North Sails Powers Overall and Three Class Wins In Palma
The Superyacht Cup, Europe’s largest and longest running superyacht regatta this year featured 16 yachts, beautifully designed, and sailed by the best for a chance at the 2018 title. As always, Palma delivered fantastic racing conditions, setting the scene for a beautiful showing of some of the largest racing yachts in the world. Starts occurred in two-minute intervals, giving spectators watching ashore action-packed final moments before each fleet took off. Racing was also full of excitement for crews, with some classes having match-race style pre-start techniques and finishes within seconds of each other.
“It was fantastic out there today. Great conditions here in Palma with a nice nine to 12 knots sea breeze, and quite challenging at times. I like this place- It’s really special. The unique geography puts a bend in the wind that you have to get right every time. The first race is always pretty key. Anything is possible,” commented Cameron Appleton, onboard Highland Fling.
The breeze built over the duration of the week, keeping the racing close and competitive. Some teams fared well in the lighter air within their class, like Highland Fling who won their first race of the event. Others saw improvements come as more breeze filled in throughout the week. Points were tight in each class making every second count at the finish, especially going into the final day of racing. Many scores were within one point, and for some teams it came down to tie-breakers, showing how competitive each yacht and crew is.
“We had a good tussle with Svea in both races,” commented Velsheda’s tactician Tom Dodson. “They showed good speed in the first race to cross ahead on the first beat. In the second it all worked for us, we got the cross and hung on. Both boats are owner-driver and sailed to such a high standard – if we get everything right we can still win races against the newer boats.”
It was impressive to see the two J Class superyachts match racing, close in points and even closer on the race course. “We got our start right, taking the right-hand side of the first beat,” commented Dodson, “We weren’t a 100% sure about it, but we were pretty sure that side would work out, and then we saw a couple of the locals going that way, so we felt pretty good about our decision.”
After three days of racing, only the fastest and most consistent teams survived. Clients on 33m Win Win took 1st overall in Class A, with Saudade and Highland Fling close behind in second and third overall. J Class Velsheda won the tiebreaker in Class B, with a total of six points. Q the 51.7m Dubois took 1st in Class D, the Corinthian class, battling each race against 46m Scorpione of London.
Congratulations to our clients on a successful week in Palma!
“We were honored to win the event on the oldest boat in the fleet that is still helmed by her owner of 30 years. Velsheda herself is 85 years old this year. I and many of the crew have been with her since 2001.”
“It was an absolutely superior event with some of the best sailing you can imagine. 28 degrees and 10 – 15 knots sea breeze and Palma showing herself from her best side. First time on Win Win which I enjoyed a lot. Great owner with a great team. Tough but great competition with Saudade and Highland Fling being within minutes of each other the whole way around in all the races. Already looking forward to next year. This event is a must do event regardless of which class you are racing in.”
“Sir Peter Harrison’s Sojana was incredibly sailed by his long-standing and loyal crew. She has been optimized for speed and shows true elegance when under sail. Great conditions on the Bay of Palma with sea breeze and sunshine suited her, giving her everything she needed to perform to her fullest. Her crew enjoyed racing and was very pleased having a great season under their belt. Great times spent on and off the water to top off our season after placing second in St Barth’s, first in Antigua, and third here in Palma behind the illustrious Velsheda.”
-North Sails Brad Favelle, Palma, Spain
“This year’s Palma SY Regatta was well run and a blast to sail in. Palma delivered perfect champagne sailing conditions with 9 – 14 knots of wind and flat water. I raced on the Swan 115 Highland Fling in Class A where there was a 3 way tie for first going into the last day. I can’t remember a superyacht regatta where the racing was this close.”
“The racing was very close in our class. Conditions were great and each day our team improved. The onshore social aspect of the regatta was also a great time. Our crew won the SUP race after day two of racing. It was a lot of fun.”