The battlelines have been drawn at Superyacht Cup Palma with the unveiling of the class divisions for the 2023 celebration of sail and racing set to get under way on Thursday 22 June with the Pantaenius Race Day.
Class A will see a no doubt closely contested competition between two 33m Malcolm McKeon designs — Ribelle and Pattoo, the latter a class winner in 2022 — and the J Class yachts Velsheda and Svea.
Having been denied the SYC trophy last year on countback Svea, with Bouwe Bekking again adding his considerable experience to the race crew, will be out to make amends on the Bay of Palma.
“Last year we sailed a J Class event and this year we are sailing under superyacht rules,” said Bekking. “The most important thing for us is to square up to our main competitor Velsheda. We did a lot of work this winter also in prep for the Worlds regatta in Barcelona next year and this is our first regatta since, so we are excited to see how we perform. We love sailing in the Bay of Palma and are looking forward to competing in this event,” he added.
Close competition is also on the cards in a diverse and exciting Class B, with three superyachts making their SYC debut — the Swan 100 Onyx alongside the 36m world cruiser Miss Silver and the elegant 39m Lady M, both Dubois designs.
Joining them are a second Nautor Swan entry in the shape of the Swan 80 Umiko, returning after her own debut in 2021, and the 24m Farr-designed Wally yacht Rose back for a second successive year.
With final preparations made Thursday’s Pantaenius Race Day will start the action. Meanwhile Superyacht Cup Palma’s celebrated social scene got under way this evening at the Real Club Náutico de Palma with the Welcome Cocktail Party hosted by long-standing Destination Partner New Zealand.
“New Zealand is thrilled to be back as the Destination Sponsor for the Superyacht Cup Palma 2023 for the eighth year in a row,” said Tara Morton, New Zealand’s Ambassador to Spain, who was at the party.
“Our innovative and world-renowned marine companies are excited to display their products and services on one of the world’s great stages, and we’re excited to showcase New Zealand as a stunning Pacific destination for cruising and repairs.
“For the first time at Palma, we’re proud to present our investor-to-residence pathway – the Active Investor Plus visa – for global investors looking to spend more time in New Zealand and help our companies grow,” she added.
The Welcome Cocktail Party followed Superyacht Registration at the RCNP and the Captain’s Briefing in the club’s Sala Magna.
Thursday’s opening race will in turn be immediately followed by the North Sails & Southern Spars Happy Hour gathering on the RCNP Dock, a post-race tradition harking back to SYC’s origins as an end of season yacht crew get-together, and the daily prize-giving.