Thursday, February 29, 2024

Oliver Mills-Nanyn: Sailing Regattas of 2023

Oliver Mills-Nanyn is an experienced and accomplished seafarer who has travelled the world with his work, including spending a great deal of time in southern Spain and travelling between the south of France, north Italy, Corsica and Sardinia. This article will provide an overview of some of the world’s most exciting sailing regattas of 2023.

Singapore Sailing Grand Prix (14th and 15th January 2023)

Against the backdrop of continued expansion of the SailGP circuit, the Singapore Grand Prix marked the first occasion that nine F50 hydrofoil catamarans came together in Singapore for coastal regattas enjoyed by the public.

Founded by Oracle Corporation founder Larry Ellison and sailing great Russell Coutts, SailGP was launched with the goal of creating a commercially viable global race series capable of attracting huge audiences. SailGP features fast foiling catamarans racing in a variety of iconic locations around the world, with the winner claiming a $1 million prize. Each event includes multiple races, with the three highest-scoring teams facing off in the final to decide the podium winner.

RORC Caribbean 600 (17th to 24th February)

This 600-mile event is one of the most renowned races in the Caribbean circuit, attracting an eclectic mix of more than 70 participating boats from around the world. Starting and finishing in Antigua, the event sees crews navigating between various Caribbean islands. The 14th edition saw almost 600 crew members from 30 nations participating in the race, which has established itself as a ‘must-do’ offshore race in the Caribbean.

Primo Cup – Credit Suisse Trophy (2nd to 5th March)

The Primo Cup has been staged in Monegasque waters since 1985. Marking the start of the Mediterranean sailing season, the event brings together 800 amateur and professional sailors from 15 different countries.

Organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco, 2023 marked the event’s 39th edition since its launch by Prince Albert II of Monaco. Staged in the Bay of Monaco, the regatta hosts 100 teams across its five classes. In addition to the J/70, Longtze Premier and Smerelda were events for the RS 21 sports boat, which made its debut in 2018, and the Dragons, marking the first event of their 2023 European Grand Prix circuit.

Les Voiles de St Barths Richard Mille (16th to 22nd April 2023)

Launched in 2010, despite lacking the history of many long-timers on the list, Les Voiles de St Barths has established itself as a sailing calendar staple, welcoming an impressive fleet of modified racers and mini maxis among its racing boat and multihull fleet.

Now in its 12th year, Les Voiles de St Barths 2023 saw the fleet return to red-roofed Gustavia in St Barths, with the regatta powered by a reliable easterly wind that ensured very few days were lost to unfavourable weather conditions. Racecourses made use of the clusters of rocks jutting out of the water as natural marks, with some teams even sending divers down to see how close they could safely get.

Superyacht Cup Palma (21st to 24th June 2023)

Europe’s longest-running superyacht regatta, the Superyacht Cup Palma presents a laid-back, but no less exclusive, shorts and T-shirt event.

Contained within a unique fenced-in event village, while racing in the Bay of Palma may not present the same dramatic scenery as the Caribbean it is nonetheless ideal for newcomers, with inflatable marks in place of rocky outcrops and a more sheltered position with no boat-breaking seas.

Sailing in his first Superyacht Cup as tactician on Onyx at the 2023 event, Gavin Brady pointed out that Palma is a great place to sail. Reflecting on the race committee delaying his race until the sea breeze filled in, Brady described the committee’s choice as an excellent decision, pointing out that these big boats have air conditioning, so it was a comfortable wait. Following a day on the water, owners and crews were welcomed ashore for happy hour at the Real Club Náutico de Palma’s dock after the event.

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup (3rd to 9th September 2023)

The highlight of Maxi racing calendars, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup returned for its 33rd edition in 2023. The event was staged off Costa Smerelda in Sardinia, a region renowned for its rockery scenery and glittering turquoise waters. Speaking about the event, sailing yacht owner and seven-time Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup winner Lindsay Owen-Jones reflected that it is a favourite because of the islands, pointing out that the geography creates wonderful racing.

One of the most important events on the international yachting event calendar, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup has been organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smerelda in partnership with Rolex since the mid-1980s. Legendary US yachtsman and past competitor Paul Cayard reflected on how the close partnership is fundamental to the event’s continued success, explaining how the two partners stand for quality and excellence in everything they do. Today, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup provides the perfect platform for owners and crews to enjoy elite competition in a striking and demanding location.

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