Women to the assault of the Copa del Rey de sailing

  • Candle Superb start in the Copa del Rey Mapfre

It is said that the sea does not understand gender. Also that sailing is an egalitarian sport, that traditionally has not distinguished between men and women when it comes to forming a crew to compete in a round the world race or a regatta between buoys. However, reality shows that the female presence among the fleets is very low compared to the male.

With the aim of increasing the percentage of women on the boats, the most prestigious regattas have activated a series of initiatives in recent times. TheOceanRace, the round the world with stopovers that sets sail from Alicante, aspires to have the same number of men and women in 2030; the next Copa América, which will be played in Barcelona in 2024, will have its own competition with all-female crews; and in the Olympic Games, where there have been women’s sailing events since 1988, mixed classes are being imposed.

The bay of Palma is also the scene these days of that visibility quest. Three years ago, the Real Club Náutico de Palma incorporated the first female class in the Copa del Rey Mapfre with the idea of ​​improving the statistics of the past, when there were only one or two female crews among the more than 100 boats that make up the fleet each year.

The first edition of the Women’s Cup brought together a dozen crews aboard the Viper 640 monotypes in Palma. Although the chosen boat was more like a dinghy than a cruise ship, the contest was described as a success and Felipe VI ended up giving the Balearic Federation team, led by Helena Alegre, the trophy that crowned the first champions of the history of the Copa del Rey.

In 2021, after the regatta was canceled the previous year due to the pandemic, the one design was chosen J80 as a weapon. The ‘Dorsia Covirán’, skippered by Marta Garrido, was the best of the 11 teams that participated. This year, with the same type of boat, nine teams have entered the Mallorca Sothebys Women’s Cup class.

The fight for the lead in the three days of the preliminary phase of the 40th Copa del Rey was tremendous, with María Bover’s ‘Balearia’ being the one managed to start final phase from the top of the ranking. Ships such as Eva González’s ‘Soho-Boutique Hotels-Trocadero’ or the ‘Dorsia Covirán’, led by Natalia Vía-Dufresne, who these days is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the silver medal she won in Barcelona 92 ​​in Europe class, also They have shown enough potential to win the title.

Despite recent efforts to increase the quantitative and qualitative level of women in the Cup, the truth is that they have been present in the regatta since its origins. Not surprisingly, the first Copa del Rey winner sailboat, the Italian ‘Nat’, was armed by Carla Taffoloni.

Queen Sofia and the Infantas

During the following four decades, many have been the figures who have worked to break down that invisible wall in the water. Some of them appear in the book ‘Copa del Rey -40 Aniversario’, by the journalist Suso Pérez, where the role of the Royal Family.

The Infanta Cristina was a crew member of the ‘Azur de Puig’ from a very young age and patron saint since 1988; the Infanta Elena sailed on the mythical ‘Il Moro de Venezia’ and on ships armed by Camilo José Cela or Pedro Perelló. For her part, Queen Sofía participated in the 1987 editions, aboard George Koumantaros’s ‘Boomerang’, and in 1995, with the Navy’s ‘Hispania’.

The list of women that have been writing the history of the Cup is extensive. The double Olympic champion Theresa Zabell, patron of the ‘Inespal’ team that won the Copa del Rey in 1991; the Tanit IV Medilevel setter, María José Vila, who won the trophy in 2010; the sought-after sailor Alicia Ageno or the current bows of the ‘Aifos 500’, the first sergeant Natalia Díaz and Nerea Lemos, are just a few examples of the participants who have stormed the bay of Palma to measure themselves against their rivals and the sea.

After all, as the British sailor Dee Caffari said, “to the wind and the waves they don’t care who you are; you are a man or a woman; you’re a sailor.”

According to the criteria of

The Trust Project

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