The second day of Europe’s longest-running superyacht regatta delivered close racing before the owners, guests and crews returned ashore to enjoy an evening of shoreside fun and entertainment launched by the North Sails Happy Hour.
The friendly competition between crews continued through to the Marinepool Paddle Board Challenge with teams giving it their best before a crowd of spectators at the SYC Race Village. Later in the evening it was time for some smarter clothes as owners and their guests made their way to the Owner’s Dinner at the St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort, where they were able to enjoy what the island has to offer. Prior to the glamor was a daily prize giving which saw the first-ever presentation of the North Sails Boat of the Day Award dedicated to the memory of North Sails founder Lowell North. Huckleberry, SYC first-timers, took the honour. “The award wasn’t necessarily for the boat that’s going to win, it was for the boat that we felt did the best job with what they had to work with,” said company CEO Tom Whidden. “They had their sails up at every mark rounding, and a lot of sails, they are sailing their boat hard and well, it’s all good. I think Lowell would really have liked it – he cared about winning but it wasn’t all about winning, he just wanted to do things as well as he possibly could.”
S+L contributor Inge Schabort reports from front row of the action
Early morning and there is not a breath of wind. A lid of clouds and ‘wanna be’ rain held it back from developing and thus the AP is hoisted and we wait in the building heat for the sea breeze to develop.
As mentioned yesterday, today was termed ‘The Battle of the Japies’. After yesterday’s “near perfect” race by Open Season, as admitted by Saffa navigator, although still losing on corrected time by 3 minutes, the revenge match was on. Racing started in 8-10 knots of breeze from the North West; Win Win´s start, in my opinion could have been a bit sharper, especially when hunting for time, but time would tell whether it was significant or not. The breeze began building to a gentle speed of around 12 -15 knots.
Our media boat was biased, similar to my being mesmerised by the world of J boats, thus we missed out on a relevant change of fortune in the A Class fleet and went off to follow the allure of the J-Class. Open Season was in a good lead and ahead of Win Win when misfortune struck after the kite was deployed. The failure and breakage of the kite halyard straight after rounding was detrimental to Open Season´s close to sure win and thus were sweetly beaten by Win Win.
In J-Class world we were in for a tremendous tussle at the finishing line with Topaz being just around 10 seconds behind Velsheda thus beating her on corrected time. One all. Tomorrow is another day and the final opportunity to make things matter and have close to zero mistakes.
The South African presence has been significant here and quite faceted in that. This presence ranges from professional crew racing on the superyachts, to youngsters looking to find a gap in this hugely exciting industry and making a career out of it to some travellers en -route to sunny destinations. Also in Palma at the moment are some youngsters from Simons Town’s Law Hill Maritime Centre, under the guidance of Marine Inspirations. Marine Inspirations is an initiative by South Africans Phil Wade and Anthony Just, who carry the philosophy of giving back to others after benefitting career wise from this industry.
Maths and science, together with the thrill of adrenalin, adventure and the energy of sailing is what have lead Julian, Kareshnie, Owami, Kumeshnie and Salmon to this industry. The three girls I chatted to are all focusing on becoming navigators on Maritime vessels and thus yesterday they were invited onto the WASSP spectator boat. Salmon had the fantastic opportunity to race on Win Win today. A more energised and hard focussed smile of joy not many could find.
“It’s amazing – I was the lucky one who got to sail today as there are five of us here – it was my first time ever on a superyacht and it is one of my dreams come true, and my first time racing came with a win,” said the 18-year-old from Namibia. To the young adults from Lawhill and Marine Inspirations I say go for it!