- Superyacht Cup Palma 2022 got off to a flying start Wednesday
A quartet of J Class yachts launched the latest edition of Europe’s longest-running superyacht regatta with a superb symphony of sail racing out on the Bay of Palma.
Overall the J Class leaderboard has Topaz on top with three points, Svea second on five, and Velsheda and Ranger tied on six points.
Although Topaz conceded the first race lead to Svea – the Swedish flagged team which has Bouwe Bekking as tactician – they finished second after sailing a clean, tidy race.
They then won the second race by a slender 30 seconds to lead the four-day long Bay of Palma showcase regatta by two points.
Thursday sees the J Class foursome join the rest of the Superyacht Cup fleet for three further days of intense racing when they will be racing for the overall Superyacht Cup 2022 trophy.
J Class at the Superyacht Cup Palma 2022
The first of the two windward leeward races were contested in a streaky 6-8kts of SW’ly breeze and smart starting and using the best wind pressure seemed key.
Ranger claimed the pin end of the start line but were over early and had to recross.
Topaz then held the key left side of the first beat and were able to lead Svea round the mark. On the downwind Topaz gybed off early and Svea took the lead to cross the finish line first, giving the new Swedish owners a pleasant, rewarding induction to the J Class.
With the sea breeze building into double figures, Topaz then got the best timed, best positioned start on the second race.
Ranger’s safer, more conservative choice starting in clear air at the boat end of the line – allowed them to jump out just ahead of Svea which at the same time had Topaz squeezing from below.
Velsheda, nearest the pin, were then able to work the left side, which yielded the expected early dividend. But while they ran out first across the finish line they dropped to second on corrected time to Topaz.
Highlighting just how close the racing is, Velsheda in second were ten seconds up on Ranger on corrected time who in turn were ten seconds up on Svea which recorded first and fourth for the days races.
The first race may have gone to the ‘newcomers’ but the day belongs to Topaz, the team which chose not to race at March’s Saint Barth’s Bucket. Helm Peter Holmberg admitted to some nervousness not having lined up against the other Js for some time.
The J Class continue to race as a stand-alone fleet over the next three days but follow a schedule of coastal courses on the Bay of Palma, a very different challenge to the contained action on the windward-leeward tracks of Wednesday.
J Class Standings after two races:
1st Topaz 2, 1 – – 3pts
2nd Svea 1, 4 – – 5pts
3rd Velsheda 4, 2 – – 6pts
4th Ranger 3, 3 – – 6pts