13 images

Credit: Claire Matches

The top superyacht regattas to add to your 2024 calendar

11 December 2023 • Written by Gemma Harris

From the South of France to St Barths, the superyacht regatta calendar is packed with opportunities for owners to race their boats in stunning settings. Whether you are looking for keen competition or are more interested in the après scene, we are here to help you pick the perfect contest.

Credit: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Oyster World Rally, Antigua

From 14 January, 2024 

By the finish of the 22/23 rally, more than 100 Oysters had circumnavigated over the decade that the British builder has been running these rallies. Dozens more will have their chance at the next one, which heads west from Antigua and makes 15 stopovers on the 16-month route.

New Zealand Millennium Cup, Auckland

February 23-26, 2024

Postponed from 2023, the Millennium Cup 2024 takes place in a new location – Auckland, aka the City of Sails, which eases logistics for international owners. There is also a new multihull division as well. What isn’t changing is the fun racing with a Kiwi flavour.

Credit: Jeff Brown

Superyacht Challenge, Antigua

March 11-17, 2024

Defining superyachts as vessels over 24.4 metres, this regatta offers four days of lively racing from the entrance to English Harbour as well as relaxed parties brimming with camaraderie in historic Nelson’s Dockyard.

The race is held annually in Nelson’s Dockyard and comprises daily pursuit races, and an optional race around the island, with the start and finish line just off English Harbour. Entrants are divided into three classes — buccaneers, corsairs and privateers — and all compete under the ORC Superyacht Rule.

Rather than a traditional trophy, winners receive barrels of rum, suitably filled in true Caribbean style. Additional awards include best-dressed crew, loudest Caribbean shirt, and a cook-off between crews. In fact, the only trophy awarded is the Gosnell Trophy, which is given to the crew that has "competed in the Spirit of the Regatta" both on the water and ashore.

St Barths Bucket Regatta

March 21-24, 2024

The St Barths Bucket Regatta attracts some of the finest sailors and sailing yachts from across the world and is always a highlight on the racing calendar. This invitation-only event welcomes around 40 superyachts (usually upwards of 30 metres in length) to the sandy shores of St Barths each year.

The racing has traditionally been on three courses but organisers have said they now have 30 options to choose from.

Off the water, owners have their choice of countless invitations, from private gatherings to the Bucket-affiliated soiree at Tamarin as well as the final awards ceremony party, which is traditionally held at the five-star Eden Rock hotel. At the yacht hop, some owners have been known to fly in thousands of oysters and host aerial silk performers, which proves that the old Bucket spirit of winning the party — if not the day on the water — is still prevalent.

The 2024 fleet is already shaping up nicely with regatta regulars such as the 56-metre Malek, 51-metre Red Dragon and 35-metre Whisper all making a return, with the new 59-metre Maximus also anticipated to join. 

Read More/Why St Barths is the spiritual home of regatta racing

Les Voiles de St Barths Richard Mille

April 14-20, 2024

A relative newcomer to the racing scene, Les Voiles de St Barths may not be steeped in history like many long-timers on this list, but it has swiftly become a calendar staple since its inception in 2010. It welcomes a serious fleet of modified racers and mini maxis - think TP52s and JV72s - among smaller racing boats and a multihull fleet.

Now in its 13th year, the event will see the fleet return to the red-roofed town of Gustavia in St Barths. Like the bucket, the regatta is powered by reliable trade winds that arrive from the east, which means very few days are lost due to unfavourable weather conditions. Racecourses make use of the landscape with clusters of rocks punching out of the water that serve as marks. Some more competitive teams even send divers down to see how close they can get before having to tack off.

Racing is close and competitive but things are much more laid back ashore. The lay day usually consists of a long lunch at Nikki Beach followed by tug of war and diving for bottles of Barons de Rothschild champagne.

Credit: Christophe Jouany

Giorgio Armani Superyacht Regatta

June 4-8, 2024

The Sardinian superyacht regatta is back as the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda welcomes Giorgio Armani as its title sponsor for the second year.

Where other regattas may have a T-shirts and flip-flops feel, Sardinia is about glamour in the playground of the Italian elite. It’s not all focused on the nightlife, though; any serious sailor knows racing here is not for the faint-hearted.

“Sardinia is, in my eyes, the most exceptional regatta area in the world,” says the owner of WinWin. And he's not wrong. Competitors can expect stronger winds from the northwest and have to navigate rocks jutting out of the water in Bomb Alley — the passage between Sardinia and La Maddalena archipelago.

The regatta is always capped off with an evening at Phi Beach — WinWin’s owner says it’s the best party of any regatta. It’s a quintessentially Italian summer scene, with guests treated to glorious sunset views and music from top DJs piped through bars and dance floors interspersed among the rocks right on the water.

Entry is open to superyachts with a minimum length of 27.43 metres and the event will also encompass the Southern Wind Rendezvous.

Superyacht Cup, Palma

June 19-22, 2024

This annual event for yachts over 24 metres is the longest-running superyacht regatta in Europe, and now incorporates a Corinthian Spirit Class

A laid-back southern Mediterranean vibe prevails at the Superyacht Cup in Palma, Europe’s longest-running superyacht regatta. Leave your jackets and ties at home; this is a shorts and T-shirt event. Uniquely, this regatta is contained within a fenced-in event village, proving that relaxed and informal can also mean ultra-exclusive.

While racing in the Bay of Palma may not offer the same dramatic scenery as the Caribbean, it is ideal for newcomers who may find rounding inflatable marks less daunting than a rocky outcrop, and its more sheltered position means there are no boat-breaking big seas. The race committee has the ability to set courses in the bay to suit the fleet and to really give every yacht a better chance to sail to its rating.

Last year's fixture welcomes a quartet of J Class entries, Svea, Topaz, Ranger and Velsheda.

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup

September 8-14,  2024

The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is the highlight of many a Maxi racing calendar and is back for its 34th edition in 2024. Staged off Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda - known for its rocky scenery and turquoise waters – it continues to attract dedicated owners, highly skilled crews and exceptional yachts. 

This year's Cup follows a hugely successful event last year. Racing is open to yachts of at least 18.29 metres and, for the first time this year, multihulls can join its ranks.

Credit: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Oyster Palma Regatta, Palma

September 21–25, 2024 

Taking place at the new venue of Port Adriano, this special edition celebrates 50 years of Oyster Yachts. In addition to the friendly competition over four days of racing, there will be an owners’ dinner to commemorate its half-century of building bluewater cruising yachts.

Ibiza JoySail, Balearic Islands

September 19-22, 2024

Now in its fourth edition and growing exponentially each year, this laid-back regatta welcomes maxis and superyachts for offshore and coastal racing in the Balearic Islands, along with plenty of onshore socialising hosted by STP Palma and Marina Ibiza.

Les Voiles de St Tropez

September 26 – 6 October, 2024

The Mediterranean big-boat racing season winds down with Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. But don't be fooled, this is no small soirée. The event is the largest gathering of Maxis yachts in the world as owners and crew come together and toast to the last of the summer sun with a week of good old-fashioned racing. 

Swan Med Regatta-Tuscany Challenge, Marina di Scarlino, Italy

October 2024 

New to the calendar last year, the inaugural Tuscany Challenge gathered Med-based Swan owners for a first ever Med-based end-of-season regatta set against the stunning backdrop of the Tuscan archipelago. This Nautor Swan Experience gathering celebrates the entire Swan world across a three-day competition. Hosted by the Yacht Club Isole di Toscana, it determines the world champions in the ClubSwan 50, ClubSwan 42 and ClubSwan 36.

Sponsored listings