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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

RÁN and Audi Azzurra Lead At Cope del Rey, Palma - Day Two

Palma de Mallorca, July 17th.

Strong and unexpected southerly winds today on the Bay of Palma helped RÁN increase their lead in the IRC 0 division, while Audi Azzurra Sailing Team's two bullets in as many races elevate them to the top of the leaderboard in IRC 1.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
The Bay of Palma delivered yet another day of fantastic conditions in spite of a not so optimistic wind forecast. It was light southerly winds of around 10 knots for most part of the day, before the local Garbi picked up progressively peaking at 18 to 20 knots. This allowed the fleet to display a fantastic show on the water, which saw several spinnakers blow out in the unexpected wind pressure
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
Boosted by these conditions, the larger boats in the IRC 0 division, managed to finish the day's two races in less than an hour each. Niklas Zennstrom's RÁN racked up two wins and now has a seven point lead over second qualified Hap Fauth's Bella Mente, which managed a second and third.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
George Sakellaris USA flagged Shockwave did the reverse and was third and second. Irvine Laidlaw's 82 footer, Highland Fling XI , the largest vessel of the fleet, did not perform as expected and only manage a fifth and a fourth.
Photo: © Martinez Studio/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
Racing in the IRC 1 division turned into a match racing dual between Alberto Roemmers' Audi Azzurra Sailing Team and Jochen Schumann's German All4One. A very good start by the Italo-Argentinean TP52 allowed her to round the first top mark first, closely followed by All4One. The risky tactics called by Jordi Calafat onboard All4One in the last run saw her lose the third position to English boat Gladiator.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
The second race of the day turned out to be even worse for Schumann's crew, which crossed the finish line in the sixth position and lost their spot on the podium. First in the overall results after four races is Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, followed by Tony Langley's Gladiator and Peter Cunningham's Powerplay.
Photo: © Martinez Studio/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
The Soto 40's made their debut in the regatta and delivered some surprises. Andy Soriano's Allegre controlled the day's two races from start to finish. The Soto 40 European Championship's current leader Ngoni got off on the wrong foot, as did the Spanish team Iberdrola. The José María Torcida skippered 40 footer tried to hit the line at the pin end but was left with no room.
Photo: © Martinez Studio/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
Nevertheless the Spanish boat managed to recover and finished third. Portuguese Bigamist's issues with her spi caused her to loose positions during the race to finish eighth. Skipper Afonso Domingos took revenge by winning the second race, which sees them third overall on the scoreboard, tied on points with Iñaki Castañer's Noticia. Alegre was second and clinches the first Soto 40 lead, with Iberdrola in second.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
The fleet's smallest monohulls, the J-80's, enjoyed lighter winds in the race area Charly which hosted the day's two races. Ignacio Camino's Nextel and Jose María van der Ploeg's Nilfisk won race one and two respectively, to close the gap on Carlos Martinez's Mapfre which remains leader despite clocking up a third and fourth.
Photo: © Fito Carreto/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
Racing in the X-35 division proved as tight as yesterday, with each race bringing a new change in positions. Finish Audi Ultra shares the lead with Italian Margherite – Jsteam of Roberto Mazzucato, which was first and second. Slow but steady, defending champion Hotelplan – Spirit of Nerina has made it to the third spot.

Tomorrow the IRC and RI divisions will have their coastal race which is expected to cover approximately 30 miles. The race committee is expected to hold two windward-leeward races for all other.

Eva Dallo

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