Tuesday, October 15, 2019

GARATU Crowned J/80 Copa de Espana Champion

J/80s sailing off Spain
(Coruna, Spain)- Twenty J/80 teams from across the Spanish peninsula were competing in their annual J/80 Copa de Espana this past weekend in Coruna, Spain. Hosting the event was the Real Club Náutico de La Coruña. In the end, the fleet was treated to two great days of sailing, with Alvaro Ruiz de Larramendi’s team on GARATU from Hondarribia taking the overall title in a come-from-behind victory. Here is how the regatta went down over the course of three days.

Day 1- Late seabreeze
On the first day, the RNC La Coruna PRO managed to run three crisp races for the fleet, with tight racing and hard-fought action characterizing the day. When the smoke cleared amongst the very talented fleet, it was Vigués Javier de la Gándara’s OKOFEN leading the fleet.

It was a full day on Coruña waters. The wind was slow to develop, which caused a postponement of one hour. At 1530 hours, the PRO gave the signal for the first start of the day with winds of 5 knots from the northwest, which would gradually grow to 10 kts by the last evening race.

In the first race, the Cantabrian Peru Múgica skippered HATUEY to first over a closely fought race with OKOFEN. Third was Alvaro Ruiz’s GARATU, with Miguel Fernández’s MOURA in fourth and the DECOEXA girls team in fifth place.

Gándara’s OKOFEN won the second race, surprising Moura, and third went to the Cantabrians of Múgica. On the third and last race of the day GARATU won, ahead of OKOFEN and HATUEY. Gándara went to the showers with a two-point advantage over the Santander team and four points over the Basques.

Amongst the women’s teams, leading was DECOEXA, second was PHOENIX BIRD led by Leticia Gandarias del Marítimo del Abra de Getxo. Then, sitting in third was SIEMENS GAMESA from Getxo with Lourdes Bilbao on the helm and fourth were the young girls from Club Nautica La Coruña with Raquel García as skipper.
J/80s sailing off Spain
Day 2- Gorgeous day sailing
On Saturday, the day began in the estuary of La Coruña with winds of 10 knots from the south that gradually strengthened to a nice 15 kts breeze during the afternoon. Again, the PRO managed to run three more races for the anxious racers.

In the first race of the day, it was a strong “mano-a-mano” battle between the top three boats. In the end, victory went to Ruiz’s GARATU, followed by Gandara’s OKOFEN and Fernández’s MOURA. Happily, finishing fourth behind these champions were the women’s team on DECOEXA, skippered by Olatz Muñoz.

There was more breeze for the second race, which jumbled the standings only a little bit. This time, winning the windward-leeward two-times around was OKOFEN, followed by GARATU and DECOEXA (they surprised themselves in this race!).

For the last race of the day, with even more breeze gusting up to 18 kts, victory went to Ruiz’s GARATU, followed by Gandara’s OKOFEN in second and Ricardo Diaz-Munio’s MATRAKO in third.  Fourth again were the girls on DECOEXA.

As a result of the days racing, both GARATU and OKOFEN were tied at eight points each, so everything was on the table for the last and final race on Sunday. The same was true for the final position on the podium, with HATUEY and MORUA were tied on eighteen points each as well. Munoz’s women’s team on DECOEXA, from the Royal Nautical Club of San Sebastian, were just three points off the bronze position; easily within reach of the podium with a good race on Sunday.
J/80 sailing off Spain
Day 3- A glass-out
The morning dawned on Sunday with a spectacular sunrise over a perfect reflection of the beautiful  shoreline; the “glass-out” over the estuary was gorgeous, but not a good sign for sailing. After harbor postponement, the PRO canceled all racing for the day due to the total absence of wind.

As a result, Ruiz’s GARATU won in a tie-breaker countback over Gandara’s OKOFEN. Similarly, the final step on the podium was taken by Mugica’s HATUEY on countback over Fernandez’s MOURA, who had to settle for fourth place. The women’s crew on DECOEXSA finished in fifth position and was also crowned the J/80 Copa de Espana Women’s Champions.

The balance of the podium in the Women’s division saw Leticia Gandarias’ AVE FENIX team from Maritime of the Abra vizcaíno take the silver and Lourdes Bilbao’s SIEMENS-GAMESA from the same club take the bronze.

In the Youth Division, winning was Esteban Martínez de la Colina’s SINGING BOY. Taking the silver was Raquel García’s PUNTA HERMINIA and rounding out the podium with the bronze was Julio Fernández’s LA GALERA from the host Real Club Náutico de La Coruña.  For more J/80 Copa de Espana sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.