Alfa retains her perfect scoreline

The latest from Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre

Wednesday August 5th 2009, Author: Evo Dallo, Location: United Kingdom
The IRC class provided few surprises today, as Neville Crichton's Alfa Romeo mini maxi, with Ben Ainslie at the helm, once again won both windward-leeward races despite being slower than yesterday. In only ten knots of wind the 70 footer did not seem to perform at her best. The biggest class of boats in the 28th Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre had their start 40 minutes later than scheduled, due to the light wind. Despite a very good start, Alfa Romeo wasn´t able to open up the usual gap over the rest of the fleet but nonetheless added a fifth but narrower victory to her perfect scoreline. Alfa Romea was followed over the finish line by Udo Schutz's STP65 Container.

It was a good day for Fernando León and Kiko Sánchez Luna's modified TP52 CAM, which is now fourth overall after a third and sixth place. The Spanish boat's duel with fellow countrymen on another modified TP52, Aifos, provided some of the best moments of the day. They rounded the first top mark together, but CAM proved faster downwind passing the Spanish Army boat.

The second race started in around 12 knots, and Alfa Romeo was first again, followed by American Hap Fauth's Bella Mente and Container, one minute and two minutes later respectively. After a bad start at the centre of the group, CAM couldn't find a clear lane and finished sixth. Nevertheless the Spanish modified TP52 is still fourth, tied on points with Bella Mente.

It wasn't the day for TP52 Realstone Matador. Considered favourite the Argentinean boat crossed first in the first race but came fifth in the second, dropping her to second place overall, the standings now headed by Vasco Vascotto's Mutua Madrileña. In the first race Vascotto faced the Judel&Vrolijk design and was ahead until the second beat when Guillermo Parada's Argentinean crew managed to pass the Chilean boat thanks to a wind shift which favoured the centre of the course. Behind them Bribón and Valars were also match racing in the first race. The Spanish boat skippered by HRM The King of Spain was third at the first top mark rounding, but the Russian team on Valars got inside and passed him, staying ahead on the run. Tension between the boats ended with a protest from Valars against Bribón for an alleged bad crossing.

The second race was won by Mutua Madrileña which had one of its best days this season. The whole fleet started at the pin end of the start line except for Valars which went to the left-hand side.

In the X-41 class, Karhu made a fantastic start towards the pin and to windward of Turismo Madrid which forced Sideracordis to let him pass, while Lexus went to the right with the German yacht Galatea. Javier Bandera's Karhu rounded the first top mark at the head of the group and got away on the first run, winning the first race of the day. A very good second start allowed them to get away in the second race, sailing to windward of the rest of the group, but the Estonian yacht Lexus, with Matti Sepp at the helm, a sailor with a good track record in match racing, managed to pass them on the second run. That pushed the Spaniards down into second place at the finish line, followed by Turismo Madrid, in third despite a 360º penalty for touching Karhu's backstay with her spinnaker. In the overall standings the Estonians are first with 13 points while the Italians on Sideracordis and Karhu are tied in second with 15.

In the X-35 class Tixelio dominated today, finishing first in both races. The Dutch on Just4Fun and and Italians on Giochelotta were second and third respectively in the first race. The second race was tight between Tixelio, Karma and Autoritas, a photo finish saw them first, second and third respectively.

There were no changes in Swan 45 class results, where Gideon Messink's No Limits is holding on to first place after finishing fifth and first in the two races today. Yasha is second in the overall standings and Nico Poons' Charisma is third.

All these classes will run their coastal races tomorrow in the Bravo area.


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