Please select your home edition
navathome 728x90

Superyacht Cup 2014 - A typical Palma puzzle

by The Superyacht Cup on 20 Jun 2014
Superyacht Cup 2014 - The Bay of Palma set a typical challenge for the Superyacht fleet making their first coastal course of the Superyacht Cup. With progressive changes in pressure and wind direction as the 21 boat fleet crossed the bay and passed upwind and downwind, it was the teams which had the best handle on the big picture and could second guess the changes which rose to the top of the three classes.

While the five strong J Class did their second windward-leeward of the week, a coastal course of 28.6Nms was set in the SSWly sea breeze. Crucial choices were to take the left of the first beat where there was more wind pressure and a beneficial left shift, and, correspondingly to recognise the breeze becoming lighter and shifting back as the fleet raced downwind towards the shore.

The sea breeze built from a gentle eight to nine knots for the first starters of the fleet which is set of at two minutes staggered intervals. By mid race there were 13-16 kts at times which placed a premium on good boat handling and excellent communication. Those teams which had not sailed together before or had changes in line up found they suffered against the crisper crew work around the intense course.

The course opened with a four miles upwind leg, rounding a mark to starboard on to a fetch which some could set Code Zeros, before a three miles downwind leg. With the breeze easing it was important to compensate and keep up the boat speed sailing higher angles. There was then an upwind leg to the Sech mark on the outer edge of the bay, followed by a fetch to the centre of the bay, then rehoist the spinnaker. Then it was upwind to a port rounding and then a critical reach to the finish with the breeze lifting approaching the finish.

Aboard Ganesha, the 46m/149ft new Dubois design, the local knowledge of navigator Nacho Postigo and firm understanding of the impending changes in the breeze of tactician Matt Humphries were the foundations of their comfortable owner driven win in Class 1. They won their seven boat division by over seven minutes.

'It was interesting.' Postigo recalled, 'It was a very typical day on the Bay of Palma when the wind in the morning is the Xaloc wind which is more southerly. The more you go out of the bay the more it goes to the left. And more importantly there is a big difference in pressure. The left side of the bay has much more pressure. On the left you can have 15 or 16 kts of pressure while on the right it can be quite light and so the course was interesting because it mixed the two sides of the bay. It was difficult to predict what was going to happen next on the course. Our guys on the boat did a very very good job manoeuvring the boat, on the bow and at the mast.'

Among the keys to their success were choosing the left side of the first beat and giving themselves a fast, high passing lane coming into the first mark which allowed them to pass many boats unhindered:

'Our first leg was the best, where we probably did best. Compared to the boats around we looked to have overstood the layline but that let us come in with speed and we could roll the whole line. In these things when you start so far behind the important thing is the passing lanes. We managed to get a very good passing lane there, getting five or six boats in a row there. And the gybe sets at the marks, playing the right shifts on the downwind legs. Our owner drives all the time and loves it.'

Meanwhile Postigo is enjoying a big change between his own solo Mini 6.50 project and navigating the superyachts. He has just won his first solo race from Rome, raced the Superyacht regatta in Sardinia, delivered the Mini back to Palma to jump on board the 149 footer Ganesha.

'It is a contrast from the 20 footer to the 150 footer. I finished from Rome and went to do Sardinia on the big boat then went and delivered the boat here and now back on the 150 footer. It is a bit bizarre to come back and have a whole lot of people on the boat when you are used to being on you own.'

Another Palma sailor was making winning calls in Class 2. Gaia, the 101ft/30.6m Spirit Yachts won with Miguel Sanchez calling the shots on his home waters:

'We made some little mistakes but overall we sailed generally well, in the end the big boats overtook us when the breeze is up. We have some new crew and it is their first time with us and there was some disorganisation in the boat handling and manoeuvring but for sure the last race will be our best!

'We did Loro Piana earlier in the month and have some new crew since after refitting through last winter. In Sardinia our kites were not so good but we have a different one here, we were much better today so we are quite happy here.'

And last year’s overall winner, Heartbeat, the Hoek designed Classen built 80ft/24m sloop, was back to her winning ways in Class 2. The first boat to start she finished just under four minutes ahead of second placed Maria Cattiva.

J Class

If Wednesday’s J Class race for the King’s Hundred Guineas Cup at Palma’s Superyacht Cup proved inconclusive, Hanuman and Lionheart finally being required to share the top trophy, there were no such doubts cast about the winners of the second windward-leeward race of the series.

Lionheart took the lead on the second beat and extended progressively to win by one minute and five seconds ahead of Rainbow across the finish line after three laps of racing.

Racing conditions were something close to Palma’s sea breeze best. The wind built from a relatively gentle 7-9 kts at the start to 16kts on the third round to provide some sparkling downwind sailing with the five J Class yachts pushing their crews increasingly hard.

Ranger won the pin end of the start and were able to quickly gain the left side of the course which, as is often the case, proved the passport to a good lead at the first windward mark. But at the leeward gate they let the prowling Lionheart separate to the left hand gate mark, work back to the left again – toward the bluff, cliff lined Cabo Blanco shore – and the Lionheart crew which has Bouwe Bekking as tactician converted a 15 seconds deficit to a lead of more than one minute at the second windward turn.

Rainbow’s profit was not as valuable but they rose to earn a well deserved second place.

After a modest start Hanuman pulled through to cross the finish line third but dropped behind Ranger on corrected time.

Bekking, who skippers the Team Brunel Volvo Ocean Race team, was pleased to have kept the ‘winning’ record of Lionheart intact, claiming a share of Wednesday’s top trophy as a victory!

'We had a good start and so far our crew work has been excellent so it is good and our owner has been driving superbly. It is all coming together nicely and so we have our seven wins in a row.'

He was less enthused by the idea of a head to head match with Hanuman for the Cup:

'Maybe.' He grinned, 'But I think he is quite handy at that. So maybe we should not go there.'

Bekking believes the J Class racing here keeps him and some of his core crew sharp for the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race:

'I made this commitment to sail these three regattas before the Volvo came along but I think this is really got for us who are on the Volvo as we are in a good racing environment, it is good for my communication and relationship with Andrew Cape the navigator and we have four guys from the team here. It all fits in really well and it keeps me sharp.'

Of their success to date he concludes:

'We have worked hard on the boat and as a crew. We have a great group of people and a great owner-driver. There is much more pressure with the pro driver. Our owner says to just relax from start to the finish. I sometimes get a bit tense but you want it to be good for everyone on board. I made a mistake at the start yesterday and I have to put my hand up for that one.'

Rainbow’s helm, Holland’s five times Olympian Mark Neeleman, was delighted with second:

'The competition is so complete here with five boats that we are very happy to get second today, the boat is going very well, nice and quick. The wind shifted 15 or 20 degrees to the left on the second beat and we got that with Lionheart. It was a good side of the course. Our Italian team at the back Francesco (De Angelis) and Michele (Ivaldi) worked it well. We are very happy with the result. Everything went well, we are working all the time to get better. The boat is relatively new and we are changing and modifying the crew a little and getting better all the time. We have sailed the least together of all the teams I think so it is pleasing today. We have had five boats a couple of times but all the teams are getting better all the time, this is the best competition there is. The differences are minimal and so you can’t make mistakes. You have to do everything right if not you go from first to Superyacht Cup website

Pacific Sailing School 660x82 1Abell Point Marina 660x82 MoorHarken AUS Reflex 660x82

Related Articles

Rolex Middle Sea Race – Carpe Diem Maserati
Maserati trailed Phaedo3 for most of the race but after an error by Phaedo3, Maserati seized the moment to claim victory Maserati had trailed Lloyd Thornburg's MOD70 Phaedo3 for most of the race, but following what appears to be a simple navigation error by Phaedo3, Maserati seized the moment to claim victory.
Posted on 24 Oct
World Sailing announces Athletes' Commission
Five sailors have been elected to World Sailing's Athletes' Commission following a vote by sailors' competing at the Rio Jo Aleh (NZL), Sofia Bekatorou (GRE), Maayan Davidovich (ISR), Juan Ignacio Maegli (GUA) and Vasiliij Zbogar (SLO) join existing members Sarah Gosling (GBR) as well as Lijia Xu (CHN) and Yann Rocherieux (FRA).
Posted on 24 Oct
Rolex Middle Sea Race – To finish first, first you must finish
The American multihull looked firmly on course to repeat last year’s success and in doing so set a new course record. The American multihull looked firmly on course to repeat last year’s success and in doing so set a new course record.
Posted on 24 Oct
Black Sambuca Mullet
They are as colourful as the many seas and skies we sail on and under. Many an interesting soul is to be found at a yacht club. They are as colourful as the many seas and skies we sail on and under. As diverse as the species that swim in them or soar above. Quite possibly the term crusty sailor and all the images that conjures up, are what gave rise to some of the facets of Krusty the Clown.
Posted on 24 Oct
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week wrap - As aired on NC Sports
My segment wrapping Audi Hamilton Island Race Week that first aired on the NC Sports show to over 20 million viewers My segment wrapping Audi Hamilton Island Race Week that first aired on the NC Sports show just over one month ago, 16 September 2016, to over 20 million viewers across various networks, including the Sky Network.
Posted on 24 Oct
Price and team crowned Sharp Australian Youth Match Racing Champions
Harry Price, Ben Robinson, John Cooley Harry Morton and Hugo Stoner won Sharp Australian Youth Match Racing Championship CYCA’s Harry Price, Ben Robinson, John Cooley, Harry Morton and Hugo Stoner have won the 2016 Sharp Australian Youth Match Racing Championship, defeating long-time rival Will Dargaville from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, three - one in the finals. This marked back-to-back national titles for Price who won the event in Mooloolaba last year.
Posted on 24 Oct
Classic Yacht Regatta returns to Melbourne's Port Phillip
This year will see three Cup Regatta Perpetual trophies on the table. The skippers and crews, who know what it what it takes to turn keep these classic yachts of ours in their full racing trim of yesterday’s glory, are all set to go.
Posted on 23 Oct
Rolex Middle Sea Race – Day 2 – Hold the Föhn
Lloyd Thornburg's MOD70 Phaedo3 and Giovanni Soldini's Italian MOD70 Maserati have come to a relative grinding halt. After scorching around the early part of the course, covering over half of the 608 nautical-mile course in just 24 hours, Lloyd Thornburg's American MOD70 Phaedo3 and Giovanni Soldini's Italian MOD70 Maserati have come to a relative grinding halt.
Posted on 23 Oct
Racing abandoned at Farr 40 One Design Trophy
Day 2 of Farr 40 One Design Trophy brought secondary surge of high winds associated with cold front/low pressure system Day two of the Farr 40 One Design Trophy brought a secondary surge of high winds associated with a cold front and low pressure system to the south and the cancellation of all remaining races leaving Kokomo the victor based on Saturday’s four race results.
Posted on 23 Oct
Hobart Combined Clubs Long Race - Former winner excel on windy Derwent
Bellerive Yacht Club syndicate-owned Filepro yesterday showed she is still competitive and, in fact, a fine winner. More than two decades after she won the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on IMS corrected time, the Bellerive Yacht Club syndicate-owned Filepro yesterday showed she is still competitive and, in fact, a fine winner.
Posted on 23 Oct