Quantum and Alegre in the chocolates
The 32nd Copa del Rey Mapfre concluded today. Among the big boats there were significant wins in the 52 Super Series for Quantum Racing, while among the Mini Maxis it was Andres Soriano's new Mills 72 Alegre, which came out on top.
Quantum Racing, skippered by Ed Baird, enjoyed the sparkling sea breeze, which topped 20 knots at times during the last race, to deliver the final race victory, running out their third successive 52 Super Series regatta win following Barcelona and Ibiza.
Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing started the week with three back-to-back wins before Quantum Racing really hit their straps, with five race victories in succession and building a momentum that Rán Racing could not halt. Rán came close on Friday, but Doug DeVos’ team was dominant over Saturday the last day, finishing with a 2,1 flourish to ensure their overall margin is 9.5pts ahead of Zennström’s team.
Zennström, whose team won the Royal Cup last year on the same waters, admitted the Quantum Racing crew was pretty much unstoppable: “At the end of the regatta we are pretty happy with second. We wanted to win the regatta, we gave it a shot but Quantum Racing is sailing really well. We will take a second though. The last race of the day was just great. The boats were absolutely flying and that is the way we love it. It is great to finish the day with a great race because everyone finishes with a big smile on their face.”
For the Quantum Racing team, it is the first time they have won Spain’s biggest and most prestigious regatta. Last year they competed, but a mechanical breakdown ruined their chances. However their team has strengthened this season by Palma-based Olympic gold medallist Jordi Calafat who also guided the Copa del Rey-winning 52 last season, Audi ALL4ONE. Until last year’s success, Calafat had more than 25 years of trying to win the top trophy at his home club, stacking up dozens of seconds and thirds, but now wins two in consecutive years: “After a long time waiting for now I have got two King's cups in a row. I am very happy. Hopefully I don’t want to stop this streak. We are the best professional crew in the world. I'm very happy in this project. Today we sailed very well. We have made a great second race today.”
Quantum Racing partnered excellent boat speed to great starting to achieve their success around a course area which in the end lived up to its reputation as a strongly left side favoured arena. Tactician Terry Hutchinson paid tribute to the entire crew, noting Calafat’s contribution on his home waters and Ed Baird’s starts: “We have been pushed hard all week by Rán Racing and by the fleet. This week we always seemed to have a little something extra speed-wise. We had solid local knowledge with Jordi Calafat on board keeping us going in the right direction. That relationship is evolving but he is on his home waters and so you sail confidently when you have someone of his talents on board. That was great and we got on a bit of roll in the middle of the week when Ed was getting some cracker starts and the boat was fast. Today we had one cracker and one not so cracker and ended up with a 2,1. The last race was great, we wanted the left side strongly got there and then just let the girl do the work. The boat is set up really well through the gears.”
The Argentinian-Italian Azzurra team finished disappointed with their third place overall, having made too many small mistakes and mishaps to really challenge the top two boats. They had to make penalty turns again off the first start line today and so finished with a sixth. Tactician Vasco Vascotto promises a better display in September in Porto Cervo, home of the Azzurra project: “It is hard to speak about things at the moment because it hurts and there is a lot of emotion, but Quantum Racing did so well and did not give any opportunity to us. But the reality is we did not sail well. We made it easy for them. We did not give them the chance to fight. We had some problems which we need to analyse. We had some problems and we need to fix them before Porto Cervo. That is our yacht club and we need to be able to show something different. It is tough to analyse now, very, very tough. But that is sailing.”
Not far away from their first ever podium was Manouch Moshayedi’s Rio which had to settle for fourth overall, their best position yet. After enjoying a final race scrap with Ergin Imre’s Provezza in the final race in boisterous conditions, Rio retained their much improve level of consistency.
1 Quantum Racing, USA, (Doug DeVos) (3,2,2,1,1,1,1,1,5,2,1) 20pts
2 Rán Racing, SWE, (Niklas Zennström) (1,1,1,6,3,2,3,2.5,3,5,2) 29.5pts
3 Azzurra, ITA, (Alberto Roemmers) (2,4,3,7,2,7,2,5,1,6,3) 42pts
4 Rio, USA, (Manouch Moshayedi) (6,3,5,3,6,3,7,4,2,7,5) 51pts
5 Provezza, TUR, (Ergin Imre) (4,7.5,4,4,5,4,4,7,6,3,6) 54.5pts
6 Gladiator, GBR, (Tony Langley) (7,5,8,2,9,5,8,6,4,1,4) 59pts
7 Interlodge, USA, (Austin Fragomen) (5,7.5,6.5,5,4,6,5,2.5,7,8,DNF) 66.5pts
8 Paprec, FRA, (Jean Luc Petithugenin) (9,6,6.5,8,8,8,6,8,8,4,DNF) 81.5pts
9 Aquila, AUT, (Aquila Sailing Team) (8,9,9,9,7,9,9,9,9,9,DNF) 97pts
In Hublot IRC 0, Andres Soriano’s team on the new Mills 72 Alegre won its second back-to-back Copa del Rey Mapfr, after coming out on top last year in the Soto 40 class. Even though their lead entering the final day was sufficient to allow them to sit out the last two races, they finished in style and celebrated sealing the victory on the water after winning the final windy race. Alegre, the latest Mini Maxi to be launched scored a fourth and a first today to prevail over Sir Peter Ogden’s Jethou. with American George Sakellaris’ Shockwave completing the podium.
Alegre recorded six wins in 11 races, a tribute to the sailing team and owner driver Andy Soriano, his second victory in his new design. Designer Mark Mills observed: "With winds ranging from 6-22 knots over the week long regatta a wide range of conditions was encountered in the scenic Bay of Palma, offering valuable experience for the Alegre campaign as tactician Chris Main and crew seek maximum competitiveness ahead of the Maxi Worlds in Porto Cervo."
In Hublot IRC 1, Michele Galli’s 52ft B2 confirmed his overall position in the fleet, winning the only race sailed today, bringing her tally up to seven bullets from ten starts. Second place went to Frenchman Mergui Mikael’s GP42 Team Vision Future and third place to the German Marten 49 Speedy.
G.H. Mumm ORC 1 it was Rafael Carbonell's Swan 45 Rats on Fire that both won today's win race and was the overall winner of Copa del Rey Mapfre's biggest class, with five wins from 10 races and a fifth their worst result. Completing the podium are the Spanish Grand Soleil 46 R Grupo Clínico Dr. Luis Senís skippered by Axel Rodger, and Romanian Natalia Brailou’s Swan 42 Natalia, which today scored their worst results of the regatta, with a 24 and a 30 respectively.
ORC 2 saw Team Movistar achieve its fifth title in the Copa del Rey Mapfre, sixth for its owner and skipper, Pedro Campos. The Galician Sinergia 40 had an excellent week, scoring six first places, three seconds and a third. The podium was completed with Javier Banderas’ XP-38 X-Spain, skippered by Iñaki Castañer, and Joan Cabrera’s X-37 Airlan-Aermec, skippered by Teo Matheu, winner of today's last race.
Roberto Mazzucato’s Margherita defended its 2012 title in the La Caixa X-35 class, after a wonderful week where all his results were above third. The fully Italian podium in this class was completed by Alessandro Solerio’s Lelagain and Emilio Bruschi’s Xsuntleones. Today’s victories went to Xsuntleones and Javier Sanz’s Red Eléctrica de España. At Copa del Rey Mapfre, the X35 competition also doubled as the class' European Championship.
In the Mahou J/80 Class was the top result of the Copa del Rey with Turismo do Algarve, skippered by Portugual's Hugo Roche, the recently crowned 2013 World Champion winning ten out of the 12 races sailed, including both today's races. He finished 13 points ahead of Carlos Martinez’s second-placed Deltastone, winner in 2012 with third place going to José María Van der Ploeg’s Factor Energía, who chose not to compete in the last race today.
In the Nespresso Soto 40 class it was Luis Martin Cabiedes’ Vamos Spain, skippered by Pichu Torcida, which achieved overall victory after a very consistent week, a fifth place being their worst result. Cabiedes’ team finished on 30 points, six ahead of the Portugese crew on Antares, with third going to Horacio Pávez’s Chilean Mitsubishi Motors, skippered by Juan Reid, the only non-European team in the class.
Prince Felipe presented the prize giving ceremony of the 32nd Copa del Rey Mapfre, held in the cultural center of Ses Voltes in Palma.
The 33rd Copa del Rey Mapfre will take place next year over 2-9 August.