Challenging conditions on the final day of racing meant that the ultimate outcome of the 2022 Superyacht Cup Palma could not have been closer with the winner of the overall trophy decided on count back.
Once all results were in, the awe-inspiring J Class contender Svea and the elegant 46m Class B sloop Ganesha finished level on points with identical score lines. With a certain Hindu deity perhaps tipping the balance, Ganesha emerged the overall victor thanks to her last race win, with Svea taking second.
Ganesha’s delighted owner Dr. Peter-Alexander Wacker said: “It is a great moment as we really didn’t expect it at all, but we worked hard for it and I am glad we are a winner today.”
His sentiment was echoed by Ganesha’s skipper Alex Pamment: “It was a bit of a surprise win and we certainly weren’t expecting it, either the class or the overall.
“It was very, very close. Yesterday we came second by one second, but today the weather gods were with us and we were able to get a result. The tacticians had it tough, but we were able to make the right calls.”
Going into the finale, Ganesha’s tactician, South African Mark Sadler smiled and said: “To finish the day with a one second delta to the first boat is pretty fantastic. Obviously you look back and think where that one second could have been gained or lost, but it’s the same for the other boat. We sailed well today. Ganesha’s a big boat so getting the sails up and down around the course is an achievement in itself. We have two seconds, so it’s all to play for tomorrow.”
And play they did, taking the overall win over Svea.
A worthy winner
Svea meanwhile could take some consolation after emerging the worthy winner of a hard-fought J Class contest. There were cheers and hugs after she crossed the line of the final race, securing the class victory by two points from Ranger, who won the final race on corrected time.
“We are thrilled, delighted to have won our class – we are over the moon,” said co-owner Niklas Zennström. “It is the first regatta with the boat for the new team and the new owner group, and we came to this event having put in a training week before to get to know it, as many of us have never sailed a J Class before.
“What’s fascinating with this class is that it is very, very close racing. To win the class is very special, much more than we expected as this was going to be a learning regatta. Racing is about minimising mistakes and the team did not make many of them and did a very, very good job.”
Another countback victory
As a further indicator of the competitive nature of Superyacht Cup Palma, the Class A contest was also decided on countback, with the striking high-performance Malcolm McKeon designed Pattoo taking the class from Kiboko Tres, with her last race victory settling the outcome.
Skipper James Waugh said: “We’re a new team but we were able to hit the ground running here with a couple of days training, and each day we got to know the boat better and went from strength to strength.
“We had exactly the same results as Kiboko Tres, and I guess we were a bit lucky, but we are over the moon about it. We loved Superyacht Cup Palma, the organisation is great and so is the atmosphere.”
A second day of a prevailing north easterly wind had seen the Bay of Palma become a challenging arena once the opposing sea breeze tried to dominate, with two separate wind bands presenting a tactical challenge as the yachts negotiated their racecourses.
One yacht to fall foul of the difficult to predict wind was the modern classic Savannah, which had gone into her final Class B race in pole position for the overall SYC prize thanks to her one second victory over her rival Ganesha the day before. But she became becalmed in the bay during the finale and Ganesha went on to win the race, the Class B category and the title.
More than just racing
St. Regis Race Day followed on from one of the highlights of Superyacht Cup Palma, the exclusive Owners’ Summer Barbecue at Mallorca’s best address – the St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort, which featured an impressive fireworks display, live music and exceptional food.
Following racing, and speaking before the celebratory prize-giving at the Real Club Náutico de Palma, also catered by the St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort, SYC Event Director Kate Branagh said: “Superyacht Cup Palma has always offered friendly but competitive racing, and this year has delivered that in spades.
“Having the overall winner in doubt until the last moment makes for incredibly exciting racing, and we hope that all the owners, captains and crews have had a great time whatever their finishing position.
“We look forward to welcoming them all back in 2023, and offering them the chance to win the Superyacht Cup Palma Trophy.”
SYC organisers have announced that next year’s event will be held from 21-24 June.
And Branagh added: “I would also like to say a big thank-you to all our partners and friends who have helped make this such a great regatta.”
See highlights below.