Majorca has a long tradition for classic yacht regattas. | G. Alomar


The twenty-second Balearic Islands Classics-Mallorca Classic Sail regatta starts tomorrow (Wednesday) and continues until Saturday. The bay of Palma will therefore be host to legendary craft from thirteen countries, among them the American Spartan, competing for the first time in Europe, and New Zealand's Kahurangi.

Spartan is a 22-metre length cutter from the NY50 class that was built for Nathanael Greene Herreshoff in 1915. Kahurangi is a sloop designed by Arthur Robb and launched in 1952. It was the flagship of the New Zealand Royal Yacht Squadron, gaining numerous trophies and counting among its crew Sir Peter Blake, two times winner of the America's Cup, who competed with this boat in the 1967 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. It is currently the possession of marine biologist, photographer and filmmaker Pepe de Miguel.

Also taking part will be Hispania, which once belonged to King Alfonso XIII. Launched in 1909, it was restored and relaunched in 2011 by the Fundación Isla Ebusitana.

The Marigan of Palma's Tim Liesenhoff will be pursing a fourth consecutive win in its class. Designed by Charles Livingstone in 1898, it is 15.3 metres in length. The British Hardship III Swan 65, designed in 1974, is almost 30 metres and will be defending the Spirit of Tradition prize.

The great rival to Hispania will be the British ship Lady Anne, second last year, while there will also be the Italian ketch Eilean, one of the most beautiful classic boats in the world. A William Fife design, it was launched in 1936.

Running parallel to the competitions, there are conferences and exhibitions, while a non-competitive class - Presence - has been created for Legends of the Seas in terms of design and conservation status. This is a unique initiative in a competition of this type.