Illes Balears Clàssics-Vela Clásica Mallorca starting today (17 August).


The Illes Balears Clàssics-Vela Clásica Mallorca at Club de Mar, Palma starts today and lasts until Saturday. It brings together fifty legendary craft from a dozen countries and is one of the five most important regattas of its kind in the Mediterranean. It is the only one to include the Vela Latina class.

This year's regatta features the Frers 50 Cippino built by Argentine Daniel Sielecki with the Olympian Martin Billoch as skipper. He won the Época Marconi division last time with Delphis.

Iñigo Strez's 24.7 metre-length Halloween, designed by William Fife III in 1926, competes, and the centre of attention will be the contest between four of the great 'legends' of world sailing in the 15mJI class. This brings together the best ships of its kind, designed by William Fife III mainly between 1907 and 1917. Only four survive, and they are in Palma: Hispania (1909), Tuiga (1909), Mariska (1908) and Lady Anne  (1912).

Two of them have strong relationships with Spanish sailing. Hispania, launched at the Karpard de Pasajes shipyard, was King Alfonso XIII's competition sailboat. Tuiga, 22.4 metres long, also launched in 1909 at the Fife shipyards in Scotland, belonged to Luis Jesus Fernández de Córdoba and Salabert, the Marques de Medinaceli, who built it in order compete against King Alfonso XIII. Restored in 1993, it was purchased by Prince Albert of Monaco.

Past winners returning include Kahurangi, the Clásicos winner in 2016. It is a sloop designed by Arthur Robb and was launched in 1952 in New Zealand. It was the flagship of the New Zealand Royal Yacht Squadron and won numerous trophies. Its world-famous crew included the legendary Sir Peter Blake, twice winner of the America's Cup who competed with this boat in the Sydney-Hobart in 1967. In Maori, Kahurangi means precious possession. It belongs to the marine biologist, filmmaker, photographer and screenwriter Pepe de Miguel.

In the Epoca Aurica division, Marigan (RCN Palma) of Tim Liesenhoff will be seeking a fifth consecutive victory. It was designed by Charles Livingstone and dates to 1898.

The competition starts at one o'clock today.