Five different winners from five races as Bay of Palma delivers

By James on 04 Aug. 2017

PRO Bill O’Hara defied the weather gods for a second day to complete the full program on day three of the GC32 Racing Tour at Copa del Rey MAPFRE. Despite the still scorching conditions, the wind held at 8-9 knots allowing two more rounds of the ANONIMO Speed Challenge to be sailed, followed by five races, all of them using America’s Cup-style reaching starts and finishes for the first time here. Remarkably, each race had a different winner, including Erik Maris and Zoulou scoring their first bullet since returning to the GC32 Racing Tour after a three year absence.

In the start of today’s penultimate race, a welcome waft of wind was felt on the race committee boat as Zoulou flew past at 20+ knots, shaving the transom. As Maris explained: “It was a crazy start with the Japanese right beneath us, but our timing was perfect and with our friends from Japan underneath, we just had room to go through. 20cm closer and it would have been a drama…” Zoulou overtook Mamma Aiuto! when the Japanese team overstood coming into the top mark. “We are improving. We decided to be more aggressive on the starts and the reaching starts suit us better. [Modern multihull] crew don’t how to start upwind anymore!” Maris continued.

Before racing, the Zoulou crew managed to better their performance on the ANONIMO Speed Challenge, recording an average speed of 22.11 knots, now more than a knot faster than second placed .film Racing.

The two boats with the best scores today were Pierre Casiraghi’s Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco and Spanish sailing star Iker Martinez skippering Movistar, both scoring 16 points from five races.

“Today we improved our speed a lot, upwind at least,” said Martinez. “It was good to do reaching starts as our upwind starts were pretty bad! A lot about today was not getting into trouble.”

Among the double Olympic gold medallist’s crew is another Olympic champion, Anton Paz, and younger sailors such as tactician, three time Olympic Laser sailor Juan Maegli, from Guatemala. “Today conditions were tricky, but better than the last two days – we were more in tune with what was happening and we could pick off boats. We are pretty happy with how the day went,” Maegli explained.

Realteam had a mixed day, but succeeded in winning the final race, but came second last in race one. “That was horrible for us – we were caught in the traffic and we did a wrong call,” explained skipper Jêrome Clerc. “You had to make good starts to lead. It was very close racing today. Let’s hope we have the same tomorrow.”

Still on top of the pile going into the final day of 36 Copa del Rey MAPFRE is Naofumi Kamei’s Mamma Aiuto! from Japan, who’s lead over second placed American Jason Carroll’s Argo is down to eight points. The Japanese team broke their run of second and third places in race two, overhauling Argo to take their first bullet at Copa del Rey MAPFRE. Sadly in the next race they attached themselves to the pin and by the time they started were more than a leg behind. “We were under the wind shadow of everyone and we just drifted into the mark,” admitted the team’s Spanish tactician, Manu Weiller. However this, they still managed to pull up to eighth place.

Racing continues tomorrow at 1300 CET.