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MAPFRE Copa del Rey

AUGUST 2021

Race website:

Participants

– Up to 10 members per boat

XYC boats that will participate:

Xp44 Upwind, Xp44 Downwind

Origins

The history of the Copa del Rey MAPFRE is the chronicle of competition sailing of the highest level in Spain and the Mediterranean. More than thirty editions support a sports event that has tried, from its very beginning, to improve day by day, growing into one of the most prestigious European regattas.

Its origins go back to 1982, when the Asociación Nacional de Cruceros (National Cruisers Association) and the Real Club Náutico de Palma organized the first edition of the regatta in the facilities of the latter, an event which was opened to all classes with compensated time. More than fifty boats attended, also attracted by the Campeonato Internacional del Mediterráneo, in which the two first editions of the RCNP's regatta were included.

Italian "Nat" has the privilege of being the first winner of the most important Spanish regatta. The spectacular Maxis joined the competition the year after, 1983, edition that was won by the local boat "Barracuda" of Pepín González. The splendour of the regatta grew, and so did the Spanish competition sailing fleet.

The 1984 and 1985 editions witnessed the leadership of "Bribon", and set the tradition of H.M. Juan Carlos racing in his own regatta. The boat owned by José Cusí won those two editions.

The fourth year of the race was the beginning of the Puig era, firm that became main sponsor, a marriage that lasted more than twenty years and gave the event the surname "Agua Brava". The Copa del Rey had already grown into one of the most important regattas of the Mediterranean.

 

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In order to compensate the inequalities within a fleet covered from 80 feet Maxis to 30 feet cruisers, in 1985 the organizers introduced a classification by divisions.

The regatta was registering the average participation of 50 boats each year, and both the RCNP and the Organizing Committee set for new challenge: to break the 100 boats barrier. At the time the One Ton and 3/4 Ton made up the biggest part of the Spanish fleet, the big Maxis, most of them foreigners, had become the main attraction.

In 1987, the regatta counted for the world circuit of this class and the following year the registration reached 106 boats, out of which a third were new. It was a transition period for the fleet to a new system hardly known at the time, the IMS, which made its debut in Palma back in 1989, when the IOR started to decline.


The competition was clearly defined between the Cruiser and Regatta divisions, and gained prestige by being included in the world and continental circuits, as the European Two Tonners in 1990. Among the winners of that year were the 3/4 "Lone", designed by Bruce Farr or "Container" of Udo Schutz.

 

Things were changing and the traditional hegemony of the foreign units in the Copa del Rey gave way to a new batch of Spanish boat owners, skippers and sailors who started to step on the podium during those five years.

Names like Josele and Noluco Doreste, Pedro Campos or Jaime Yllera celebrated their victories during this period, and other national sailors would follow.

Those were also good times for "Bribon" of José Cusí, which won in 1993 and 1994. Both 1992 and 1994 were editions that broke the 100 participants barrier, even though the fleet was immersed in the transition from IOR to IMS, and the adaptations the boats had to undergo to switch from one system to the other.


Neither the economic crisis of 1993 nor the slow extinction of the IOR units affected a Copa del Rey that seemed to have its own beat and wanted to become the first Mediterranean regatta.

Just as a matter of interest, in 1995 the ILC class participated, IMS boats specially conceived to race between them in real time, precursors of the current box rule.

 

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