Multis come to Port Adriano
With no other events like it, the inaugural MultihullCup roared into existence last weekend in Port Adriano, in the South West of Mallorca.
Born from a paucity of suitable regattas in the Mediterranean for larger performance multihulls, the MultihullCup was designed to provide a fun, competitive racing and social environment. Coastal racing, using local islands and points as turning marks, is followed by relaxed social events ashore in the very modern marina of Port Adriano. With six entries in the first year, MultihullCup aims to attract more of the same style of multihull in 2017.
This year’s entries showcased the best examples of yachts within this fast growing fleet. Multihull design heavyweights Nigel Irens and Morrelli & Melvin were both represented along with a lovely 60 footer from Banulsdesign. Six yachts from the five yacht builders Green Marine, Gunboat, Jaz Marine, HH and McConaghy, also indicated how many options prospective owners now have.
Great weather every day, ensured that the six performance cruising multihulls and crew experienced the very best of Mallorcian sailing and hospitality.
Light to medium airs on day one blew the cobwebs away. An epic day two saw some barnstorming runs with boat speeds in the mid twenties. And a shorter course with lots of corners on day three kept crews and owners busy with constant sail changes.
Allegra 78’ Nigel Irens Design Green Marine
Coco de Mer 66’ Morrelli & Melvin Gunboat
Dragon 62’ Banulsdesign McConaghy
Outnumbered 66’ Morelli & Melvin Gunboat
R-Six 66’ Morelli & Melvin HH
Slim 66’ Morelli & Melvin Gunboat/Jaz Marine
Friday 16th September 2016 – Day 1
With a building NW forecast for the afternoon there was a real buzz on the dock as all competitors prepared for their first day of the MultihullCup.
The start line was placed off El Toro, with the island of Dragonera on Mallorca’s SW tip the upwind mark. Left to starboard Dragonera provided a most stunning turning mark, with some yachts passing within a boat length of its towering cliffs. The first beat saw positions change regularly with Allegra, the Nigel Irens designed 78’ Cat, leading the fleet at the first corner where Slim, a Gunboat 66’, took the inside track and lead up the West coast of the island. Allegra hoisted early to regain the lead in the challenging conditions between the Dragonera and Mallorca, and took line honours at the end of the 21Nm race. Slim and R-Six, a new HH66, crossed the line within a minute of each other.
R-Six won the first day on corrected time, followed by Slim, Allegra, Coco de Mer, Dragon and Outnumbered who did not finish.
Saturday 17th September 2016 – Day 2
Day two’s forecast was for stronger North Westerlies with up to 22kts seen across the course. Starting again at El Toro, the course was upwind to a turning mark of Andratx, down to a wing mark 2 miles off Punta Figuera then round Sech and back to El Toro.
A close start saw Allegra just over the line, with all other yachts getting away clear. With 18+Kts the fleet were well pressed, and spectators were treated to some impressive hull flying from some of the yachts. Seeing daylight underneath the windward hulls of cruising yachts is a new phenomenon in Mallorcian waters. With her length and sail plan Allegra was able to overhaul the rest of the fleet to the first mark after re crossing the line six minutes late. The sailing on the next leg was to be the most impressive of the event, with some yachts reaching of 20Kts of boat speed. Others were less lucky with Dragon losing their main halyard, and Slim shredding their spinnaker. Rounding Punta Figuera Allegra was chased down by Coco de Mer and R-Six bringing a new breeze with them, and the last two legs round Sech to the finish were close. Allegra again took line honours with the others make good inroads all the way to the finish.
Coco was second to cross the line, giving her the win on corrected time over R-Six in second.
After two days racing R-Six held a strong lead overall with three points, with the next three boats all still in contention; Coco de Mer held second with five points and Slim and Allegra were tied on 6 points each.
Sunday 18th September 2016 – Day 3
Lighter winds for the last day lead the race committee to chose a short course with lots of corners. The forecast was for North Westerlies again, but competitors were not expecting to see more than 12Kts on the course.
Despite the lighter winds these yachts still really move, and another excellent start lead to many position changes up the first beat. Coco and R-Six had a great day of sparring, and there was nothing to separate them around the course as the both chased down Allegra. R-Six started the final beat 5 minutes behind Allegra, but with some superb upwind sailing managed to beat Allegra across the line, not only denying larger yacht three bullets, but more importantly clinching the overall trophy. Coco and Slim also had a close duel over the final leg, with Coco crossing the line one second ahead of Slim. Dragon also sailed a good third race, finishing soon after.
R-Six wins the first MultihullCup with 4 points, Coco de Mer is second with 7 points, Slim in third with 9 points, Allegra fourth with 10 points, and Dragon 5th with 17 points. Outnumbered, the sixth entry, had arrived at the MultihullCup direct from a punishing transatlantic crossing, and although not expecting to race hard, had still enjoyed the sailing and camaraderie that MultihullCup and Port Adriano were able to offer.
Were next for large performance cruising multihulls?
The MultihullCup will surely go from strength to strength, and next year’s date will be announced soon.
Now that the Mediterranean has an event of this kind, it is just a matter of time before more regattas like this appear on the racing calendar. Offering the rare combination of exciting racing, comfortable cruising and superb socialising, its easy to understand why more and more owners are subscribing to this new SuperCat movement.
Gone are the days of fat hulls and little upwind ability, these are high tech machines which could give any Maxi of Superyacht a run for their money.
A new Owners’ Council is being formed to help ensure that the voices of owners of large performance cruising multis are properly heard. With a mission to develop a good rating system, safe racing and transparency, owners should be in good hands.