There was a out and out war between Movistar, with the VASCOTTO-CAMPOS duo onboard, and Lexus, with Russell COUTTS, Mark REYNOLDS and Peter ISLER. The battle appeared to have been won by movistar at first, until a great mistake with a manoeuvre meant that the lead in the general rankings went to Lexus. Orlanda-Olympus closed the Copa del Rey with a well deserved victory in the last race of the regatta.
Four contenders for one cup
The signs were clear, that Sunday was going to be a truly breathtaking day, with four vessels: Movistar, (VASCOTTO-CAMPOS), Lexus-Quantum Racing, (COUTTS), Atalanti (CAYARD and BARKER), and Caixa Galicia with BERMUDEZ DE CASTRO all in a close battle which even the America's Cup would have been proud of.
Although the start was fairly calm, this wouldn't be the case for the rest of the race. Lexus-Quantum, with three times America's Cup winner, Russell COUTTS at the helm, protected the right side of the course, along with Caixa Galicia, and the Greek vessel, Atalanti XV with duo CAYARD-BARKER onboard, whilst the left side of the course was chosen by Vasco VASCOTTO on Movistar.
The first windward mark of the race was the first indicatuion of the excitement to come, with light southerly winds blowing as Orlanda Olympus rounded the mark first, followed by the Americans Bambakou, Movistar, Cristabella, Caixa Galicia, Bribón, Atalanti and Lexus. The last group to round the mark was made up of Aifos, Siemens and Balearia.
Although it seemed at the first mark that victory would go to VASCOTTO and team, surprise arrived at the moment the spinnakers were lowered, as Movistar suffered the loss of many positions as they committed a crucial manoeuvre error, dashing their hopes of winning the coveted Copa del Rey.
With Orlanda Olympus leading in the race, the clash between the four contenders was reduced to a tacking battle between Russell COUTTS and Paul CAYARD, setting the pace of this decisive race.
Orlanda stayed ahead throughout the race, with Bambakou 24 seconds behind, and Caixa Galicia 30 seconds away. In fourth place Atalanti XV fought with all their might to distance themselves from Lexus, who rounded in fifth place, while Movistar said goodbye to the race.
The last leg was a true match race encounter between Atalanti XV with Paul CAYARD, and Emirates Team New Zealand star Dean BARKER on Lexus-Quantum. Nerves of steel and perfect precision dominated in the last leg. Lexus controlled Movistar from a distance and kept a close eye on CAYARD's team.
At the finish line victory belonged to Lexus, although Orlanda Olympus crossed first, followed by an extraordinary Caixa Galicia, Bambakou, Atalanti XV, Lexus, Cristabella, Bribón, Movistar, Aifos, Siemens and Balearia.
Victory in the Corinthian Class went to Bribón with José CUSI, followed by Cristabella owned by John COOK, Bambakou, with owner-driver John COUMANTAROS and the Spanish Royal Navy boat Aifos
In the Breitling MEDCUP general rankings the lead is still in the hands of Pisco Sour- Movistar, with Caixa Galicia, owned by Vicente TIRADO second , followed by Lexus Quantum, owned by Jaime YLLERA.
Final Positions - Copa del Rey
|1||Lexus Quantum Racing||Russell COUTTS||5||11||11||11||7||7||7||7||66|
|2||Atalanti XV||Paul CAYARD||4||9||8||9||9||10||8||8||65|
|3||MoviStar||Vasco VASCOTTO/Pedro CAMPOS||10||10||5||6||8||11||10||4||64|
|4||Caixa Galicia||Roberto BERMUDEZ DE CASTRO||11||8||10||8||4||9||4||10||64|
|6||Bribón||S.M. Don Juan Carlos de Borbón||7||3||4||5||11||5||11||5||51|
|10||Aifos||J C RODRIGUEZ TOUBES||2||1||3||3||5||1||6||3||24|