Quantum Racing on a charge
For day two of the 32nd Copa del Rey Mapfre, the wind decided to cooperate, blowing at 7-13 knots. All of the classes are now back on schedule, returning to the Real Club Nautico de Palma this afternoon all with four races now complete. For some classes this made for a very long, hot day on the water.
While the SSWerly wind held out long enough there were sufficient shifts and changes in pressure to ensure that the track was far from the ‘one way’ route that this popular venue has a reputation for, and there were ample opportunities to exploit a differing range of tactics.
In the 52 Super Series, Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing already scored one very impressive recovery – recovering from an OCS at the start of the second race they rounded the weather mark for the first time in ninth to win in the last 100m after a neck and neck dash for the line against Azzurra. But they were unable to climb through the fleet as efficiently in the next race allowing Quantum Racing, overall winner in Barcelona and Ibiza, to top the Copa del Rey Mapfre leaderboard.
The American team's 2,2,1 was the strongest score of the day, but after seeing Rán Racing’s first two wins today, the 52 Super Series leaders might have considered the gods were minded to side with the World Champions following their comeback in the second race.
By comparison Rán Racing’s first win today was relatively conventional, leading off the start line to be able to keep Manouch Moshayedi’s Rio and Azzurra in check all the way around the course. The Italians fought back from being OCS to finish fourth while Quantum Racing just eased past Rio on the second beat for second.
Azzurra led the second race, but dropped to third as they engaged with Quantum Racing on the last run and left the door ajar for Rán Racing to squeeze in for their second win of the day.
Quantum Racing stuck with their convictions to the left of the first beat in the final race today and were rewarded with a handy lead ahead of Tony Langley’s Gladiator, while Rio picked up their second third place of the day to lie fourth, just one point behind Azzurra.
Terry Hutchinson, tactician on Quantum Racing commented: “We did quite good work today, Ed (Baird), Warwick (Fleury), Jonesy (Brett Jones) and Lorenzo (Mazza) had the boat going really nicely through the water. The middle race was a bit of a disappointment because we had a 50 metre lead at the last top mark but lost it to Rán Racing – who have just been on fire – on the last run. But we sailed a nice bounce back race then, the guys nailed the start and we stuck to our guns. Everyone kept taking a step out to the right to the pressure line, but we were happy with the middle and the upper left and low and behold it worked. We had a nice lead at the top.#
"It is hard to stay focused on a long hot day like that, that is the most challenging part of the day. Some of us are straight off a Farr 40 regatta in the USA and we might be feeling a little bit if jet lag at this stage but in the same breath there is so much to play for then it is not that hard to stay focused. The nice thing about sailing with really good people is they keep cracking the whip on you.”
Dee Smith tactician aboard Rio added: “We had a pretty good, steady day. The course gave us lots of options, it wasn’t left it wasn’t right. It was a bit of both and we were able to pick a few shifts and the boat is going better and better every day. It was more a day of survival than of doing great work. We are pretty happy, the more you sail together the better you get. We had a long way to go but we are getting there.”
Jon Gunderson trimmer on Rán Racing gave his take on th day: “We kicked off with another win which we were pretty happy about. We got some lucky breaks, maybe getting some of the luck we feel we did not get in Ibiza. We had to scrap pretty hard for that second win when we over the line. We made a pretty good comeback up the first beat which got us back into the game. On the last run in the last exchange we got on top and we crossed in front to win. We saw some breeze out to left but it was a little bit of the roll of the dice – we felt we are due some luck – and then we kept it tight and we saw an opportunity when Quantum Racing and Azzurra were locked together and got a shift and that was all it took.
"Instantly up that first beat of the final race we had a good start and more or less where we wanted to go but it just did not pan out the way we thought it would.
"It is a long, long regatta so we are not thinking about the points at all at the moment. It is important not to be out of it at this stage, but a point off the lead is good at this stage. We are in the hunt, the objective is always to go into the last day in the hunt, and so we are there right now.”
Among the Mini Maxis racing in Hublot IRC 0, Sir Peter Ogden’s Jethou is still leading the provisional results despite finishing fourth in the last race of the day. Today, the top scorer was Italian Alessandro Rombelli’s JV72 Stig, with two victories (1-3-1).
In Hublot IRC 1, Michele Galli’s 52 footer, B2 posted an almost perfect scoreline (2-1-1) allowing the Italian crew to put on a nine point cushion over German Marten 49 Speedy, winner of today's first race while in third is Mikael Mergui's GP42 Team Vision Future, one point behind.
Day two of Copa del Rey Mapfre saw a change in the Soto 40 leaderboard. Yesterday's leader Luis Martín Cabiedes's Vamos Spain, lost its lead after three races today to the Chilean crew on Alegre - Mitsubishi. Meanwhile German Stefan Jentzsch's Black Pearl has similarly lost second place to Laurent Guerrero's Portuguese crew on Antares.
For the Sotos, the day started with a delay of almost an hour as happened yesterday, with wind 14 knots from 205°. Alegre-Mitsubishi, skippered by Juan Eduardo Reid, made a good start and arrived first at the windward mark. Hendrik Brandis’ Earlybird was the only boat worrying Guerrero’s crew. Vamos Spain, helmed by 'Pichu' Torcida, fought back from a poor start to come home third ahad of José María Caldeira’s Solete.
Half way through race two Alegre-Mitsubishi, Antares and Stacey Clark’s Cutting Edge were in contention, but it was Antares that finally overcame Cutting Edge, followed by Alegre-Mitsubishi, Solete and Vamos Spain. The final race today was almost a repeat of the second, eith Antares now into her stride to win by almost 2 minutes. Vamos Spain finally put in a good performance to finish third behind Alegre–Mitsubishi, the Chileans moving into the lead overall, thre points ahead of Antares and Vamos Spain.
Among the 36 teams in the G.H. Mumm ORC 1 class, th best today was Rafael Carbonell’s Rats on Fire. The Swan 45 scored two bullets and a third allowing Carbonell's team to take the lead overall six points ahead of second placed Grupo Clínico Dr. Luis Senís, the Grand Soleil 46 skippered by Axel Rodger, which won the last race of the day.
In G.H. Mumm ORC 2, Pedro Campos’ Sinergia 40 Movistar had an excellent second day, scoring 2-1-1 to lead the 23 boat class, three points ahead of arch-rival, Iñaki Castañer’s XP-38 X-Spain which scored 3-3-2 today. Joan Cabrer’s X-37 Airlan-Aermec completed the overall podium, having won the first race of the day, followed by a fifth and a fourth.
In the La Caixa X-35 class, the Italian-Spanish fight continued today with Italian Roberto Mazzucato’s Margeritha successfully defending her lead today although now tied on points with the local team Red Eléctrica de España, skippered by Ignacio Camino (1-3), having had an excellent day on the water. Alessandro Sollerio’s Lelagain, winner of today's second race, is now only two points behind.
In the Mahou J/80 class, Hugo Rocha’s Turismo do Algarve is getting the better of the fleet. The 2013 World Champion finished with a perfect scoreline winning four out of four races, even after an OCS in the first race of the day and having to climb from the back of the pack. Carlos Martinez’s Deltastone (2-2) and José María Van der Ploeg’s Factor Energía (4-3) are second and third in the provisional overall results, tied on 11 points.
The 32nd Copa del Rey MAPFRE will continue tomorrow at 1300. All classes are scheduled to sail two windward/leeward races except Hublot IRC 0, Hublot IRC 1 and Hublot IRC 52, which will sail a coastal race around the bay of Palma.