William Fife’s magnificent FI 15 vessels bring back the regattas from the early XX century in the XXII Illes Balears Clàssics Trophy. A scale models exhibition will honour the late Xavier Pastor Quijada, one of the world’s greatest experts in maritime patrimony.
The FI 15 class will sail the second year in a row in the Bay of Palma. The vessels Hispania (1909) and Lady Anne (1912), both designed by William Fife in this class, which used to be the queen of regattas in the early XX century, have confirmed their presence in the XXII Illes Balears Classics Regatta organized by Club de Mar-Mallorca, where different vintage vessels from around the world participate too.
The competition will take place in the Bay of Palma from August 10th to 13th and it is expected to have around 40 vessels divided in Vintage class, Classics, Spirit of Tradition, RI Classics, Latin Sail and Dragon class.
“The Illes Balears Classics regatta – said Manuel Nadal, Club de Mar’s commodore- has been established for years as the reference regatta in its category in Mallorca and is part of the Vintage and Classic Boats Spanish Competition and the VII Mare Nostrum Classics Trophy”. Nadal is clear about his intention of turning this regatta into the most important one in this class in the Mediterranean.
One of the novelties this year is the creation of a new prize called ‘Legends of the Sea’, which will go to “the vessel that best represents the spirit of classic sailing”.
The trophy will be granted by an expert jury, who will have the difficult task of finding this ‘legend’. Ever since the incorporation of the Illes Balears Classics regatta to the classic sailing Mediterranean calendar, Club de Mar holds in its marina numerous nautical jewels, most of which are very well maintained, despite their age (some are from the XIX century), and remain faithful to their original plans, with hardly any new materials. The winners from 2015 in the divisions of the Vintage class were Enterprise (1938) and Marigan (1898), both great examples of the values of classic sailing and their skippers’ love for maritime tradition.
In addition to the well-known and recurring vessels, this will be the debut for some ‘old ladies’ in the Bay of Palma. That is the case of Spartan, who will sail from the United States to the Mediterranean to participate in Club de Mar Mallorca, among others. Spartan is one of the nine ‘thoroughbreds’ designed and built in the United States by Nathaniel Herreshoff, which conformed the famous class known as ‘The New York Fifties’ by the sailing community.
The NY50 sailed for the first time in the summer of 1913. Spartan, the last survivor of this great saga of classics box rule, was owned by Edmund Randolph at a price of 14,520 dollars, a significant sum at the time.
Throughout her history of more than 100 years, the vessel has always been based in the United States and in the Caribbean. This will be the first time she comes to Europe to compete, which makes it one of the events of the year in classic sailing.
Aware of the fact that classic regattas don’t draw as much sportive attention, the organization has decided to expand the registry possibilities and allow vintage boats to participate even if, for whatever reason, they don’t wish to race, but whose skippers are interested in being a part of the ‘displayed’ fleet in Club de Mar Mallorca and wish to enjoy the social and cultural events that take place on the occasion of this regatta. The ketch Eilean (1936), watchmaker Panerai’s flagship, was one of the first to adjust to this new non-competing formula.
As usual over the last editions, the Majorcan club has scheduled a talk on classic sailing, where skippers and specialists in vintage boats preservation will be present, as well as an exhibition of scale models by Xavier Pastor Quijada, passed away in 2007 and considered one of the world’s great experts in maritime patrimony. Manuel Gómez, the exhibition’s commissary, has revealed that among the displayed samples there will be a 1:10 scale reproduction of a boat represented in one of the documents from the XIV century in the Mallorca Archive.
Born in Cartagena in 16th June 1916, Pastor joined in 1937 the Army’s Health Auxilary Force and graduated as captain. Throughout his working life, he spent 4 years on board the school ship Juan Sepastián Elcano, a period during which he discovered his interest for great vessel riggings and naval modelling.