The Copa del Rey MAPFRE has always had a magnetic appeal to boats and crews from outside of Spain. It draws an increasingly international entry and the global interest in the regatta has never been higher, not least as classes like the ClubSwan 50, Maxi72, GC32, Melges 40 and TP52s have chosen the Copa del Rey MAPFRE as a key event on their season long circuits.
Broadly speaking half the regatta fleet is from outwith Spain. With the record fleet of 152 yachts competing there are notable patterns emerge but also some are not so obvious. Typically right now the 6 Metre class and the Herbalife Nutrition J80s are mostly Spanish but with a smattering of international sailors and yachts flying different burgees through the different fleets.
Even so the 6 Metre Modern fleet, with seven boats, still reflects the same cross section as the regatta as a whole, with Switzerland, Sweden and Portugal represented as what you would call the ‘home’ clubs or flags. The 6 Metre Classics are all Spanish by home club.
But then classes like the Mallorca Sotheby’s IRC 0 (Maxi 72), GC 32 and Melges 40 are all from outwith Spain. The Melges 40 have two Italian entries, one Russian flagged team representing Monaco YC, one from Sweden and one from Japan. Similarly there are no entries from Spain in the Maxi 72s which are German, Italian and American.
And in the new ClubSwan 50 class there is a range of nations, as one might expect. Ten boats compete, three are from Germany – two in the top two spots – there are two Russian flagged but one is chartered to a British owner – two Italian, one Swiss, one Norwegian and one Austrian. And in this class there is the Aifos 500 on which King Felipe sails.
Tom Burnham (USA) of the South African TP52 The Phoenix is a long time fan of the Copa del Rey: “It is a great event at which it is always great to meet so many friends and see so many familiar faces. We all go typically the 52 SUPER SERIES or the RC44s for example where it becomes a bit insular, you get the same group, but it is great to come to this event where the atmosphere on shore is more relaxed. This is a classic event and if you do well enough you get to shake the King’s hand at the end of it!”
Ian Budgen (GBR): “We love it here. Coming originally from Scotland it is great to have weather like this. But you know you will have wind, and you usually get 9-13kts, the sun shines, what is not to like?”
Paul Goodison (GBR): “This is my first time. It is a great atmosphere and a really fun regatta. I did not realise it was so big until I came back in from sailing on the first day!”
The 37 Copa del Rey in numbers:
152 entries from 29 nations
20 entries from Italy
12 entries from France
8 entries from GBR
6 entries from Germany
6 entries from USA
6 entries from Portugal
5 entries from Rusia
5 entries from Argentina
3 entries from Switzerland
2 entries from Belgium
2 entries from Estonia