Yachts from six different countries are leading the score table after a perfect opening day at the 27th Copa del Rey AUDI MAPFRE in Palma de Majorca, Spain.
Even if the initial weather forecast wasn't anything to write home about, Palma's bay lived up to its name. Throughout the afternoon, all three race areas had a stable southwesterly breeze that started at 10 knots and gradually picked up to 15. All classes, except the GP42s and TP52s that were practicing, were able to sail two tight races.
The IRC 1 class saw the clear domination of the former TP52 Spanish AIFOS that scored two bullets. Tied at second place are French Moana and Sir Peter OGDEN's Spirit of Jethou. The Farr 54 CAM, helmed by HRH Don FELIPE, stands fourth, two points from a possible podium place.
In the IRC 2 class, consistency paid off for Italian Give me Five. Two second places put them at the top of the score table, followed by fellow Italians Kora 4. Tony Buckingham's is third, after a fifth and a first.
In IRC 0 the two Telefonica VO70 boats are carrying out an exhibition race, within the Copa del Rey, giving the right to the City of Palma Trophy. The Blue yacht, helmed by Bouwe BEKKING, won both races. The Black yacht, helmed Pedro CAMPOS, had to abandon the first race after a spinnaker problem
The ORC 570 leaderboard is an Iberian affair. José Manuel MESQUITA's Luso-Roux is first after a third and fourth place. Manuel DE TOMÁS' San Miguel is second, just two points behind the Portuguese boat, tied with Gustavo MARTÍNEZ's Hempel-Power.
In the X-35 fleet the first race was a British-Dutch battle. After a clear start, Thorkild JUNCKER's Cool Runnings stayed ahead despite the tough race against Quantum Racing and Just for Fun. A clear indication of the tight racing was the fact the first six yachts crossed the finish line within 15 seconds. The second race was won by Italian X-TRIFIX, but with a third and a second respectively, Cool Runnings and Quantum Racing are tied at the top.
In the SWAN 45 class German Earlybird, one of the favourites to win the Copa del Rey, had a difficult first day. Blue Nights, the sole Finnish boat in the regatta, won the first race after a close battle with the Italian DSK-Comifin and the Japanese Yasha. The Italians were ahead from the start of the race but Tea EKENGREN-SAUREN's yacht grabbed the lead at the second beat and crossed the finish line ahead of the fleet. In the second race, Earlybird had a clear start and lead from the start. Blue Nights lead overall after a fourth in the second race.
The GP42 class premiered in the Copa del Rey AUDI MAPFRE the practice race and for the first time ever all competing yachts had a journalist guest aboard. Near Miss, the Swiss yacht owned by Franck NOËL and helmed by Bertrand PACÉ, once again showed her clear speed advantage over the other yachts while the local crowds had a reason to cheer with the Spanish Desafío finishing second. Close behind them were the two Italians Roma GP42.2 and AIRIS.
The TP52s also had their official practice race, won by Vasco VASCOTTO
's Mutua Madrileña, followed by Platoon, helmed by Jochen SCHUEMANN
. Terry HUTCHINSON
, fresh from two victorious events in the TP52 circuit, helmed Spanish Desafío to third place.
Results - click here