Alfa's unbroken run ends

As Hap Fauth's Bella Mente claims Copa del Rey's coastal race

Thursday August 6th 2009, Author: Eva Dallo, Location: United Kingdom
Today it was the turn for the IRC,TP52 and Swan 45 classes to race on the Bravo area, the setting for the coastal races at this 28th Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre. The three fleets had to sail a course of about 28 miles course through an intermediate scoring gate in just nine to 12 knots of unstable and shifty wind, with a direction of 160 to 190deg. It was the last chance for those lagging behind on the leaderboard to reduce their deficits.

The biggest surprise was provided by the Mini Maxi class, where Alfa Romeo's clean sweep since the beginning of the regatta came to an end. Hap Fauth's American IRC 68 Bella Mente won, having overtaken Alfa Romeo on the first part of the course, and so both were tied on points at the first scoring mark.

Even with her coastal race win Bella Mente is still 7.5 points behind Alfa Romeo overall, Neeville Crichton's newly rebuilt mini maxi in good shape now to take the Copa del Rey Audi Mapfre trophy home this year, even if now it is no longer with an undefeated record - as the Spanish Navy’s IRC optimised TP52 Aifos managed last year, which won all her races. Astern of Alfa Romeo the fight is on between Bella Mente and Udo Schutz's STP65 Container over second place, but the discard favors the US boat.

CAM will almost certainly have to make do with the fourth place. The IRCed TP52 owned by Spanish Olympic champions Fernando León and Kiko Sánchez Luna, with H.M.H. The Prince of Asturias at the helm, sailed a good race, but couldn't catch the big boats which are dominating the IRC class. Just one point behind in fifth, Andy Soriano’s successful Mark Mills designed 68 footer Allegre is also getting dangerously close. Last year's winner Aifos, skippered by Jaime Rodríguez Toubes, is seventh in the overall standings.

After the X-35 class’s two windward-leeward races today, the two Italian boats Tixelio and Karma are tied in first place overall on 15 points. They both made a very good first race, but were equally poor in the second, finishing eighth and tenth. Second in the overall standings is Alberto Kooijman's Just 4 fun, which ejected Javier Sanz's Autoritas from the podium, after their was tenth and fifth places.

a race win for Pepe Lis's Xacobeo 2010 Galicia in the second race compensated slightly for being disqualified in the first.

Alberto Roemmers’ Realstone Matador won the coastal race for the TP52 class and so is now just one point behind the leader, Vasco Vascotto's Mutua Madrileña. At the first scoring mark, the one at Illetes, Music, a boat in the IRC class, got in Realstone Matador's way when the Argentineans were about to round the mark. In spite of this minor hiccup Guillermo Parada’s crew freed themselves and went on to comfortably win
the race. Bribón is climbing up the rankings and is now third. Tomorrow's race will be a crucial one for the famous Spanish boat with H.R.H. The King of Spain at the helm, with a podium finish overall still possible for Bribon at this most coveted of Mediterranean regattas.

In the X-41 class, Karhu made a spectacular finish which has lifted him up to the first place in the overall standings. Javier Armada's crew dominated most of the race, but Van der Ploeg's GP42 Turismo Madrid managed to pass him in the last moment finally winning the race. Turismo Madrid is now second in the overall standings, with Lexus dropping to third.

The talk of the day was the Argentinean X-35 Edding skippered by Gustavo Warburg, who had to retire after he was hit at the first top mark by Italian boat Day by day.

There were no changes in the Swan 45 class, where RW Bol's No Limits remains first in the overall standings despite being third in in the coastal race, which was won by Dutch Charisma. The German yacht Earlybird was first at the first mark, and both Swans are second and third respectively in the overall.

Full resultados here

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