Supermaxi Luxury Yacht & Superyacht News

Superyacht Cup Palma 2014: King’s 100 Guinea Cup for HANUMAN and LIONHEART Yachts

June 19, 2014

Sailing yacht Hanuman and superyacht Lionheart will share the King’s 100 Guinea Cup, after finishing tied on corrected time in the first race of The Superyacht Cup Palma 2014, currently being hosted by the breath-taking Mediterranean yacht charter destination – Palma in Spain. They actually finished second and third respectively across the finish line behind charter yacht Ranger, which subsequently accepted a penalty for a rules infringement on the approach to the first leeward gate.

The Superyacht Cup Palma 2014 - Image credit to www.clairematches.com

The Superyacht Cup Palma 2014 King's 100 Guinea Cup - Image credit to www.clairematches.com

It was the closest and most exciting racing for the J Class yet as the five boat fleet for Palma’s Superyacht Cup contested the prestigious trophy. From a spirited, very evenly match contest which saw three different leaders at successive windward mark turns, luxury yacht Ranger had lead around the final turn, eking out a decent lead to finish first across the line.

But with Ranger yacht taking an arbitration penalty after a port-starboard incident as they approached the first leeward gate which dropped them to third superyacht Hanuman  – winners here last year – and luxury yacht Lionheart – winners of the Menorca Maxi event last month – could not be separated on corrected time.

So both will share the Class’s top trophy of the season: “Wow, it was some race.” Smiled Hanuman’s Ken Read in the Palma sunshine just after racing, “When you have five boats going at the same speed then that is the best race there has been. It is flat water and 12 knots of breeze and so it is when the boat speeds are going to be very similar. And so as you saw today any mistake was magnified.”

Luxury sailing yacht Hanuman

Luxury sailing yacht Hanuman - Image credit to www.clairematches.com

Of the tie for the Cup Read later declared: “I think it is a fair result. The time is taken in rounded off seconds. I think it is not going to get any easier it is just down to who sails better. It will be interesting when it is breezier. I said it was going to be full on, and shit, yes it is full on.”

There were mistakes aplenty. While two of the five Js had well timed starts at either end of the line, in the middle two had scrappy openings which set them immediately on the back foot.

The three rounds windward leeward race, contested in 9-14 kts of SSW’ly breeze saw three different leaders at successive windward marks, with places changing throughout and invigorating close quarters boat handling. Ranger, with four times America’s Cup winner Murray Jones calling tactics, read the wind changes and – crucially – got themselves in positions to capitalise.

The Bay of Palma can sometimes be a one way, one sided race track in the standard sea-breeze conditions, but the first contest of the Superyacht Cup for the J Class offered ample chances for gains and losses as the breeze tracked right and built for each round.

The Superyacht Cup Palma 2014

The Superyacht Cup Palma 2014 - - Image credit to www.clairematches.com

Early leader Velsheda yacht dropped to fifth across the finish. Superyacht Rainbow, at the back of the pack through the first leeward gate went to the right up the second beat to lead Ranger by a nose at top of the second round before Ranger had established a more meaningful lead up the final beat.

Ironically both the joint trophy winners had suffered off the start line together and had to fight back. Lionheart were early on the line and Hanuman started downspeed whilst Velsheda started well at the signal boat end of the line with better speed. But both worked the shifting breeze well, Hanuman crossing the finish line nine seconds ahead of Lionheart which has Bouwe Bekking calling tactics.

Bekking said later, “It worked out quite nicely in the end. In the end it was alright but we had a bad start. I just got the timing wrong and Kenny (Hanuman) did a nice job squeezing us up and then we had to do a big dip and that put us on back foot. But we got back into it. You take your chances and our guys on the foredeck and our Owner did a good job driving.”

Ready to Race in Palma

Both of the 2013 class champions are back to race among the 26 strong fleet which has assembled in Palma for the Superyacht Cup which starts today (Thursday) on the Bay of Palma.

Ranging in size from the 24 metre sailing yacht Heartbeat and luxury yacht Drumfire to the 51 metres schooner Borkumriff IV, the fleet will sail three races over Thursday, Friday and Saturday, including coastal courses of between 19 and 30 miles.

Class 1 winner last year charter yacht Highland Breeze, the 34m Swan is back to defend the title they won on the Bay of Palma last year, as is Heartbeat which was awarded the overall trophy last year. Owner Manon Borrius Broek was delighted, if a little surprised last year to win the regatta she had bought Heartbeat to compete in. Winning at their third attempt, it is no surprise that the crew, who are a group of friends, are looking forwards to the one regatta they compete on each year, on the boat’s home waters.

Before the Heartbeat crew went out for their final practice, she said: “It was a nice surprise to win last year. And we only come together once every year to do this regatta, the Superyacht Cup. Otherwise I cruise around with the boat in the South of France and the Balearics. We will try to win again, but we are only just getting some practice in. But our aim is to have fun together. We are a group of friends with a captain. But everybody knows what to do on the boat and does it well. We all help each other and have fun. That is the most important thing for us, to have a good ambience on board.

“We started out together in 2005 with the last boat the Lady M which was too small for the Superyacht Cup. That what was when we saw it for the first time and have done it since 2011. The first time we were second, fourth in Cowes in 2012 and last year we won. This year we will see. I have not really looked at what the competition. The regatta is fun, it is nice, it is well organised and I feel honoured to be in amongst all these beautiful boats like the Js. The boat is based here in Palma and so this is our home regatta.”

Looking to continue their steady improvement since the bright green hulled Briand designed 33m was launched last year, following regattas in Sardinia and Porto Cervo last year, a Caribbean race circuit and the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta in Sardinia earlier this month, the crew of Inouï under skipper Stéphane Luca with Chris Main calling tactics, believe they have what it takes to win this time: “In our class I think we are strong enough to win now if we sail well enough, normally that should be enough. We are improving all the time with the boat, understanding it more. That is the key thing.”

Amazing start to The Superyacht Cup Palma 2014

June 18, 2014

It has been an amazing start to this year’s Superyacht Cup Palma, currently running the lovely Mediterranean yacht charter destination – Palma in Spain. The new generation of J-class yachts had the honour of starting proceedings at this four-day event, which represents the longest running superyacht regatta in Europe. The Bay of Palma is full of the world’s finest sailing yachts, comprising five built by Claasen: charter yacht Atalante, Heartbeat, sailing yacht Lionheart, Drumfire and superyacht Firefly. It is a beautiful sight as the Regatta Village is nestled at Muelle Viejo, with the majestic Palma Cathedral as a backdrop.

The five J Class yacht line up ready to race at The Superyacht Cup Palma 2014

The five J Class yacht line up ready to race at The Superyacht Cup Palma 2014

Today’s first race set the tone for what is to come. At exactly 13.00, five mightily J Class yachts – superyacht Lionheart, Velsheda, luxury yacht Hanuman, charter yacht Ranger and Rainbow – crossed the starting line in unison hand and set off on the 20-km course. At the end Ranger came in first, with Hanuman second and Lionheart third, just 100 metres and 15 seconds behind.

Aboard superyacht Firefly

Aboard superyacht Firefly

Congratulations to all the crews for running such a fantastic first race. Tonight all the owners and crew are coming together at a Welcome Cocktail Party and no doubt there will be many bets wagered and dares shared on the outcome of tomorrow’s race.

Perini Navi Group to sponsor Superyacht Cup Palma for first time

June 18, 2014

The Perini Navi Group will sponsor the Superyacht Cup Palma for the first time this year. Set to start in the fabulous Mediterranean yacht charter destination – Palma in Spain today, on June 18, the event represents one of the most important sailing events in Europe and hosts a fleet of the most outstanding superyachts, built by the most prominent shipyards in the world. A fleet of 26 yachts that range in size from 24 to over 50m will compete in the azure waters of the Bay of Palma de Mallorca in the Balearic Islands, known for boasting some of the best sailing conditions in the Mediterranean.

Perini Navi superyacht Clan VIII to participate in the 2014 Superyacht Cup Palma

Perini Navi superyacht Clan VIII to participate in the 2014 Superyacht Cup Palma

Superyacht Clan VIII, a 45m sloop designed by Perini naval architects in collaboration with New Zealander Ron Holland and launched in 2011, will be representing Perini Navi. Clan VIII has all of the best features that typify Perini Navi yachts: technology, comfort, elegance and performance. This sloop has a 52m high mast designed and built in-house at Perini Navi that mounts an upwind sail plan of over 900 square meters. Exterior spaces include a large fly bridge and a transom that opens to become a seven square meter beach deck. A port side shell door also opens to become a launching platform for tenders and toys.

Luxury sailing yacht Clan VIII competing in the St Barth Bucket 2014

Luxury sailing yacht Clan VIII competing in the St Barth Bucket 2014

The regatta, organised by the ISAF International Race Officers and by the Real Club Nautico de Palma, will also have a intense social programme starting with the June 18th Registration Day a continuing through all three days of the event right up to the final prize ceremony on June 21st.

Clan VIII Yacht - aft view

Clan VIII Yacht - aft view

Below is a selection of the luxurious charter yachts built by Perini Navi.

Second round of Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge to be hosted by Tuscany, Italy

June 18, 2014

After its record-breaking opening round in the fantastic Côte d’Azur yacht charter destination – Antibes attracted an amazing number of 80 yachts, the 10th Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge now moves to Tuscany in Italy. Once again, enthusiasm for the bespoke international classic and vintage sailing circuit shows no sign of diminishing. In fact, 50 yachts have already registered for the 16th Argentario Sailing Week, which will run at Porto Santo Stefano between June 19th and 22nd. The fleet gathering in Tuscany will be divided into five categories: Classic, Vintage, Big Boats, Spirit of Tradition, Metre Classes and One Designs.

Argentario Sailing Week 2013

Argentario Sailing Week 2013 - Image credit to Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge

The event is being organised by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano and begins with a welcome cocktail party for all participants at its waterfront clubhouse on the Thursday evening of the weekend. The boats will tie up along the Molo della Pilarella wharf in front of the Race Village and the Panerai Lounge where owners and crews can get together after each race. On the Friday evening, competitors will enjoy a gala dinner at the Tenuta Agricola del Parco dell’Uccellina country estate, while on the Saturday evening, oysters and champagne will be served on the dockside. Last but not least, there will be a farewell cocktail party after the prize-giving ceremony on the Sunday evening.

Three races will be held on triangular and windward-leeward courses in a stretch of water between the Golfo di Talamone and the Giannella beaches. The wonderful turquoise sea there makes this one of the most entrancing areas of the Mediterranean for sailing.

In the Big Boats category, it looks like the 40-metre superyacht Cambria (1928) and the 31-metre charter yacht Moonbeam IV (1914) will be battling it out until the very last mile as both have now won two Panerai trophies in their category. Whichever of the two takes part in several rounds over the season will, of course, increase her chances of winning the trophy for a third time, a feat achieved only for the very first time last year by Rowdy in the Vintage category and Emeraude in the Classic category.

Of course, all of the other participating yachts will be bringing years of seafaring history with them too. The 36-metre J-Class charter yacht Shamrock V was an English challenger in the America’s Cup in the 1930s, for instance, while Argyll, Comet, Manitou, Skylark of 1937, Stormy Weather, Voscià and Vim were all penned by American design legend Olin Stephens who passed away in 2008 at the grand old age of 100. He personally attended and competed at the Argentario Sailing Week on several occasions when he was well past his 90th birthday. In fact, in 2004, he was awarded honorary citizenship of Porto Santo Stefano. The gaff ketch Javelin, which was launched in 1897, will be the oldest boat participating this year.

The Italian Navy also lines out four of its finest wooden officer training vessels. They are: Capricia (1963), Stella Polare (1965), Corsaro II (1961) and Chaplin (1974), the latter a gift from the Novi family of Genoa. The Bermudan sloop also went down in Panerai Trophy history after she won the Classic category in 2009.

A small fleet of Wianno Seniors will also be competing at the Argentario Sailing Week to celebrate the class’s centenary. The classic 7.6-metre one design was penned in the US in 1914 and was the boat on which President J.F. Kennedy cut his sailing teeth. There will be four at Porto Santo Stefano: Pyxis, Raindrop, Wind & Wine and Wianno, with two playing host to American crews captained by Timothy W. Fulham, president of the American class association. Aside from competing in the Spirit of Tradition category, the Wiannos will have their own separate standings.

All in all, the Argentario Sailing Week look set to be absolutely unmissable this year. It will also be entirely accessible to all classic boat enthusiasts as the fleet will be moored in a bustling area of the town frequented by locals and tourists alike. The surrounding promontories and the seafront at Porto Santo Stefano also provide excellent views of the racing as they create a wonderful natural amphitheatre.

The next four rounds of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge’s Mediterranean Circuit play out in Italy, Spain and France: Vele d’Epoca a Napoli (Naples, IT, 2-6 July), Copa del Rey (Minorca, ES, 26-30 August), Vele d’Epoca di Imperia (Imperia, IT, 10-14 September), Régates Royales (Cannes, FR, 23-27 September). Also on the calendar are the Panerai British Classic Week at Cowes (12-19 July) and the North American circuit regattas (Marblehead Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta, 8-10 August; Nantucket Opera House Cup, 13-17 August; Newport MOY Classic Yacht Regatta 29-31 August).

Giraglia Rolex Cup 2014 to enter final phase today

June 18, 2014

Today, June 18, will see this year’s Giraglia Rolex Cup enter its final phase, with the start of the 241-nm offshore race. Some 213 yachts are expected to attend, representing a new record fleet.

Over 240 yachts have entered the 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Over 240 yachts have entered the 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

The mythical course which, in a normal year, takes crews from France to Italy, via the Giraglia rock off the northern tip of Corsica, offers something exceptional this year: a finish in Monte-Carlo. The unique opportunity to combine the finish of this celebrated race with the inauguration of the new Yacht Club de Monaco clubhouse has been embraced by the organizing clubs, race sponsor Rolex and, most significantly, the competitors.

The 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup fleet ranges in size from 100-feet down to 30-feet. If conditions permit, superyacht Esimit Europa 2 – the largest and fastest yacht – will seek to dent its record time of 14 hours, 56 minutes and 16 seconds set in 2012 over a similar distance albeit with a finish in Sanremo just up the coast from Monte-Carlo. The yacht’s owner, Igor Simcic, is a member of the Yacht Club de Monaco so there is particular significance in his yacht’s quest to add a fourth line honours to her victory roll.

Sailing yacht ALEGRE (GBR) wins the final coastal race and her class in the Inshore Series - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yacht ALEGRE (GBR) wins the final coastal race and her class in the Inshore Series - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Cautious Optimism
Skipper Jochen Schümann understands the added importance of doing well, especially given the presence of a special crewmember onboard for the race: Pierre Casiraghi, younger son of Caroline, Princess of Hannover, and member of the YCM Management Committee. “The Giraglia Rolex Cup is one of the classic races in Europe alongside the Rolex Fastnet and Middle Sea Races,” he explains. “The start and finish are always spectacular. Saint-Tropez is one of the most scenic places in the Med, and this time we have a special finish in Monaco.”

Schümann is cautious when discussing prospects for the race record. According to the German Olympian the unsettled weather of the past few days looks set to continue with light airs across the racecourse: “If we get good steady breeze, there’s a chance for the record. Otherwise it will probably be slow.”

Close Mini Maxi battle between JETHOU (GBR), ALEGRE (GBR) and RÁN 5 (SWE) - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Close Mini Maxi battle between JETHOU (GBR), ALEGRE (GBR) and RÁN 5 (SWE) - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Intriguing Contest
Behind the Slovenian Maxi, an intriguing battle is shaping up among four highly competitive 72-ft Racing Mini Maxis. Andres Soriano, owner of sailing yacht Alegre and another member of the Yacht Club de Monaco, is excited by the prospect of finishing in Monte-Carlo. He has tasted success in this race before with a Line Honours victory in 2010 with his previous yacht. Soriano has enjoyed the competition of the Inshore Series over the past three days: “The Mini Maxis are very even, there is not much in it. Some are better in different conditions and a little luck with a wind shift can make the difference in getting one’s nose ahead.” He thinks this bodes well for a tight contest in the offshore race even if the larger yachts are not favoured by the forecast: “Ideally we’d be hoping for more wind at the beginning of the long race to take us down to the rock. The approach there early in the morning is always difficult.”

Another Olympian, this time Frenchman Thierry Peponnet, who has been coaching Niklas Zennström’s Ran 5 crew ahead of the offshore race, has also assessed the challenge this year: “It is special with the finish in Monaco. Normally the leg after the rock to Genoa is very smooth, dominated by light winds. This new course will make things a bit different, as the wind angles will change on the leg from the Giraglia to Monaco. We are waiting for the latest weather information to develop an appropriate strategy, but the team is very motivated; it is a race they want to win.”

Even though a professional yachtsman, Peponnet recognizes the Giraglia Rolex Cup delivers a distinctive flavour: “It is such a mythical race. Similar to the Rolex Sydney Hobart, enthusiastic and passionate amateurs come together and challenge themselves against the most professional of boats like Ran, Alegre etc… It unites sailors from all over the planet, Corinthians or professionals all together on the same starting line.” Peponnet has done the race a number of times and finds it an attractive challenge even if sometimes long. “You have to be patient,” he advises.

The crew of ALIZÉE (FRA), overall winner of the 2013 Giraglia Rolex Cup - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

The crew of ALIZÉE (FRA), overall winner of the 2013 Giraglia Rolex Cup - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Daring to Dream
Patience may be virtue further down the fleet. The current forecasts suggest a hole in the wind over Monaco on Thursday that may favour the smaller yachts if they bring the wind from the Giraglia. Last year’s winner Laurent Camprubi, the owner of French yacht Alizée, was thinking of only a class win in 2013. He ended up taking the overall trophy and the Rolex timepiece. What does he think about his prospects in 2014? “We came last year to win our division, we never imagined winning overall.  We are here again to win our division and funnily we have started thinking that we really could have a chance to win again.  It is a crazy dream but we have analysed the conditions and… yes, … may be.”

Camprubi would not be first to secure back-to-back victories, but he knows he needs favourable conditions, for his crew to work together, and good decision-making. That was achieved last year and: “It was really a perfect race.” If he had to give an advice to a crew doing the race for a first time it would be to never forget you are racing for fun: “You should come because of your passion for sailing and if the results go with you then of course it is magic. If you have given everything and the result is not so good, it should not be a drama.”

In encouraging those who have never done the race, Camprubi is a persuasive salesman summing up the virtues of an event that captures the imagination of all who participate: “For someone who has yet to discover the Giraglia Rolex Cup I would let them know that the race is just magic. The ambience here in Saint-Tropez, the small picturesque town, the huge numbers of competitors, the beautiful yachts, the quality of the crew, the course, the passage at the Giraglia Rock… the great welcome you get at the arrival, it is all quite extraordinary.”

Giraglia Rolex Cup 2014 offshore race course map

Giraglia Rolex Cup 2014 offshore race course map

Spirited Support
According to Carlo Croce, President of the International Sailing Federation, President of the Yacht Club Italiano and, therefore, another passionate advocate for the race the opportunity to finish the 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup in Monte-Carlo was too great to be missed: “The arrival in Monte-Carlo was decided upon because the Yacht Club de Monaco opens its new base this year and the inauguration of this new clubhouse will be exactly the same day when the most of the boats are crossing the finish line.” Croce emphasizes that the decision was made easy on other grounds: “The participants liked the idea; they are really enthusiastic about joining the opening party on Friday night. Furthermore, the Yacht Club de Monaco is twinned with the Yacht Club Italiano and we are pleased to share this special moment, even more so since Rolex is a partner of both clubs and has been fully supportive of the idea.”

The 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup race gets underway today at noon CEST. Rolex has been a partner of the event since 1997.

Superyacht Cup Palma 2014 to host the most competitive and closely matched fleet yet

June 18, 2014

Last year saw the first competitive regatta since 1937, Superyacht Cup Palma, host five majestic J-Class yachts. To take place at the popular Spain yacht vacation destination – Palma over the upcoming days, this year’s event will be once again attended by these beauties, representing probably the most competitive, closely matched fleet yet.

The J Class Yachts Practice Day

The J Class Yachts Practice Day

Sailing yacht Hanuman, luxury yacht Lionheart, charter yacht Ranger, superyacht Rainbow and Velsheda yacht will race on Wednesday around a windward-leeward course for the historic King’s Hundred Guinea Cup which is a perpetual trophy for this race, before joining the 26 strong Superyacht Cup fleet for a schedule which includes one further windward-leeward and two coastal courses, Thursday to Saturday.

Winter refits which targeted extra speed have been completed – some more recently than others – and after last month’s Menorca Maxi regatta which attracted three boats, the stakes on the Bay of Palma and correspondingly the performance levels should be higher.

Menorca Maxi saw superyacht Lionheart dominate with a clean sweep of five wins. With a crew nucleus drawn from the current Dutch Volvo Ocean Race project Team Brunel including navigator Andrew Cape, under tactician Bouwe Bekking, they were unstoppable.

The J Class Yachts on the Water the Day Before The Superyacht Cup 2014

The J Class Yachts on the Water the Day Before The Superyacht Cup 2014

In Mahon last year’s Palma Superyacht Cup J Class winners Hanuman yacht proved disappointed to end up in third. According to skipper-helm Ken Read their result was nothing short of a wake up call. But with three intervening weeks filled with hard work by sailmakers, boatbuilders and crew, Read believes they will be quicker, will sail better and so are in a stronger position to defend the J Class title they won here last year.

“Mahon was a real wake up call. We had not sailed in a long time and these boats are twitchy boats to sail. They are obviously monsters. And I don’t think I did a very good job sailing the boat. And we just had one of these regattas when we were out of sorts.” Read outlined aboard Hanuman on Palma’s STP shipyard dock this morning.

“Now, whenever you know there are going to be five J yachts on the start line that becomes your priority, you have to be here with your A Game. This regatta last year was spectacular. We pulled it out the bag last year and here we are. We have to defend.”

Superyacht Cup Palma Trophy

Superyacht Cup Palma Trophy

Around Europe’s J Class regattas last year honours were shared between Hanuman and Velsheda yachts. The latter won in Saint Tropez and in Sardinia in 2013 and arrives in Palma very freshly prepared after a refit which started last November. Among the measures designed to increase all round potency Velsheda has had weight trimmed in various areas and added as keel ballast for an improved righting moment and they have upgraded hydraulic systems which deliver more power and faster line speeds to improve sail handling and trimming ability.

Velsheda’s long serving tactician, America’s Cup winning Kiwi Tom Dodson is passionate about J Class racing, enjoying being responsible for an historic racing yacht whilst at the same time rising to the constant challenge of making smart tactical decisions in a fleet which has grown, and races in ever closer contact, all the time requiring the careful management of more than 30 on board: “We start dividing up the roles. We have a command thing going back and forwards with Juggy (Justin Clougher crew boss) and when he makes a call you have 35 people spring into action.”

“Hydraulic power is in, more and more again. It is phenomenal to see the sheet speeds with many winches running at the same time. So now we have gone from setting up for a bottom mark rounding three minutes out to under two minutes now. And everything has to come together for these roundings.”

“That keeps your tactical options open. But once these boats slow down it takes a lot of speeding up. In light to medium airs that can easily be giving you a couple of boat lengths because of the extra speed you are getting out of the bottom mark. For instance the genoa used to take about one minute to hoist and now it is about 12 seconds, bottom to top.”

“You can be coming into the bottom mark with four other boats. I think people would be amazed. They’d be sitting there going ‘get it down fellas, get it down fellas, get it down’….and it’ll be just pushed in there in seconds. Top marks and gybes are all pretty crisp when you consider what has to go on.”

No Clear Favourite

Although he gruffly thinks others might see them as favourite here Dodson, like most around the J Class dock today, contends that this Palma Superyacht Cup regatta is wide open: “People are saying to me we could finish anywhere from first to fifth here and not have sail much different.”

“We are just expecting close racing. If it is anything like last year it will be so impressive. I hope we get a couple of turns at it.”

Naturally the talent and experience aboard each of the five yachts is as would be expected. Volvo and Whitbread round the world race sailors form the core of many teams. Indeed there are a reasonably sizeable contingent of Volvo and Whitbread alumni with five races under their belts.

Team Brunel’s Bekking has four of his Volvo crew on Lionheart. Read’s roster on Hanuman includes double Olympic 470 medallist Kevin Burnham, three times America’s Cup winner Warwick Fleury and Volvo and America’s Cup sailors like Kimo Worthington, Tony Mutter, Jerry Kirby, Robbie Naismith. Alongside Dodson on the owner driven Velsheda Olympic silver medallist Don Cowie trims mainsheet. Ranger has multiple Whitbread and Volvo racer Erle Williams as skipper with Finn, 49er and Laser helm Dan Slater steering, Mike Quilter navigating and Murray Jones as tactician. Rainbow have America’s Cup sailors Francesco de Angelis as Michele Ivaldi as tactician and navigator.

Racing is expected to encounter light winds on the first day with the sea breezes picking up over the subsequent days. Start sequences are scheduled at 1300hrs local time each day.

Nauta Yachts the best-represented yacht designer at Loro Piana SuperYacht Regatta

June 16, 2014

Nauta Yachts was the best-represented yacht designer at this year’s 7th edition of the Loro Piana SuperYacht Regatta. The prominent Italian design studio has beautifully designed seven luxury yachts from the impressive fleet of a total of eighteen yachts, which participated in the regatta. These included six Southern Wind Shipyard yachts and the evergreen 84-foot sailing yacht My Song.

SW 82 FD superyacht Grande Orazio by Southern Wind and Nauta Design

SW 82 FD superyacht Grande Orazio by Southern Wind and Nauta Design

Superyacht Grande Orazio, a SW 82 FD, was the event’s biggest winner taking first place in Class C and also winning the Southern Wind Trophy. My Song placed third in Class C after a fabulous last day race. Helmsman Francesco de Angelis took the boat through a long series of tacks showing that My Song, at   years of age and with a long series of wins to her name, is still fully capable of keeping up with newer yacht’s pace. The SW 100 RS superyacht Cape Arrow, with America’s Cup tactician Peter Holmberg aboard, also placed third in Class B.

Grande Orazio yacht was having her debut on the regatta circuit at this event. While one of the smallest currently built Southern Wind yachts, she couldn’t have cut a finer figure: with a streak of three first place and one second place finishes she was without a doubt the Class C champion and also took home the Southern Wind Trophy.

Luxury sailing yacht Grande Orazio

Luxury sailing yacht Grande Orazio

Grande Orazio superyacht is the SWS’s latest launch and the first 82 built with the Flush Deck option. “We are very happy with this debut,” said her owner Massimo Florio, a member of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. “The boat was just launched in January and was transferred from South Africa in March. She is newly arrived and already making a splash.”

The SW 82 FD has an elegant, low-slung coachroof that gives her a very sporty look. Her high modulus carbon fibre mast and boom are by Southern Spars and her rigging and sail plan were created with racing in mind.  Her rudder blade was custom designed and her draft is 4.2 mt as compared with a standard 4.0.

Grande Orazio yacht’s interior layout was personalized to offer maximum space and flexibility of use whether cruising or racing. Crew quarters and galley are aft, while the owner’s cabin is fore. Two ulterior cabins midships can be used by guests when cruising or by crew during regattas.

Nauta Design would like to take advantage of this occasion to congratulate all of the Nauta Yacht boats that participated in the Loro Piana Regatta and look forward to see them soon on the water.

Absolute Boat Care preparing Yachts for The Superyacht Cup

June 16, 2014

This winter saw the Palma de Mallorca-based company Absolute Boat Care work to capacity in the yard, and nothing has changed as the summer heats up. During the last two weeks, the yard has been focused on making sure all the yachts are looking pristine, and back in the water for their luxury yacht charter, as well as The Superyacht Cup.

Absolute Boat Care Team at work

Absolute Boat Care Team at work

The J Class Yachts have once again joined ABC in Palma for The Superyacht Cup and ABC have been nose to the grindstone varnishing, polishing and preening these beautiful classic yachts in the lead up to the regatta.

ABC has a long standing relationship with the J’s, having worked on sailing yacht Velsheda for the last ten years, including major varnish work, stripping it back to the wood, staining and applying the varnish.

Duncan Sykes, founder of Absolute Boat Care states: ‘Its been great to work with the J’s over the years. Velsheda and charter yacht Ranger have both been long standing clients. Over the last ten years we have redone all the interior and exterior varnish on board. We want the yachts to maintain their beauty and elegance for the most time possible and have a team of varnish experts to ensure that happens. For example, we applied at least twenty coats of varnish to Velsheda, with all the final coats being sprayed on, which leaves unbeatable lustre.
We have been working on her this year before The Superyacht Cup, varnishing and re-coating the rail.’

Busy period for Absolute Boat Care

Busy period for Absolute Boat Care

The varnishing team have also been on board Danish Yachts built J Class Yacht, Ranger for their exterior and interior repairs. Superyacht Hanuman has undergone paint repairs to her black hull and metallic boom, whilst luxury yacht Lionheart has had her rail varnished and clear coat repairs on the rig and hull.

As well as the J Classes Absolute Boat Care have been busy with other super yacht competitors in the Cup. Last week charter yacht Atalante went back in the water after her annual anti-foul.

The Superyacht Cup Kicks off on Wednesday the 18th June with the J class and the Superyachts start the following day. With 26 boats in the race including five J’s, it is going to be an outstanding regatta.

Claasen sailing yacht FIREFLY wins Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta and is listed for sale

June 16, 2014

Claasen Shipyards is thrilled to announce more race success for the company as sailing yacht Firefly wins the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta, which took place in the fabulous Sardinia yacht charter destination – Porto Cervo from June 3 to 7, 2014. The victory of superyacht Firefly follows Lionheart yacht’s recent victory at the inaugural Menorca Maxi Regatta.

Claasen super yacht Firefly under sail - Photo courtesy of Claasen Shipyards - Ingrid Abery

Claasen super yacht Firefly under sail - Photo courtesy of Claasen Shipyards - Ingrid Abery

Luxury yacht Firefly, which has just been listed for sale, performed consistently throughout the regatta and proved unbeatable, winning all four of her races. This impressive result earned her the Boat International Media Silver Jubilee Cup as the overall winner of the event.

The Firefly yacht set the standard to beat through the event, with enviable teamwork from her crew. Firefly’s owner was extremely proud of the win, and of the team that raced her to victory. “We’ve been practicing for three seasons now and we stick together really well,” he said. “We were very much aiming for our achievements, and I’m delighted not so much for myself but for the team who made it all happen.”

The first of the new F-Class of yachts, Firefly superyacht was designed by Hoek Design and launched in 2011 and has become known not just for her classic lines and modern lines but also for her speed. Her asking price is € 3.850.000 (VAT paid).

Below is a video showing the F-Class super yacht Firefly at full speed, published by Claasen Shipyards:

Giraglia Rolex Cup 2014 to kick off tomorrow

June 12, 2014

Set to run from June 13 to 21, this year’s 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup has had a special feel about it ever since the Yacht Club Italiano announced that the offshore race would exceptionally finish in Monte-Carlo this year, as part of the celebrations surrounding the inauguration of the Yacht Club de Monaco’s new clubhouse. The added allure of Monegasque principality has been reflected in the entries. Of the 242 yachts registered for the 2014 Giraglia Rolex Cup, some 214 are expected to attend the 241-nm race from Saint-Tropez to Monte-Carlo via the Giraglia rock.

Giraglia Rolex Cup 2014 course map

Giraglia Rolex Cup 2014 course map

The Giraglia Rolex Cup was first held in 1953 as part of the Yacht Club Italiano and Yacht Club de France’s contribution to rebuilding friendship between their respective countries in the aftermath of the Second World War. It immediately became a firm favourite in the Mediterranean yachting calendar. Rolex first partnered the event in 1997, and the event has grown in size, complexity and stature all the while retaining its Italiano-Franco flavour and popularity.

The 2014 event starts at midnight on 13 June with a 59-nm race from Sanremo to Saint-Tropez. Immediately following will be three days of inshore racing in and around the Gulf of Saint-Tropez from 15 – 17 June. Then, on Wednesday, 18 June, the main event, the offshore race, sets off to Monte-Carlo, via the now iconic landmark of the Giraglia rock located just off the northern tip of Corsica.

Mini Maxis JETHOU (GBR), STIG (ITA) and ALEGRE (GBR) reach the Giraglia rock at daybreak in the 2013 race - Image by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Mini Maxis JETHOU (GBR), STIG (ITA) and ALEGRE (GBR) reach the Giraglia rock at daybreak in the 2013 race - Image by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

The Slovenian Maxi flyer superyacht Esimit Europa 2, owned by Igor Simcic and skippered by Jochen Schumann, is expected to set the pace. In 2012 the all-blue, canting-keeled rocketship set a course record between Saint-Tropez and Sanremo of 14 hours 56 minutes and 16 seconds; less that half the time taken by the line honours winners in 1953 (a photo-finish between Ea and Amity in 30h 26’ 15’’).  Esimit Europa will be pursued by three other Maxi’s including Leanardo Ferragamo’s Swan 90 charter yacht Solleone skippered for the race by French single-handed sailor Marc Thiercelin.

A strong contingent of seventeen Mini Maxis, including four state-of-the-art out-and-out racers will form a harrying pack. Given the right conditions, the British crews of sailing yacht Jethou, luxury yacht Alegre and Ràn will be hoping to emulate Shockwave yacht’s victory in 2010, as will the Italian team on Robertissima III yacht, who will be equally conscious that an Italian yacht has not won since the 13.7m Tartaruga in 2008.

Saint-Tropez will host three days of inshore racing and the start of the Giraglia Rolex Cup - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Saint-Tropez will host three days of inshore racing and the start of the Giraglia Rolex Cup - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

In the middle of the fleet, where competition will be typically fierce in spite of the largely Corinthian leanings of the crews, last year’s winner Alizée, owned by Laurent Camprubi, has returned understandably hoping to repeat a glorious performance and be the first yacht in many years to achieve back-to-back victories. Camprubi will have his work cut out. First the conditions have to favour a yacht of around 13-metres, and then Camprubi has to get his tactics and strategy absolutely right. And, all the while, his crew needs to eek every last performance edge from their craft throughout the course, day or night, rain or shine, wind or no wind. It is a tough task and not to be under-estimated.

The international fleet looks set to fall just short of the previous record fleet of 220 yachts set in 2010. All the same it is a kaleidoscope of nationalities, drawn mainly from Europe, with Italy best represented followed by France, United Kingdom, and, impressively, Russia. More exotic flagged yachts come from the British Virgin Islands, USA and even New Zealand.

Aerial view of Saint-Tropez's Vieux Port and the Giraglia Rolex Cup fleet during the 2013 edition

Aerial view of Saint-Tropez's Vieux Port and the Giraglia Rolex Cup fleet during the 2013 edition - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

The 2014 Giraglia Rolex Cup begins on Friday, 13 June with the main offshore race scheduled to start on Wednesday, 18 June. The final prize giving will be held at the Yacht Club de Monaco on Saturday, 21 June at noon CEST.