The duel for the Montblanc Maxi 72 crown was finally won by Hap Fauth’s “Bella Mente” crew but their closest rivals “Proteus” – George Sakellaris’ team which had won the Copa del Rey twice before – had the title in their grasp during the final race of the six day regatta. But Terry Hutchinson and Adrian Stead, the “Bella Mente” afterguard read a new change in the breeze earlier and better and were able to squeeze through to win the last race, and the regatta for their first time.
After a match racing skirmish pre-start Proteus escaped to lead at the top mark, first time up. With “Bella Mente” third the regatta title was heading Sakellaris’ way. But as they closed up on the run Hutchinson and Stead engineered a dummy gybe which allowed them to break to the right corner to the beneficial wind shift. They took the lead at the gate and though they were pushed to the finish line, the 35 Copa del Rey MAPFRE title goes to the current Maxi72 World Champions, Bella Mente: “ It was all on to the finish. We needed our absolute best and we got it. That is the best race I sailed these last two weeks. The measure of this team is the way we bounced back from the mistake the other day.”
An error in the penultimate race of the MRW Swan 45 one design class, requiring them to take a penalty turn at the leeward gate which relegated them to the nether regions of the fleet, did not unsettle the German crew of “Earlybird” too much. But that meant that Hendrik Brandis and his team which includes three times Olympic champion Jochen Schümann had to finish two places in front of Rientz Willem Bol’s “Esthec” – which had Bouwe Bekking calling tactics, and had to finish in front of German rival Christian Plump’s “Elena Nova”. “Earlybird” finished second while “Esthec” won with “Earlybird” second.
ALEX TEAM - CREW LIST:
1. Gusev Boris - helm
2. Kondratev Mikhail - trimmer
3. Filippov Viktor - grinder
4. Kochnev Andrey - mastman
5. Ushkov Valery - grinder
6. Paolo Persi del Marmo - navigator
7. Konstantinov Roman - bowman
8. Odintsov Daniil - trimmer
9. Zatsarinskiy Valery - pitman
10. Ekimov Alexander - main trimmer
11. Besputin Konstantin - tactition
12. Groshev Mikhail - media crew
Alberto Roemmers commented: “It is a great feeling to win here. It is especially good because we have been working so hard trying to improve after last week at the 52 SUPER SERIES in Puerto Portals. The guys have been working so hard, testing after all the races. So it has been two or three weeks of hard work and I feel we are better. It was an enjoyable regatta but we had some problems breaking things but it is better to break them here than at the TP52 World Championships.”.
фото: Грошев (Gro'M) Михаил