COPA DEL RAY – Picture perfect conditions accompanied the 31st Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre first two races, which were won by RAN and Gladiator in IRC 0 and 1 respectively, whereas Portuguese-Spanish Swanderful and Spanish Power Plate did so in RI1 and 2.
Palma de Mallorca, 16-07-2012. Conditions in the Bay of Palma couldn`t have been better for the start of races of this 31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre. The fleet had to wait an hour and twenty minutes before the postponement flag was down, but was finally rewarded with a southerly breeze of ten to twelve knots in the two racing areas where the windward-leeward courses were set up today. All the classes were on the water by 13:30 hours and run two races but for the Soto 40`s which had their practice race today, and will jump onto the stage tomorrow Tuesday.
Niklas Zennström`s 72 footer RAN delivered a great performance on the water by winning the day`s first test, which was followed by a second position -first before times were compensated- in the second and last race. The Swedish boat, winner of the 29th Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre in 2010, leads the overall classification after two races, followed by Sir Peter Ogden`s Jethou, and New Yorker Bella Mente.
As far as IRC 1 was concerned, Tony Langley`s TP52 Gladiator comfortably controlled the first race from beginning to end, after starting at the pin end thus leaving Jochen Schuemann`s skippered Audi All4one as well as Audi Azzurra with Argentinean Guillermo Parada at the helm behind. Both teams tried to climb up positions throughout the course, what worked out for the German boat with Jordi Calafat calling tactics, which managed to finish second, followed by Powerplay from the Cayman Island in third place. The second race delivered a big swing of positions and saw French Paprec cross the finish line first and climb to the overall lead, whereas Audi All4One finished in second place, what leaves them in the same position in the overall scoring board after two races. Third is English Gladiator which could only finish third in the second race.
The Spanish-Portuguese alliance onboard Swanderful was rewarded with a second and a first position in the 31 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre first two races for the RI1 division. Spanish VOR runner up Roberto Bermúdez de Castro is calling tactics onboard the Swan 52 owned by Portuguese José Caldeira. Defending Champion Rats on Fire of Rafael Carbonell won the first race, but a third position in the second one leaves them second in the overall classification so far.
Third and tied in seven points are Roumanian Natalia and Spanish Grupo Clínico Luis Senís. Four out of the fifth first classified are Swan designs.
The fleet`s one-design classes, the J-80`s and X-35`s, delivered tight and intense racing, specially the former, which was one by Spanish Mapfre of Carlos Martínez. Finish Samuli Leisti owned Audi Ultra leads the X-35 classification.