Copa del Rey - Day 1 on board Robertissima

Champion sailor Paul Cayard reports on the opening day of racing at the Copa del Rey Mapfre.

Today was the first day of the, 33rd annual, Copa del Rey, one of the Mediterranean's largest regatta's. I am sailing onboard Robertissima as tactician. Robertissima is a 72' Vrolijk design IRC yacht. There are four others similar to us in our class.

The Copa del Rey has 11 races on its schedule this year, with racing Monday through Saturday. Wednesday we will race a 'coastal' race, which really means one long race that day, while all the ether days we races two shorter races.

Today's conditions were very typical of Palma, sunny, hot and moderate sea breezes. The first race started at 13:10 with 10 knots from the south. We had a good start at the right hand side of the line but the left side of the course was better. We could never get over to the left fully and ended up third. Shockwave won and Bella Mente was second. Shockwave is the lowest rating boat in our group and gets about one minute of handicap time per race. They are about the same speed as the rest of us upwind but a little slower downwind.

The second race was started in 12 knots of wind still from the south, Bella Mente and Robertissima were over the start line early and had to restart. I have to take responsibility for that on our boat. We got in a battle with Bella Mente for the left end of the line and I didn't manage the situation well. With the race course fairly strongly one sided..left... neither of us could get past the others and we finished fourth and fifth respectively. Meanwhile, Alegre, who finished last in the first race, was well out in front and won the second race. Shockwave sailed well again to get second and lead the series after day one.

Tomorrow we continue with two races. The forecast is for a bit less wind than today.

For complete results and information on all other classes, click here.