Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Long Race, Long Day in Palma at Copa del Rey - Day Three

Palma de Mallorca, 18 July, 2012

In the 31st Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre on the Bay of Palma, the 25 nautical mile coastal race strengthened the positions of RÁN and Audi Azzurra, Swanderful and Powerplate as the current leaders in the IRC divisions and RI respectively. The remaining fleets completed two windward-leeward races which mixed up the J-80 class scoreboard, with Mapfre relinquishing first place to Nextel, while Alegre remains first in the Soto 40s, and Hotelplan – Spirit of Nerina increases her lead in X-35s.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
Unlike previous years, this edition's coastal race scored just one point, and there was no scoring mark in the course. With no discards, teams in the IRC and RI divisions couldn't risk a bad result. Conditions were perfect as the start gun was fired, with a nice Southerly breeze reaching between 15-18 knots.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
The 82 footer Highland Fling XI was the first mini-maxi to cross the finish line today, but ended up third on corrected time. The final winner was George Sakellaris' Shockwave, followed by RÁN, who remains ahead overall with a seven point advantage.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
Jochen Schuemann's Audi All4One scratched one point today by winning the coastal race in the IRC 2 division, which, together with Gladiator's fourth place helps the French-German team climb to the third  place overall after five races.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
Guillermo Parada's Audi Azzurra Sailing Team is the current leader after today's second, followed by Power Play, in third. Stephane Neve's Paprec, which started the regatta in the first position has lost some momentum and is now lies fifth on the scoreboard.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
A 19 second advantage over the Chuni Bermúdez skippered Swanderful at the finish line gave Grupo Clínico Luis Senís the victory in the RI1 coastal race, but the former still leads the division over Earlybird and Rats of Fire, second and third overall respectively.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
In the Soto 40s first windward-leeward race of the day Iberdrola delivered a perfect performance to dominate from start to finish. Alegre was hot on their heels but Pichu Torcida finally got away with the victory. Further behind Spanish Noticia IV crossed third.
Photo: © Martinez Studio/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
The second race of the day was won by Alegre after Ibedrola missed a wind shift in the first upwind leg. Overall that leaves them first and second respectively separated by just four points apart.
Photo: © Fito Carreto/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
Ignacio Camino's Nextel Engineering put on a perfect show today with two back-to-back victories that catapults the team to the top spot in the J-80 division. Mapfre managed two second places and is now tied in 13 points with Camino, while Olympic sailor José María van der Plough lost ground after being over the line in the last race. Despite this mishap he managed to cross the finish line in third position, and remains third overall.

In the X-35s, Hotelplan – Spirit of Nerina stands out as clear favourite for the final victory after posting  a third and a first which increases her advantage over Margherita and Audi Ultra.

Tomorrow all the classes will compete in two windward-leeward races on the Bay of Palma.

Eva Dallo

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