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41st Copa del Rey MAPFRE - Day 1

by 41 Copa del Rey MAPFRE 31 Jul 2023 13:22 PDT 30 July - 5 August 2023

Mallorca's renowned Bay of Palma dealt near perfect conditions, 10-13kts of wind and warm sunshine, for the six classes which opened the 41st Copa del Rey MAPFRE today. All four Majorica ORC teams, 57 of them, opened their accounts with three windward-leeward races whilst the one design ClubSwan 50s and ClubSwan 42s had two contests.

Just over one year on from joining the highly competitive ClubSwan 50 fleet, Scottish ex-pat, Monaco based owner-helm Graeme Peterson and crew had their best day yet on Moonlight. Winning the first race for the ClubSwan 50 class and then finishing second Moonlight leads the one design fleet tied on the same three points aggregate as three times class winner, Hendrik Brandis' EarlyBird.

The fleets racing on course area Charlie, most offshore and in the middle of the Bay of Palma enjoyed two good races in breezes between nine and 12 knots. While the more easterly race course areas are typically left side favoured, today an open mind and good starts were essential.

The Moonlight owner smiled, "This is our best day in the class so far, getting a 1,2 today is fantastic. I put it down to the team and preparation. We had a good game plan and executed it as well as we could. We started out a year ago in Scarlino, the journey has had its ups and downs. But there has been a lot of hard graft put in and it takes time to come together. Consistency is what it is all about and Andy (Horton, tactician) is doing a great job, adding to the team, but of course it is only Day 1."

Moonlight brought on a new tactician this season, American Andy Horton, who reported, "We had a couple of good starts and we are going well. We were second at the first weather mark in Race 1 and held on and second at the first weather mark in the second race, that is good in Palma. And we were fast, Graeme did a great job steering the boat, the gybes were good. We did not make any big mistakes. It was pretty left side favoured but no one won from the pin end. Our plan was to get good starts mid line and see how it went, the forecast was for it to go right a little, later in the day. So we stayed open minded compared to the usual Palma, and we were on Charlie course out on the Bay a bit more. It did look a left dominant track with the cloud and the way the breeze was working but we were always conscious that there might be some right shift to it, but there never really was."

"It was good fun, nice winds, nice waves. This is the second year for the group which is nice for me coming in as every department is just getting better every day. It is nice to just bring little pieces to the puzzle whereas when a team is three years in, say, and well formed it is not so easy to make improvements. We are in a great spot and it is nice to get a good day like this, but it is only Day 1."

Earlybird's first day scoreline is the mirror image of their rival Moonlight, their tactician Robert Scheidt, summarised, "We are happy with our day, I think we improved on all fronts on the boat, our procedures were better, our communications pre-start was better. And I don't think I made too many mistakes (smiles). The boat speed is good, especially downwind where we are fast."

In the ClubSwan 42 one design division, Pez de Abril, guided by Portugal's Olympic bronze medallist Hugo Rocha, triumphed in both races. Rocha said, "The key today was to keep it simple, to try to get out free and sail simple, and to take advantage of the other boats' mistakes. The value of winning both races is all relative, it's just one day of many and this is a very long regatta. I have done many Copas and I know that in such a long week there will be good moments and not so good moments, you have to think day by day and not think about next Saturday."

In Majorica ORC Class 1 Christian Plump and Javier Sainz CS42 Palibex-Elena Nova made the best start winning the first race and placing second in the next two to lead by a single point from the Italian DK46 Lisa R. Co-owner Sainz, past president of the RCNP, highlighted, "Today we were very consistent and that is what it takes to win here. We have a very good feeling. We feel good in almost all conditions. I think we read the race course well, we haven't fought directly with anyone and we've sailed clean, which is the important thing".

It is a well sailed CS42 which also leads Majorica ORC 2, Javier Banderas' Teatro Soho Caixabank, won their class last year and made the best possible start, winning all three races today. Banderas said, "The wind was stable enough to be able to do three races and we did well but I think we can still get a little more out of the boat. Today we made a good start to our title defence but there are still many races to go."

Last year's champions in Majorica ORC 3 also made a strong start to their title defence, Vicenco de Blasio's Scugnizza won two races and finished second to lead by two points. And Majorica ORC 4 is led by Scott Beattie's well sailed J/97 Just the Job, a regular podium finisher at this regatta.

The 41st Copa del Rey MAPFRE is organised by the Real Club Náutico de Palma and the Real Federación Española de Vela, with the sponsorship of MAPFRE and the institutional collaboration of the Govern de les Illes Balears, the Ayuntamiento de Palma, the Autoritat Portuaria de Balears and the Federación Balear de Vela.

Event website:

Results Day 1: (Position/Boat/Skipper/Results/Point)

Majorica ORC 1:
1. Palibex-Elena Nova, Christian Plump/Javier Sanz, 1+2+2=5
2. Lisa R, Fracesco Bertone, 2+3+1=6
3. From Now On, Ezequiel Despontin, 3,5+1+4=8,5
4. Aifos, El Rey Don Felipe, 3,5+4+3=10,5

Majorica ORC 2:
1. Teatro del Soho Caixabank, Daniel Cuevas, 1+1+1=3
2. Maverta, José Ballester, 2+2+8=12
3. Reve de Vie, Angelo Galeati, 4+3+6=13

Majorica ORC 3:
1. Scugnizza, Enzo de Blasio, 1+1+2=4
2. Laplaza Assessors, Carles Rodríguez, 3+2+1=6
3. Lady Power by Ready Set Go, Juan Pablo Marchesoni, 4,5+6+6=16,5

Majorica ORC 4:
1. Just The Job, Scott Beattie, 1+1+3=5
2. Ybarra - Befesa, Arturo Montes, 2+2+1=5
3. Lassal, Gonzalo Calvo, 3+4+2=9

ClubSwan 50:
1. Moonlight, Graeme Peterson, 2+1=3
2. Earlybird, Hendrik Brandis, 1+2=3
3. Niramo, Sonke Meier Sawatzki, 3+7=10

ClubSwan 42:
1. Pez de Abril, José María Meseguer, 1+1=2
2. Selene-Alifax, Massimo de Campo, 2+2=4
3. Porron X, Luis Senís, 3+3=6

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