The fleet of IRC competing in the last edition of Copa del Rey MAPFRE

© María Muiña/Copa del Rey MAPFRE
© María Muiña/Copa del Rey MAPFRE


A motley fleet, 12 boats, seven different countries and mostly TP52s: this is how the only class that will sail under the IRC system will be this year

12 teams representing Spain, Italy, France, Monaco, Argentina, the United Kingdom and Russia will compete in the 35th Copa del Rey MAPFRE in the Singular Kitchen IRC 1 class. These are different types of boats from 50 to 80 feet long (between 15.2 and 24.4 meters), which will compete together under the IRC system. The TP52 predominates the class, with a total of eight boats, amongst which there is the current class world champion Azzurra, with Guillermo Parada at the helm and Italian Vasco Vascotto as tactician.

The corrected time big ones

In 2016 the fleet which will sail in the Singular Kitchen IRC1 class is an interesting combination of professional and amateur teams, including several boats from the 52 Super Series circuit, such as Italian-Argentine Azzurra or the British team Alegre- with other less professional but equally competitive teams, Spanish Duende, Audax Energía and Plis Play (the largest of the fleet).

Guillermo Parada, Azzurra’s skipper, points out “this time we will sail against the watch, so every second counts. In the Box-Rule sometimes you pay to be ahead of your opposition, but here we will have to try to do the best possible elapsed time, because our rival could be five minutes ahead or behind.” A wish? “I hope that the event will be a success, with good breeze and nice racing on the water; and, hopefully, we can put together a strong performance.”

Duende will compete again in the Copa del Rey MAPFRE having been unable to sail last year after the incident suffered by its owner when the team was delivering the boat between Barcelona and Palma. After a manoeuvre, Jacinto Rodriguez fell overboard and immediately the crew performed a rescue operation and launched a mayday in which the Maritime Rescue Services activated the search protocol. After four hours in the water, the owner was rescued by the British vessel Sea Hawk, who was in the area heading to Ibiza. There is no doubt that Duende and his crew are now returning with more energy than ever.

Audax Energía sails under the RCM Barcelona’s flag and has an amateur crew led by Pablo Garriga and Toni Guiu, owners of this TP52. They reach the Copa del Rey MAPFRE after competing in the Gaastra PalmaVela (3rd), the Conde de Godó Sailing Trophy in Barcelona (11th) and the SM la Reina Trophy in Valencia (11th). Their strategy in Palma is clear and concise: “Prepare the boat as well as we can, train hard and do our best too”, says Guiu, who has a desire for this 35th edition: “The economic recovery has consolidated, and reaches the sailing world this translates into an increase of the Spanish and international fleets”.

The strongest opponents are for this owner/skipper “of course those who usually race in the 52 Super Series: Azzurra, Alegre, Xio Hurakan and Spirit of Malouen [Paprec Recyclage]”.

Other teams that are among the entry list are Russian A-Team, from the RYC Moscow; Italians Arobas2 (IRC52), Cippa Lippa 8 (Cookson 50) and Xio Hurakan (TP52); Monegasque Botta Dritta; and French TP52s Team Vision Future – who was third last year with a GP42- and Spirit of Malouen.

The Singular Kitchen IRC 1 class will sail a maximum of 10 windward/leeward races and one coastal race, scheduled for Wednesday, August 3rd. The starting signal of the first scoring race for the 35 Copa del Rey MAPFRE will be at 13h00 on Monday, August 1st.