The Superyacht Cup gets underway this week 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 June 29 to July 2 and will see a fleet of high-performance sailing yachts put through their paces around the shores of Mallorca. Leading the charge out on the water are the quartet of J Class yachts - Topaz, Ranger, Velsheda and Svea - who will be joined by bluewater cruisers, modern classics and high-performance carbon flyers. Take a look at this year's lineup...
Length: 46m Builder: Vitters
Named after the Hindu deity representing the Lord of Good Fortune, Ganesha was commissioned by an experienced yachtsman as the successor to his 38.9-metre Fitzroy sailing yacht by the same name. This time Dutch shipyard Vitters, with the help of Dubois Naval Architects, was chosen to bring the owner's vision to life. The sloop was delivered in 2013. Ganesha's lines were inspired by the beam-to-length ratio and the low freeboard of the J Class yachts and she flies a bright orange spinnaker with the depiction of the Hindu god. She finished second in her class at last year's Superyacht Cup and will be returning to fight for first.
Length: 43.6m Builder: Vitters
Svea is the largest and newest member of the J Class fleet, hitting the water for the first time in 2017. The original lines for this Super J were designed by Tore Holm in 1937 but the yacht was never built. Hoek Design Naval Architects were called on to revive the 75-year-old drawings and bring her into the 21st Century with an aluminium hull and 53.75 metre carbon fibre main mast. She will be racing under new ownership after changing hands in April 2022.
Length: 43m Builder: Vitters
Another Vitters-built competitor racing at this year's Superyacht Cup Palma is La Belle, an aluminium sloop designed by Dubois Naval Architects Design. She was delivered in 2002 to an owner looking for a bluewater cruiser and has completed two circumnavigations in her lifetime. During her time in Auckland in 2019, she was extensively refitted with work including the installation of a new rig. This will be La Belle's first time racing at the Superyacht Cup.
Length: 42.7m Builder: Holland Jachtbouw
Topaz is based on an unbuilt 1938 design by Frank C Paine, the son of the three-time America’s Cup winner General Charles J Paine. The modern aluminium incarnation measures 42.62 metres and was launched by Dutch yard Holland Jachtbouw in 2015. Hoek Design Naval Architects, who styled Topaz inside and out, describe her as “a good all-round performer”. She was the longest J by waterline length at the time of her launch but was later dethroned by Svea.
Length: 41m Builder: Danish Yachts
Ranger was the first J Class sailing yacht to be built since the 1930s heyday of the original fleet. She is a replica of the 1937 America's Cup winner by the same name, built with a steel hull and delivered in 2004 by Danish Yachts. She has had several refits since her launch to make her more competitive. Work included swapping out her rod rigging for modern composite EC6 and the addition of a carbon boom.
Length: 39.5m Builder: Camper & Nicholsons
Velsheda has competed many times at the Superyacht Cup Palma and even took overall win in 2018. After losing out on the win to Ranger in the St Barths Bucket by a single point, all eyes will be on the J Class battle at this year's regatta. Built in 1933 for the owner of Woolworths, Velsheda is one of the few Js still racing on her original bottom. She was the second J Class designed by Charles Nicholson and is the only original to be sailing that was not built specifically for the Amercia's Cup.
Length: 37.45m Builder: Pendennis
The 37 metre Oyster sailing yacht Archelon will be making her Superyacht Cup debut this year. The Oyster 1225 was built to a design by Humphreys Yacht Design Ltd and completed in 2020. For easy sail handling, she is fitted with a Southern Spars in-boom furling system, hydraulic furling inner forestay, and a mainsail arranged to take a third reef along with a dedicated storm trysail track on the mast. In 14 knots of true wind she climbs upwind at ease at 11 knots and almost matches the wind speed on a reach. Meanwhile, in stronger breezes of 20 to 25 knots she will sit happily at 14 to 15 knots. Twin rudders were chosen for performance and efficiency.
Length: 33m Builder: Baltic Yachts
Following a two-year hiatus, Win Win is back in Palma and hoping to live up to both her name and her regatta record, after winning both her class and the overall title at the Superyacht Cup in 2019. This racer-cruiser leans ever-so-slightly towards the racing side with a carbon-fibre construction, lifting keel and a retractable propulsion system (RPS) to minimise drag and maximise speed. She has been designed to take a square-topped racing main and has a bolt-on bowsprit that allows her to fly powerful kites. In 12 to 13 knots, she sits comfortably at 11.2 knots close-hauled. She was designed by Javier Jaudenes and finished in carbon grey and a racing green stripe.
Length: 33m Builder: Vitters
The Vitters-built Missy is returning to the Superyacht Cup under a new name, Pattoo after a change in ownership earlier this year. She was developed in collaboration with Malcolm McKeon Yacht Design and is the first project from the studio. The owner's brief was for a carbon-fibre performance cruiser and resulted in her slim 7.5 metre beam, generous sail plan and lifting keel that extends from 3.75 metres to five metres. She has a carbon-fibre mast is from Southern Spars (with ECsix carbon rigging) and carries a sail wardrobe from North Sails.
Length: 32m Builder: Southern Wind
Kiboko Tres is the third Southern Wind built for an experienced yachtsman after upgrading from his SW94. The brief was for a sailing yacht built for regattas, but also for family cruising. Kiboko was the second hull in the SW105 mini-series and is optimised for performance with a larger sailplan than its sisterships, three tonnes more lead in the fixed keel and twin rudders.
Length: 27m Builder: Concordia
Classic wooden sailing yacht Savannah was designed by celebrated Newport designer David Pedrick and takes inspiration from some of the finest classic yachts on the water such as Halloween by Fife and J Class Endeavour by Charles E. Nicholson. The brief was to “build the most beautiful classic yacht conceivable” and her build team did just that. Her classic styling is deceptive, though, as it conceals her integrated modern systems and engineers.
Length: 24m Builder: Wally
Rose was delivered as Tango G in 2006 and is the work of Wally, Farr Yacht Design, Luca Bassani and Lazzarini Pickering Architetti. She is a three-cabin Wally80 design with a flush deck, carbon rig and 3DL self-tacking jib for simple handling. Her four winches are mounted aft of the cockpit which keeps the sailing and social areas of the boat separate when cruising.