I have just wrapped up a long prep and racing period in Palma Majorca. This was our first event of the season on TOPAZ, the J Class that I race. We had done a few tweaks during the off-season (top secret, can’t tell you more J) so a few early days to get things right, and then the Palma Superyacht Cup, where we would face a fleet of top boats, including VELSHEDA, a J Class similar to us, which I rate as the top J Class yacht around. So a great opportunity to test our changes, work on the endless process of refining how to sail these ultra challenging boats just a little faster.
We had an un-official race day with just the two J’s, where we did two races, and each won a race. Then the regatta proper, three days, three races. Day one they beat us by a few seconds, after over 3 hours of racing! Day two we returned the favor and beat them by 15 seconds. Day three would decide, so nothing like a little old fashioned match racing at the start in 140ft Americas Cup boats designed in the 1930’s. No crashes, so all good! And we battled feet apart around the entire track, changed the lead a few times, but finally got ahead on the last leg to the finish to score the win. This also gave us victory in our division, so a nice way to start the season.
It’s early days in the performance improvement game for TOPAZ, but nice to see some of the changes we made were helpful. VELSHEDA is the benchmark in my opinion, and a great group of guys to race against, so we are very grateful to have them to compete against all summer.
We now have a few weeks to analyze our performance, consider any more changes, re-cut a few sail shapes, and then we meet again at the Maxi Rolex Cup in Sardinia in late August.
So all good, our team sailed really well, very proud of our guys, and very happy for our wonderful owners.