Twenty J/80 teams from six countries will compete in Palma for the 37 Copa del Rey MAPFRE title in the Herbalife Nutrition J/80 class. In that mix will be champions of the last editions of the regatta as well as several of the best teams in the world.
The J/80 have been competing in the Copa del Rey MAPFRE as a class since their debut as a class on the Bay of Palma in 2011. Since then, the showcase regatta of the Mediterranean calendar has continued to attract the best J/80 teams and has crowned seven champions.
The winners in 2016 and 2017 will be part of the fleet of 20 boats from six countries that will fight for the Herbalife Nutrition J/80 title. The current world runner-up ("Garatu" skippered by Iker Almandoz) and the Corinthian world champion (not professional, "Les Roches Clinique" of Pepequín Orbaneja).
"The level of the fleet in the 37 Copa del Rey MAPFRE is amazing, it is similar to the one we had in the world championship, so being on the podium would be a good result,", Almandoz points out. "Garatu" is the revelation of the season. In their first world championship, held this month in France, they were beaten only by the famous "Hotel Princesa Yaiza" of the five-time world champion Rayco Tabares. So they arrive Palma in great shape with a reputation that precedes them
Another team to watch is "Les Roches Clinique" of Pepequín Orbaneja, who are competing in their seventh Copa del Rey MAPFRE and are looking to better their third position in 2017 which they also made in 2016. "We come to the Copa del Rey MAPFRE with great enthusiasm after having won the Corinthian World Championship," the owner explains. "The level is very high. I reckon there are ten boats that can win."
The worlds runner-up in 2015, "Bribon Movistar" skippered by Marc de Antonio, will defend the title in the Copa del Rey MAPFRE. There are few teams in this fleet which could be ignored as race or title winners, such as "S / N" of Javier Chacartegui (who as "IBO.ES" finished fifth in the 2018 world championship and won in Corinthian category in 2017), and there are "ONO" of Daniel de la Pedraja (Copa del Rey MAPFRE champion in 2015, and runner-up in 2016 and 2017) or "Opera Season" of Pedro Marí (champion of the Sail Racing PalmaVela 2018).
Against the “Spanish contingent”, formed of 13 boats, will be the Argentinian "Bachajo", the Italians "Atila", "Caesar" and "Jeniale Eurosystem", the Russians "New Territories", the British "Now4" and the Norwegian "PF Sailing".
The president of the J/80 Owners Association, Alex Díaz, says that "being one the classes in in the Copa del Rey MAPFRE for the eighth year in a row is a real honour for the J/80 class and it shows not only the great reception of the class in Spain but also its popularity. As a One Design class we are once again the class with the largest number of entries, and the teams that attend this 37th edition of the regatta have a very high level. We can expect a very, very close competition."
The racing programme for the Herbalife Nutrition J/80 in the 37 Copa del Rey MAPFRE consists of a maximum of 12 races to be held between Monday, 30th July, and Saturday, the 4th.
The Copa del Rey MAPFRE 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).