Superyacht Cup 2007
There are yachts and then there are superyachts. Owners who turned up to race their J-classer in this year's Superyacht Cup at Palma de Mallorca found themselves at the 'small' end of the fleet. This spectacular photo-essay through the lens of Andrea Francolini.
THE SHEER SIZE of the fifty-two entrants who faced the starter for the three-day series in the Bay of Palma was staggering. The smallest yacht was 87 feet. In the final race the three-masted 288-foot Maltese Falcon reached to the finish at close to 20 knots, pushing a huge bow-wave ahead of her.
Perhaps the most impressive all-round performance came from Pink Gin the 152-foot Jodel/Vrolik built by Baltic Yachts in 2006. She won overall and Division 2 in the New Zealand Millennium Cup, the closing event of the series.
Regatta honours went to the superbly-presented Hetairos, a Bruce King-designed ketch built by Abeking & Rasmussen in 1993. She narrowly defeated Eleonora, the 162-foot schooner built by Van de Graff in 2002 on the lines of the legendary 1903 Nat Herreshoff design Westward.
Alongside these magnificent yachts the two 'down under' canting keel flyers Alfa Romeo and Wild Oats XI looked like dinghies. The J-class replica Ranger and Velsheda continued their private boat-to-boat battle, with the regatta score two to one in Ranger's favour.
Among the other head-turning superyachts in the fleet were Ashanti IV, Borkumriff, Lulworth, Thalia, Windrose, Nephele, Savannah and Kokomo of London.
Not surprisingly, many of the world's top naval architects journeyed to Spain to sail on their creations and consult with prospective clients. Designers at the Palma de Mallorca dockside included Ron Holland, Bill Trip, Ed Dubois, Gerry Dijkstra and Phillipe Briand.