The Superyacht Cup gets underway this month in Palma, marking a significant occasion as Europe's longest-running superyacht regatta and one of the first racing events of the Mediterranean season. The four-day regatta runs from 21 June to 24 June and will see a fleet of high-performance sailing yachts put through their paces in the Bay of Palma. Leading the charge out on the water will be two Js - Velsheda and Svea – joined by bluewater cruisers and high-performance carbon flyers. Take a look at this year's lineup...
Length: 43.6m Builder: Vitters
The largest (and newest) member of the J Class fleet, the 44-metre Vitters Svea, will be back racing in Palma for the cup after being crowned overall winner of the J Class last year. The original lines for this Super J were designed by Tore Holm in 1973 and Hoek Design Naval Architects was called on to revive the 75-year-old drawings and bring her up to date, complete with a 53.75-metre carbon fibre main mast. As a result, Svea displaces just 182 tonnes — two tonnes less than her fellow J Hanuman and six tonnes less than Ranger. After her first regatta season under new ownership last year, she is back and ready to take gold again.
Length: 39.5m Builder: Camper & Nicholsons
Velsheda was built in steel in 1933 for WL Stephenson, the chairman of Woolworths in Britain, and named after his three daughters Velma, Sheila and Daphne. This 38.5-metre yacht is the only original J Class not to have been built for the America's Cup. In 1996 she was purchased by Dutch fashion entrepreneur Ronald de Waal who commissioned Southampton Yacht Services to rebuild her. She is a regatta veteran and a regular contender at the Palma Superyacht Cup, returning to face her larger and newer J Class sibling Svea.
Length: 33m Builder: Vitters
Ribelle was built for a highly experienced sailing yacht owner who wanted a boat that could cruise worldwide, but could also offer superior sailing performance when flicked into 'race mode'. Vitters was chosen to build the carbon fibre racer-cruiser, with Malcolm McKeon devising the design. Ribelle can sail at 20 knots in moderate conditions, with the assistance of a self-tacking jib and furling downwind sails and has been a regular competitor participating in regattas such as Les Voiles de St Tropez, St Barths Bucket and Maxi Rolex Cup. In 2017 she competed her second-ever regatta which was the Superyacht Cup in Palma.
Length: 33m Builder: Vitters
Pattoo, formerly Missy, like Ribelle, is a McKeon-designed, Vitters-built yacht. Last year she returned to Palma under her new ownership and took sixth place overall, and is back to climb her way up the finishing order. As a carbon-fibre performance cruiser, she has a carbon-fibre mast from Southern Spars (with ECsix carbon rigging) and carries a sail wardrobe from North Sails. Other features include her lifting keel that extends from 3.75 metres to five metres.
Length: 36m Builder: Alloy Yachts
Fresh off a victory at the 2021 New Zealand Millennium Cup and on completion of a multi-million-dollar refit, the 36-metre Lady M is ready to do battle in the Bay of Palma. She was built in New Zealand at Alloy Yachts in 1995 as a fast cruising sloop designed by the legendary Ed Dubois. Her refit included a new helm and control stations, and new sails ready for this year's racing scene.
Length: 30.1m Builder: Nautor Swan
Swan 100 sailing yacht Onyx will be making its Palma Superyacht Cup debut this summer. The 30.1-metre was built by the Finnish yard Swan to a design by German Frers, who also completed the naval architecture. She was the first in the series to feature a semi-raised saloon configuration, giving her a low-profile coach roof. She underwent a major rebuild between 2021 and 2022 at Baltic Yachts in Mallorca, including new decks, new sails, machinery and more.
Length: 24m Builder: Nautor Swan
Another Swan competing in this year's regatta is Umiko. She returns to the competition after her debut in 2021, where she claimed a podium place in the last race. Proudly part of the Finnish brand’s Swan 80 series, she is one of the smaller contenders, featuring naval architecture and an exterior design by German Frers. Since her launch in 2000, she has benefited from multiple refits, allowing her to retain her competitive edge.
Length: 39m Builder: Fitzroy Yachts
The 39-metre Lady M will be making her debut appearance at the 2023 Superyacht Cup Palma, but she is no stranger to the racing circuit. She was launched in 2006 as the third Dubois performance sloop and had previously competed in regattas around the world under her former names Zulu, Ganesha and Mia Cara. She has recently completed a six-month refit with KRM Yacht, including a full repainting of the hull and superstructure, an interior refresh and replacement of the teak decking. She has had a successful and eventful racing career, participating in the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta, the Dubois Cup and The Superyacht Cup.
Length: 24m Builder: Wally
The 24-metre wallycento is back for her second successive year after taking a race win on her Superyacht Cup Palma debut last year. Delivered in 2006 as Tango G, Rose has a flush cockpit-less deck, 45-metre carbon rig and 3DL self-tacking jib, setting her up nicely for racing. In "race mode", she has a crew of 24 and offers a total sailplan of 640 square metres upwind. She was delivered as the fourth wallycento model but it’s immediately clear that she differs from her siblings, thanks to her unique design team: Pininfarina for the interior, and Mills Design for the naval architecture and exterior design, which was developed in collaboration with Wally.