So far the sailors have been challenged by the unusual NE’ly wind direction, with tacticians having to search their memory banks to recall the best strategy for what ultimately proved to be an excellent opening contest for Spain’s showcase annual regatta. The day started with a gradient northwesterly breeze, between 15 and 16 knots, that gave the race committee the opportunity to hold a fiercely-fought and spectacular race. However, the breeze gradually died in the afternoon as the gradient and the local thermal were canceling each other out.
The J/80 one-design class, always a popular boat at Copa del Rey, has a field of fourteen teams that includes several of the top five J/80 teams at the recent J/80 World Championship in Marseilles, France. At the top of the list is Hugo Rocha sailing TURISMO DO ALGARVE from Portugal-- the current 2013 J/80 World Champion. He will certainly be challenged racing in Spanish home waters-- as the local teams include Carlos Martinez on DELTASTONE and Jose Maria Van der Ploeg on FACTOR ENERGIA (the 2012 J/80 World Champion)!
Sailing in the ORC 1 handicap class are the J/122 NOISY OYSTER from France sailed by Olivier Parchet and the J/111 BLACK BULL from Italy skippered by Pietro D'Ali from Yacht Club Italia. Sailing photo credits- Jesus Renedo/ Sailingstock.com. For more Audi Mapfre Copa del Rey sailing information