From August 1 to 8, the water area of Mallorca, Spain, was full of yachts. The already crowded place was overflowing with yachtsmen and spectators of one of the most important regattas in Spain - the King»'s« Cup (Copa del Rey).
And the king wasn't the first.
The competition has been held in the capital of the island since 1982 and next year will celebrate its 35th anniversary. By tradition, the king of Spain took part in the race, in whose honor the regatta itself is named. The reins are currently under the reign of Philip VI. He sailed the AIFOS (Corel 45) with a team of Spanish armed forces, but despite the high title«, the king»'s yacht did not take top places, being only in 20th place for the week.
All the racing days were incredibly hot. The already tanned faces of the yachtsmen became even more poggy and darker. The ice was a hit, and the Spaniards shamelessly sold it on the road. Tents were built on yachts to hide from the scorching sun.
This season's record temperature and record number of participants is 137 crews from 19 countries, compared to 117 last year.
Who are all these yachtsmen?
The fleet consisted of 6 divisions with subgroups: two of them are formed according to the rules of handicaping IRC and ORC and represent the largest fleet, and another 4 classes are monotypes - Soto 40, X-35, J-80 and TP 52. The last on the list, TP 52, is the most professional class of the regatta, which has been running its Super Series (TP52 Super Series) for 4 years as part of the King's Cup.
In the Maxi Divisions (IRC 0 and IRC 1) there were all the familiar faces, like the guys from «Synergy», who competed with Mikhail Kondratyev (ProYachting) on the yacht Spirit of Europe (Swan 60). The result of the week was not very good - 9th place, the best finish was fifth. They raced in IRC 1 Division, where the winner was Japanese team Mamma Aiuto (skipper Manu Weiller). The second place was taken by the international team from the USA on a yacht with the Spanish name Otra Vez, the third place was taken by the Swiss Team Vision Future (skipper Chaubard Jean Jacques).
Jacinto Rodriguez, the 84-year-old owner and skipper of the Duende 52, had an accident in this division before the start of the regatta. On his way to Mallorca, he suffered a head injury, fell overboard and was in the water for 4 hours while the Coast Guard and the rescue team in a helicopter were looking for him. He had to cancel his participation in the race this year, of course, but in all social activities the owner participated as if nothing had happened.
The polar bear's offensive
On the far pontoon, where the large divisions were moored, from day one, the boat called Arctic Energy (owner Sergei Egorov) with a polar polar polar bear and a white, blue and red tricolour on board attracted the public attention.
The team also had familiar faces: participants of the sailing team RUS7 (Roman Konstantinov, Vitaly Rozhkov) from Taganrog under the leadership of Sergey Shevtsov and several other professionals (Honored Master of Sports, World and European Champion - Igor Skalin (adm. He teaches at school of Ekaterina Skudina, ProYachting) and Master of Sports, 1st class helmsman - Alexander Andrianov), navigator was Azur Sailing manager and experienced yachtsman Sergey Kotsyuba. Out of 20 people in the team the second half was amateurs, but they raced as well as professionals!
The guys immediately took the high bar and from day one they started to finish in the top three, beating the French SFS on the Volvo Open 70 (skipper Lionel Péan, VOR member of Team Puma in 2012, 3rd place in the world). The rest of the days they competed for second place with Trifork L4 (owner and skipper Joern Larse) also on the Volvo Open 70, which won the Volvo Ocean Race as Ericsson 4 in the 2008/9 season. After such a successful performance in Mallorca, Arctic Energy plans to make a name for itself in several more major regattas this year.
The winners of the 2015 King's Cup in Maxi Class are the American team Shockwave (owner and helmsman of George Sakellaris), who was this time racing a Maxi 72 Ran V built at the Persico Marine yard. They are now testing this boat for further competition. Previously owned by Niklas Zennström, an avid yachtsman and founder of Skype. She has a 22-person crew on board and the speed with which they twist the winches is more like the work of huge steel pistons! To make sure of this, just watch their finish video at last year's King's Cup.
The Shockwave team spent two years trying to win in their class, but ended up finishing second or third.
This is no surprise, as the team is composed of super professionals, such as the participants of the just completed Volvo Ocean Race - Dave Swete (NZ) from the Alvimedica team.
Transpac 52 and everybody.
As two years ago, the Royal Super Series was won by Quantum Racing (owner and steering wheel of Doug DeVos), which showed a rather modest result all week. But on the final day the guys won both races, which brought them a victory in the overall standings. Italian Azzura (skipper Alberto Roemmers) got the second place, and Platoon team from Germany (skipper Harm Muller-Spreer) - third. Vladimir Lubomirov, who flew to Mallorca directly from RC44 in Marstrand, where his Bronenosec won both match and fleet races, took 4th place in the Royal Regatta.
In this class, in addition to sports competition, there is an extravagant struggle in boat design.
In the BMW ORC 1 division, the Italian BMW Sail Racing Academy (skipper Vittorio Codecasa) won by half a point difference, snatching victory over the previously leading Elena Nova (skipper Christian Plump).
Not all of them, however, walk under the Russian flag. It is nice to see their success when the Russian surnames of the skippers are above the Spaniards themselves. Vadim Yakimenko on the yacht Amber Miles at the end of the week on 9th place, ahead of both the King of Spain and many Spanish rivals. Igor Catalevsky's Digital Bravo is in 27th place. Teams of Jukebox, Parma, Russes and X-Prime Vartan Harutyunyan, all sailed under the Russian flag at 43rd, 37th, 39th and 31st places respectively.
In the other divisions, the podium seats were mostly taken by the Spaniards. The Movistar team (skipper José Enrique Terol) won the BMW ORC 2 for the third consecutive year (and the seventh time in 13 years). Alexei Moskvin's Gagarin crew (100 Captains»' Yacht Club«) is, alas, in last place in the division. In the X-35 class, the «Red Eléctrica de España»team, sponsored by the namesake energy company, won for the first time. Of all the J80 yachts, one did not sink all week below 3rd place, the team Ono Polaroid Tressis (skipper of Daniel de la Pedraja) gained an undeniable advantage.
Alexey Semenov and the New Territories team in J80 class took 7th place in the overall standings. Spanish Noticia VI (skipper Jose Maria Torcida) won again in Soto 40 class.
Neither the heat nor the bump on the pier will scare the competitors away from the race for the coveted trophy, and next year maybe the record number of crews will be broken again.