Palma de Mallorca (SPAIN). The Copa del Rey MAPFRE is a multi-class regatta with 130 boats including elite monohull fleets. Among them, the GC32 class, with its swift foiling multihulls and top-tier teams, served up the battle to watch. Across four days of racing, with up to six hours on the water each day in temperatures reaching 35 degrees Celsius, teams led by Olympic, America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean race standouts fought to maintain their focus and outmaneuver their rivals on the sparkling Mediterranean.
By delivering a top performance, Red Bull Sailing, who are new to the GC32 Racing Tour in 2019, proved they are back to the form that previously made them leading contenders in the Extreme Sailing Series. They clinched podiums in 12 of the 20 races at Mallorca de Palma for their convincing third place position. Joining the Austrian sporting heroes Roman Hagara (skipper/helm) and Hans Peter Steinacher (tactician) on the Red Bull GC32 were the same sailors who have been alongside them since the beginning of the season, Rhys Mara (trimmer, AUS), Julius Hallström (bowman, SWE) and Mark Spaermann (board trimmer, AUS).
Thousands of fans saluted the top teams in the harbor after the racing concluded. Spain’s King Filipe VI, a sailor himself, awarded Hagara, Steinacher and their crew with their trophy, followed by a reception at Palma’s renowned Ses Voltes cultural space, which is adjacent to the island’s Gothic cathedral and the palace that is the official residence of the king and queen.
From Day One, when Oman Air and Alinghi each won two of five races, the regatta was a back-and-forth battle between the powerhouse contenders, with only Red Bull Sailing showing potential to play the spoiler when the Austrians also triumphed in an opening race. Going into the final day, Oman Air had a three-point lead over its Swiss rival, but the action started with a win by the home Spanish team, M&G Tressis Silicius. Alinghi then won the next two races, but Oman Air collected themselves to take victories in the last two showdowns to claim the regatta win by five points, while Red Bull Sailing earned podiums in three of the day’s five races.
QUOTE: “We achieved an important goal here,” said Hagara, whose team is now fourth overall. “We’ve known all season that we needed to be more consistent, but that takes time sailing together. Now we’re really starting to gel. The work we’ve been putting in, both on our boat and on our teamwork, is paying off, and we’re only going to continue to make improvements. I’m really looking forward to the next stop at Riva del Garda, which is one of my favorite locations.”
Coming up next for Red Bull Sailing: The penultimate stop of the five-act tour, the GC32 Riva Cup in Riva del Garda, Italy on 11-15 September 2019. With northerly winds typically dominant on Lake Garda in September, skipper Roman Hagara anticipates that the GC32 speed record may be broken.
Top five, GC32 Racing Tour 2019 Act 3, Palma de Mallorca, Spain: 1. Oman Air (OMA) 35 points, 2. Alinghi (SUI) 40 pts, 3. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 63 pts, 4. Zoulou (FRA) 75 pts, 5. Black Star Sailing Team (SUI) 102 pts.
Overall GC32 Racing Tour standings after three of five acts: 1. Alinghi (SUI) 5 points, 2. Oman Air (OMA) 6 pts, 3. NORAUTO (FRA) 7 pts, 4. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 14 pts, 5. INEOS Rebels UK (GBR) 15 pts, 6. Zoulou (FRA) 17 pts, 7. Código Rojo Racing (ARG) 19 pts, 8. Argo (USA) 22 pts, 9. Black Star Sailing Team (SUI) 24 pts, 10. CHINAone NINGBO (CHN) 27 pts.
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Images for editorial use only. Credit: Sailing Energy/GC32 Racing Tour for Red Bull Content Pool
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Contact: Mario Schoby / firstname.lastname@example.org / +43664638597
22 - 26 May: Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy
26 - 30 June: Lagos, Portugal (World Championship)
31 July - 3 August: Palma de Mallorca, Spain
11 - 15 September: Riva del Garda, Italy