Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 2018 GFM 728x90
Product Feature
HYDE SAILS SQUIB SPINNAKER BAG
HYDE SAILS SQUIB SPINNAKER BAG
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine


Full racing risks
New for old cover
www.noblemarine.co.uk

Crossed swords between Oman and Switzerland at 38 Copa del Rey MAPFRE

by GC32 Racing Tour 2 Aug 20:29 BST 31 July - 4 August 2019
Upwind starts were the order for day three of GC32 competition at Copa del Rey MAPFRE. © Tomas Moya / Sailing Energy / GC32 Racing Tour

Some hair-raisingly close crosses between Oman Air and Alinghi summed up just how tight the battle for supremacy is between these two top-flight teams duelling each other at the 38 Copa del Rey MAPFRE, third event of the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour. Adam Minoprio might have again steered the Omani boat to three victories from five heats today, but Arnaud Psarofaghis notched up a cleaner set of results to close in on their rivals by a single point on the leaderboard.

With five races held in a moderate breeze of around 10 knots, on two occasions Oman Air and Alinghi found themselves on a collision course as they screamed in towards the leeward gate at a combined speed exceeding 45 knots. They foiled past each other, just centimetres apart on opposite gybes and speared out to opposite corners of the final windward leg.

The first time they crossed swords in such dramatic fashion, Alinghi came off best as they narrowly beat Oman Air across the finish line. In the final race, the two boats couldn't have been more even at the top gate for the last blast downwind.

Oman Air's Pete Greenhalgh explained: "We were bow-to-bow at the top mark and split different ways down the run, and then came back no more than two boat lengths ahead at the finish line. We didn't know we'd won that race until maybe the final 20 seconds."

Psarofaghis mirrored Greenhalgh's feeling about the close contest: "A really nice day of racing, and a really good fight at the leeward gates. I prefer the upwind starts over the reaching starts because they give more opportunity for the fleet to play the whole course. In the reaching starts, the order is more or less decided at the first mark and there is less opportunity for overtaking."

He was pleased to have won the day, but Psarofaghis knows Alinghi will have to be at the peak of their powers to recover their three point deficit on Oman Air. Greenhalgh hinted at some match racing for the final outing on Saturday: "We tried to camp on Alinghi and help the Spanish get through to second [in race 14]. Upwind we reached off and gave Iker [Martinez, skipper of M&G Tressis Silicius] as much of a good lane as we could, to help them where we could, but Alinghi got them by one or two lengths on the finish line. I'm sure Alinghi have done a little bit of the same to us, but that's the game. Tomorrow we'll see a bit more of that."

Red Bull Sailing Team started the regatta looking like genuine contenders for the top spot, but have fallen away from the leading two on the points board. Meanwhile Zoulou have upped their game and matched Roman Hagara's Austrian team for performance today, both crews coming away with 18 points from the day. After winning the last race of Thursday's session, Erik Maris was quick out of the blocks this afternoon, coming second in the first race and third in the next. With just a day of racing remaining, however, it will be a tall order for the French to overcome the 10 point advantage still held by Red Bull in the rankings.

M&G Tressis Silicius bounced back from their gear failure problems on day two with some encouraging moments, particularly the third place that was so nearly a second place in front of Alinghi, as Greenhalgh mentioned earlier. Martinez is a pedigree sailor who will be doing everything to upset the pecking order on the final day, particularly when he's playing in front of his home crowd in Palma.

Black Star Sailing Team are having their moments, particularly with some strong starts for new helmsman, match racer Keith Swinton from Australia. Team owner, Christian Zuerrer, is frustrated they're not able to convert good starts into good finish positions, but is still focusing on the areas where they're improving: "It was great sailing, but we didn't have our best day. Our starts are good, but we struggle a bit with trim in these choppy waves. Sometimes we find the power, sometimes we have no power. In the smaller breezes when you make a mistake the bigger teams are gone, but in the stronger wind there is always a chance they could still make a mistake. So I hope for more breeze on the final day."

Today's conditions were perfect for some GC32 Racing Tour guest entertainment and one of the VIPs who went for a ride on Oman Air was 14-year-old María Perelló, a triple world champion in the Optimist who was enjoying her first time on a foiling boat. "The GC32 is more than four times faster than an Optimist. It is a much more complex boat, much more physical and the loads on a GC32 are enormous. That was an amazing experience that I will never forget."

The 38 Copa del Rey MAPFRE concludes on Saturday afternoon and then closes out with a lavish prizegiving hosted by the King of Spain at Palma's Ses Voltes.

Copa del Rey MAPFRE - Day 3 Highlights

Best shots from the 'white' gala dinner hosted at the Real Club Nautico de Palma last night - By Icarus Sports

Results after Day 3:

PosTeamR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12R13R14R15Pts
1Oman Air13132111323131127
2Alinghi32311332131212230
3Red Bull Sailing Team21243224254425345
4Zoulou65424443412354455
5Black Star Sailing Team44555555746646576
6M&G Tressis Silicius56666777775563689

Related Articles

GC32 Riva Cup overall
Alinghi claims GC32 Riva Cup by a whisker While Alinghi has led at the end of every day of racing at the 2019 GC32 Riva Cup, the Swiss team was on the ropes this afternoon when their arch-rivals Oman Air, in seemingly unbeatable form Posted on 15 Sep
GC32 Riva Cup day 3
Alinghi clings to narrow lead going into the final day Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi started the day four points ahead of Oman Air and - after six races on two different courses, during which they lost the lead, then fought back hard to recover it - ended the day four points ahead of Oman Air. Posted on 15 Sep
GC32 Riva Cup day 2
Lago di Garda was not making it easy for race officials The afternoon southerly Ora wind was late materialising and required three changes of race course and a frustrating two hour wait before the wind finally blasted in at 15+ knots some four kilometres south of Riva del Garda. Posted on 13 Sep
GC32 Riva Cup day 1
Early lead for Alinghi Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi team showed some of their GC32 World Championship-winning form when they came out on top after the first of four days of racing at the GC32 Riva Cup, being held out of the Fraglia Vela Riva Posted on 13 Sep
2019 GC32 Riva Cup resumes tomorrow
Seven teams will be on the start line of the GC32 Riva Cup The GC32 Racing Tour resumes tomorrow in what is regarded as the benchmark venue for flying catamaran competition – Riva del Garda at the northern end of Italy's Lake Garda. Posted on 11 Sep
Team Oman Air aims to win GC32 Riva Cup
Heading to Italy aiming for back to back GC32 Racing Tour victories After three closely fought regattas they are tied on points overall with their long-standing Swiss rivals on Alinghi and will be looking for a win at this week's GC32 Riva Cup event on Lake Garda to confirm their advantage. Posted on 10 Sep
Neck and neck going into GC32 Riva Cup
Battle resumes on the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour in a week's time Riva del Garda and its club the Fraglia Vela Riva, is the venue of choice for many top sailing championships because of its famous, usually strong, winds - the morning northerly, the Pelèr and the afternoon southerly, the Ora - combined with flat water. Posted on 5 Sep
Muscat to host 2019 GC32 Racing Tour finale
Oman is to host the deciding event of the series Muscat will extend a warm welcome to the fleet of high-performance foiling catamarans as they race for the Oman Cup over 5-9 November. The teams will be based in and racing on the open waters off Al Mouj Marina in the heart of the city. Posted on 2 Sep
Collinson FX: Aug 7 - NZD weathers the storm
Reality is setting in and the NZD has returned to trade just above 0.6500, while the AUD has settled The RBNZ is expected to cut rates today and offer a dovish bias to monetary policy. The NZ Employment data, released yesterday, was extremely positive and allowed the NZD to weather the international market storm. Posted on 6 Aug
The World Sailing Show: Programme 7
GC32 Worlds sees the fastest flying cats foiling for honours in Lagos The Worlds attracted the best sailing talent from Olympic royalty to America's Cup winners. Sir Ben Ainslie leads INEOS Rebels UK, while Team New Zealand's Glenn Ashby is a late addition to the squad of defending champions Team Tilt. Posted on 6 Aug