Ibiza JoySail: the Joy of Sailing

Written by Jaume Soler


Written by Jaume Soler


In the last week of September, as many as twenty superyachts between 70 and 155 feet will compete in the third edition of the Ibiza JoySail.

STP Shipyard Palma will be the initial meeting point and Marina Ibiza will act as a host port, where the yachts, their owners, crew, and companions will soak up a truly unforgettable experience, as proven by the past two events. Ibiza JoySail is a thrilling race, and whoever takes part wants to come back again and again.

Few races have seen such huge growth as Ibiza JoySail, which has doubled the number of participants year on year. That’s why on this occasion the organisers have decided to put a cap on the number of yachts by making it an invitation-only event where quality will prevail over quantity, making it a highly desirable and truly exclusive regatta. 

The exclusivity of Ibiza JoySail, and the fact that it’s held at Marina Ibiza, one of the most highly esteemed ports in the Mediterranean, have been key factors in encouraging the participation of 80-foot-plus Swans and Wallys, as well as a Southern Wind of almost 100 feet and a Baltic 152, as the largest yacht in the regatta.

Since the outset, Swans have been racing in the event, with repeat contenders like the Swan 115 S/Y Moat defending her title from the past two years.

The renewed Moat, owned by Juan Ball, has been and continues to be a major ambassador for Ibiza JoySail. Ball debuted his boat in Ibiza and hasn’t wanted to miss a single edition, so this year he’s racing as the current titleholder and the current recordholder of the first ever Palma-Ibiza race, which is the opening event of each year’s regatta and last year featured TP52 world champion Guillermo Parada. 

In addition to Moat, other Swans returning this year include Dark Horse (Swan 80) and All Smoke (SW-RP90).

The 46-metre Scorpione of London

Baltic Yachts’ 46m Scorpione of London will be the largest yacht in the fleet. The giant of this year’s race, we know she will wow spectators on the water. 

Another yacht débuting this year is Prevail (Tripp 90). Her captain, Paul Middelberg, is very excited about coming to Ibiza: “Since the conception of JoySail, we’ve been really interested in taking part in the event. We know several boats and crews who speak wonders of the event, calling it one of the best races around.” 

L’Hippocampe (Swan 100), Jasi (Swan 115), Aurelius (Dysktra 111), Aragon (SW 94), Y Not (Y8 80), Tilakkhana (Wally 80) and Shambho (Y7 70) will also be making their debut at the Ibiza race, along with the recently launched Highland Fling XVIII (Gunboat 80) and other catamarans who are making their first outing in the multihull category.

The majesty of the J Class

Mention an exclusive class to anyone in the sailing world, and the answer will always be the J Class, some of which are exact replicas of old America’s Cup boats. The inclusion of the J Class adds some spice to Ibiza JoySail, which this year will see Topaz and Svea out on the racecourse. This will be the first time that majestic J Class yachts sail in Ibiza waters, choosing Ibiza JoySail as the perfect place for their premiere. Svea’s tactician is an ocean-sailing legend, no other than the Dutch world champion Bouwe Bekking, a veteran of eight editions of The Ocean Race.

Meanwhile, Topaz is helmed by another sailing great, Peter Holmberg, who raced on Hyperion last year and back then said that “Ibiza JoySail is definitely on the right track. The event is held at the end of the European season and located near Palma, where most of the yachts are based,” adding that the event “has a very competitor-oriented committee. Last year, smart decisions were made about the format, the routes, and the race times. It’s a superyacht competition, not a strict Grand Prix, so there’s a great balance between racing and fun. On Hyperion we won all the trials, and that added to our enjoyment.”

Ibiza JoySail is the perfect event for these yachts to close the season, before some cross the Atlantic for the Caribbean racing season and others stay in Europe wintering at facilities such as STP Shipyard Palma – promoter and joint organiser of Ibiza JoySail together with Marina Ibiza – for refit and repair works. 


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