The 31st Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre coastal race was held in Palma, Mallorca today, Wednesday 18th July 2012. Olympic and America’s Cup champion Jordi Calafat chartered a winning course in his home-waters to secure victory for his Audi All4One team in the IRC 1 division.
It was the first line honours win in this regatta for the Palma born sailing legend’s team, but it wasn’t enough to challenge overall leaders Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, who finished second to remain on top of the overall leaderboard.
The 52s dominated the 13-strong fleet on corrected time with All4One taking the win, Azzurra in second place, PowerPlay third, followed by Gladiator, Provezza 7, Paprec Recyclage and Aquila in seventh.
All4One’s victory moves the team onto the podium, in third place on the overall Copa del Rey IRC 1 leaderboard with 17 points. Azzurra continue to hold a commanding lead of 11 points and PowerPlay remain second on 16.5 points.
All4One and Azzurra started the coastal course with their usual match-racing style ferocity, but it was All4One who gained the early jump after edging ahead on the opening downwind leg, which Calafat described as 'crucial' to their win.
The two Audi teams were neck-and-neck approaching the Islote del Sech rounding, but it was All4One who played a massive right hand shift best.
'It’s not about local knowledge, because everyone sails here so much,’’ Calafat said. 'We won because we moved into a strong position in the first run and had the strong start that we planned.'
It was a crucial day’s racing for the teams, as race rules do not permit for the coastal race result to be dropped, unlike other races in the six-day regatta.
Azzurra skipper Guillermo Parada said the importance of the coastal race was not lost on his crew as they hit the water with a strong overall lead.
Finishing the day in second place across the line and on corrected time was the perfect way to mark the half-way point of the regatta, the largest in the Mediterranean, Parada said.
'This was the critical race, we wanted to make sure we had a good result and we managed to do it,’’ he said.
'From now on we will play it more looking at the situation and the points. There’s still a long way to go, but for sure we are in the position we wanted to be in at the start of the week.'
Rán finished second in the IRC 0 coastal race to remain at top of the overall leaderboard on seven points, ahead of Shockwave on 14 points, and Bella Mente in third place on 17 points.
More than 1,100 sailors are competing on board 119 yachts, across seven divisions in the 31st Copa del Rey. A maximum of 12 races will be contested across the six-day regatta that concludes on Saturday July 21. Copa del Rey does not count towards the overall 52 Super Series.
The IRC fleets will return to a windward-leeward race format on Thursday, with the first race to begin at 1300 local, 1100 UTC.
by Jacaranda Marketing - 4:40 PM Wed 18 Jul 2012 GMT
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