Velsheda wins opening race at The Superyacht Cup Palma
June 22, 2023
Sailing Energy / The Superyacht Cup
Superyacht Cup Palma 2023 got underway today in typically excellent sailing conditions out on the Bay of Palma, with an 8 to 10 knot breeze under blue skies greeting the diverse fleet gathered for the 27th edition of Europe's longest running superyacht regatta.
With boat-to-boat rivalries throughout the two classes, the opening Pantaenius Race Day was the chance to put down an early marker and set a course to a possible class victory and even overall Superyacht Cup success.
Smart sailing and accurate tactical calls were the key to success, and on the day it was the SYC regular Velsheda and Rose, the Wally yacht returning for a second successive year, who claimed wins in Class A and B respectively.
“We had a great opening day – starting first in clear air helped and we could position ourselves nicely on the race course. The boat is going beautifully, it has just had a big refit and upwind it was a real machine today. The crew sailed really well,” said Velsheda tactician Tom Dodson, a Superyacht Cup regular.
“Tomorrow the race committee will reverse the grid which is a nice thing to do so we’ll be starting last which will make it an even more interesting race.
“Superyacht Cup is a great place for us all to get together, and Palma is a fantastic place to sail with its reliable sea breeze.”
It had been the J Class classic Velsheda that had got the party started at Superyacht Cup Palma when she crossed the start line, the first entry away in the staggered starting sequence.
She was followed precisely two minutes later by her main rival out on the Bay of Palma, her fellow J Class competitor Svea. And while the two Js have their own class rivalry as a primary focus, they also had to contend with seven other competitors vying for the SYC overall trophy, not least Pattoo and Ribelle, both 33m Malcolm McKeon designs and their Class A contenders, who set off in hot pursuit also two minutes apart.
While Velsheda had gained ground at the first upwind mark, Svea cut the deficit downwind before her rival reclaimed her time around the remainder of the course to claim the win by over six minutes, with Pattoo taking third place ahead of Ribelle.