Day 1 at the Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo Yields 3 Winners

Today was the start of the Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo, Sardinia (ITA).  Ten teams have come from France, Italy, Romania, Spain, and the US to compete in the Swan 42 One Design Class at the 50th anniversary of Nautor’s Swan.  Six of the teams have never sailed in this particular class in One Design.

True to form, racing was close and competitive.  Three races were executed in a 10-14 knot breeze.  While other classes had coastal races, the Swan 42s had windward/leeward races.

The first race was won by charter helmsman, Iacopo Lacerra (ITA) and BE WILD - fresh off a win at the Italian Offshore Championships.  They went on to have two 5th place finishes in Races 2 and 3.

Lacerra said, “This is amazing.  We have good wind conditions and the boats are so close.  We had a really good first race where we were in first position around every mark.  We don’t know about the other 42s, but we will need to make some adjustments for more wind.  The stronger wind made it easier for NATALIA to get out of the middle of the pack and that is experience.”  He added, “I sailed on the boat last year and this year, but this year I was the helmsman in the offshore race.”

Race 2 was won by Natalie Brailoiu (ROU) and NATALIA.  She has previously won the Rolex Swan Cup in 2012 and 2014 and will be a serious contender again posting a 2nd and 3rd in Races 1 and 3.

Jose Maria Meseguer (ESP) who finished Copa del Rey in 2nd place won Race 3 with PEZ DE ABRIL.  They finished 3rd and 4th in Races 1 and 2.

“This is my first time in One Design in a 42 and it is amazing,” said Meseguer.  “We were very close to each other, specially with the crossings when we had to make decisions quickly.”  “It really is lovely with very nice sailing and I am delighted with good results.  Our goal is top five”, he added. 

Racing continues through Sunday with very strong winds forecasted for the weekend. 


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.

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