Combative growls were almost audible this morning as amped sailors prepared for today’s first day of the Multihull Cup, an exciting regatta that celebrates some of the most impressive machines in sport: performance catamarans. Camaraderie and repartee may reign on the dock but out on the water it’s all about impeccable tactical calls and spot-on maneuverings.
But getting the best of the competition will be no walk in the park, as this second edition of the regatta boasts an impressive range of muscle-flexing multihull power. The sharp-looking 66ft Dragon, a lightweight cat designed by racing multihull specialist Bañuls Design, and this year’s largest entrant, the 84ft Allegra, are potent examples of the sailing mastery we can expect.
The race committee selected a 21.5 nm course that perfectly suited today’s light-air conditions: a predicted 10-12 east – southeasterly wind for the start line. Today’s event opener got underway at 12.10 and those that were there would agree: seeing an omnipotent fleet of cats powering over the start line is quite a sight!
Coco de Mer got away well, starting close to the committee boat, and made immediate gains on the initial upwind leg. She led Allegra around the first Ilot de Sech and second Cala Figuera mark by 2 minutes, 3 seconds and 2 minutes, 33 seconds respectively. The downwind leg to Cabo Mola saw last year’s winner R-Six close in on the 66ft Dragon, while the 66ft Coco de Mer, which can pride herself on having legendary French sailor Loïc Peyron on tactics, remained ahead of Allegra. Dragon, sailing with acclaimed designer Renaud Bañuls onboard, rounded Cabo Mola 2 minutes and 5 seconds before R-Six, a seasoned racer and the youngest cat in the fleet. Although Allegra managed to sneak up on Coco de Mer on the last upwind stretch (resulting in some neck and neck racing just minutes before the finish) it was the latter who stormed over the line, a mere 23 seconds, in front of Allegra.
After corrections were applied it was the 84ft Allegra, keen racer and the brainchild of Nigel Irens, who put in a high-octane performance, hitting the right angles at the right times. She finished one minute and 10 seconds on corrected time before second placed Coco de Mer. Dragon gunned over the finish line 4 minutes and 8 seconds after third-placed finisher R-Six on corrected time.
We’re sure the crew on today’s leader Allegra will be aiming to eat up the racecourse again tomorrow, at day two of Port Adriano’s Multihull Cup. Allegra’s owner/helmsman Adrian Keller commented: “The racing was great, we had better and worse parts during the race but we stuck to our plan and didn’t follow the others. We all ended up being close together which means the rating works and, ultimately, that 50ft catamarans can join us in the future as well.”
To top off today’s high jinks a casual post-racing get-together will take place in the Multihull Cup’s regatta village. The tastemakers at Terraza Balear, outdoor furniture suppliers, are responsible for the Regatta Village’s stunning set-up, enabling both owners and crew members to unwind in comfort and style.
Multihull excitement is set to continue tomorrow at 12.00.