Thursday, July 24, 2008

The QUEBRAMAR GP42 Cup ready for the 27th Copa del Rey AUDI MAPFRE

The international Quebramar GP42 Cup is now passed its midpoint and the title is still far from clear and getting more open after each event. The 7 GP42 boats will now join the Mediterranean’s most important regatta after an exciting event in Valencia where they once again demonstarted that anything could happen in this class. The Spanish will be the majority of the fleet with 4 yachts, Desafío, Canarias Puerto Calero, Caser-Quum and MADRID, followed by the two Italians AIRIS and Roma GP42.2 and the Swiss Near Miss.

So far the Quebramar GP42 Cup has seen 20 races sailed with 8 yachts in each event in three locations, Santa Margherita Ligure (Italy), Saint-Tropez (France) and Valencia (Spain). There is no better proof that it is a high-level, extremely close and professional circuit than the fact that there was a different winner in each event. In addition, the crushing majority of boats have won at least one of the 20 races and the podium of each event is always decided in the last day if not the last race.

The overall standings of the Quebramar GP42 Cup are so tight that the waters of the Palma bay promise to be the stage of an intense battle for leadership. Desafío, a 2007 boat optimized during the winter and helmed by Laureano Wizner, is still holding on to its first place overall at 62 points but with a shrinking margin over the Swiss Near Miss, a 2008 Farr design helmed by Bertrand Pacé, at 68 points and the Italian AIRIS, a 2008 Felci design helmed by Sandro Montefusco, at 70.

The Quebramar GP42 Cup in full action in Valencia during the Trofeo de la Reina Rolex Cup. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / QUEBRAMAR GP42 Cup

A total of 12 races are scheduled for the 27th Copa del Rey AUDI MAPFRE, starting at 1pm every day. Given the fact a maximum of 9 races count towards the overall standings of the Quebramar Cup, the teams will now have the possibility to discard, potentially, up to 3 races, something that hadn’t taken place so far in the season.

This year’s edition of the Copa del Rey is the second one the GP42 fleet is taking part since its official launch in 2006. Gonzalo Esteves’ Quebramar-Chrysler easily dominated last year’s event, finishing 20 points ahead second-placed Canarias Puerto Calero.

Official racing starts on Tuesday, July 29th but without any doubt the most interesting novelty in the Quebramar Cup will be the official practice day, on Monday July 28th. Although not counting towards the event’s or the championship’s score table, the practice race will bring the GP42 excitement closer to 7 lucky guests. For the first time ever each of the participating yachts will carry a guest that will be able to have an unforgettable hands-on experience of the races.

Although the GP42 fleet will be racing on its own separate race area, it will not be a permanent one. The event’s organizers have set up three different areas, Alfa, Bravo and Charlie, and the more than 100 yachts will be rotating through each one every day. This feature will undoubtedly make tacticians think more in order to stay ahead of the fleet.

The 27 Copa del Rey AUDI MAPFRE is organized by Real Club Náutico de Palma (RCNP) and the Spanish Sailing Federation (RFEV) and is sponsored by AUDI and MAPFRE.

After the Copa del Rey, the following events of the Quebramar GP42 Cup are the Trofeo Quebramar-Chrysler in Cascais (August 28th to 30th) and the grand finale the Trofeo César Manrique in Puerto Calero (October 16th to 18th).

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