At long last the waiting is almost over as the final countdown begins to the landmark celebration of Europe’s longest running superyacht regatta, Superyacht Cup Palma.
The 25th anniversary gathering has successfully adapted itself to the local pandemic requirements, with permitted shoreside activities now centred around the iconic Real Club Náutico De Palma in the heart of Mallorca’s capital.
Meanwhile the heartbeat of the event remains unaffected, with a striking fleet of nine superyachts lined up for three days of thrilling racing in the unrivalled sailing conditions out on the Bay of Palma.
“It has been a long road to get to where we are, but we have got there and are delighted to welcome what is a wonderful array of superyachts to our 25th anniversary regatta,” said SYC event director Kate Branagh.
“Superyacht Cup Palma will of course have a new feel to it this year, but at its core we will deliver what is truly important to the owners, their friends, captains and crews – great racing out on the bay. Come Saturday, if they all have a smile on their face, then it is mission accomplished.”
Divided into two classes the fleet consists of a mix of returning previous entries, and first-timers keen to experience the unique atmosphere and competitive but friendly racing at the home of Mediterranean superyacht sailing.
In Class A the sleek 34m Nilaya from Baltic Yachts – one of the Friends of SYC – is joined by another equally competitive returnee the 33m Missy. They will be up against two SYC debutantes, both Frers designs from Nautor’s Swan – the powerful 35m Shamanna and well-campaigned 24m Umiko, a stunning example of the Swan 80 performance cruising brand.
The elegant low-profile Missy will be looking to pick-up where she left off, with a win in her final race in 2019, and a competitive start to this season. Her tactician Matt Humphries said: “The Superyacht Cup is the premier superyacht event; it always has been. We love being here. Palma can produce some tricky conditions tactically, but it is always fun, and we are all looking forward to it – the competition will be good.”
Another first-timer, the 43m Ravenger (ex-Sea Eagle), is keen to join the action in Class B. There she will face the light and manoeuvrable 35m sloop Baiurdo VI and a trio of 46m returnees: the Perini Navi world cruiser Aquarius, the largest yacht at the SYC; Scorpione of London, another Baltic example making the step up from the Corinthian class in 2018; and Ganesha, built – like Missy – by Vitters Shipyard, an SYC Silver Partner.
Ganesha has been something of an SYC regular, and her captain Alex Pamment is looking forward to renewing the sloop’s acquaintance with the Bay of Palma.
“The appeal this year is being able to return to normality and go racing again,” he said. “Our last race was here three years ago in 2018. Obviously last year was a non-event and the year before that we were in the Pacific, so the appeal is to get the boat up and running and get out on Palma Bay and push her to the limit.
“Generally Palma has pretty reliable conditions with a good sea breeze, and in a normal year a great social time ashore. The racing is still the main thing for us for sure, to give the owner the enjoyment of his yacht back on the water with a full team of professional sailors where we can really maximise the yacht’s performance – that’s the appeal of the Superyacht Cup Palma for us.”
All the action out on the water can be followed by a global audience via social media and the tracker on the SYC homepage with daily race results, high resolution photography, video edits and race reports available to media outlets working remotely.
Racing starts on Thursday with the Pantaenius Race Day, supported by the marine insurer, another SYC Silver Partner, and continues on Friday with New Zealand Race Day, so named after SYC’s long-standing Destination Partner who will be distributing goody bags to all the entries and have the extraordinary Manta5 hydrofoil bike available for test drives at the Real Club Náutico De Palma.
Matters on the water will conclude with the final race on Saturday, which will be followed by the prize-giving at RCNP. There a wide range of prizes will be awarded to competing yachts provided by DYT Yacht Transport, a Friend of SYC, and Silver Partners including Marinepool, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and Rondal, with five of the SYC fleet – Missy, Nilaya, Ravenger, Baiurdo and Scorpione – equipped by the carbon fibre specialist.
Also to be awarded is a special prize from North Sails – another Silver Partner – which will go to the yacht which best captures the ‘Spirit of the Event’. The beautiful limited-edition crystal and Sterling silver ship’s decanter and glasses is awarded in memory of North Sails founder Lowell North.
It’s all to play for at the 25th anniversary of the Superyacht Cup Palma!