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Superyacht Cup Palma Day 2 - Great sailing brings big smiles

by Daphne Morgan Barnicoat 25 Jun 19:00 PDT 23-26 June 2021
Superyacht Cup Palma day 2 © Sailing Energy / Superyacht Cup Palma

Brilliant conditions again provided the perfect arena for the second day of Superyacht Cup Palma, allowing some of the fleet to consolidate their position, some to improve, and all to revel in the great sailing on offer.

Making the most of the breeze, the race management team from the Real Club Náutico de Palma mixed it up at the 25thanniversary event, with very different courses for the two superyacht classes on New Zealand Race Day.

After a short postponement, the quartet racing in Class A were sent on their way to the appropriately named New Zealand race buoy, where they turned right on a long leg down the coast to a mark just off the small port of Sa Rapita, some 30km southeast of Palma.

The five contenders in Class B, meanwhile, took on a more compact five-leg racecourse within the Bay of Palma. When the spray settled the 46m SYC first-timer Ravenger repeated her debut race victory, taking line honours and the overall win once the sophisticated handicapping system - which levels the playing field for the varied superyacht designs taking part - was applied.

But in a change to the opening day the far smaller Giles Vaton designed sloop Baiurdo VI moved up a place to finish second, pushing Ganesha into third place, helped in part by the larger yacht blowing one of her giant spinnakers.

"Being one of the smaller boats in the fleet we are a lot more manoeuvrable than the 46m yachts," said Baiurdo's captain Kristyn Gills. "It's a very big advantage for us especially on the spinnaker hoists and drops - we can get them up quicker and drop them later than the others.

"We were pretty happy to get up to second, the boat is sailing better and better each day and that's the main aim."

And he added: "Everyone is having a great time. The owner is happy to be racing again after a couple of years and is stoked to be out on the racecourse. We have an amazing race crew, there's a really good mood on board and it's very professional."

Also in Class B, Scorpione of London - one of three very large 46m superyachts in the fleet - was another able to improve on day one, getting the better of her equally sizeable rival Aquarius.

Her captain Clive Walker said: "It felt like snakes and ladders for us. In a straight line we were up a ladder and going round a corner we were down a snake. When we can sail in a straight line we can compete with the other guys, it is just changing direction which makes life difficult.

"We did extremely well around the course with no mistakes and at the end we charged into the finish line doing some great speeds and we reeled in the whole fleet, which was very exciting for the owner, his guests and friends, so that was the highlight of the day.

"We are all competitive at heart and we are doing the very best we can with a beautiful yacht. We have done Superyacht Cup Palma many times over the years, and it has become quite a prestigious regatta, one that every owner wants to do."

At the conclusion of the longer Class A course Friday's results mirrored the opening day, with Nilaya taking her second win ahead of Missy and Shamanna - who were only seconds apart on the finishing line in one of the closest SYC contests ever witnessed - with the 24m Umiko, the smallest yacht in the fleet, again taking fourth.

However, SYC is not all about the scoreboard says Umiko crewmember Helena Lucas, the British Paralympic sailor who won a Gold Medal in the 2.4mR class at the London Games in 2012.

"Being part of such a big crew is wonderful," she said. "Obviously in the 2.4m I was sailing on my own, and now I am part of a team - and the team on Umiko is fantastic, everyone is looking out for each other, a real camaraderie and lots of banter. It's really good fun and I am really enjoying it.

"My role on the boat is mainsheet trimmer. As it's such a big boat everything is push-button, so a completely different world - and I have to make sure my contact lenses are in so I can see the instruments on the mast!"

And she added: "It's absolutely brilliant and that's what I love about sailing, there are so many different aspects to it - obviously racing at a paralympic level and now at Superyacht Cup Palma is completely different. I am learning all the time and it is just fantastic."

Back on the dock after racing, test drives of the extraordinary Manta5 foiling bike were on offer to the race crews.

Racing continues Saturday in what is the final and deciding day of a landmark Superyacht Cup Palma 2021.

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