Preparations are under way to welcome 35 Swan one-design yachts to the season’s second major regatta in the splendid surroundings of Porto Cervo, where the Swan Sardinia Challenge will take place in all four Swan one-design classes from 22-26 June.
This event marks the real launch of racing for the full spectrum of current Swan one designs. It is an event that is exciting as much interest with race fans as it is with the crews themselves. Organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, it is taking place under strictly defined Covid standards to ensure the safety of crews, owners and staff.
“Being here in Porto Cervo is always a great emotion for us. The cooperation with the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda has become stronger and stronger over the years, since the very beginning for Nautor’s Swan,” Giovanni Pomati, Nautor Group CEO says.
“During the Sardinia Challenge we will witness a beautiful display of the brand’s racing soul: four classes, 35 yachts, and 12 nations overall. Owners at the helm enjoying the experience of being part of a big family too, in one of the most appealing venues around the world. It’s something we are very proud of.”
Leading the fleet is the Club Swan 50, which will field 13 boats in Sardinia. It is an almost identical line-up to the one that competed at the first regatta in Tuscany, where competition for top spot boiled down a dramatic duel between Leonardo Ferragamo’s Cuordileone and Marcus Brennecke’s Hatari.
Tight scoring outside the top two means that the competition is wide open, with all the yachts in contention for a podium place. Five Swan 45s will start, including last year’s world champion, Lennard van Overen’s Motions. He will be battling it out with the 2019 world champion and podium finisher at the recent ORC Europeans, Klaus Diederichs’ Fever.
An impressive fleet of six ClubSwan 42s has registered to race in Porto Cervo. Among the notable entries is the Romanian owner-helmsperson Natalia Brailoiu, one of a growing number of female owners on the Swan one-design circuit.
The fleet of foiling CS36s is joined by an enterprising German charter entry, YCCS Commodore Michael Illbruck with Pinta. It brings the class to 11 yachts and, with every CS36 in the Tuscany races achieving at least one podium finish, all the boats are in with a chance.
Andrea Lacorte’s Vitamina and Giangiacomo Serena diLapigio’s G-Spot will continue their tussle for top spot. After the success of last month’s Swan Tuscany Challenge, teams are gearing up for the likelihood of stronger Mistral winds off Porto Cervo.
Tactics and error-free boat handling will be more important than ever over the course of the 11 planned races, which will follow a windward-leeward course.
Competition is guaranteed to be intense against the backdrop of the Costa Smeralda, renowned as one of Europe’s finest sailing grounds, with good winds, protected waters and dazzling scenery. And yet it is the Corinthian spirit which best characterises these fleets.
An impressive rollcall of the world’s best sailors makes for hard, dedicated racing on the water. But the atmosphere ashore is warm and convivial, with friendships rekindled and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the venue after each day’s racing.
Of course, it helps everyone to relax knowing that Swan’s new ClubSwan Racing outfit is there to support owners and crews with requests from technical services and logistics to professional race management.
Besides striving for individual glory in the Swan 45, ClubSwan 36, 42 and 50 classes, owners and their teams will have an eye on the overall rankings for The Nations League, in which the three most successful countries are honoured at the end of the season.
The climax of this competition among nations is hotly anticipated in The Nations Trophy, which takes place every two years. This year it is being held in Palma de Mallorca from 14-18 September. After the first event, Italy heads the leaderboard, followed by Germany. Scoring is totted up on a national basis after each regatta, where the leading teams