Held every two years in the fabulous Italy yacht charter destination – Porto Cervo, Sardinia, the Rolex Swan Cup boasts all the key ingredients that define the perfect yachting event: a beautiful venue, an array of passionate owners, who are talented sailors, an international fleet, pros and amateurs, a stunning yacht club, a glamorous social programme, as well as a title sponsor known for excellence.
The teams who travel to the Rolex Swan Cup do so because they know they will have an excellent week and they will be challenged in this true sailor’s paradise. The owners enjoy the thrill of pacing themselves against their friends/foes, and love to relax in this gorgeous part of Italy with their families and guests. The Rolex Swan Cup is a tradition, a weeklong feast of sportsmanship, camaraderie and spirited racing.
The 18th edition of the Rolex Swan Cup will run from 8-14 September 2014. This year’s edition celebrates the 30th anniversary of the enduring collaboration between Rolex and Nautor’s Swan. More than 100 entries from over 20 nations are expected, spanning all ages of Nautor’s Swan history and highlighting the current SwanLine, which ranges from the Swan 53 to the innovative superyacht Swan 115, the new flagship from the luxury Finnish yacht builder.
The fleet will be divided into classes according to size and age of the yachts: Swan Maxi (18.29 metres and above), Swan Grand Prix (18.28 metres and below), Classic designed by Sparkman and Stephens, Club Swan 42 One Design and Swan 45 One Design, the latter competing for the World Championship title.
The fleet will race in the emerald waters off Porto Cervo, exploring the stunningly beautiful Archipelago of La Maddalena, which became a national park in 1994. It’s no easy task navigating through these channels, pink granite outcrops, shallow waters and various hazards including sunken vessels, especially when the famous Mistral wind chimes in. The Rolex Swan Cup also includes a long coastal race, which often takes the fleet as far North as the Strait of Bonifacio and the Southern tip of Corsica in French waters.
Leonardo Ferragamo, Chairman on Nautor’s Swan, cherishes each Rolex Swan Cup, whether he is competing or not: “This is such a truly wonderful event for all – the owners, the crews, their families and guests. There is something for everyone and the atmosphere is simply unique. The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Rolex present an impressive programme, which includes highly competitive races and wonderful social gatherings. Porto Cervo is a very special place and the Swan family feels at home here. The Rolex Swan Cup is a showcase of passion and sportsmanship, and the joy of sailing is portrayed by the smiles of the sailors who, at the end of each day, gather in the Piazza Azzurra to share their stories.”
For the owners, whose membership to ClubSwan is one of the unique privileges of having a Swan, the Rolex Swan Cup is the ideal occasion to unwind and relax from busy lives and, often, highly demanding careers. Or, like for Mr Achim Türklitz of Berlin, Germany, it’s a family tradition. Mr Türklitz is the proud owner of the Swan 55 Rita, which this year will compete in his 10th Rolex Swan Cup.
“I missed only one edition since 1994. We love coming here, we always spend our summers in Costa Smeralda and the Rolex Swan Cup is a fantastic event – I love the competition, the camaraderie, the social events, the scenery, and of course my wife loves the shopping here!” commented Mr Türklitz, who relies on almost the same crew mostly from Berlin, with a couple of sailors from Hamburg.
Mr Türklitz has sailed for most of his life, and was on his national team in 1969 and 1972 racing with the Finn. “The Rolex Swan Cup is an exceptional event, having over 100 Swans all in one place is simply spectacular. We are looking forward to another fantastic regatta with our beloved Rita.” Hats off to Mr Türklitz and his family, who truly make the most of their boat, living on board during the event.
Tony Rey, professional sailor and principal of Rey Sailing International, has an interesting perspective on the Rolex Swan Cup since not only does he race as a pro, but he also organizes crews for clients who in some cases have never been at this event. He lives the dream and enables others to live their own dream: “I sailed my first Rolex Swan Cup in 2006 on the beautiful Italian Swan 70 Bugia Bianca and had a fantastic experience with Massimo Dentice and his team, finishing second. In 2008, I was there with a Japanese client on his Swan 45 Yasha Samurai, and returned in 2012 with the American Swan 601 Stark Raving Mad – second again! Each was a very different cultural experience and equally memorable. There is no substitute for racing in the Archipelago of La Maddalena with the Mistral wind on these beautiful yachts,” commented Rey. Looking at 2014, Rey will have three clients racing at the Rolex Swan Cup in two different classes, and he will be on a Swan 60: “In 2014, the teams that we manage will race in regattas all over the world in many types of yachts, but there is truly something unique about sailing a Swan in Porto Cervo in September,” said Rey, concluding: “We are all coming to the YCCS with a dream to win a Rolex at the Piazza Azzurra on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Although only one team can win in each Class, I can promise my clients that we will make fantastic memories in Porto Cervo. September 8-14 is already the highlight of our 2014 racing calendar.”