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The clock is on the final countdown to the start of racing at Superyacht Cup Palma 2023 with another diverse and eye-catching selection of some of the world's finest superyachts gathering in the Mallorcan home of Mediterranean sailing.

"It's great to be back to our roots this year with all the superyachts moored together again and social events right at the stern of the boats at the Real Club Náutico de Palma, our long-standing race management partner. This year promises excellent racing with a diverse and competitive fleet and plenty of fun ashore. We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone!” said SYC Event Director Kate Branagh.

This year's 27th celebration of sail will feature a stunning variety of superyachts, with first-timers making their debut alongside those making a welcome return.

The Swan 100 Onyx will be making her first-ever appearance at SYC, as will the 36m Dubois-designed world cruiser Miss Silver.

The 33-metre Pattoo will compete at the 2023 Superyacht Cup Palma Photo: Sailing EnergyThe 33-metre Pattoo will compete at the 2023 Superyacht Cup Palma Photo: Sailing Energy

Meanwhile, 2023 will see the return to Superyacht Cup Palma of two 33m Malcolm McKeon designs — the modern Ribelle, last seen at SYC in 2017, alongside her stablemate from the Vitters Yard Pattoo, who will be looking to repeat her class win of last year.

A second Nautor Swan entry in the elegant shape of the Swan 80 Umiko is returning after her debut in 2021, and the 24m Farr-designed Wally yacht Rose is back for a second successive year.

Also likely to be grabbing attention out on the Bay of Palma are J Class yachts Svea, who was pipped to the SYC trophy last year on countback, as well as regular attendee Velsheda making a welcome reappearance.

"It is always great to be taking part in Superyacht Cup Palma," said Velsheda's captain Barney Henshaw-Depledge.

"Svea will no doubt be giving us a run for our money, as will be others in the fleet, but as always, we welcome the challenge and are looking forward to some competitive times out on the water and catching up back on the shore."

Superyacht Cup Palma 2023 will get formally underway on June 21 with Superyacht Registration at the Real Club Náutico de Palma, followed by the Captain’s Briefing in RCNP's Sala Magna — Great Hall — and the Welcome Cocktail party courtesy of SYC's Destination Partner New Zealand on the RCNP terrace.

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Entries are officially open for the Giorgio Armani Superyacht Regatta 2023 from today, 19 December. The event will take place from 6 to 10 June, and the Notice of Race has been published.

The 16th edition of the event, organised by the YCCS with the support of title sponsor Giorgio Armani, traditionally opens the superyacht racing calendar in the Mediterranean and will also host the Southern Wind Rendezvous and Trophy.

Four days of racing set against the marvellous backdrop of the La Maddalena archipelago are planned, along with exclusive social events ashore.

The Giorgio Armani Superyacht Regatta is open to boats over 90 feet in length and multihulls over 50 feet in length.

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A sailor who was struck in the face by a steel pulley on the deck of a multi-millionaire’s superyacht is set to get up to £1.6 million (€1.84 million) in damages.

According to MailOnline, Adam Prior says he was forced to quit his career at sea after he was struck by the 10-kilo steel pulley on board the Eleonora E during a race off the Isle of Wight in July 2015.

In an unrelated incident, the classic schooner Eleonora E was sunk after a collision with a large supply ship in the Spanish port of Tarragona this past June and is currently listed as “out of service”.

The £7 million boat is owned through a company by retired business tycoon Zbynek Zak. That company, Peras Ltd, was sued for £3.2 million in damages by 40-year-old Prior, who alleged blaming unsafe weather and lack of maintenance for the accident which he says caused him brain damage.

While the company denied all blame for the incident, Judge Richard Davison at a hearing at London’s High Court last month did not see it that way and found both sides equally at fault — which means Prior is in line for up to half his claim in compensation

MailOnline has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Superyachts

An exciting superyacht racing season is set for the Antigua in 2023 with a fantastic programme of racing, including the 12th edition of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua and the inaugural RORC Caribbean 600 Series.

The 12th edition of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua is set for 6-12 March 2023. The regatta has one clear objective; to provide all the facilities to stage an ideal event for an exclusive selection of superyachts, where fair racing and good companionship are valued above all else. Designed to be solely for the pleasure of superyacht owners, their guests and crew, the magnificent fleet takes part in five days of spectacular racing. Together with laid-back social events, the regatta is a wonderful celebration of sailing and parties.

Yachts are requested to apply no later than 1 December 2022 with the entry fee due by 1 January 2023.

Farr 100 Leopard PhotoL Tim Wright/RORCFarr 100 Leopard Photo: Tim Wright/RORC

Before the 2023 Superyacht Challenge Antigua, The Royal Ocean Racing Club has announced the inaugural RORC Caribbean 600 Series which will be based in Antigua 14-24 February 2023. This new event will include long inshore day races in the waters around Antigua before the 600-mile offshore. The Superyacht Challenge Antigua believes this is a fantastic opportunity for superyachts to enjoy spectacular racing and would point out that yachts can enter just the day races as Afloat reports here

There was excellent news from the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, which updated travel advisory at the end of August 2022. The Government has officially lifted all travel restrictions for air and sea passengers, to facilitate the smooth movement of passengers to and from Antigua.

The Notice of Race for the 2023 Superyacht Challenge Antigua is available at www.superyachtchallengeantigua.com

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Scheduled for day two of the IMA Maxi Europeans’ inshore/coastal racing were two windward-leewards. After a delay out on the Bay of Naples, the wind finally built to 8-12 knots from the west. After one aborted start due to a wind shift and another for a general recall, racing for the 21 maxis eventually got underway at 1515 CEST.

With the 2.1 mile course set to the north of Capri, the lead trio of Lord Irvine Laidlaw’s Reichel/Pugh 82 Highland Fling XI, Sir Peter Ogden’s JV77 Jethou and Peter Dubens JV72 North Star remained in close contact. Today Highland Fling XI was able to gain enough of a lead to claim Class 1. According to Xavier Mecoy, Laidlaw’s long term team manager, this was far from expected: “We were really surprised because this isn’t a windward-leeward boat. It is much more of a course racing boat. This regatta is the first time we have raced against boats like Jethou and North Star and I had not expected to do as nearly well as we did. So it is very encouraging. The boat is an old girl, but she’s on fire. We did some quick hoists and great takedowns and even better is to win with a 2% penalty because we don’t have the owner on board.”

Terry Hui's Lyra the present overall leader of the IMA Maxi EuropeansTerry Hui's Lyra the present overall leader of the IMA Maxi Europeans Photo: Studio Borlenghi

Surprisingly, given how long the Highland Fling sailing campaigns have been running and their international nature, this is the team’s first time to Sorrento or Capri. Mecoy added how he was impressed with how the race organisers had set up the entire infrastructure in Sorrento’s Marina Piccola, including the installation of a pontoon system, to berth the IMA Maxi European Championship fleet.

The big boats are still dominating the overall results at the IMA Maxi Europeans with North Star leading and Jethou third.

Sir Peter Ogden's Jethou to leeward at today's one and only startSir Peter Ogden's Jethou to leeward at today's one and only start. Photo: IMA / Studio Borlenghi

While in Class 4, Giuseppe Puttini’s Swan 65 ketch Shirlaf scored her second bullet, in Class 3 it was the turn of regular Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup class winner H20, Riccardo De Michele’s striking silver Vallicelli 78, to beat IMA President Benoît de Froidmont’s Wally 60 Wallyño by two and a half minutes under IRC corrected time. However Wallyño continues to excel in the overall results here, holding fourth place.

H2O started well, but in the single mass start being used at this event, they got caught up with some of the faster boats sailing different angles to them, explained tactician Lorenzo Bodini: “We decided to stay on the left even if I knew there was more pressure on the right, because at least we were in clear air. [At the top] we arrived just behind the fleet, which was good for us because we didn’t want to be in traffic. We sailed well downwind and then I could go completely right on the second upwind and got a really good layline, reaching the mark in one tack.”

That H20 did well in the light conditions was unusual, because the large futuristic-looking cruising yacht prefers at least 13 knots.

Leading overall at present was today’s Class 2 winner for a second consecutive day, Terry Hui’s all-black Wally 77 Lyra. Tactician Mitch Booth explained their race: “We saw that it was very unstable and there were big bits of pressure on the course - so we just focussed on that, keeping in clean air. We went left up the first beat, but not all the way as there was a big rightie at the end, so we were lucky enough to cross over early to get into that.”

Remarkably Lyra still managed to win, despite blowing up a spinnaker after it snagged on a spreader tip. Booth continued: “The guys did a great job and we minimised the loss and got another one up. They sailed really well.”

The wind on the Bay of Naples subsequently veered into the north and then the northeast and built rapidly into the mid-20s but after one attempt to get a second windward-leeward away, the wind had moved too far right to lay a good course and with the hour getting on the fleet was sent home.

Racing at the IMA Maxi European Championship continues tomorrow and runs until Friday May 20. It began on Saturday with its offshore component the Regata dei Tre Golfi followed by coastal racing on the Bay of Naples and around Capri in the Maxi Yacht Sorrento Trophy. The IMA Maxi Europeans forms part of the larger Tre Golfi Sailing Week.

Full overall results here

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A sailor who suffered a head injury during an incident last week while preparing to take part in this weekend's 2022 Superyacht Challenge in English Harbour has died.

He was due to race aboard the 102ft luxury vessel Farfalla, according to local media sources. 

A spokesman for search and rescue team ABSAR, which attended the incident, confirmed the death, the Antigua Newsroom website has reported.

Afloat sources say a statement is expected shortly from the Superyacht Challenge Regatta organisers.

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There are over 5,000 superyachts in the world, of which Russian oligarchs own a relatively small number – over 50 according to estimates.

These are subject to sanctions by the EU and the USA and a number have been seized this week.

Crew recruitment agencies have suspended contacts with Russian superyacht owners, one of whom is Vladimir Putin, whose vessel is beyond the reach of sanctions – in Russia itself.

Superyacht Amore Vero - seized in FranceSuperyacht Amore Vero - seized in France

World’s largest superyacht

The world’s largest superyacht, by volume, the Dilbar, owned by Russian Oligarch Alisher Usmanov’s superyacht is stuck in Hamburg in Germany where it has been undergoing a refit.

The State of Yachting - Superyachts ReportThe State of Yachting - Superyachts Report

The U.S. Treasury has valued it at between $600 and $700 million. The crew of 80 left after EU and US sanctions stopped wages being paid. Usmanov, (68),  is the sixth-richest Russian with a fortune of $17.8 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Superyacht Lady M seized in ItalySuperyacht Lady M seized in Italy

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The second half of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez sets sail tomorrow exclusively for the maxi yachts. Organised by the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez in conjunction with the International Maxi Association (IMA), the second week of racing has a bumper turn-out of 45 maxis. These range in size from the two magnificent J Class yachts, Topaz and Velsheda, Topaz being fractionally the longer at 140ft (42.7m), down to numerous 60 footers such as IMA President Benoît de Froidmont’s Wally 60 Wallyño.

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez will be deciding event in the IMA’s Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge, following the Maxi Yacht Capri Trophy, Copa del Rey MAPFRE and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup (Rolex Giraglia inshores were cancelled).

All are racing under IRC. Here the IMA-defined Maxis (80-100ft) and Super Maxis (100+ft) are competing in IRC1 or IRC2, depending upon their speed. The Mini Maxis (60-80ft) are divided between IRC 3 and 4.

Most of the maxi fleet has been berthed since yesterday in Saint-Tropez’s famously picturesque port, with artists dotted around the quayside along with street performers, classic car rallies and famous bars such as the Sube and Café de Paris. The faster boats moor offshore due to their extreme draft. Among them is George David’s all-conquering Rambler 88, plus, the fastest boat in the fleet, the 100ft Verdier-VPLP designed Comanche and last year’s IRC1 winner, the Farr 100 Leopard, now under Dutch ownership but with many of original owner Mike Slade’s crew still on board.

Foredeck action on George David's Rambler 88. Photo: IMA / Studio BorlenghiForedeck action on George David's Rambler 88. Photo: IMA / Studio Borlenghi

“I think that both here and Porto Cervo are amazing,” said Brad Butterworth, the America’s Cup legend who runs Rambler 88’s racing. “This is on the mainland and is more accessible and the owners like it and the crews love it.” As to how well Rambler 88 may do this week, Butterworth adds: “It depends on what the wind speeds will be. If it is windy it could be quite good, but it is all good fun especially if the sailing is good.”

Also to watch are the local heroes on Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’ Cogolin-based Wallycento Magic Carpet Cubed, and Claus-Peter Offen’s Y3K, fresh from her second place at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. That event was the first ever for American Wendy Schmidt’s crew on her new Botin 85 Deep Blue who will be looking to improve on their performance.

There is one supermaxi – the Swan 115 Odin - competing in IR1, but the majority, including the Js are competing in IRC2. This includes the plush Dubois 121 Silvertip and the immaculate Wally 107 Green Eyes (ex Kauris 3), now owned by Portugal’s Paulo Mirpuri. While the Js will be undertaking their usual match racing, with Topaz hoping to turn the tables on Velsheda after her performance in Porto Cervo last month, top competition is also expected in this class between Philip Rann’s Swan 80 Umiko and the longer, but slightly lower-rated Swan 82FD Kallima of Paul Berger.

For British America's Cup and Olympic sailor Andy Beadsworth, who is sharing tactical duties with American Mike Toppa on Velsheda, it is his first time racing here since Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez was extended to two weeks. “It is a great event. People want to be here and they have a lot of fun,” he said, adding that although they are in a class with other similarly rated boats, they really only have their eyes on Topaz.

 

Ronald de Waal's heavily campaigned J Velsheda. Photo: IMA / Studio Borlenghi

IRC 3 is the largest of the four classes and with numerous battles expected to play out within it. For this reason the fastest boats, the three former Maxi 72s and the VO65 round the world racer Ambersail 2 have been separated out into their own sub-division, IRC Three A. The ex-72s include Jim Swartz’s Vesper, Sir Peter Ogden’s Jethou (some 1.5m longer than her rivals) and North Star, the former Rán 2/Proteus, double Rolex Fastnet Race winner and World Champion, recently acquired by Britain’s Peter Dubens and modified to run powered winches.

Among the remainder of IRC 3 are several Wallys, including Wallyño, which won the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge in the last race of this event in 2019. However IMA President Benoît de Froidmont will be up against Philippe Ligier’s Wally 80, Ryokan 2, winner here last year, sistership Rose (formerly Tango) with the hottest boat in this line-up being perennial winner, both here and in Porto Cervo, the Wally 77 Lyra of Canadian Terry Hui, racing with a powerful pro-laden crew.

Two boats are making their race debuts here. Pink Gin Verde, the Baltic Yachts works boat, is the first example of the Finnish boat builder’s Café Racer 68, designed by Javier Jaudenes and with strong ‘eco’ credentials, half of the fibres used in her construction are hemp and she is fitted with electric engines. Black Legend 6 is from Nantes-based Black Pepper Yachts, who put together the IMOCA campaign L’Occitane en Provence and have returned to French designer Sam Manuard for this speedy, spacious, lightweight 74 footer.

Once again there is a strong turn-out from Italian manufacturer Mylius Yachts, top of the list being CEO Luciano Gandini’s Mylius 80 Twin Soul B. There will be tight racing between the two Mylius 60s, Sud and Lady First 3.

"Les Voiles is a wonderful way to end the sailing season in the Med,” said Gandini. “Saint-Tropez is lovely, and in October you can still experience some nice weather. Twin Soul B did not race here last year - travel restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic were still very strict at that time - so we are now very happy to be back. The 2019 edition was a good one for us Twin Soul B was first in her class.”

An older boat that still looks immaculate and remains highly competitive is the IMS-shaped Reichel/Pugh 80 Capricorno, sailed by a well seasoned Italian crew of former Admiral’s Cup competitor Alessandro del Bono. According to tactician Flavio Flavini they are hoping to do better this week than last year when they broke their mainsail just after the start of the first race. “We have been sailing the boat for the whole season and so far it has been good. Saint-Tropez is a nice place and a pleasure to be in summer. It is very attractive for the owners and the sailors. Sailing-wise it can be a bit of everything. - quite tricky inside the bay here. If we have the Mistral they have good courses and it can be beautiful. We are lucky to be here.”

Similarly strong and always raced well is Arco Van Nieuwland and Andries Verder’s well-travelled and heavily campaigned Maarten 72 Aragon, winner of the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race, one piece in their crammed trophy cabinet. The Vismara-Mills 62 Leaps & Bounds 2 comes with a strong pedigree from when she was Roberto Lacorte’s multi-race winner SuperNikka.

The smaller cruiser-racers are to be found in IRC4. A strong manufacturer turn-out here is that of Construction Navale Bordeaux (CNB) who are represented by the 76s Dikenec and Zampa, the BX60s Criollos and Nina and the Bordeaux 60 Ila 2. IRC 4 could also be renamed the ‘Philippe Briand’ class as the French naval architect has not only designed all these boats but was lead designer on the French 1987 America’s Cup challenger, the 12m French Kiss that is also entered.

Longest boat in IRC 4 is the Judel-Vrolijk 82 Ikigai followed by the Southern Wind 78 Elise Whisper, while Nautor’s Swan is well represented by the Swan 65s Saida and Cassiopeia and the 651 Geronimo. An unknown quantity is the Shipman 63 Bambo.

Racing starts today and continues until Saturday when the prizegiving will take place.

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The frustrations of a challenging year were blown away on Thursday as a solid sailing breeze kicked in to help celebrate the opening day of the 25th anniversary of Superyacht Cup Palma.

Near ideal conditions once again graced the Bay of Palma, delivering tight and exhilarating racing on a 23nm course to the nine-strong fleet of superyachts, their owners, captains and crews.

Umiko – at 24m the smallest superyacht in the fleet – was the first away on the Pantaenius Race Day course, followed by her Class A rivals Missy, Shamanna and Nilaya at two-minute intervals.

In Class B the first two starters chose alternate routes to the first mark, with the majestic 46m Aquarius – the largest and heaviest yacht at SYC – opting to head west on her first leg, while Baiurdo VI headed for the left side of the racecourse having made a perfectly timed start. The SYC first-timer Ravenger was next up, hotly pursued by the 46m Ganesha, and Scorpione of London and her lime green-shirted crew.

Missy was first around the first mark, the Pantaenius buoy, with Umiko and Shamanna jostling for position some 800m astern, and off towards the New Zealand buoy, the second of five marks. Eventually the 33m Missy would give ground on the water to her slightly larger rivals Shamanna and Nilaya, with the former narrowly taking line honours by less than 30 seconds on the opening day.

However, the sophisticated ORCsy handicap system flipped the leaderboard, giving Nilaya the opening race win by just 10 seconds – after more than two hours of racing – from Missy, Shamanna and Umiko.

“It was pretty close, though just before the finish we thought we were looking good,” said Volvo Race veteran Bouwe Bekking who is racing on Nilaya. “It had been quite difficult on the beats because we didn’t gain anything, but the crew were good and on the run the gybes were going nicely, and the owner did a good job of driving.

“It was one of those days it paid to be patient, to keep it close and wait for your opportunity. The wind was typical Palma, really nice and it was a beautiful sail. The racing is great and so is the organisation.”

Meanwhile, it was a similar story in Class B. The 46m Ganesha – an SYC regular – had built a commanding on-the-water lead by the finish but had to give way to Ravenger, and only pipped third-placed Baiurdo VI by 17 seconds once the handicap was applied.

The result was a pleasant surprise for Ravenger, said crew member Steve Branagh: “The owner is new to the whole yacht racing game, and this was his first race on the boat. We’d literally done two days of sailing before the regatta, so it was a big day of learning how to sail the boat.

“We weren’t confident and there was a wee bit of making it up as we went along. It was seat of the pants with a bit of suck-it-and-see. We had not too bad a start and a fairly good first beat which set us up for the rest of the race.

“We are now looking forward to the next couple of days of sailing without a doubt. The win was pretty unexpected, so we won’t let that go to our heads – we know we still have a lot of work to do.”

With the fleet heading back in – with many mooring at the iconic Real Club Náutico de Palma in the heart of Mallorca’s capital – SYC Event Director Kate Branagh said: “It all went really well and it was a great way to start our 25th-anniversary event. It had been looking a bit light but the breeze came in and produced some really good racing.”

Racing at Superyacht Cup Palma continues on Friday with New Zealand Race Day, named after SYC’s long-standing Destination Partner.

For results, please go here

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With less than a month to go to the start of Superyacht Cup Palma’s landmark 25th anniversary, final detailed preparations are falling into place, according to organisers.

The celebration of Europe’s longest-running superyacht regatta from June 23-26 has been carefully planned to adapt to local pandemic restrictions in Mallorca.

This week Irish crews are sailing at Italy's prestigious Loro Piana Superyacht superyacht regatta as Afloat reports here.

As ever, the new-look event’s primary focus will be on the action out on the Bay of Palma where a fleet including many of the world’s most spectacular superyachts – some regulars and some new – will enjoy competitive, safe, and fun racing.

Ashore, the centre of the Superyacht Cup operation has moved to the world-famous Real Club Náutico de Palma in the heart of the city. The increased involvement of the RCNP – SYC’s long-standing race management collaborator – will allow flexibility with social events should pandemic restrictions be eased or lifted.

In any case, the prestigious club will provide an elegant and historic setting for SYC’s unique trademark brand of fun and informal gatherings.

“Superyacht Cup Palma has always put people first on and off the water, and never more so than at this anniversary event,” said SYC Event Director Kate Branagh.

“The success of Superyacht Cup Palma over the past 25 years is in large part down to our ability to react and respond to circumstances and the changing requirements of the superyacht community, including owners, captains, crews and our commercial partners, and we have had to pull out all the stops this year!

“We are confident 2021 will be a safe, enjoyable and above all stimulating return to competitive yacht racing.”

The latest addition to the entry list is the elegant 46m Scorpione – last seen at SYC in 2018 – who will join another returnee the 34m Nilaya, who came second in Class A in 2019 to overall SYC winner Win Win, with both flying the flag for Baltic Yachts, a Friend of the Superyacht Cup.

Also making a welcome return to Palma are the awesome 47m Perini Navi creation Aquarius – currently the largest entry – the sleek 34m sloop Baiurdo VI, the stylish and powerful 46m Ganesha, and the elegant, low profile 33m Missy.

Set to join them are a trio of first-timers comprising the striking 35m Frers-designed Shamanna and Swan 80 Umiko – both from the iconic Nautor stable – and the stunning 43m Ravenger (ex-Sea Eagle) from Royal Huisman.

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