Swan Tuscany Challenge | Day 1

Glittering seas, cloudless skies and a stable sea breeze provided the perfect conditions for a fantastic first day of racing in the Swan Tuscany Challenge. The big fleet included 10 ClubSwan 36s and an impressive 13 ClubSwan 50s, many racing for the first time in a year. Crews were understandably eager to get the competition started after months of inactivity due to the pandemic. So eager, in fact, that numerous ClubSwan 50s jumped the starting gun and two general recalls were needed before the fleet settled down. The smaller ClubSwan 36s were more disciplined with a clean start five minutes later. Racing on the windward-leeward course brought out the best in these two one-design fleets. Evenly matched for speed, success is all about a good start, picking the right side of the course and consistency. To that end, Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio’s CS36 G-Spot gave a master class. Topping the table after three races, she came in second each time. “First of all, there is no discard in this event, so our first goal was consistency. We scored three seconds and it’s very good, especially because we had to fight really hard to keep those,” said main trimmer Karlo Hmeljak. “It was just great to be out on the water. All the racers were so pleased to sail again.” On the bigger CS50s, it was Leonardo Ferragamo’s Cuordileone which took honours after the day’s three races. The crew scored a second place and two firsts, setting themselves up as the boat to beat in this class. “It was very, very good wind and sea conditions,” said Ferragamo afterwards. “The boats are very equal, with a great attitude in the crews. We’ve done a good job so far with training, with the same crew as for many years.” It became clear early on that the advantage was to the north side of the course, although that didn’t stop boats from trying their luck to the south. Competition remained very finely balanced, though, with positions constantly changing. There was some impressive jousting close to the windward mark as boats screamed in on each tack to claim their water. This gave rise to a few altercations, but all were resolved without rancour by the expert jury team out on the water.