The storm rules and confirms the champions

  • 02 September, 2023

The cancellation of the last day due to bad weather means that yesterday`s classifications in the Copa del Rey Repsol de Barcos de Época - Mariska (Big Boats), Spartan (Gaff Vintage), Comet (Bermudian Vintage), Argos (Classics) and Lohengrin (Spirit of Tradition) are the winners of the 19th edition of the event

The storm put an early end to this year's Copa del Rey Repsol de Barcos de Epoca. The strong winds and waves meant that shortly before midday the Race Committee decided to cancel the fourth and final race of the competition, thus awarding victory to the boats leading the standings after the third day.

The Principal Race Officer, Ariane Mainemare, explained that the weather forecast "already gave us some rather extreme conditions for this type of boat because they are all made of wood and are more delicate; we looked outside to see how things were and we saw that there were one and a half metre waves at the entrance and outside as well; furthermore, the wind was gusty and very strong so we considered that the conditions were not good and we decided to cancel the race". The applause that greeted the decision showed that the sailors felt it was the most appropriate thing to do.

The trophy ceremony and the subsequent celebration will be held at 7:30 p.m. today, Sunday, at the Club Marítimo Mahón facilities.

Wind and waves have turned yesterday's leaders into today's champions. Mariska (Big Boats), Spartan (Gaff Vintage), Comet (Bermudian Vintage), Argos (Classics) and Lohengrin (Spirit of Tradition) are confirmed as the winners of the 19th edition of the Copa del Rey Repsol de Barcos de Epoca organised by the Club Marítimo de Mahón and which brings the classic sailing season in Spain to an end.


The cancellation of the last day did not cause a great shock in the Big Boats group, as Mariska (1908) had already confirmed that it is the best in its three-way confrontation with Viveka (1929) and Hallowe'en (1926). Mariska was born to win and more than a century after her launching, she is still winning. Three victories in three races make her triumph in Menorca undisputed.


Two victories and a second place in three races have given a well-deserved victory to the American Spartan (1913) in the group of Gaff Vintage boats. The boat skippered by Aladin Montel has made its greater length, 22.1 metres, and sail area count against its rivals. Only Viola, a 1908 William Fife, was able to snatch second place from the champions. The third place among the units with trapezoidal sails went to the also American Chinook, a Herreshoff, like the Spartan, from 1918.


The storm has also snatched away what was predicted to be an exciting day to decide the champion in the Bermudian Vintage group. Finally, the British Comet, an Olin Stephens design built by Henry Greve in 1946, confirmed its victory after being the best in the first two races. Bad weather left the Uruguayan Fjord III, a 1947 German Frers, with no chance of confirming its progress after winning the third race, tightening the fight for the final victory. The third place was won by the local boat of the Club Marítimo Mahón Sonata, of Jordi Cabau, launched in 1937.


Argos, a Holman & Pye design built in the Spanish Astilleros Carabela in 1964, confirms once again as the absolute dominator of the Classics group and obtains its seventh victory in the Copa del Rey de Barcos de Época. The French Saint Chritopher (1966) could not consolidate the first place achieved in the first race and had to settle for the runner-up position. The third place on the podium went to the Italian Don Quijote (1963).


The maximum excitement to find out the name of the champion awaited in the Spirit of Tradition group, where each of the three contested races has seen a different winner. Lohengrin (1974), Happy Forever (built in 2008 along classic lines) and Celeste di Mare (1971) had been the winners in the three partial races and the difference in the classification was minimal between these three yachts. In the end, greater consistency gave the victory by a single point to Puma 34 Lohengrin. The boat skippered by Jordi Tarré thus obtained its first victory in Mahón.

The trophy ceremony this afternoon brings to an end a magnificent edition of the Copa del Rey Repsol de Barcos de Época at the Club Marítimo de Mahón, which has brought together fifty boats from all over the world and which puts the finishing touch to the season for vintage boats in Spain. 


Aladin Montel, skipper Spartan:

"It's my first year in the Copa del Rey de Mahón. The boat has been I think three times since 2016. We love places with such beautiful scenery for sailing. It's great for me to be in this place with so much history. It's a great occasion sharing it with other spectacular boats. We have a great and highly motivated crew. Everyone was ready to give their all from minute one and with a great desire to win. We have trained a lot and the weather conditions have helped us. We were second on the day when the weather was less favourable".

Jordi Tarré, skipper Lohengrin:

"We have been here since the beginning of the Copa del Rey with Yanira, with which we have won several times in the Classics. With the same crew we took part seven or eight years ago with Lohengrin. Calima beat us then, but this year it was our turn. The decisive factor in my opinion was the luck that the crew has been sailing together for years and the boat is well prepared. We haven't failed. If you slip up in a race, you sink in the rankings. Luckily, we have been consistent and we have always been able to stay in the lead.

Ariane Mainemare, Principal Race Officer:

"Racing has been suspended today because the weather forecast was already giving us a bit extreme conditions for this type of boat because they are all wooden and more delicate. We looked outside to see what the conditions were like, we saw that there were one and a half metre waves at the entrance to the harbour and it was similar on the outside. In addition to the waves, the wind is gusty and very strong, so we considered that the conditions were not good. The forecast is that it will continue to get worse because tomorrow there is a worse forecast. We believe that people have been happy with the decision given the circumstances".

Club Marítimo de Mahón
Consell Insular Menorca
Ajuntament de Mahón
APB Mahón
Real Federación Española de Vela
Federación Balear de Vela
Asociación Española de Barcos de Época y Clásicos (AEBEC)
Trofeo Mare Nostrum
The Mediterranean Champions Cup
Collaborating companies
La Menorquina
Aqua Group
Coca Cola
Pedros Boat
Ansa per Ansa
Gipsy Gin
Gin Xoriguer
Ca l´ltaliá (Catering barcos)
Queso Mahón
Menorca on Wheels
Divina Menorca
Menorca Mar & Charter
Tactic Audiovisual
Nautical Channel