21st of July, 2012

Gladiator claim second win

A bold split from the fleet paid massive dividends for Gladiator, who claimed their second win of the regatta in the opening race on the final day of the Copa del Rey, while overall leaders Azzurra have edged closer to victory.

Gladiator broke from the fleet on the second windward, finding a fair breeze that propelled them from third to a commanding first place ahead of reigning champion Azzurra and second placed Audi All4One.

The team held nerve on the final downwind approach to claim the win. Azzurra broke a points’ deadlock with All4One by finishing second, two places clear, with PowerPlay placing third, ahead of All4One in fourth. Corrected time scores are pending.

The teams were timid on the start line as gusts in excess of 23 knots crossed the fleet. All4One were first across the line, albeit seconds after the start signal, and tacked across the fleet on port with plenty of room.

The fleet soon followed, setting the trend for a quick-fire tacking duel to the top mark, 2.5 nautical miles away in Palma Bay.

As All4One’s tactician Jordi Calafat predicted, Azzurra were covering his team tightly. The pair matched each other tack for tack until All4One made a quick double tack maneuver to get clear.

The move didn’t pay, with Azzurra holding a commanding lead at the top mark. All4One came in with pace on port and were forced to duck the stern of Provezza, who rounded in second place.

All4One were third, PowerPlay third and Gladiator were fourth, having also come in on port and been forced to dodge PowerPlay’s stern. Bronenosec were next around the mark, showing a fast pace that could prove challenging on IRC corrected times.

With flat seas and building breeze in excess of 18 knots, the fleet roared downwind. Azzurra held their lead, and All4One fought back to second ahead of Gladiator.

Gladiator made a bold split from the fleet on the second windward and gained a major lead in first place at the mark rounding, ahead of Azzurra, All4One, PowerPlay and Provezza.

The team held their lead to claim their second win of the regatta, having won the first race on the first day of racing.

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