On Friday, the Real Club Náutico de Palma hosted its traditional opening ceremony for the premier event of the season, which officially kicks-off on Saturday with the first of two days dedicated to the registration of teams and measurement of the fleet.
A new edition of the great Mediterranean event is officially under way. On Friday 28th July the Sala Magna at the Real Club Náutico de Palma hosted the traditional opening ceremony of the Copa del Rey MAPFRE with an act that represents the start of the 41st edition of the event. For eight days (two dedicated to registration and measurement and six for competition) around one hundred teams from sixteen countries will be racing in the Bay of Palma for victory in the most eagerly awaited event in the racing calendar.
41st Copa del Rey MAPFRE: Emerico Fuster, President of the RCNP – photo © Laura G Guerra
The official ceremony was presided by Emerico Fuster, President of the Real Club Náutico de Palma, and María del Carmen Sales, Regional Director of MAPFRE for the Baleares. Mercedes Celeste, fourth Deputy Mayor for Treasury, Public Function and Internal Government; Javier Núñez, Director of the Baleares Naval Sector; José Escalas, Harbour Master; and Javier Sanz, President of the Real Federación Española de Vela (Spanish Royal Sailing Federation) were also present.
The ceremony was opened by Emerico Fuster, who declared, “The Copa del Rey does not only belong to this club, but it is also the heritage of the city which hosts us, and one for which we are all extremely proud ambassadors across the globe. It is one of the best regattas in the world and we are fortunate to count on the support of major brands and institutions who enable us to organize an exclusive event that can meet the high expectations that our own experience has historically created.
This year’s Copa follows in the footsteps of its previous editions and will once again be a meeting point for the best professional and amateur teams. We believe that it is a suitable format for an event, which aspires to offer a great show of competitive sport without renouncing its more social and familiar character. There are close to 1500 sailors from 16 countries who will be spending every day from now until next Saturday in our facilities, and our main challenge is for them all to feel completely at home and enjoy the hospitality of the Real Club Náutico de Palma, as well as the services of the city of Palma”, added Fuster.
María del Carmen Salas officially closed the ceremony by highlighting that, “Sailing is a sport which at MAPFRE we all identify with, its values of effort, personal drive, companionship, solidarity, and teamwork. Within them lies our strong connection to the event, which has been forged for over 15 years with the Copa del Rey and the Club Náutico de Palma, and to whom we wish to congratulate for the fabulous work in creating and running this regatta, and for their 75th anniversary that is also being celebrated this year. Supporting the Copa del Rey is another gesture of MAPFRE’s engagement within the Baleares”.
The event will officially begin on Saturday 29th July, with the first day dedicated to the registration of teams and measurement of the participating fleet. The racing programme begins on Monday 31st July when the teams first take to the water in the Bay of Palma.
The 41st Copa del Rey MAPFRE is organised by the Real Club Náutico de Palma and the Real Federación Española de Vela (lit. Spanish Royal Sailing Federation), and sponsored by MAPFRE, with the institutional collaboration of the Govern de les Illes Balears (Balearic Islands government), the Ayuntamiento de Palma (Palma Town Hall), the Autoritat Portuaria de Balears (Balearic Islands Port Authority) and the Federación Balear de Vela (Balearic Islands Sailing Federation).