Ibiza JoySail steps up a gear against a stunning island backdrop
Ibiza JoySail hit its stride today with a coastal race against the extraordinary and beautiful backdrop of the island of Ibiza itself.
After a short postponement to allow the wind to stabilise, the competing superyachts were able to stretch their legs on a varied and tactically challenging 16.5 nm course which took the fleet around three marks and then west to a turning mark off Cap Llentrisca, and then back towards the finish at Es Codolar.
"We were expecting the wind to come in further from the southwest, but it came in from the south and at a steady 7 to 9 knots for the whole race", said Pablo Ferrer, the event's Principal Race Officer, 'giving the fleet a chance to sail upwind, reaching and downwind.' With precise crew work at a premium with the many manoeuvres required, places were hard earned.
In the competitive Performance Class the Swan 115 Moat – the Ibiza JoySail defending champion – put down a marker to any would-be title challengers with victory ahead of the 90ft All Smoke and Swan 80 Dark Horse.
Moat's owner Juan Ball was understandably delighted: "It was a great race for us and we seemed to get things right. There was a lot of action."
"We understand that we have to over-perform to win as we give a lot of time to other boats, so it is not enough just to finish first for us. We took every opportunity to get some time back."
And he added: "It is a great opportunity to come here, to sail and to spend time with friends and family as well – and of course the weather is always great. Other places it is all about the racing, here it is also about having fun."
Her win promotes Moat to the top of the Performance table, two points clear of the Swan 80 Sapma, the winner of Thursday's offshore race and the leading Corinthian Spirit yacht, All Smoke and the Y9 90 Bella II – all tied on six points.
With all to play for at the halfway stage of the regatta, All Smoke is enjoying the competition said skipper Jurgen Feller: "It's a good place to sail here with lots of options for the courses, and I have been sailing around here for years. For us it is about the performance of the boat, to find out how we can improve the boat."
Meanwhile the 155ft Hyperion made it two out of two with a second race win in the World Cruising Class, finishing ahead of the equally impressive 152' Windrose of Amsterdam and the YD120 Bliss.
For Peter Holmberg, tactician on Hyperion, Ibiza JoySail is a new experience: 'It is my first time racing in Ibiza in these waters and the coastline is really stunning.
"We are here focusing on our own performance on the water, but enjoying the sailing. We will get a chance to enjoy the dinner and '80s themed party at ROTO in Marina Ibiza tonight as we finished quite late last night on the coastal race."
It's a sentiment shared by Javier Sansó, skipper of Windrose of Amsterdam: "This is a really fun regatta and the Marina Ibiza is the ideal place to hold it. I think they are going to have to end up limiting entries because everyone is going to want to come!"
Racing continues at Ibiza JoySail on Saturday with a planned coastal race that will take in the island of Formentera.