Since its birth in 1982, and until the incorporation of the TP52 in 2005, the Copa del Rey Mapfre was a regatta contested only in compensated time. In its 39th edition, the fleet is divided almost equally between five classes of monotypes, which navigate in real time, and four classes that maintain the tradition of handicap competition. In order to group the boats competing in compensated time, the organization of the regatta has once again relied on the international ORC and IRC systems. BMW has been giving its name to the ORC classes in the Copa del Rey Mapfre since 2014.
The ORC fleet will be divided this year into three divisions: BMW ORC 1, BMW ORC 2 and BMW ORC 3. It is a heterogeneous combination of boats with lengths from just 10 to almost 16 meters that includes 45 boats of 14 nationalities. Under the ORC formula, teams from Germany, Argentina, Belgium, Spain, France, Holland, England, Italy, Luxembourg, Peru, Poland, Russia, Switzerland and Uruguay will compete in the Bay of Palma.
BMW ORC 1
In the BMW ORC 1 class, a dozen teams of five nationalities will participate. A glance at the entry list advances a magnificent battle for victory by bringing together several teams with excellent track records on the same starting line. The Estrella Damm of Nacho and Arturo Montes defends the title, again under the baton of Luis Martínez Doreste and reinforced with a new boat (a powerful XP50) to try to chain what would be their third consecutive victory. The champion will not have it easy against rivals such as the Swan 45 Rats on Fire by Rafael Carbonell and Jorge Martínez Doreste, runner-up in 2019 and one of the most successful boats in the regatta (champion in 2017, 2014, 2013, 2011 and 2010). Among the list of candidates for the title are also the Porrón IX of Luis Senís (2019 Swan 45 class champion) and the TP52 Aifos of the Spanish Navy, the ship that the King usually skippers.
BMW ORC 2
The BMW ORC 2 class will feature 15 boats from 40 to 43 feet in length (between just over 12 meters and just under 13). It will be one of the most international classes of the 39 Copa del Rey Mapfre, with boats from Germany, Spain, France, Holland, England, Peru, Russia and Switzerland. The fleet will include the first two finishers of 2019: the Sinergia 40 El Carmen Elite Sails by Jose Coello and the ClubSwan 42 Teatro Soho Caixabank assembled by Javier Banderas and skippered by Dani Cuevas, a tandem that in 2017 achieved the title of BMW ORC 3 with the Ceres Group.
BMW ORC 3
The largest and most international division of the 39 Copa del Rey Mapfre brings together 18 teams of nine nationalities. On paper, the top favorite is the Sinergia 40 L’Immens – Laplaza Assessors by Alexandre Laplaza and Carles Rodríguez, champion of the last two editions. But both the number and the diversity of their rivals will demand the maximum concentration from the RCN Barcelona team to try to chain their third consecutive title.
The competition program of the three BMW ORC classes will consist of a maximum of 11 windward-leeward rounds between Monday, August 2, and Saturday, August 7.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism