The 17th edition of the five-day Rolex Swan Cup, taking place in Sardinia, Porto Cervo every two years, has started today. There are almost 60 Nautor’s Swan yachts participating in this prestigious event divided into four classes: Maxi (18.29 metres/60 feet and above), Grand Prix (18.28m and below), Classic (models comprising those designed by Sparkman and Stephens) as well as Swan 45 One-Design.
The eclectic fleet includes yachts from thirteen countries and territories, comprising Austria, Belgium, the Cayman Islands, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Three of the competing crews are already well-acquainted with the testing waters of the Costa Smeralda. The Swan 80s Plis Play (ESP) and Marco Rodolfi’s Berenice Bis (ITA) as well as the prolific Swan 60 sailing yacht Bronenosec (RUS) all performed impressively during last week’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.
Bronenosec’s Vladimir Liubomirov is now leading his 17-strong crew for a second challenging week in Porto Cervo following a busy season that has also included appearances at the Rolex Volcano Race and the Giraglia Rolex Cup: “The boat responds best to conditions in the region of 15-18 knots,” admitted Liubomirov. “Our target is to be at the top of the competition come the end of the week, where there will be some real contenders (for the Maxi class) such as Emma (GER), which is in full racing mode like us, as well as Berenice Bis and Swing (USA).”
A vast range of Nautor’s Swan yachts are represented from the 11.66m Only You, a Sparkman & Stephens Swan 36, – competing in the Classic division – to the imperious 34.34m Swan 112 charter yacht Highland Breeze, the largest yacht in attendance and figuring in the highly-competitive Maxi class of 19 boats, which includes four Swan 60s in the aforementioned Bronenosec, Emma, Vertical Smile (DEN) and Swing, whose crew will include Leonardo Ferragamo, President of Nautor’s Swan since 1998. In the same Class, two Swan 66s – Lionessa of Douglas (GBR) and Lot 66 (NED) – represent the model designed to commemorate Nautor’s Swan’s 40th anniversary in 2006.
Elsewhere, in the Rolex Swan 45 World Championship, defending champion Earlybird (GER), led by co-owner Christian Nagel, will start as favourite in the eight-strong fleet. Earlybird is on target for a hat-trick of successes at the Rolex Swan Cup, having also triumphed in 2008.
The event is once again the showcase for a marque of yacht renowned for its quality, elegance, reliability and prestige. Enrico Chieffi, Managing Director of Nautor’s Swan, is looking forward to the competition unfolding: “For Nautor’s Swan, the Rolex Swan Cup attracts a wonderful mix of Swan’s from our current SwanLine and archive. It is always a pleasure to share the friendly competition that this regatta attracts alongside the prestigious social programme enjoyed by all. Racing in all four fleets will be fierce and within the Swan Maxi Class, the four Swan 60s should prove exhilarating to watch.”
Weather permitting, coastal races are scheduled today for all classes except the Swan 45 One-Design who will engage in two windward/leeward races.