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Veterans and first-timers share the honours at Superyacht Cup Palma

A bigger breeze and brighter skies welcomed all competitors on the first day of full fleet racing at Superyacht Cup Palma 2024, with debutants and returnees sharing the honours.

Pantaenius Race Day took the fleet on a 20-plus nautical mile coastal course taking in the whole of the Bay of Palma, with a solid sea breeze delivering reliable racing conditions.

The 39m cruiser turned racer Cervo marked her first SYC appearance with an opening race victory in Class A, though benefitting from a penalty picked up by the mighty 59m ketch Maximus for making an early start which dropped her and her 50-strong crew to second place ahead of the Hoek Truly Classic duo of Vijonara and Atalante.

“It was a pretty nice day on the Bay with 12 to 15 knots, so we had a good race,” said Cervo’s tactician Jens Christensen.

“The owner is of course very happy with the win, though we know we got a little bit of help from our friends on Maximus. The objective of course is to beat them overall, which is going to be difficult, but the crew are doing an amazing job and we are all having a great time.”

Meanwhile in the equally evenly matched Class B, defending Superyacht Cup Palma title holder Rose continued her winning ways, ahead of the Nautor Swan pair Umiko and Dark Horse — only 51 seconds apart after over two and a half hours of racing — with Calabash rounding up the group.

“Obviously it is great to start our defence of the title with a win,” said Rose’s captain Ben Potter. “But the competition is strong and it was close sailing all the way round. But that is great motivation. The team is the same as last year so we are in the mode, and the mood, to keep the title. Today’s conditions were ideal for the boat. We will see what the coming days bring!”

Meanwhile the ultra-competitive J Class, whose fleet start was a close encounter of a special kind for the spectators gathered for the start, saw a reversal of fortunes compared to their opening day of two windward-leeward races.

Velsheda — third in both of Wednesday’s races — took the win 2:21 ahead of Rainbow, taking her third second place, with opening day double victor Svea just 26 seconds behind.

Their combined results have them placed Svea, Rainbow, Velsheda on 5,6,7 points respectively heading into Friday’s double windward-leeward races.

Racing congratulations and commiserations were offered between owners, captains and crews at the North Sails and Southern Spars Happy Hour held on the Real Club Náutico de Palma dock, where the Pantaenius Race Day prizes were awarded.

Racing continues tomorrow at the Superyacht Cup Palma with Jaquet Droz Race Day, marking the mid-way point of the 2024 edition of Europe’s longest running superyacht regatta.

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