The 20th edition of the Rolex Swan Cup saw a fleet of 110 boats from 17 nations participating. The fleet was divided into six categories representing over fifty years of yacht design and heritage with yachts ranging from Nautor’s Swan oldest launches, the Swan 36 Josian to the latest, the Swan 78 Haromi.
Ten Swan 45 and twelve ClubSwan 50 raced for the World Championship, while fourteen ClubSwan 42 competed for the European Championship.
Moreover, a fleet of around 70 cruising Swans enjoyed racing around the beautiful coast of the Maddalena island; the Rolex Swan Cup regatta is not only dedicated to keen racers but also to those who normally enjoy cruising with family and friends.
“The 2018 Rolex Swan Cup” said Leonardo Ferragamo, Nautor’s Swan Group President, “was even better than the previous editions and one I hope exceeded the expectations of all participants. This 20th edition was truly memorable, defined as ever by its gentlemanly spirit, but also by such finely balanced competition across all classes. This made for very exciting races with so much decided on the final day. It was wonderful to see so many generations of Swans here, from our new launches and one design classes to the large fleet of lovingly maintained Sparkman & Stephens classics. We thank our partners Rolex and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda for all of their continued and close support in making the event such a success."
In the Maxi Class the winner was Swan 80 Plis-Play ahead of two Swan 601s, Stephen Cucchiaro's Flow and Gerard Logel's Arobas. “The competition was really tough. The opposition boats were really close and the wind conditions were difficult. We are really happy to have won,” explained Plis-Play navigator Enrique Martínez-Asua. “The event is brilliant, there is no place better than this to sail with the beautiful islands and challenging winds.”
In the Grand Prix division, the Swan 53 Solte triumphed by two points over sister ship Crilia. For both yachts, their worst result over the entire week was a third place, with the two boats generally splitting the wins and second-place finishes between themselves, leaving few opportunities for their opponents.
The Sparkman & Stephens Class, the most numerous with 26 yachts on the water, fields a podium populated exclusively by Swan 65s: Anthony Ball's Six Jaguar won the Rolex Swan Cup, followed by Italy's Shirlaf, owned by Giuseppe Puttini and by the Spanish Libelula.
“The 2018 Rolex Swan Cup witnessed the biggest ever gathering of 65s, a unique boat and an icon in our line,” explained Nautor’s Swan Vice-President Enrico Chieffi. ”Owners across this class are proud of their boats and, as a piece of art, you can’t resist looking at them”.
The first ever world championship for the ClubSwan 50 class went to OneGroup, who had dominated throughout the week. The second place went to Leonardo Ferragamo’s Cuordileone in a thrilling photo finish (only 6 seconds separated the two boats), while the third place was awarded to Swiss boat Mathilde, owned by Morten Kielland. From the outset, the inaugural ClubSwan 50 World Championship signalled its intent – tight competition between the twelve identical yachts designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian. A contest in the purest form: who sails best wins.
The quality of the sailing reflected the individual commitment of the owner-driver helmsmen and the world-renowned tacticians alongside them, for example: Ken Read on Cuordileone, Bouwe Bekking on Niramo, Xabi Fernandez on Stay Calm, Alberto Barovier on Bronenosec, Tommaso Chieffi on Skorpidi and Jochen Schümann on Earlybird.
Winner of the Rolex Swan Cup and second-time world champion of the Swan 45 Class is Spanish boat Porron IX, owned by Luis Senis and with Hugo Rocha on tactics. Mr. Senis Segarra commented:
"At the moment, we are just very happy because it was a very difficult day on the water with hard-fought races to the very last. A protest ashore kept us on tenterhooks, but we knew we were in the right. I am proud of the progress we have made. Two years ago, here, we were ninth. Last year we were the surprise world champions in Spain and now we have won in Porto Cervo. The Rolex Swan Cup is the top event and it is incredible to win here.”
The ClubSwan 42 European Championship was contested by 14 yachts, with plenty of apparent competition going into the event. The ClubSwan 42 Mela, owned by Andrea Rossi and with Enrico Zennaro calling tactics, won the Rolex Swan Cup and the European championship title ahead of Natalia and Selene Alifax.
Mr. Rossi was ecstatic:
"A dream! My thanks go to the crew, a wonderful group, and especially to the tactician Enrico Zennaro who, over a couple of years, has managed to bring us to this level. In the last edition of the Rolex Swan Cup Mela finished last, today we won in a very competitive fleet, the results speak for themselves, I am very happy."
Along with these six principal class winners, this year saw the introduction of a new trophy for the recently formed association of Swan Classics by Frers. It was claimed by the Swan 651 Lunz Am Meer owned by Marietta Strasoldo.