Nico Martimez/Martinez Studio
Challenging offshore race launches Ibiza JoySail in style
Ibiza JoySail got underway on Thursday with the diverse superyacht fleet taking on the challenge of a 70-mile offshore race from Mallorca to Ibiza, the opening act in what will be four days of competitive, friendly racing and entertaining shoreside celebrations.
Light winds greeted the fleet as they headed out from their initial base located at Ibiza JoySail's co-organiser the STP Palma yard, with the crews focused on the route to their destination in Marina Ibiza, also a regatta co-organiser.
Foremost in many of the owners, skippers and crews' minds was the unique opportunity to have their boat name the first to be inscribed on the new Mallorca-Ibiza Perpetual Trophy.
Described as a race within a race, the trophy was on offer to the superyachts which set a record time in their division on the 48 Nm leg between the lighthouses at Punta Cala Figuera off Mallorca and Tagomago Island off Ibiza's east coast.
With the breeze later building to 11 knots from the north, the fleet was eventually able to reach directly down the course – and after some seven hours of focused racing the results were in.
Moat emerged as the first to see her name on the Perpetual Trophy in the 110-120' range, the Swan 115 making a clear statement of intent as she attempts to defend her Ibiza JoySail title won at last year's inaugural event. Other yachts will be named as early record holders in their respective length divisions in due course.
Moat's delighted skipper Guillermo Parada said: 'We now hold the first record between Palma and Ibiza, which should last for one year at least!
'The owner is happy and we have the blue ribbon as the first to cross the finish line and that will stay forever. It was a bit slow and winds were light, but we are happy.'
However, once the handicap ratings were applied the Swan 80 Sapma emerged the winner of the first race in the Performance Class, ahead of the Y9 90 Bella II, Moat and the SW-RP90 All Smoke.
Meanwhile the giant 155' Hyperion was the winner of the World Cruising Class, with the sloop finishing ahead of Windrose of Amsterdam and the YD120 Bliss on corrected time.
'It was a very intense battle in the World Cruising division,' said Ibiza JoySail Race Director Nacho Postigo, who took the opportunity to race aboard Hyperion.
'Bliss was sailing exceptionally well, as usual, and Windrose surprised us with a really good performance in light conditions, so hats off to them too.
'We were faced with two different tactical options – Hyperion opted for the more southerly route with the others closer to the rhumb line, and we were favoured by the wind gods,' added Postigo.
Once ashore in Marina Ibiza the entire fleet – with several yachts having elected to motor ahead in the light breeze – were able to celebrate the opening day with well-deserved sundowners.
Racing continues at Ibiza JoySail on Friday with coastal races planned off Ibiza.