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Saturday, July 21, 2012

RÁN, All4One and Alegre Crowned at Copa del Rey. Palma

Palma de Mallorca, 21 July, 2012

The eight winners of the 31st Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre regatta showed plenty of determination today after six days of very tight racing on the Bay of Palma. RÁN in IRC 0, Audi All4One in IRC1, Alegre in Soto 40, Swanderful in RI 1, Power Plate in RI 2, Marguerite – Jsteam in X-35 and Mapfre in J-80 were the teams that clinched victory.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
For the final day of the regatta the weather gods delivered ideal conditions with a nor'easterly wind of 18 knots that dropped off to 12 knots during the day. The 10 degree wind shifts and flat water enough of a challenge for those amongst the fleets looking for glory.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
Despite hitting the pin mark at the beginning of race one and then sweeping it away, RÁN was determined to succeed and hell bent on repeating their victory in 2010. The IRC 0 division had put on a magnificent show on the water thanks to the six mini-maxis and an international fleet. The Swedish boat only managed a third and a second, while today's wins went to Jethou and Stig. Second overall  was Shockwave followed by Stig.
Photo: © Fito Carreto/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
In IRC 1 leaders Audi All4One and Audi Azzurra went into the final day's battle tied on points to deliver high-adrenalin, heart-stopping action. Jochen Schumann and Guillermo Parada turned the day's two races into a match race in which the Italo-Argentinean boat finished third, whereas the Franco-German skippered by Schuemann was fifth. This helped Parada's crew scratch two points, but the following race things change again. 
Photo: © Fito Carreto/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
At the start of the second race All4One went looking for pressure on the the left hand side of the course while Audi Azzurra Sailing Team remained on the right and hit a pothole. By the time they caught air again All4One had left them for dust. The team finished three places ahead of former regatta leaders Audi Azzurra, which was enough to claim the trophy. 
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
Paprec finished second and Provezza finished third. With the overall regatta win on the line skipper Jochen Schuemann and tactician Jordi Calafat used the best of their Olympic and America’s Cup winning knowledge to hold the lead to the finish, and win their first Copa del Rey together as well as on their own. Audi Azzurra Sailing Team was second overall and Tony Langley's Gladiator third. RR. HH. Felipe de Borbón skippered Aifos to a fifth overall, after a tenth and an eighth place today.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
The last day confirmed Swandefull as the winner in the RI 1 division. José Caldeira's Swan 45 became the first Portuguese boat and crew to ever win the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre. The boat with local Chuny Bermúdez calling tactics only clinched one partial victory, but their consistency throughout the regatta finally paid off. This is the fourth Majorcan crown for Bermúdez, a round the world sailor, who was followed onto the podium by Earlybird and  Rats on Fire, all of them Swan 45s. Itaca IX placed fifth and was awarded the Corinthian trophy.
Photo: © Martinez Studio/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
Power Plate found few rivals in the RI 2 fleet. Today's back-to-back wins added to their three first places gave the Spanish boat a well deserved victory with a 20 point advantage over the Italian boat Volmer. Pedro Campos' Movistar was third and Tanit IV who finished fourth overall was declared the winner of the Corinthian Trophy.
Photo: © Martinez Studio/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
In the very hotly contested Soto 40 division, Alegre and Iberdrola battled it out until the end and eventually the Monaco flagged boat owned by Andrés Soriano claimed overall victory. In their wake Noticia and Bigamist fought hard for the third podium spot. 
Photo: © Martinez Studio/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
After a general recall, race 1 started and saw Jose María Torcida cut down distances by three points with Alegre, whereas Iñaki Castañer's Noticia finished just one point behind Bigamist. It was Bigamist owner Pedro Mendonça's birthday today and his crew wanted to give him a place on the podium and they did that in race two.
Photo: © Martinez Studio/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
Iberdrola rounded the first top mark last, and managed to move up to third by the end of the race, but Alegre's fourth place gave them the victory.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
In the J-80 Ignacio Camino's Nextel suffered heartbreak when his boat dismasted right before the start of race one, forcing him to abandon the regatta. This benefited Mapfre who without their main contender sailed conservatively in the last two races of the event to win their first Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre crown. Nextel finished third overall.

No big surprises either in X-35, where “Margherita – Jsteam”, “Hotelplan – Spirit of Nerina” and “Red Eléctrica”,  were the three top boats this morning and stepped onto the podium in that same order.

Eva Dallo

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