For the first time the Superyacht Cup stages an IRC fleet start in Palma

For the first time in its 12 year history The Superyacht Cup Ulysse Nardin, currently underway in Palma, offered an IRC rated fleet start for the performance division of the regatta with John Williams’ J Class Ranger pulling off a convincing corrected time win over the 28m Wally, Open Season and the Royal Huisman built 32m sloop Gliss.

When 52 yachts turned up in Palma just ahead of the America’s Cup match in Valencia last year there was hope that perhaps half that number could be attracted back for 2008, but with no Cup and a competing event in Sardinia in a week’s time, numbers have been diluted.

Nevertheless 11 yachts including Mari Cha 1V, now named Senso One, and Hyperion enjoyed a sparkling opening day’s racing in Palma Bay. GWM Racing, the newly appointed race organisers, divided the fleet for a classic pursuit start and the aforementioned IRC start, sending the yachts on a 23-mile triangular course in the Bay of Palma.

The Judel Vrolijk designed sloop Anny which proved herself a dab hand at the pursuit event last year, again came good to win her class from Hyperion whose afterguard includes Harold Cudmore and a team of top sailors from Cowes, and Ganesha the 39m Dubois/Fitzroy sloop.

Your author enjoyed a day aboard the smallest yacht in the fleet, Simon Lambert’s Marten Yachts-built, Judel Vrolijk-designed 80-footer Nimrod and while we brought up the rear on the water in the IRC fleet we managed a corrected time win over Scorpione dei Mari. The picture shows Simon Lambert weaving his way through the fleet on an interestingly crowded start line!