INEOS TEAM UK win GC32 Racing Tour’s 37 Copa del Rey in Palma

Leigh McMillan gets that winning feeling - Spain
© Tomás Moya /GC32 Racing Tour

After leading the regatta from start to finish INEOS TEAM UK take their first event win at the GC32 Racing Tour’s 37 Copa del Rey. After four days and 19 fast foiling races in the blazing Palma heat, the team came away with 41 points - eight points clear of Franck Cammas’s second placed NORAUTO.

The conditions for the final race day were a lighter than the previous three, starting around 9-10 knots and dropping to 6-7, making the heat event more punishing. The team placed 2,2,4,5 and throughout the regatta won five races alongside consistently placing podium finishes, never dropping off the top spot on the scoreboard.

INEOS TEAM UK celebrate their win in Palma

Tactician, Giles Scott commented; It’s been a great performance by the team and great to get the win here in Palma! We had a little buffer on Frank (Franck Cammas) and his NORAUTO team heading into the last day and we were quickly able to put more points on them in the first two races. In the end we managed to win the regatta with a race to spare, which is always nice.

INEOS TEAM UK Team Principal & Skipper, Sir Ben Ainslie, was the first to congratulate the team; ‘It’s a fantastic result for the team as we build up our sailing squad for AC36.

The crew were again trialing a new line up following their podium finish in Portugal last month. Former GC32 Racing Tour Champion, Leigh McMillan came in as Helm with new INEOS TEAM UK recruit, Joey Newton - a two times America’s Cup winner - making his debut for the team as jib trimmer. The final change saw Australian Luke Parkinson trimming the mainsail. The 2016 Finn Olympic gold medallist, Giles Scott (GBR) resumed the role of tactician and 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Champion, Neil Hunter (GBR) completed the line-up as float.

A winning handshake between Leigh MacMillan and Joey Newton
© Harry KH

Tactician, Giles Scott continued; “We will rotate the crew again for the next event, for example I won’t be in Sardinia and Ben (Ainslie) will come back in as helm, we are utilising the GC32 Racing Tour as a way to try different crew combinations and gel the team in a competitive fleet, and that strategy is clearly working.

The 2018 GC32 Racing Tour continues with the GC32 Villasimius Cup (12-16th September) followed by the season finale, the GC32 TPM Med Cup (10-14th October).

37 Copa del Rey MAPFRE Results
1. INEOS TEAM UK (GBR) 46 pts
2. NORAUTO (FRA) 55 pts 73 pts
3. Argo (USA) 73 pts
4. Zoulou (FRA) 88 pts
5. Realteam (SUI) 90 pts
6. .film Racing (NZL) 95 pts
7. Frank Racing (AUS) 119 pts
8. Código Rojo Racing (POR) 122 pts

INEOS TEAM UK GC32 Race Squad for Palma:
Leigh McMillan – Helmsman
Luke Parkinson, Mainsail
Joey Newton, Jib Trim
Giles Scott, Bow / Tactics
Neil Hunter, Float
Support team:
Jono Macbeth, Sailing Team Manager
Rob Wilson, Coach
Matty Adams, Boat Builder
Aston Campion, Shore Support
Ben Williams, Head of Human Performance