Multihull Cup opens with a day of competition and contrasting fortunes

High-performance multihull racing returned to the waters of southern Mallorca on Friday with the opening day of the 2022 Multihull Cup.

The fifth edition of the exclusive regatta for 50’+ performance cruising multihulls clearly demonstrated the appetite for competitive sailing was undiminished with close racing out on the water.

Ultimately the North Sails Race Day proved a day of contrasting fortunes – which did not go the way of defending champion Allegra. Hard pressed on the water around the entire course, confusion over the finish line saw any chance of a race win disappear as Coco de Mer took victory.

‘I think we had them anyway,’ said Coco de Mer’s tactician Tim Thubron. ‘There was a misunderstanding over the location of the committee boat, but there are no hard feelings and it was a great day of sailing.

‘There were cracking conditions with 15 knots on the course, though it got a bit lighter in Palma Bay with the wind dropping, and then swing from northeast to the south – all-in-all though it was challenging and good fun with an interesting course,’ he added.

At the start Coco de Mer had led the way, with the 66′ Gunboat crossing the line a clear 10 seconds ahead of the competition despite having to sort out a technical issue which took her some way off the start zone.

Allegra, the 85’ Nigel Irens designed flyer, made the most of her waterline length to gradually overhaul the leader as they passed the Cap de Cala Figuera on the way to the first mark at the southern end of the Bay of Palma.

On the way back towards the finish the fleet skimmed past the islands at the end of the Punta del Toro peninsular – with Coco de Mer making the most of local knowledge on board to cut the corner between two of them.

Meanwhile the Polish crewed R-Six – the HH66 built by HH Catamarans the winner of the first ever Multihull Cup back in 2016 – had opted for the right had side of the course on the opening leg. It was a move that was to pay off with a well-deserved second place once the spray had settled.

‘It was a very difficult day with the wind going up and down,’ said skipper and owner Robert Szustkowski. ‘The weather was completely crazy with a lot of sail changes, but we had a good time and a good result.

‘We have been to every Multihull Cup, and tonight we celebrate and then think about the next two days,’ he added.
After racing Allegra generously conceded their Morrelli & Melvin designed rivals had got the better of them. ‘Yeah, they were ahead of us on handicap without a doubt I think,’ said Helena Darvelid.

‘We had got in front of Coco and pulled away but they caught us up, it was a real yo-yo bungee kind of day, which is good fun when you are racing. We got stuck in a wind hole on the leg back to the finish, and Coco closed right up.’
And she added: ‘Hopefully we can get back in the mix over the next two days. Obviously we want to hold on the our Multihull Cup title.’

The returning yachts were greeted on the dock by coolboxes full of cold beers courtesy of North Sails, with the company also hosting the Friday night BBQ dock party.

Meanwhile, before and after racing crews and spectators were able to refill their reusable Ocean Bottles at the Clean Waves water station and sponsored by Rigging Projects – a highly visible demonstration of Multihull Cup’s commitment to sustainability, and one of the reasons the event recently received Silver Certification from the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regatta organisation. The important contribution made by Port Adriano itself, Save the Med, and Silent-Yachts, builder of solar powered catamarans, was also a factor.


Racing continues at the 2022 Multihull Cup on Saturday and Sunday.

Article by Phil Riley and Images by Sailing Energy