On Board Alcanara During Day 2 of the Dubois Cup

By Ben Roberts

It’s not often the chance to step aboard an incredible sailing yacht to spectate a highly charged race across a stunning backdrop arises; however owners of Alcanara, Ian & Helen Palmer, today welcomed us on board the 29.10m sloop for a better look at the last race of the 2013 Dubois Cup.

Yesterday, the variable winds pushed the yachts to their limitations as we watched from our front row seats on a RIB which was charging through the rough sea in pursuit of the action. Today, we were sat aboard just one of the revered Dubois-designed fleet in Sardinia and soaking in the atmosphere as we spoke to former Olympian Ian Palmer and his wife Helen aboard Alcanara.

We set off from Porto Cervo Marina to lighter winds and calmer conditions and watched as the yachts aligned themselves for the starting mark. Once the mark had been signalled, Captain Brad and his skilled team released the main sail and set off through the crystalline blue waters to keep up with the 8 competing yachts of the 2013 Dubois Cup.

As the yachts glided through the water, I couldn’t help but investigate what makes a Dubois-designed yacht so desirable, and Alcanara was the perfect yacht in which to do so.

Her passionate owners worked with Ed Dubois to create a yacht which is open, spacious, expertly laid-out and capable of sailing around the world in complete comfort. She’s a heavier boat than most, made of aluminium with a thicker hull sheeting and heavy keel, which allows her to charge through the worst conditions with ease.

The pedigree of this yacht is immediately noticeable, with an expert naval architect and designer collaborating with a seasoned Olympic sailor, captain of her sistership and the revered Australian builder Steve Ward of S.E. Ward & Co to create an impeccably built yacht. She was built to feel like her guests are on a boat, with accentuated hull curves in the interior and windows which allow you to see the water from wherever you are in the boat.

Her interior design is an understated yet well thought-out affair by Rhoades Young with consultation from owner Helen Palmer in areas such as the cockpit where we were served exquisite food by Alcanara’s extremely talented chef. Her berch woodwork flows throughout the entire yacht (even in the spacious crew areas) and

“She can handle anything,” explains Ian Palmer, an experienced and passionate sailor. “It all came from a common sense of being around the water. Aluminium is important to us, and with her form and hull shape she is extremely sea kindly on about any kind of water with a great weather management system which is just kind to the boat.”

Upon seeing the end, spinnakers went up for the last time as the yachts headed toward the finishing line. The Salperton team crossed the line first, a great moment to watch considering she was unable to finish yesterday, followed closely by Zefira and Genevieve in second and third position. However, given the results of yesterday’s race, Genevieve has been named the overall winner of the 2013 Dubois Cup and we could not congratulate them enough.

The Dubois Cup has been an exciting experience, with a mix of extraordinary yachts from around the world, built out of passion and expertise, gathering together in Porto Cervo to celebrate the designer who helped them realise their dream and race the vessels across a serene and idyllic backdrop. More details of today’s race will emerge soon, but in the meantime we would like to thank Dubois, Ian & Helen Palmer and our expert RIB driver for making this an unforgettable experience.

Alcanara is currently available for sale through Dubois Yachts, click here to find out more.

By Ben Roberts