Fresh from winning The Hague Offshore Sailing World Championship, Karl Kwok and Team Beau Geste, guided by tactician Gavin Brady, are on course to make their first visit to the Copa del Rey MAPFRE a winning one.
With another two windward-leeward race victories today, in gentle 7-9kts sea breezes at 37 Copa del Rey MAPFRE, in the highly competitive Sotheby’s Mallorca IRC Class 1, the Royal Hong Kong YC flagged Botin 52 sits atop four chasing TP52s with a lead now at 14pts after eight races on the Bay of Palma. Beau Geste are starting well, sailing very clean and smartly and are well optimised for the lighter conditions, their design being slightly more powerful than the class legal TP52s, carrying slightly more mainsail area and less keel weight. Behind them only five points separates Jean-Luc Petithuguenin’s 2015 built Paprec Recyclage in second. In third is Vadim Yakimenko’s TP52 Freccia Rossa, which won Copa del Rey in its original colours as Audi All4One and which has won the ORC Worlds three times, fourth is Tina Plattner’s The Phoenix which has Ed Baird calling tactics.
The Phoenix’s Tom Burnham acknowledges, “The Beau Geste is sailing really well, it is a good boat, sailed well with a good rating. They are not making many mistakes. They are getting the first shifts and that is making a difference they have not missed them very often, for the most part they are starting well. We give them about three boat lengths over a race course so it is not very much at all. They are also sailing very well and so deserve a lot of credit for how well they are doing.”
Kwok’s team are sailing themselves into contention to win the Copa del Rey for their first time. Others who have already risen to the top of their fleets are what might be considered ‘usual suspects’, even if some have moved classes. In the case of Copa del Rey legend, Spanish sailing impresario and skipper Pedro Campos, this could be his 11th Copa del Rey win. On the helm of Bribon in the 6M Classic fleet they have won all of their races so far and show no signs of being overhauled.
The core crew are longstanding Bribon sailors including Canadian double Olympic medallist Ross MacDonald on tactics and Alberto Viejo and Roi Alvarez. Viejo sailed on Bribons since 2001.
And if Bribon won it would be the sixth time after 1984 and 1985 in Frers two tonners, in 1994 in a Farr 44, in 2000 it was a Farr 53 and most recently the TP52 in 2011.
In BMW ORC Class 1 Nacho Montes and Oscar Chaves’ Mills designed Dk46 Estrella Damm were on a tear until the fifth they scored when a jib track pulled off the deck.
Their crew is a bit of a Spanish ‘all-star’ Estrella team including helm Luis Doreste Martinez of North Sails, some time singer and double Laser Olympian, navigator Gonzalo Infante, and tactician Pichu Torcida, past J/80 World Champion. But today they were twice beaten by their Swan 45 memesis, Rats of Fire which is now just two points behind Estrella Damm.
Their winning fizz may have dissipated slightly in terms of co-owner Montes seeking to lift his Copa del Rey class title for the second time, exactly 20 years after he won on a Beneteau 40.7 Estrella Damm. His team then were the last single overall Cup victors before multiple class Copa awards came in in 1998.
The ClubSwan 50 Class is closer than ever after today’s two races which were won by Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec and Stefan Heidreich’s Onegroup. Already half of the 10 boat fleet have won races now. But it was not such a good day for leaders NiRaMo and Earlybird which aggregated 12 and 11 points respectively. Earlybird’s tactician Jochen Schümann was confounded by the unusual breeze pattern today, right bananas upwind instead of the usual left bananas, but he was pleased they shaved one point off the lead of NiRaMo.
He commented: “In terms of the scoreboard we did OK, we gained a point on the leader. But otherwise it was a shocker. I can’t deal with this right hand side paying so much. Normally Palma is about left side bananas and this week we have right hand bananas, more right at the top of the course than at the bottom. So we see bad starts, tacking away to the right and comes back in the lead at the top mark. We try to do good things in the middle and the right hand boats all come in ahead.”
“Jesper (Bank, on NiRaMo) is having a great week, winning the first two races set him up but he is doing great things this week. We share the wins with five or six boats and so we cannot fight each other, there are too many boats around and Cuordileone is catching. We need to sail better ourselves. We need to pick the shifts are better. The level is good, the newer guys know how to handle them, there are good guys in the fleet and it is close. We lead the development and we shared our experience and now we are enjoying top level one design racing and we are enjoying all the close racing. It is not always about winning, it is about enjoying the close competition.”
And in the Maxi72 fleet, racing as Sotheby’s Mallorca IRC Class 0, Momo won twice today and is now six points clear off Cannonball.
Michele Ivaldi the navigator on Momo recalled, “It was a really open course despite this being Palma. The scoreboard does not reflect how close the racing is as Cannonball is really fast and they are racing really well. We may have a little edge which helps out at times as soon as the breeze picks up, but all the starts, the first beat and the top marks are very, very tight. Both first marks today all three boats were overlapped within two lengths, it is that close. At the worlds we will have six boats. You need to keep improving. We had a nice edge last year and not all of that is still there. This is our test bench for the worlds in Costa Smeralda next month.”
Tomorrow the Swan One Design classes and BMW ORC 1 race their coastal race.
Overall rankings. Day 4
Mallorca Sotheby´s IRC 0
1. Momo (IVB), Dieter Schoen, 1+1+2+1+1+1+1=8
2. Cannonball (ITA), Darío Ferrari, 2+2+1+2+2+3+2=14
3. Proteus (USA), George Sakellaris, 3+3+3+3+3+2+3=20
Mallorca Sotheby´s IRC 1
1. Team Beau Geste (HKG), Karl Kwok, 1+1+6+2+1+1+1=13
2. Paprec Recyclage (FRA), Stephane Neve, 2+5+2+3+5+7+3=27
3. Freccia Rossa (ITA), Vadim Yakimenko, 5+3+5+4+2+4+5=28
… up to 13 entries.
1. Niramo (GER), Sönke Meier Sawatzki, 1+1+2+4+3+2+(6)+6=19
2. Earlybird (GER), Hendrik Brandis, 3+2+1+5+4+3+(7)+4=22
3. Cuordileone (ITA), Leonardo Ferragamo, 4+(9)+9+1+5+1+4+2=26
… up to 10 entries.
MRW Swan 45
1. K-Force (NED), Jan de Kraker, (4)+2+4+3+1+1+2+2=15
2. Porrón IX (ESP), Luis Senís, 2+1+2+4+2+(5)+1+3=16
3. Elena Nova (GER), Christian Plump, 1+(4)+1+2+3+2+3+4=13
… up to 5 entries.
1. Selene (ITA), Massimo de Campo, 2+3+2+2+1+5+(6)+2=17
2. Nadir (ESP), Pedro Vaquer, 7+2+1+3+2+1+(7)+3=19
3. Pez de abril (ESP), Jose María Meseguer, (5)+1+4+1+4+3+3+4=18
… up to 11 entries.
1. Ineos Team UK (GBR), Ben Ainslie, 3+2+1+1+2+4+1+2+1+4=21
2. Norauto (FRA), Franck Cammas, 1+1+2+2+5+5+3+1+4+1=25
3. Zoulou (FRA), Erik Maris, 2+7+6+5+7+1+6+3+3+6=46
… up to 8 entries.
1. Stig (ITA), Alessandro Rombelli, 1+4+2+2+1+1=11
2. Vitamina-Cetilar (ITA), Andrea Lacorte, 2+2+4+1+3+5=17
3. Dynamiq-Synergy Sailing Team (MON), 3+3+5+3+2+4=20
… up to 5 entries.
BMW ORC 1
1. Estrella Damm (ESP), Luis Martínez Doreste, 1+1+1+(5)+1+1+2+2=9
2. Rats on fire (ESP), Rayco Tabares, 2+2+2+1+(5)+2+1+1=11
3. BMW Sail Racing Academy (ITA), 3+4+4+3+3+(8)+6+3=26
… up to 23 entries.
BMW ORC 2
1. Antonio Banderas Design (ESP), Dani Cuevas, 6+1+2+4+1+1+1=16
2. El Carmen – Elite Sails (ESP), 1+5+1+5+2+5+3=22
3. Modul (SUI), Ignacio Camino, 2+2+5+1+5+2+6=23
… up to 12 entries.
BMW ORC 3
1. L´immens – Laplaza Assessors (ESP), Carles Rodríguez, 1+1+4+1+1+2+1=11
2. Tanit IV – Medilevel (ESP), Ignacio Campos, 3+2+1+2+4+9+2=23
3. Brujo (ESP), Federico Linares, 2+11+3+14+2+1+3=36
… up to 30 entries.
Herbalife Nutrition J80
1. Bribon Movistar (ESP), Marc de Antonio, 1+3+1+(5)+1+1+5+2=14
2. New Territories (ESP), Alexei Semenov, 2+(4)+2+1+2+4+2+4=15
3. Grupo Garatu (ESP), Iker Almandoz, 5+1+3+2+2,8/RDG+3+1+(6)=17,8
… up to 19 entries.
1. Bribon (ESP), Pedro Campos, (1)+1+1+1+1+1=5
2. Titia (ESP), Alicia Freire, (2)+2+2+2+2+2=10
3. Aida (ESP), Francisco Botas, 3+(4)+3+3+3+3=15
… up to 7 entries.
1. Sophie Racing (SUI), Hugo Stenbeck, 1+1+2+(3)+1+1=6
2. Saryba (ESP), Jaime Yllera, 4+3+3+1+(5)+3=14
3. Nivola (SUI), Reinhard Suhner, 3+2+(5)+2+3+4=14
… up to 7 entries.