23 June 2019
Topaz Come Out On Top At Superyacht Cup Palma 2019
Taking second place in the third and final race for Class B at the annual Superyacht Cup on the Bay of Palma, J8 won the six boat division but more importantly for the hard working crew on board they kept the crew which they describe as the 'J class benchmark', Velsheda, behind them on the last day to win their J Class match.
It was their reading of Saturday's building Palma sea breeze which allowed the newer J Class, the 2015 build which is built to an original Frank C Paine design, to prevail on an enjoyable duel between the two which saw the lead change several times, Topaz sneaking through with better wind pressure and better pace to steal the regatta win.
Topaz helmsman Peter Holmberg was delighted with their win, paying a rich tribute to their rivals who won the first race of the regatta. In the J Class match Topaz evened the scores on Friday and then took the decider at what remains a very popular fun regatta. But this rivalry will be rekindled at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Worlds in Porto Cervo in September.
"Velsheda made us battle all the way and we loved it." Grinned Holmberg,"We are really so evenly matched. They are a little quicker upwind we are a bit quicker downwind but today we got them in the end. It is great for our owners who are relatively new to this game and really just put a toe in the water. We had the boat out the water in the winter and have some new sails so this is a wonderful reward for them."
"It was quite tricky today in the building sea breeze, they were ahead on the first leg, we got back through them and then they caught us again. We came in to them on the last run and that was enough." Holmberg recalls.
"They are the team who have been at this the longest and it shows. These guys are the benchmark and any day we can beat them is a good one. We have huge respect for them but I think we just managed to predict the building breeze better on the shore and we could take advantage. But it has been a real fun regatta."
Tom Dodson, tactician on the Velsheda reported, "We had a ball, we really did. Us and Topaz are closely matched and as J Class competitors they really give nothing away. We had a great little match race between us. They got ahead and then, I think, had a problem in a tack upwind and we got back at them. Downwind we were ahead, maybe 30 seconds – not enough – and we had to try something and gybed back at them but just missed out."
"So this time it is Topaz." Dodson agreed, "But we are looking forwards to the next two regattas in Porto Cervo and Saint Tropez where they won't have it their own way!"
Topaz © Sailing Energy