by Kate Branagh
Peter Harrison’s Sojana
Peter Harison's 35m Farr designed ketch Sojana sailed in to Palma yesterday after a quick trip across the Atlantic from Antigua. A great supporter of the Superyacht Cup, Sojana has taken part twice in Palma editions and twice in Antigua, winning in 2007.
Mari Cha III also arrived yesterday sailing all the way from Tahiti in the South Pacific. Royal Huisman-built yachts Gliss, Hyperion, Meteor, and Maria Cattiva, as well as the Wally Open Season, are all ensconced in Palma where the captains and crew are all busily preparing their yachts and looking forward to the action on and off the water next week.
The build up has begun on the dock at Muelle Viejo, the new venue for this year's Superyacht Cup, where 18 yachts will take part in the four-day superyacht regatta starting on Wednesday next week.
Over the next few days, the dock at Muelle Viejo, the new venue for this year's Superyacht Cup in the oldest part of the port will be transformed into The Horus Superyacht Cup Regatta Village. The area will incorporat a huge circular shade to cover the bar and entertainment area and temporary structures will be set-up for the event office and press centre. Registration for the yachts starts on Wednesday followed by the Welcome Cocktail party at 20.00. The first race is on Thursday June 25 starting at 13.00.
The weather in Palma at the end of June is traditionally hot, creating perfect sea breeze conditions in the afternoons, and the Race Officer will be looking to set courses around the bay of Palma that will keep the racing close and exciting for everyone. This year the 'Bucket Rating System' will be used to set individual start times and all yachts will be in the one class. Expert Ratings Officer Jim Teeters of US Sailing will be calculating the handicaps.
Following on from the success of this rating system at the St Barth's Bucket earlier in the year, it is likely the results will be very close, despite the vast differences in designs and sizes of the yachts taking part. Although there was a provision for an IRC class, even the most performance-orientated yachts have opted to race in a larger class against the whole fleet rather than creating an IRC racing class of only four or five yachts.