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Swans excel at another stunning edition of Copa del Rey MAPFRE in Mallorca

by ClubSwan Racing 6 Aug 06:20 UTC 31 July - 5 August 2023

The 41st edition of the classic Copa del Rey MAPFRE regatta came to a competitive and enthralling conclusion today, with the last of six days of racing producing worthy winners in the ClubSwan 50 and ClubSwan 42 one-design classes, as well as the mixed ORC 1 and 2 rating classes each with significant Swan yacht entries.

With two races in Saturday's finale out on the Bay of Palma, there had again been all to play for, an increasingly common experience in this closely contested 2023 ClubSwan Racing season. The hard-earned results saw the winners rewarded at the celebratory Prize-Giving Party put on by the Real Club Náutico de Palma.

In the ClubSwan 50 class the top four had started the final day separated by only four points with Marcus Brennecke's Hatari (GER) leading the way and aiming for a repeat of her victory in The Nations Trophy back in June — and with a 2-2 scoreline it was mission accomplished ahead of Sonke Meier Sawatzki's Niramo (GER) and Andrea Lacorte's Vitamina (ITA).

A delighted Brennecke said: "It was a hard day because Vitamina won the first race — we were second and just three points ahead. In the second race they came out ahead and we had to fight to come back. We sailed very well, it wasn't easy, but we did well. We have a good team".

Meanwhile in the ClubSwan 42 class Pedro Vaquer Comas and his Nadir (ESP) team were able to post a 1-3 in the final races to confirm a close victory over their season long rival Jose Maria Meseguer's Pez de Abril, who had been early leaders in the class.

"This year it has been very challenging and all the boats are very good and every boat can win, so we have to sail well to win," said Pedro Vaquer.

"In each competition we see a higher level. Each time it is more difficult. Here it was very competitive. Pez de Abril started very strong, but so did the others. Today we won the first race, but if Pez de Abril had won the second and we finished fifth, they would have taken the title. I am very proud of my crew, we have been doing well for a year and a half, I cannot ask for more".

The results also had an impact on the season-long Nations League inter-country competition, with Hatari and Niramo's 1-2 in the ClubSwan 50 class delivering a win to Germany, while Nadir and Pez de Abril's identical scoreline in the ClubSwan 42 class saw Spain take second place ahead of Italy.

Overall in the 2023 Nations League Hatari is tied in the lead of the ClubSwan 50s on 30 points with Vitamina, and Nadir reaffirmed her top spot.

In the Majorica ORC 1 and 2 classes, ClubSwan 42s had led both rating groups going into the final day with Javier Sanz and Christian Plump's Palibex-Elena Nova able to take a third successive race win to claim victory ahead of the TP52 Aifos skippered by Spain's King Don Felipe.

Meanwhile Teatro del Soho Caixabank had continued her domination of ORC2 with an unbeaten string of nine bullets throughout the regatta to finish ahead of another ClubSwan 42, Basilio Marquinez's Seabery Dralion.

The Copa del Rey MAPFRE regatta week had started with typically reliable winds off the Mallorcan capital. In the ClubSwan 50 class Graeme Peterson's Moonlight (MON) and Hendrik Brandis' Earlybird (GER) — racing with Brazilian Olympic legend Robert Scheidt aboard as tactician — made the early running both with a win and second place on the opening day, before Cuordileone (ITA), helmed by Howard Spencer for this event, took the top spot mid-week with a 2-1-2-2 scoreline, a performance she could not maintain through the finals, finishing sixth.

The ClubSwan 42 class had seen Pez de Abril lead the way with five wins in six races in the first half of the regatta. However, the Copa del Rey MAPFRE is divided into three days of qualifying races, and three of finals, with each yacht taking its overall qualifying finishing position as the first race result in the finals. In what is a bitter-sweet experience it gives teams with a poor performance a second chance, but can also remove a substantial points advantage from leaders at the half-way stage.

So it was that Pez de Abril saw their 14-point lead in the ClubSwan 42 class reduced to one in front of Selene-Alifax, with both ultimately overhauled by Nadir. Meanwhile Teatro del Soho Caixabank lost a 21-point advantage in ORC2, though were able to continue their winning streak into the finals for a deserved win.

"As ever, the Copa del Rey MAPFRE has delivered another spectacular week of racing courtesy of the Real Club Náutico de Palma," said Federico Michetti, Head of Sports Activities at Nautor Swan.

"All the owners and crews in both the one-design and rating fleets have had a week to remember, and it has been great to celebrate with the winners across the whole fleet. Thank you once again Palma."

The 2023 ClubSwan Racing season continues with the Menorca ClubSwan 50 Europeans and ClubSwan 36 Europeans which will take place simultaneously in Mahon and in Puntaldia, Sardinia, respectively from 12 to 16 September. The season will conclude in spectacular fashion at the Marina di Scarlino with the Swan One Design Worlds and Swan Mediterranean Regatta from October 10 to 14.

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