Copa Del Rey – sailing between the king and the world league.

Copa Del Rey is one of the most prestigious regattas in the Mediterranean yachting calendar. A Pinnacle event in sailing year by year in the bay of Palma, Mallorca.

It sounds quite cool when Sascha asked me if I want to be part of his „Sayonar Light Race Team“ for the Copa del Rey in 2018. That sounds great to me and with my experience from the Palmavela last year I said yep, for sure. Especially cause Sascha knows how to handle boats, races and a crew of soldiers of fortune.

 

 

The main actors of the regatta are the beautiful Island of Mallorca, his Majesty King Felipe VI, an nearly 200 boats and their amazing owners and crews. Some of them you will know from the FORBES list, but´s that´s another story.

 

 

It all began and how could it be otherwise at the „Ballermann“ in El Arenal. There we pick up of the first crew member. As expected he was still in another galaxy, which was quite good, cause that´s the reason why he is still alive. You know, drunk people always have a guardian angel. But more about this later on.

In El Arenal we get on the boat to bring it to Palma. Unfortunately we stopped after 2min very unsoft, cause we grounded in the marina. That was a pity but with our draught of 2,60m not so abnormal. Max, remember our first crew member, wasn´t fast enough to absorb the sudden stop. Perhaps he was still absorbed by the Ballermann Experienced. He had really big luck. Max stands in the middle of the cockpit and made a backflip down the gangway, where he landed on his head. The muscle relaxant of drunk people is really outstanding. After that shock and unnecessary first experience we started with a drink an get the boat to Real Club Nautico Palma.

 

 

 

The upcoming race days were quite similar day by day. In total it was physically quite hard. We get up in our stunning city loft in palma, had breakfast at about 09 am. After that delicious part we prepared the boat, looked around in the yacht club an we enjoyed the feeling there, which is amazing.

Our tacticians get their infos in the briefing and we went out to the starting line. Don´t underestimate the time you need to be at that point. It needs at least an hour.

 

 

We were registrated in ORC 1 and most of the time we had a few other starting groups before us. That was cool, cause we can see the start of the ClubSwan50, or the Maxi Racers, which is really stunning. The sound of the winches ist awesome when they get on course. It sounds like the buzz of a dinosaur.

The course itself was classic, up and down, two rounds and two races a day. Above that there is one long distance race. In total we had eleven races. The windspeed were about 8 to 13kn every day and 37° everyday. Perfect conditions. Don´t forget to drink enough. I don´t know how many litres water we drunk at sea. Enough I think and the funny thing, in that conditions you don´t have to pee the whole day. It is so hot and you will transpire everything.

 

 

Within the regatta I often pinched myself. Is it really me, racing between King Felipe VI and the enormous maxi yachts like MOMO or Protheus. Above you will see there the leading champs steering the TP52, the GC32, or the Club Swan fleets. At the end we were not compatible against all that pros with their unbelievable machines. Don´t be the last in our class, was our task. At least we get that in every leg. Just in the last race we had a difficulties at the windward mark. We hoist the gennaker, it gets twisted and we had to jibe. It don´t came over and it was catched by a damaged sail batten in the jib and in a second the whole gennaker was split into two pieces. The only thing which we could do was a call to the race control; Sayonar Light 47 is retired. That was really a sad moment.

The whole week was a stunning experience in a awesome setting. Above that it was quite cool to get on track with the pros. With just one day of training and not with our material we had great results, an outstanding team spirit and a wonderful time on that beautiful island of Mallorca.

 

Palmavela – Being Part of it.

There are a few races around the world which are really awesome. The Palmavela Regatta in Palma is one of that legends. In 2017 I got the chance for it. Our Race-Skipper Sascha Jäger called me a few month ago and told me about his vision, getting part of the Palmavela. He found a way to get a race yacht which is based in bay of Palma. I need no second to say yes to him. I knew the boat, I read about it in the last years. She was built for racing. SIEMENS MOBILE sponsered it in their high point and JOT was the fastest yacht in the bay.  That´s years ago. In the meantime Oliver Ochse does it´s trainings on that boat and we get it for the PalmaVela.

  palmavela

 

palmavela stopper deck  palmavela wally harbour rcnp

 

That´s a cool move, cause at least it´s a race boat, an old one and marked by the years. She´s really not a beauty and everything is kind of broken. We had a broken backstay, lots of backlash in the rudder, but the dacron sails with the impressive number ESP7000 were brilliant. We had a fast mainsail and two foresails. One for more and one for less wind and also two spinnakers. Unfortunately we destroyed one in the training. That´s a pity.

 segelsack working

Palmavela skipper steering downwind

The Crew of Sascha was a brilliant mix of sailing soldiers with a highly developed sense of celebrations. We had a triad aboard:

  1. The most smashed racer
  2. The booziest crew
  3. …and the best atmo&performance.

crew mannschaft palmavela regatta palmavela startboot

In total we had three days of training and 3 racing days. The first training day was the hardest. Evreyone has to find it´s position on the boat. We had to organise the processes and manoeuvres aboard. We really get better on the second day. The weather conditions were awesome. Plenty of sunshine and enough wind. Above that it was fascinating to see all the WALLYs on the water, which also do their training exercises.

fock bowman palmavela mast palmavela racing regatta

maxi72 palmavelabig boat yacht racing oakley palmavela racing regatta

palmavela krängung palmavela racing regatta spinnaker palmavela racing regatta

At the 3rd day we were quite good on the water. That´s amazing, cause in the meantime we had the 2nd night in the Bierkönig, Ballermann and Mega Park. Yeah we had the Mallorca full contact programm. From the Royal Yacht Club (RCNP) to the sediment of mankind and I have to say, everything of it has it´s charm.

steering palmavela wally palmavela

palmavela gill helly hansen palmavela marked

unter deck, palmavela segel tacking kante palmavela

The first race day was coming and we were all very excited. Particulary cause of our new spinnake, which we will hoist for the very first time, cause we broke the other in the last training day. At least it´s just another Spi, therefore we managed it quite good, instead of our whole race. We don´t get the speed in the first race. Don´t know why, it was not our day. For this we were better the next two days and in total we were better than expected. We had a top speed with „JOT“ of about 14,8kn and in total we finished in the last third. Which is quite cool, cause we were the punks and the only crew which was not paid for it. If there should be a ranking for amateurs, we were first, for sure.That´s a move for underdogs. We were part of the PalmaVela. That cries for new challenges.

In total it was a lifetime experience and we had a perfect crew of different yachties.

palmavela boatshoes sperry mastwalk mast palmavela

yachts palmavela anchoring wally palmavela

palmavela wally yachts palmavela racing regatta

 

Where to stay.

We stayed in Palma in the LAS ARENAS, which was fine for our mission. It was quite cheap and we had breakfast and dinner. Both was not delicious. We go out for dinner every evening. There are so many good restaurants and tappas bars along the coast. All of them were awesome. In the Hotel we just took the breakfast and there the basics. Eggs, Toast and Fruit. Everything else there is not constitute a recommendation. In a Nutshell, the location is quite good and very closed to PURO BEACH. The rooms are clean and OK for sleeping. We had the „all incl.“ and therefore it was cool to get a few drinks between the shower and the nightlife.