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X-35 Class at the Copa del Rey - Day 4

by Robert Grieg-Gran 31 Jul 2008 21:35 BST

Black Thursday

With the thermal breeze struggling to settle on day 4 of the Copa del Rey regatta, the X-35s started slightly behind schedule, but by that time were already using their code 2 headsails in the 14 knot breeze. Again on Charlie course, the fleet knew that the races would be won and lost with the battle to hold a lane out to the eastern shore of Palma Bay to get into the left hand pressure near the port layline.

Off the start it was Holland’s Quantum Racing that looked good, as well as German Stihl and after the long port tack into the windward mark the Dutch boat led the fleet. Italians Giochelotta were in hot pursuit, but on the catch up were Cool Runnings. After picking the correct gate mark the British boat moved into the lead. However, they tacked short of the starboard layline, and the necessary double-tack to round the mark allowed Quantum Racing back into first position by the smallest of margins. With the breeze now near 15 knots and the chop building, the race to the finish was one of working as a crew to get the 4-ton yachts surging down the waves, and by the end of the 2 mile run Cool Runnings had regained their lead.

After a rushed turnaround the second race got away with a clean start. Again Stihl looked good having started near the committee boat end, yet it was Italian Tixelio that had the best boatspeed and led the raced start to finish. On the second beat Quantum Racing moved into 2nd place and held it to the finish whilst Cool Runnings could only manage 4th place.

With two races scheduled each day it was to some surprise that the race committee signalled their intentions to hold a third race and with 16 knots now blowing the fleet got off to their third clean start of the day. I suspect that if we had more than ten minutes between races, the bowmen would be more sure of their transits, the boats with computers onboard would have time to ‘ping’ the start line and we would see less conservative starting from the fleet.

The third race of the day was led from the start by Quantum Racing who had a stellar day, clocking up just five points to bring them to 26 total. Cool Runnings still hold first place overnight with 19 points. Then between 3rd and 8th place there are just 12 points. The second British boat, Perfect Ten, slipped from 3rd to 7th today after struggling to hold their lanes in the breezy conditions. Race 10 begins tomorrow at 1pm.

Full results can be found at prensa.rcnp.es/coparey2008/resulta/monotipo/gen44004.htm

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