Thermal breezes from the south were light and shifty compared to yesterday's conditions at this second day of the 33rd Copa del Rey Mapfre in Palma de Mallorca, and it was just these shifty conditions that caused the spotty performances in the fleet. Only Quantum, with two second place finishes, held on to her leading position. The first race saw Gladiator in the lead ahead of Quantum and Phoenix, a team that has frequently alternated third place finishes with Azzurra.
In the second race, Azzurra had a clean start on the left-hand side of the course, albeit less favored, and took the lead which was immediately threatened by Quantum. After a fierce fight throughout the first beat, Azzurra rounded the first weather mark in the lead and went on to take the race, despite the relentless attacks by Quantum.
It was a morale-boosting victory that showed that results can come but doesn't change much on the race course, as the Americans take the role of the hare and Azzurra leads its pursuers.
Guillermo Parada, skipper: 'Thanks to this win we have turned things around. Yesterday we didn't sail well and we also just weren't very lucky. Let's hope that this win will help us improve our sailing here at the Copa del Rey, we are going to have to fight hard to win. There are lots of variables that are beyond our control, but we have to start again here in Palma knowing that we did our best to win. In the first race we weren't lucky, we started off well, but we couldn't tack when we wanted to because we were covered by another boat. We didn't manage to get back in the game in spite of our efforts. In the second race we realized that a start off the pin instead of the Committee boat was best and we headed there even though the most favorable side was to the right. We fought Quantum for the entire upwind leg and manoeuvred so as to be ahead of them on the first mark and from then on we held on to our lead.'
Vasco Vascotto, tactician: 'Yesterday I said that Quantum was the best in the fleet and again today they showed that they're is a cut above, something that we are looking into closely. We have to fill the gap between us as soon as possible, we want to improve and give them a run for the money. Yesterday's debriefing helped, we kept our concentration after the first race and got a victory that boosted our spirits. In the second race they showed that they know how to attack, but we held them off and got the win.' Standings Barclays 52 Super Series - Copa del Rey Mapfre
Overall after four races
1 Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug De Vos USA) (2,1,2,2) 7pts
2 Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers ARG) (3,5,4,1) 13pts
3 Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley GBR) (DNF/8,2,1,5) 16pts
4 Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström SWE) (1,7,6,3) 17pts
5 Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (6,3,3,6) 18pts
6 Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin FRA) (4,6,5,4) 19pts
7 Provezza 7, TUR, (Ergin Imre TUR) (5,4,DNS/8,8) 25pts
The programme for tomorrow, Wednesday, August 6th, calls for the coastal race with a course to be yet decided, depending on weather conditions. The first warning signal is scheduled at 1pm, local time and racing will be streamed live with English commentary here