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Madrid begins the countdown to the 38 Copa del Rey MAPFRE

by Alejandro Varela 9 Jun 2019 14:14 BST 27 July - 3 August 2019
Copa del Rey MAPFRE - The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League © Fabio Taccola / Nautor's Swan

For a fourth year in a row, Madrid has hosted the official start to the countdown to one of the most important regattas on the Mediterranean sailing calendar, and an essential part of summer in Mallorca: the Copa del Rey MAPFRE. One hundred people including sponsors, journalists and guests have attended the presentation, held at the head offices of Fundación MAPFRE in Madrid.

Guests included José Manuel Inchausti, the CEO of MAPFRE Iberia; Manuel Terroba, the new president of BMW Group Spain and Portugal; Eva Piera, Group Chief External Relations officer for MAPFRE; and Javier Sanz, President of the Real Club Náutico de Palma.

Eva Piera, followed by the Director of the Regatta Manuel Fraga, opened the presentation, before handing over to Javier Sanz, President of the organising club, who emphasised his gratitude for the support of the regatta sponsors, headed by MAPFRE, "Without the huge trust and incredible involvement of our sponsors, this regatta would not be the referential worldwide event that it is."

In its last edition, the Copa del Rey MAPFRE beat all previous participation records, with the Real Club Náutico de Palma at 110% of its capacity, gathering a huge variety of 152 boats, distributed in 13 classes, that competed across five different racing areas.

This year, rather than aiming for similar figures, Sanz explained,

"Our goal is to offer all participants an edition with plenty of novelties; combining the competitive spirit of the regatta, with a marked element of innovation, as has been its legacy from the very beginning. Since it was established 38 years ago, the Copa del Rey MAPFRE continues to be more vibrant than ever, attracting sailors from all across the globe."

Amongst the novelties this year, of special mention is the inclusion of an all-women's class for the very first time, ensuring that there will be a women's champion in this year's Copa del Rey MAPFRE. Another great novelty is the new classification system, which will ensure utmost excitement in the competition to the very last day.

Furthermore, of special importance is the environmental management of the event, which as Javier Sanz emphasised,

"It is our intention that the inevitable impact of the event, continues to decrease, and as a first step, we have made the decision to eliminate all single-use plastic packaging from all of the departments involved in the event's organisation."

"We are installing water fountains at different points around the club, and will provide refillable containers to all participants. This system was established as a pilot project in our last major regatta, the Sail Racing PalmaVela, and the response of participants and the ensuing results were incredibly satisfying. The Copa del Rey MAPFRE has been steadily moving towards its excellence, adjusting and changing direction to incorporate new ideas, and to cater to the demands of boat owners, and the sensitivity of our society," explained the President of the RCNP.

José Manuel Inchausti emphasised the importance of this sporting event in representing the human capacity of resilience, effort and hard work, as demonstrated by the participating teams,

"At MAPFRE we are great fans of sailing, a sport that perfectly represents the values of the insurance company, where we understand that without effort, nothing is possible. MAPFRE shares the sailors' continual desire for improvement, commitment and innovation in achieving their goals," explained the CEO of MAPFRE Iberia.

About 140 boats from 25 countries According to a study made by the Universitat de les Illes Baleares (UIB), the financial impact on the economy of Mallorca made by the regatta, is 2.2 million euros per day, proving that once again the Copa del Rey MAPFRE is to be an indisputable event in the world of sailing.

To date, (with definitive figures to be confirmed on 28th July), there are 138 boats already pre-registered in the regatta, with representation from 25 countries, including the United States, Holland, Switzerland, Poland, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Russia, Argentina, Turkey, Estonia, Portugal, and Spain.

On the race course, 11 classes will be competing, including the one designs ClubSwan 50, Swan 45, ClubSwan 42 and Herbalife J80, the compensated time classes the Mallorca Sotheby's IRC and BMW ORC, as well as the flying catamarans the GC32s, and the all-women's class, the Purobeach Women's Cup.

The first two days of the event will be dedicated to registration and measurement of participants, with the competition programme beginning on Monday 29th July, and running until Friday 3rd August.

The Copa del Rey MAPFRE, in social mode

The Copa del Rey MAPFRE competition will once again be completed this year with an intensive social programme, an already referential part of the summer events calendar in Palma.

Sports personalities, as well as numerous other club members and guests, will intermingle with the 1,500 sailors, to enjoy activity on and off the water, including food tastings, live music, and a party atmosphere that will be held every afternoon at the Crew Village until 21h00.

As an example, at the last edition, the Copa del Rey MAPFRE welcomed visitors such as Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz, basketball player Rudy Fernández, synchronised swimmer Ona Carbonell, round-the-world sailing skipper and Olympic champion Xabi Fernández, and the ex-footballer Aitor Ocio. The RCNP also hosted the most highly awarded Michelin star chef in Spain, Martín Berasategui. Her Majesty Queen Letizia, Her Royal Highness Princess of Asturias, and Her Royal Highness the Infanta Sofía were also guests at the Copa del Rey MAPFRE.

The social events programmed for this year's 38 Copa del Rey MAPFRE particularly highlight the Boat Owner's dinner, to be held on Thursday 1st August, and the official prize giving ceremony, presided by His Royal Highness the King of Spain, on Saturday 3rd August, which is to be hosted at Ses Voltes, a unique setting at the foot of Palma's stunning gothic cathedral.

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