In the bag for Alfa

But there is controversy in the X-41 fleet on the final day of the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre

Saturday August 8th 2009, Author: Eva Dallo, Location: United Kingdom
Bella Mente tried hard, but it was Neville Crichton's newly relaunched 70 footer Alfa Romeo that proved herself fastest boat of the Mini Maxi fleet at the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre.

In 8 to 14 knots of wind from a direction of 190deg, Alfa Romeo crossed the finish line two minutes ahead of American Hap Fauth's Reichel Pugh 68 Bella Mente, who was second, followed by Andres Sorriano's Allegre in third. Bella Mente's revenge came in the second race, where Alfa Romeo crossed first but not far enough ahead to beat the American boat on handicap.

There was a praiseworthy third place for Fernando Campos and Kiko Sánchez Luna's CAM in today's second - and the Copa's last - race, ahead of Allegre, Container and Jethou, fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. Thus Bella Mente finished the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre second, while Container has to make do with third.

The TP52 class provided no surprises, with Realstone Matador giving the rest of the fleet no chance. Alberto Roemmer's Judel Vrolijk design managed to drive Vasco Vascotto's Mutua Madrileña out of the race area. That favoured Valars, Synergy and Bribón, and Jose Cusí's TP52 could have won her first race at this 28 Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre, but Pichugin's Synergy passed her on the last downwind leg, with Roemmers third and Vascotto fourth.

This is the Argentinean team's second victory in three years, after 2007 when they were on board Siemens. The final race was won by Synergy, followed by Valars and Bribón. Realstone Matador and Mutua Madrileña finished fourth and fifth. The Spanish on Bribón finished the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre third ahead of the Russian TP52s Synergy and Valars.

The X-41 class delivered some of the most exciting moments of Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre, and today was no exception. In the first race, Karhu took the lead right after the start, and comfortably sailed upwind ahead of the group, until Lexus rounded the top mark inside coming from port. This port/starboard incident ended up being protested. Lexus was first, while Karhu and Turismo Madrid tussled for the second place, which was won by the Spaniards followed by Van der Ploeg. Back ashore later the jury penalised Lexus, elevating Karhu into first position, but there were still some surprises left. In the second race Turismo Madrid was forced over the line by Lexus. Karhu and Lexus then waged their own personal match race in which Galatea got involved too. On the second upwind leg Turismo Madrid kept on climbing positions and went from third to first. The German team on Galatea managed to pass Karhu - with the help of Lexus - to take the race win. But with the Estonian team being penalised this put Turismo Madrid back into first position. The final and accepted protest of Matti Sepp at 21:20 hours this evening penalised Turismo Madrid for not fullfilling the ORC safety rules, and has thereby given overall victory to Karhu. This prevents Van der Ploeg from winning the Copa del Rey for the second time, after taking the trophy home two years ago in the IMS 670 class.

After a third and a second place today, the Dutch yacht No Limits was winner in the Swan 45 class. RW Bol's boat, with Cameron Dunn calling tactics, has proved to be the most consistent Swan 45 at this Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre. Earlybird, which was first in both races today, finishe the Majorcan regatta second, with Charisma third.

The X-35 one designs also run two exciting races. Karma won the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre in this class after finishing in the first and second place tdoday. Tixelio's poor showing today - the Italians could only manage tenth in both races - dropped her to third overall. Just4fun won today's last race, leaving her second overall. Five boats were disqualifed under the black flag today.

More photos on the following pages....

Full results here

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