ClubSwan 50 fleet. © María Muiña/Copa del Rey MAPFRE
Closing in on the Copa del Rey MAPFRE titles
After a second and a first today, their strongest performance of the week in the best sea breeze so far, Marcus Brennecke's double world champions Hatari lead the ClubSwan 50 class into the final day of the 40th Copa del Rey MAPRFE with a cushion of four points ahead of Stefan Heidenreich's OneGroup. The top two teams are more or less assured of a place on the podium but in this furiously competitive one design fleet it seems unlikely the two title rivals will square up for a match race finale.
Hatari's German tactician Marcus Wieser smiles, "With only one race to go we will see what happens, if we have a chance to hold them back and tack on them I am sure we will, and if we give them a chance I am sure they will do the same to us."
Racing on older sails the regatta leaders Hatari would rather the race officers wait until tomorrow's sea breeze strengthens as much as possible before the one showdown race is sent off.
Hatari won the favoured left off the start line on the first race and led all the way round whilst OneGroup dropped to a ninth. With three times Olympic medallist, Germay's Jochen Schümann as tactician, OneGroup led the next race with a perfectly executed first upwind whilst Hatari could not cross the fleet despite another good pin end start and getting left early. They were third at the top mark but squeezed past Niramo on the final run.
A first and third in the ClubSwan 36s is enough bring the 2021 Copa del Rey MAPFRE champions G Spot back into touch, just two points behind class leaders Farstar who have led since Day 2. G Spot's Italian tactician Michele Paoletti is hoping they can close that deficit and retain their title.
Paoletti reported, "We made a bad first upwind and then were lucky with one of the course changes that it worked for us, we climbed back into the fleet. And on the last downwind we lost one point on our direct rivals Farstar so you feel that heavily but we won the second race. So we will see what we can do tomorrow. It is all open and I am happy we are in the game. I don't think we sailed so well this week, I made some mistakes as a tactician so we are still there and tomorrow is a big day."
The young German crew of Carl-Peter Forster's TP52 Red Bandit from Bayerishcher YC near Munich have been fighting back since they lost a protest against them in the first race. Their disqualification from the Race 1 gave them a whopping 19pts to carry through the Preliminary Series. But they have stuck to their task and today after a 2,1 in the brisker 15-17kts sea breeze they now lead BMW ORC 1 by five points ahead of the Spanish DK46 HM Hospitales.
Red Bandit's Adrian Hoesch: "It was the strongest wind of the regatta so far and that helped us as we were quicker then than the DK46s when we were planning downwind. We had two good starts, got into good positions and that meant we could get a second and a first, so we are really happy. I think we are in a good position for the last day, we are happy. Today we just kept it simple, we made sure we got clean starts, sailed as easy as possible and stayed out of trouble and hopefully tomorrow we can do the same, we need to not get nervous, have no crazy ideas, get the boat ready early."
In the ClubSwan 42s Pedro Vaquer's Nadir goes into the last day's one race with a four points lead and no score in the Finals worse than third,
In BMW ORC Class 2 Javier Banderas Teatro Soho Caixabank carries a margin of five points forward to Saturday's showdown and are clear favourites to retain the class title. But by comparison the most straight forwards is BMW ORC 3 where Enzo de Blasio and the crew of Scugnazzi are 14 points ahead but Trieste navigator Andrea Visintini cautions, "It is nice to be going into the last day with a big lead but we had a tough day yesterday and this class is very tight with some good boats, today it all worked out fine but all the time the results are down to just seconds here and there. Tomorrow we still need to be careful, sail consistently."