The J Class return to Superyacht Cup Palma next week (29 June-2 July), where four boats will race as a class at the event for the first time since Mallorca’s 2014 showcase regatta.
The widely anticipated return of Svea, which is being campaigned by three passionate Swedish ‘co-owners’, sees the newest J Class yacht in the fleet set to race in Swedish colours for the first time, measuring up against Ranger, Topaz and Velsheda.
Svea, which was built to a 1937 design of Tore Holm and launched in 2017, will start in Palma with a team which is mainly new to J Class racing, but that has eight times round the world racer Bouwe Bekking as skipper. Bekking is one of the most experienced J Class sailors who not only skippered Lionheart to win the J Class World Championship when it was last raced in Newport USA in 2017, but under his guidance Lionheart were winners at the Superyacht Cup Palma 2014 when five boats last raced against each other on the Bay of Palma.
While expectations may be low, Bekking took the Dutch flagged Lionheart programme from initial baby steps to win all the main J Class titles.
The Superyacht Cup Palma is the first major European regatta of the 2022 season for the class, and comes after March’s Saint Barth’s Bucket where Ranger, with a new owner and crew, triumphed on their debut together racing in breezy, bumpy Caribbean trade wind conditions.
While she didn’t race at Saint Barth’s, Topaz is one of the most polished teams after continuing to race as much as possible in recent years, mainly against Velsheda. With Peter Holmberg steering and Francesco d’Angelis on tactics, ace Palma based navigator Nacho Postigo and a well drilled, settled crew, they have the potential to win in Palma.
Velsheda has some new sails and won their class last time they raced at Superyacht Cup, so arrive back in Palma full of confidence.