The longest running superyacht regatta in Europe, the Superyacht Cup, returns to Muelle Viejo in Palma, Mallorca, this summer (June 19-23) and the line-up of competing yachts is as diverse as it is impressive. We size up the 2018 fleet, starting with three recently announced additions...
Formerly known as Pink Gin V, the Baltic sailing yacht Scorpione of London was sold to her current owner in July 2017. Her Finnish builder brought her to water for the first time in 2006 and she was refitted in 2011 to reinforce her credentials as a high-performance sloop.
Q (ex-Mondango II) was originally launched in 2009 at Alloy Yachts, and this Dubois-designed bluewater cruiser has recently had an extensive refit with a Scandinavian theme courtesy of Reymond Langton Design.
Scorpione and Q’s participation at the 2018 Superyacht Cup Palma opens the door to a possible Corinthian Class at the June regatta, allowing owners to experience the thrill of racing with a smaller crew and without spinnakers.
With a name that reflects her dual virtues as a regatta racer and a comfortable cruiser, WinWin was built by Baltic and launched in 2014 for a highly experienced and very active owner, who is particularly fond of the Superyacht Cup Palma, praising its “special and relatively reliable” thermal winds.
Immediately recognisable thanks to her vibrant green hull finish that masks high-tech carbon fibre construction by Green Yachts and Vitters, Inouï is sure to turn heads at the Superyacht Cup Palma 2018. A proven light airs performer, this Philippe Briand-designed sloop can achieve speeds of up to eight knots in just six knots of wind.
Launched in 2016 as the third Swan 115 yacht, Highland Fling XV features that winning combination of German Frers design and Nautor’s Swan construction, and she will be making her Superyacht Cup Palma debut in 2018. During her development particular emphasis was placed on boosting downwind speeds to offer more adrenaline-pumping racing without compromising on her ability to offer family cruising in supreme comfort.
The ketch-rigged sailing superyacht Sojana is another notable entry into the Superyacht Cup Palma 2018. Launched in 2003 and refitted in 2016, she has previously crossed the Atlantic in nine days and ten hours, and her owner has recorded a top speed of 20 knots under sail.
A high-performance composite sloop launched in 2009 by New Zealand yard Yachting Developments, Bliss has previously raced at the 2013 Dubois Cup and the Millennium Cup 2015. She will be making her Superyacht Cup debut this year. “Bliss has been cruising the Pacific and South East Asia for the last four years, so to participate in the Superyacht Cup Palma is a welcome return to the Mediterranean and a great way to see Mallorca at its finest,” said skipper Richard Allingham.
With a history that stretches all the way back to 1933, Velsheda needs no introduction. One of the original J Class yachts that fought it out for the America’s Cup more than 80 years ago, she was built from steel by Camper & Nicholsons and named after original owner WL Stephenson’s three daughters Velma, Sheila and Daphne. After a period of neglect Velsheda was restored in the 1990s with clever design tweaks provided Dykstra Naval Architects.
Designed and built by Perini Navi as the third in its 50 metre series, Silencio was delivered in 2001 and most recently underwent a refit in 2012. Sold in 2017, her new owner will doubtless be hoping to build on Silencio's former glory as the winner of both the Perini Navi Cup 2013 and Millennium Cup 2015.
The newest and largest member of the J Class fleet, Svea was launched in 2017 by Dutch yard Vitters. Fresh from her class victory at the St Barths Bucket 2018, she will be hoping to continue her winning streak at the Superyacht Cup Palma.
Launched in 1997 by Kiwi yard Sensation Yachts, Mari Cha III is another Briand designed yacht due to race at the Superyacht Cup Palma 2018. More than 20 years after she was built from lightweight composites, this ketch-rigged sailing superyacht is still regarded as one of the fastest in her class. Look out for her distinctive spinnaker, which sports an oriental-style dragon motif.
"We are very excited to come back and participate in the Superyacht Cup Palma after a few years without racing,” said skipper Christian Lay. “Reuniting our team of highly experienced pros and past and present permanent crew is something we make a big effort to do. With consistent winds, a great race committee, good international access and a plentiful supply of hotels and restaurants this is the premier Mediterranean superyacht regatta.”
Saudade will take some beating at the Superyacht Cup Palma 2018. This sloop-rigged Wally 148 sailing yacht won her class at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta for three years running from 2015 to 2017. Designed by Harrison Eidsgaard with naval architecture by Bill Tripp, Saudade is a force to be reckoned with.
Named after the Hindu god of wisdom and learning, the Vitters sailing superyacht Ganesha flies an image of her namesake on her bright orange spinnaker. She was designed more around handling than outright performance with a beam-to-length ratio that wouldn’t look out of place on a J Class yacht, and her generous rigging is bedecked with 2,212 square metres of 3Di sails from North.
Built by renowned Italian yard Perini Navi from a steel hull and aluminium superstructure, the flybridge sailing yacht Aquarius has been cruising the world since 1990. A 2010 refit saw new Formula masts fitted and in boom furling systems added to better control her 923 square metres of sail, which will be given a thorough workout at the Superyacht Cup Palma 2018.
Easily the largest sailing yacht competing at the Superyacht Cup Palma 2018, Athos was launched in 2010 by Holland Jachtbouw. Her 2016 refit at Orams Marine Services in Auckland saw new Doyle staysails and mainsails added with Stratis Carbon Technora membranes. She is widely regarded as one of designer Andre Hoek’s most beautiful creations to date.
Designed by Fred Elliott, with naval architecture by Reichel-Pugh and Paolo Scanu, modern J Class yacht Ranger was delivered by Danish Yachts in 2003. Currently for sale with Northrop & Johnson, Ranger is a regatta regular and has taken wins at the Rolex Maxi Cup and Les Voiles de St Tropez.