Alfa Mk2 invincible

Ben Ainslie and the Team Origin posse on the newly relaunched Alfa Romeo lead the charge at Copa del Rey

Monday August 3rd 2009, Author: Eva Dallo, Location: United Kingdom
Neville Crichton's newly rebuilt Mini Maxi Alfa Romeo has fulfilled the expectations by winning both her races on the opening day of the 28th Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre. Newly returned from McConaghys in China, In his world debut, the Reichel and Pugh design, that came out of the shipyard just a few days ago, clearly demonstrated it was the best of the IRC fleet on a day that began with very light conditions.

The start of the first race for the IRC was postponed by 1 hour and 20 minutes, until the sea breeze built in the Bravo area, the most central of the three set up for the windward-leeward races.

Alfa Romeo took no risks and started by the pin, and was able to round the first top mark at the head of her group, maintaining this position until the end of the race. The US Mini Maxi Bellamente came home second ahead of Udo Schutz' Container .

17 knots of wind with a direction of 180, known as the Embat in the region, allowed the Mini Maxis to put on a fantastic show on the water during the second race, which was much tighter. Once again Alfa Romeo was first, followed by Bellamente just 17 seconds behind, and Container, again, was third. Cam, with H.R.H The Prince of Asturias Don Felipe de Borbón as helmsman, is fourth. Last year's winner the TP52 Aifos with Jaime Rodríguez Toubes at the helm could only manage an eighth.

In the Swan 45 class, where there are eight entries, Giddeon Messink's No Limits is first overall after two very tight races and exciting mark roundings in the Alpha area, located just in front of Ca'n Pastilla and the airport.

The magnificent Swans sailed in the same area as the X-35s and the X-41s. The latter is making its competitive debut in Spain, and two boats are tied first after two races: Matti Sepp's Lexus, which was first and third, and José María Van der Ploeg's Turismo Madrid (usually on board a GP42, but without sufficient entries for competition), second in both.

The Estonian yacht Lexus sailed to victory in the first race breaking the tie with Turismo Madrid. It was not such a fortunate day for Javier Bandera's Karhu that suffered a broken backstay at the very start and was fourth.

The other one design X-35 class proved to be dominated by the Italian teams, which claimed the three first places: Enrico Matta's Karma leads, after finishing first and second, followed by Tixelio and Giochelotta.

The one joyful moment for the Spanish competitors came for those in the RI, with a great performance from one of the favourites, Enrique Terol's Telefónica, followed by Manuel Gallego Frontera's Itaca IX.

The TP52s had their practice day, dominated by favourite Realstone Matador that satisfied all expectations with its first place finish.

One minute of silence

The sailing family paid a one minute silence homage today to Carlos Sáenz de Tejada and Diego Salva, the two members of the Guardia Civil killed by ETA last week in Palmanova. This was held today, on the opening day of the regatta, at 11am in front of the club, in San Pedro Square, where sailors, workers of the club, journalists and citizens have gathered to show their solidarity.

H.M. The Prince of Asturias, Don Felipe de Borbón, attended the event accompanied by Doña Letizia. Together with them, on behalf of the Real Club Náutico de Palma, was the president Matías Salvia and Javier Sanz, President of the Organizing Committee of the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre. Manuel Caballero and Teófilo Domínguez, general managers of Audi and Mapfre respectively, the two sponsors of the regatta, were also present

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