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.