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Swan racing teams prepare to make their mark at 41 Copa del Rey MAPFRE

by ClubSwan Racing 26 Jul 2023 08:58 UTC 31 July - 5 August 2023

"We know Hatari, along with the rest of the ClubSwan 50 class, are super-competitive, so we will have to work hard and sail smart to hold our own. It has been a great start to the season for us, but we still have a lot to learn and improve on. We have some strengths and some areas where we know we can and need to do better before we can say we're really competitive. But that is a big part of the whole ClubSwan Racing scene — great racing and friendly competition, and everyone is out there to deliver the best results they can." - Francesco Mongelli, navigator, multiple world champion and America's Cup sailor

The ClubSwan Racing family is gathering once again for the Copa del Rey MAPFRE, with the 41st edition of the classic Mallorcan regatta marking the mid-way point of the closely contested ClubSwan Racing season.

With all still to play for in the ClubSwan 50 and ClubSwan 42 one-design classes, as well as the Nations League inter-country competition, results out on the Bay of Palma could play a significant part in deciding the final outcomes.

And with several yachts also racing in three of the ORC handicap classes a total of 26 Swans will be taking part, comprising some 25% of the overall entry list.

"The Swan brand has been an important part of the success of the Copa del Rey since it was established in 1982," said Emerico Fuster, president of event organiser the Real Club Náutico de Palma, "and we are pleased that so many will be present for the 41st edition of this respected and high-profile international event."

In the ClubSwan 42 class Pedro Vaquer Comas and his Nadir (ESP) team are top of the Nations League table and will no doubt face further competition from their compatriot Jose Maria Meseguer's Pez de Abril for racing honours in Mallorca after close racing at earlier events.

And an additional challenge in the class comes in the form of Jerome Stubler's Raving Swan (FRA) and Luis Senis' Porron X (ESP), with both ClubSwan 42 teams joining the ClubSwan Racing circuit for the remainder of the season.

In the ClubSwan 50 class - which is welcoming the arrival of Pablo Garriga's Tenaz (ESP) - Andrea Lacorte's Vitamina (ITA) currently leads the Nations League race, but only two points ahead of Marcus Brennecke's Hatari (GER) who arrive in Palma buoyant after a clear victory at The Nations Trophy, the most recent ClubSwan Racing event in June.

Perhaps key to Vitamina's chance of success in Mallorca will be the contribution of her navigator, multiple world champion sailor and former member of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli America's Cup team, Francesco Mongelli.

"We know Hatari, along with the rest of the ClubSwan 50 class, are super-competitive, so we will have to work hard and sail smart to hold our own," said Mongelli.

"It has been a great start to the season for us, but we still have a lot to learn and to improve on. Many of our competitors know their boats better than we do, especially Hatari who have a 360-degree advantage over most of the fleet due to their knowledge of their boat, quality of race management and people involved in the team. We have some strengths and some areas where we know we can and need to do better before we can say we're really competitive. But that is a big part of the whole ClubSwan Racing scene — great racing and friendly competition, and everyone is out there to deliver the best results they can. And of course, in one-design you know exactly how you are doing all the time."

Meanwhile in ORC1 Fernando Chain's Swan 45 From Now ON (ARG) came second in both 2021 and 2022, so will be looking to go one better this year. To do so they will have to get past a competitive class which includes former RCNP President Javier Sanz, joint owner with Christian Plump of the ClubSwan 42 Elena Nova (GER).

The 17-strong ORC2 class features no fewer than five ClubSwan 42s, while the Swan 40 Lena Ly (GER) is Swan's sole representative in ORC3, the largest class at the regatta.

Even before the trio of new arrivals at 41 Copa del Rey MAPFRE, The Nations League has seen a total of 33 ClubSwan one-design entries racing this season, a clear sign the initiative has struck a chord with owners.

"ClubSwan Racing has been attracting new owners to the Swan family and 41 Copa del Rey MAPFRE, an absolute highlight of the Mediterranean sailing season, provides a great showcase for both our one-design classes and the strong and competitive entries we can see across the rating classes," said Federico Michetti, Head of Sport Activities at Nautor Swan.

"We are always delighted to be racing in Palma and it is also a further valued opportunity to reaffirm our long-standing relationship with the Real Club Náutico de Palma, a partnership that grows stronger with each passing year."

Racing begins on the Bay of Palma on Monday 31 July, with the regatta concluding with the final race on Saturday 5 August.

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