Close competition on the cards for Superyacht Cup Palma 2019 as Kealoha and Open Season join the fleet

This year’s Superyacht Cup Palma is shaping up as one of the most competitive in recent years, with early interest in June’s celebration of sail already exceeding expectations.

With four months to go to the start of Europe’s largest and longest-running superyacht regatta, no fewer than 20 of the world’s most impressive vessels are provisional entries for the 23rd edition of the event.

At the heart of the fleet is a highly competitive group in the 30m range, with Nilaya, Freya, Inoui, Missy and 2018 class winner Win Win all no doubt fancying their chances of getting the better of their immediate rivals.

Joining the fray – and also in with a definite chance of taking overall honours – are first-time Superyacht Cup entry Kealoha and Open Season, back for the first time since 2015.

The 27.5m Kealoha will join fellow Hoek Design entries Atalante and Athos in what is the fulfilment of a long-standing ambition – “The Superyacht Cup has been on the wish list for Kealoha’s owners for a number of years and they’re very much looking forward to being a part of the action,” said Captain James Saddington.

Meanwhile the high-performance 32m sloop Open Season – formerly Hamilton – will join Saudade in what could potentially become a sizeable Wally contingent if other expressions of interest bear fruit.

A large part of Open Season’s modern good looks is down to the striking exterior and interior design, the work of Design Unlimited who have now joined the Superyacht Cup’s family of supporters.

“We are delighted to be joining the sponsor contingent for The Superyacht Cup,” said Mark Tucker, founder and managing director of Design Unlimited.

“Our versatile and experienced studio team has created the interiors for many of the regatta's competitors over the years and this year is no different, with four yachts we have worked with already on the entry list – Missy, Win Win, Sojana and Open Season.

“We have always taken pride in meeting our client briefs and it will be exciting to see all four of these magnificent yachts gathered together in Palma for what is sure to be another great event.”

Also confirmed as a returning member of the support family is yacht insurance company Pantaenius, a Silver partner and sponsors of the regatta’s first race on Thursday 20 June.

Other returnees will be looking forward to the reliable sailing conditions enjoyed on Palma Bay, as well as the excellent logistics and superb yacht services in Palma itself that make it the envy of many other venues around the Mediterranean and, indeed, the world.

One is the Superyacht Cup holder Velsheda, the venerable J-Class yacht which took the 2018 title on countback ahead of the super-ketch Mari-Cha III, which will also be back again this year.

Velsheda’s tactician Tom Dodson said: “Palma is special, you know the conditions are going to be consistent and the atmosphere around the dock is amazing, all the yachties are here and we all love coming here!”

The Superyacht Cup Palma runs from 19–22 June and the Notice of Race can be downloaded from the website at http://www.thesuperyachtcup.com/sailingdocs.php. It contains all the need to know conditions and details, along with a provisional programme of events – both afloat and ashore.

Check out last year’s action at: https://youtu.be/381-D_E-So8