Three Swan 42s Race the 2016 Giraglia Offshore Race

Three Swan 42s participated in the Giraglia Offshore Race this year:  SELENE-ALIFAX, owned by Massimo de Campo (ITA), RAVING SWAN, owned by Jerome Stubler (FRA), and DIGITAL ALPHA, sailed by Vladimir Oleynikov (RUS).

This year the race was unique due to a very slow start in light wind conditions with heavy rain.  The 125 nm sail to reach the Giraglia rock was in 8 to 12 knot wind conditions with light wind at the end of the night.  The bigger boats were stalled at the Giraglia, giving the opportunity to the Swan 42s to close the gap with the much larger boats.

SELENE-ALIFAX choose a North track tacking in the shift while RAVING SWAN selected the Southern route trying to find a South wind.   DIGITAL ALPHA went further South. The South wind came a little too late for RAVING SWAN to reach the Giraglia before SELENE-ALIFAX.  The second leg was supposed to be a 10 to 20 knot reach with the spinnaker, and suddenly the wind topped of at 38 knots.

Stubler noted, “We did several surfs with a speed above 17 knots and reached 18 knots maximum speed, with an average boat speed above 14 knots in the final 2 hours."  However, for the smaller boats the storm got stronger with 70 knots recorded at the Giraglia; one crew was saved by helicopter.

In the end SELENE-ALIFAX beat RAVING SWAN by 6 minutes after an intense race.  Overall the smaller handicap took First Place, RAVING SWAN finished 23 out of 137 entries in IRC while SELENE ALIFAX and DIGITAL ALPHA finished 12 and 36 respectively out of 87 entries.