Full steam ahead for Superyacht Cup Palma

Europe’s longest-running superyacht regatta Superyacht Cup Palma is well and truly underway with another day of sparkling Mallorcan sailing conditions.

Pantaenius Race Day saw slightly lighter breeze than Wednesday's opening races for the J Class, but the 11-strong fleet showed their mettle in a hard-fought coastal race of over three hours, with the outcome of the three class contests in doubt until the final legs on each course.

The four superb J Class yachts set sail with their own fleet start. From the off, decisions were split, with Velsheda making a bold call to head right while Svea, Topaz and Ranger headed up the left-hand side of the course.

Pattoo at Superyacht Cup Palma

On this occasion, fortune did not favour the brave, and Velsheda's course to Palmanova on the western side of the Bay of Palma did not pay off, with the other J Class contenders leading by a considerable margin at the first mark.

Meanwhile, the elegant 27-metre (88-foot) modern classic Savannah led the rest of the Superyacht Cup fleet away - the first in a series of staggered starts which soon filled the bay with a diverse cross-section of impressive superyachts.

New Zealand team at Superyacht Cup Palma

Racing in Class B, the Pedrick-designed Savannah had her work cut out to match the pace of the 46m (150ft) Ganesha, the powerful Oyster 1225 Archelon and bluewater cruiser La Belle, but she made the most of her handicap rating to take the class win.

“The committee sent us on a great course, and there were some pockets of really good breeze so you had to choose your course carefully,” said Savannah's owner Hugh Morrison. “Luckily we got some of those right so it was a good day.”

Looking ahead to the final days of racing, Morrison added, “There's some fantastic competition out there and some outstanding sailors on amazing machines, and they sail differently in different conditions. The conditions are expected to be stronger tomorrow so we will just try to hang on to their coattails and do the best we can.”

Sailing team at Superyacht Cup Palma

Class A saw a tussle for supremacy between the 32m (104ft) Farr-designed carbon flyer Kiboko 3 and the similarly high-performance 33m (108ft) sloop Pattoo. With both making a striking impression as they raced on a leg up the eastern side of the bay framed by the rugged coastal cliffs at Badia Gran, it was Kiboko that edged the contest.

Kiboko’s owner and helm, Juan Entrecanales, said, “We are, of course, happy with the result today - the conditions were good. Though we made a late start, we were able to keep on going.”

Kiboko 3 at Superyacht Cup Palma

Asked about the origin of her name – Kiboko is Swahili for hippopotamus – Entrecanales added, “The boat was built in Cape Town, and I wanted to reflect her African heritage. A hippo is fast – fat yes, but fast as well, and the name sounds good.”

In the J Class, the leading trio were locked together around the course, with none able to make a decisive break away. Svea claimed the on-the-water win and was able to preserve the top spot once the handicap was applied, closing the gap at the top of the overall table to one point behind Topaz, who was runner-up. Ranger claimed third with Velsheda unable to close the gap for her first leg deficit.

Back ashore after racing, Superyacht Cup's host the Real Club Náutico de Palma turned on the style once again with the celebratory North Sails and Southern Spars happy hour on the Real Club Náutico de Palma terrace together with the prize-giving.

Yachts racing at Superyacht Cup Palma

Racing continues on Friday with New Zealand Race Day before the event concludes with Saturday's St. Regis Race Day – supported by Superyacht Cup's Preferred Hotel Partner the St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort.

For more information, visit Superyacht Cup Palma.

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