Bella Mente day

As the sea breeze drops for the penultimate day of the Copa del Rey

Friday August 7th 2009, Author: Eva Dallo, Location: United Kingdom
There was little wind today on the Bay of Palma. The sea breeze - known locally as Embat - which has been blowing for the last few days at up to 20 knots, dropped and barely reached 10 knots today. In these conditions the Alfa Romeo mini maxi suffered, finishing today's windward-leeward races in third and fourth place respectively on corrected. This showed the difficulties that Neville Crichton's 70 footer goes through with lighter winds, where she can't gain the time she needs under handicap.

After several days crossing the finish line just a few seconds after Alfa Romeo, American Hap Fauth's Bella Mente managed to win both today's races. This doesn't threaten Alfa Romeo's final victory, but helps Bella Mente open a gap over third, Udo Schutz's STP65 Container. Beyond this, 18 points separate Andres Sorriano's Allegre from Container. However Allegre managed to displace CAM from fourth place overall. The reason for that was probably the two bad starts of the Spanish IRC optimized TP52 skippered by HRM The Prince of Asturias. The boat owned by Olympic champions Fernando León and Kiko Sánchez Luna will try to regain fourth position tomorrow.

In the TP52 class, the only discard of the regatta was applied in the eighth race, which favoured Realstone Matador. Thus the Argentineans are back in first place after two good races allowed them to overtake Vasco Vascotto's Mutua Madrileña. Alberto Roemmer's duel with the Italian was won by Vascotto after the Argentinean TP52 caught a piece of plastic in its rudder.

“On the first beat we were slower every time, then we realised we had caught something, and we were very lucky we could take third”, said Roemmers. The Argentineans were third in the first race, and Vascotto was able to cross the finish line second thanks to good tactics and probably also thanks to the plastic.

Valars took advantage of the two boats' private duel to won their first race of the 28 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre. But fate paid back Realstone Matador in the second race when Mutua Madrileña's bad start helped Roemmers open a gap that the Russian yacht Synergy and José Cusí's Bribón were able to benefit from. But the Spanish boat chose the wrong lanes on the upwind legs allowing Synergy to take second and Bribón third, and the latter is now fourth overall, tied on point with Valars, who is third. Mutua Madrileña could only manage fourth in the last race of the day.

Changes again in the X-41 class where Javier Bandera's Karhu finished third in both races, probably due to the light winds. Turismo Madrid took advantage of that and has taken the lead in the overall standings. The class has seen four different boats in first place since the regatta started, saying a lot about the equal standard at the top of this class. Olympic champion Van der Ploeg comfortably won the first race, and in the second, after a mistake during a manoeuvre in the first run, he managed to pass Karhu and then stuck to Lexus, which is now second, tied on points with Bandera's boat, now in third. There are still two races left, and the regatta is not decided yet.

The Swan 45 class hasn't experienced big changes today. The Dutch boat, No Limits, on which Cameron Dunn is calling tactics, was third and first, whereas Charisma another Dutch boat, scored the reverse, first and third, and is second in the overall standings, with a four point advantage over third placed Earlybird, which is likely to end up third in this Copa del Rey thanks to the eight points that separate them from the Japanese yacht Yasha.

In the X-35 class, the Italians on Tixelio now lead, two points ahead of Karma, which was over the line and black flagged in the second race. Albert Kooijman's Just4fun therefore has closed in and is now 7 points adrift from Tixelio. Tomorrow's races will decide who wins the 28 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre.

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