Every year a clutch of the world’s most graceful sailing yachts gather in balmy Mallorcan waters for the exhilarating Superyacht Cup Palma. The longest-running superyacht regatta in Europe, this year will mark the 23rd edition of the race which will run from the 19th to 23rd of June. The idyllic setting, perfect Mediterranean summer weather, and sheer thrill of the racing draw in elegantly-attired spectators and top sailors from all over the globe to revel in the wonder of this unique island regatta.
The Superyacht Cup Palma is open to sailing yachts over 24 metres in length which compete in a series of races spread across the four day regatta. Yachts of widely varying lengths and design can sail alongside each other thanks to the regatta’s clever handicap system. Usually the races are divided into two groups with a day of J-class racing kicking off the event before the superyachts take to the water for three days of serious competition.
As well as the thrilling races, there will also be a busy social schedule when the crews and skippers return ashore. Highlights include the Welcome Cocktail Party on Wednesday 19th June which is hosted by DYT Yacht Transport, the SYC Dock Party on Thursday 20th June and the much-anticipated Owners Dinner on Friday 21st June.
Crews will also have the chance unwind by participating in the highly-competitive team relay race known as the Marinepool Paddleboard Challenge on Friday 21st June. The cup then draws to an exuberant close on the evening of 22nd June with the Prize-Giving Ceremony and subsequent lively celebrations at the Race Village.
This year’s race line-up looks more exciting than ever with the return of old rivals and several first-time entrants. In the 30m range the competition looks especially hot with Nilaya, Freya, Inoui, Missy and 2018 class winner Win Win all competing for the coveted top spot.
Returnees for this year include the 32 metre high performance sloop Open Season who last competed in 2015. As well as an impressive turn of speed, she boasts stunning good looks thanks to Design Unlimited who are also sponsoring the Superyacht Cup Palma this year. She’ll be one of several Wally yachts to compete this year and is expected to put in a strong performance thanks to her sleek modern design, incredible acceleration, and adaptability to changing weather conditions.
Other notable returnees are the current Superyacht Cup holder, the elegant J-class yacht Velsheda which was build in 1933, and her greatest rival, the modern superketch Mari-Cha III launched in 1997. Ahead of the heated race between these magnificent challengers, Velsheda’s tactician Tom Dodson commented: “Palma is special, you know the conditions are going to be consistent and the atmosphere around the dock is amazing, all the yachties are here and we all love coming here!” All eyes will be on these two to see who claims the coveted cup this year.
Of the first-time entrants, one to watch is the 27.5 metre/90 foot Kealoha built by Claasen Shipyards and styled by Hoek Design. Her Captain, James Saddington, remarked, “The Superyacht Cup has been on the wish list for Kealoha’s owners for a number of years and they’re very much looking forward to being a part of the action.”
ENTRY & TICKETS
Although the Superyacht Cup is a private, invite-only event, members of the public are able to visit the Race Village on Saturday 22nd June between the hours of 9:00 and 13:00. Here you’ll be able to see the superyachts participating in the Cup moored up in the Muelle Viejo against the striking backdrop of Palma’s old town and the striking cathedral.