COPA DEL REY – Strong and unexpected Southerly winds today in the bay of Palma helped RÁN increase their advantage at the lead of the IRC 0 division, whereas Audi Azzurra Sailing Team`s two wins in as many races lift them up to first position in IRC 1. Tomorrow both divisions shall run their coastal race, while the rest of the fleets will stay in the Bay of Palma for more tight and intense windward-leeward racing.
The Bay of Palma delivered yet another day of fantastic conditions in spite of a not so optimistic wind forecast. The latter announced light Southerly winds of around 10 knots for most part of the day, but the locally known as Garbi picked up progressively reaching 18 to 20 knots. This allowed the fleet to display a fantastic show on the water, which saw several spinnakers blow under such unexpected wind pressure.
Boosted by the nice conditions, the largest boats of the fleet, those running in the IRC 0 division, managed to finish the day`s two races in less than an hour each. Niklas Zennstrom`s majestic RÁN`s two wins allows her to open a gap of seven points in the general classification over second qualified Hap Fauth`s Bella Mente, which was second and third today. George Sakellaris USA flagged Shockwave did the other way around and was third and second. As far as Irvine Laidlaw`s Highland Fling XI is concerned, the 82 footer, the largest vessel of the fleet, is not performing as expected and could only manage a fifth and a fourth places today.
Racing in the IRC 1 division turned into a match race between Alberto Roemmers` Audi Azzurra and Jochen Schumann`s German All4One today. A very good start by the Italo-Argentinean TP52 allowed her to round the first top mark first, closely followed by All4One. The risky tactics called by Jordi Calafat onboard All4One in the last run made her lost the third position out to English Gladiator. The second race of the day turned out to be even worse for Schumann`s crew, which crossed the finish line in the sixth position thus loosing their spot on the podium. First in the overall classification after four races is Audi Azzurra, followed by Tony Langley`s Gladiator and Peter Cunningham`s Powerplay.
The Soto 40`s made their debut in the 31st Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre running in their own division, and delivered some surprises. Andy Soriano`s Allegre controlled the day`s two races from beginning to end, whereas the Soto 40 European Championship`s current leader Ngoni started on the wrong foot, as did Spanish Iberdrola. José María Torcida skippered 40 footer tried to hit the line at the pin end but was left with no space. Nevertheless the Spanish boat managed to recover and finished third. Portuguese Bigamist`s issues with her spi caused her to loose positions along the race thus finishing eighth. Skipper Afonso Domingos took revenge by winning race two, what leaves them third in the overall scoring board, tied in points with Iñaki Castañer`s Noticia. Alegre was second and clinches the first Soto 40 lead, whereas Iberdrola is second. MORE STORY