+1+2+3+(4)+1=13

2. Nadir (ESP), Pedro Vaquer Comas, 2+1+4+4+1+2+(8)+2=16

3. Red Eléctrica de España (ESP), Alberto Viejo Puga, 7+3+1+2+4+1+1+(8)=19

… up to 9 entries.

Mallorca Sotheby´s IRC

1. Alegre (GBR), Andrés Soriano, (7)+1+3+1+3+2+1+1+1=13

2. Team Vision Future (SUI), Mergui Mikael, 1+4+1+(7)+1+5+4+4+2=22

3. Paprec Recyclage (FRA), Stephane Neve, 2+5+2+4+(6)+4+2+6+3=28

… up to 16 entries.

Herbalife J80

1. Bribon Movistar (ESP), Marc de Antonio, 1+2+(4)+3+3+1+3+2=15

2. Les Roches Jeunesse Marbella Team (ESP), Eric Brezellec, 2+1+1+6+4+(11)+1+6=21

3. VSA Comunicación (ESP), José María Van der Ploeg, 3+3+8+5+5+2+6+(9)=32

… up to 20 entries.

Bribon Movistar, Herbalife j80 © Nico Martínez/Copa del Rey MAPFRE
Bribon Movistar, Herbalife j80 © Nico Martínez/Copa del Rey MAPFRE

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