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Monday, July 16, 2012

RAN Rocks The Socks Off Copa del Rey, Palma - Day One

Palma de Mallorca, 17-07-2012

It was perfect conditions on the Bay of Palma today to kick off the 31st Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre. After enduring an 80 minute delay racing finally got underway with a 10-12 knot southerly gracing the two dedicated windward-leeward courses. All the classes were on the water by 13:30 hours and two races were held.
Photo: © Nico Martinez/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
Niklas Zennström's 72 footer RÁN delivered the goods by winning the day's first test, which was followed by a second position - first before times were compensated - in the second and last race. The Swedish boat, winner of the 29th Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre in 2010, leads the overall IRC class after two races, followed by Sir Peter Ogden's Jethou and Bella Mente.
Photo: © Nico Martinez/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
In IRC 1, Tony Langley's TP52 Gladiator dominated the first race from start to finish thanks to a great pin end start that left the Jochen Schuemann skippered Audi All4one and Audi Azzurra for dust. Both crews chipped away at improving their positions throughout the race but it was the German boat with Jordi Calafat calling the shifts, which finished second followed by Powerplay from the Cayman Island in third place.
Photo: © Nico Martinez/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
In the second race the tables turned and French Paprec crossed the finish line first to take the overall lead. Audi All4One finished in second place followed by Gladiator which could only manage third.
Photo: © Nico Martinez/31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre
With Spanish sailor and Volvo Ocean Race runner up on CAMPER, Roberto Bermúdez de Castro calling tactics, the Spanish-Portuguese team onboard Swanderful clocked up a second and a first respectively in the first two races in the RI1 division. The Swan 52 is owned by Portuguese José Caldeira. 

Defending champions, Rats on Fire won the first race, but a third in the second race of the day has them sitting in second overall. Third and tied in seven points are Roumanian Natalia and Spanish Grupo Clínico Luis Senís. Four out of the five in this class are Swan designs.

Racing in the one-design classes, the J-80's and X-35's, was tightly fought and intense particularly the former, which was won by Spanish Mapfre of Carlos Martínez. Finish Samuli Leisti owner of Audi Ultra leads the X-35 class.

The day's racing was not without drama and a crew member onboard the Turkish yacht Provezza seriously injured his hand and was taken to hospital.

Tomorrow the race committee expects to stage two races which will also see the Soto 40 class join the regatta.

Lulu Roseman

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