Two classes, illustrating two extremes of the monotype universe, join the Copa del Rey MAPFRE this year: Melges 40, a modern design with canting keel presented in 2016; and the International 6 Metre, whose origins date back to 1907.
By definition, in order to be able to sail in real time, the monotypes are identical in their essential characteristics. There will be seven monotype classes competing in the 37 Copa del Rey MAPFRE: ClubSwan 50, MRW Swan 45, ClubSwan 42, GC32 and Herbalife J80 were already part of the fleet in 2017; Melges 40 and International 6 Metre will make their debut this year. The presence of both on the bay of Palma will allow us to see more than a century of evolution in the one-design concept.
Melges 40, state-of-the-art
The Melges 40 is a Botín’s design, launched at the end of 2016 by the American firm. She is the first boat with canting keel with the Melges logo and every part was designed with performance in mind, starting with the material used for her construction: carbon fiber allows her to have a displacement of only 3,250 kg in 12 meters of length. Her crew is a total of 9 sailors.
The Melges 40 made their debut on the waters of Palma during the last Sail Racing PalmaVela, that brought together the five teams, from four countries, that will compete for the 37 Copa del Rey MAPFRE. This was the first scoring event for the Melges 40 Grand Prix 2018 circuit, and Richard Goransson’s Swedish boat "Inga from Sweden" was the first leader of the class. The Copa del Rey MAPFRE will be the third event of the season. The Melges 40 class compete from Wednesday 1st August, and will complete a maximum of 12 windward-leeward races.
International 6 Metre Class, Olympic pedigree
The International 6 Metre class has been invited to sail in the 37 Copa del Rey MAPFRE and will be a ‘guest class’.
Although this is the first year the class will sail on the bay of Palma, this boat is a veteran monotype of the sailing world. Its origins date back to 1907, as an attempt to improve the rudimentary handicap systems of those times. It was an Olympic class between 1908 and 1952, and has managed to remain alive while maintaining its essence. Currently, it is a very active circuit both in Spain, and worldwide. HM King Juan Carlos of Spain often sails in the International 6 Metre Class, and became world champion of the class skippering "Bribon Movistar" in the Worlds last year in Vancouver. His boat will be one of the 14 boats that will compete for the 37 Copa del Rey MAPFRE title in the International 6 Metre.
The traditional press presentation of the regatta will be held tomorrow, at 12h00, at the Real Club Náutico de Palma. The 37 Copa del Rey MAPFRE officially kicks off the next day, on Saturday 28th July, with two days dedicated to the confirmation of registrations. The competition program begins on Monday 30th July, and will finish on Saturday 4th August.
The regatta is organised by the Real Club Náutico de Palma and the Real Federación Española de Vela (Spanish Sailing Federation). It is sponsored by MAPFRE with institutional collaboration from the Govern de les Illes Balears (Balearic Islands Local Government), the Ayuntamiento de Palma (Palma Town Hall), the Autoritat Portuaria de Balears (Baleares Port Authority), and the Federación Balear de Vela (Balearic Islands Sailing Federation).