In just under a week’s time, the attention of the Swan One Design racing world turns to Saint-Tropez, and the inshore series of the Rolex Giraglia, which marks round three of The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League 2019. At the halfway point of the four-event series, there is plenty to play for across all three classes. A total of 23 ClubSwan 50s, Swan 45s and ClubSwan 42s are competing in the Swan One Design divisions.
"We are thrilled to be in the beautiful setting of Saint-Tropez, on the occasion of the Rolex Giraglia, with a massive participation of Swan One Design yachts competing in the third leg of The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League,” Giovanni Pomati, Nautor’s Swan CEO comments. “Moreover, some 13 Swans are competing outside the One Design contest highlighting Nautor’s Swan DNA. The double soul of our brand comes to the fore once more, with performance yachts conceived for cruising performing during the most fascinating regattas around the world.”
Following a win at the Monaco Swan One Design and a second place at the Scarlino Swan One Design, Leonardo Ferragamo’s Italian ClubSwan 50 Cuordileone lies in first place with a six-point buffer. Behind, three yachts are tied on 12 points and separated only by the count-back provisions: Dmitry Rybolovlev’s Skorpios (RUS), Andrea Masi’s Ulika (ITA) and August Schram’s Stella Maris (AUT). Sonke Meier-Sawatzki’s Niramo (GER), the overall winner in Scarlino, is in fifth and a further point away. Racing has been extremely tight at both events so far completed, with eight out of the eleven ClubSwan 50s to have taken part winning races and the regattas settled only on the final race.
Consistency is an oft-used word in every sport. With no discards in Swan One Design regattas, it is a watchword. Across the two events, Cuordileone has rarely put a foot wrong. Errors have been punished, though, and looking ahead to the Rolex Giraglia, the Italian crew will be looking to raise their performance again to maintain position at the top of the leaderboard. With two wins out of two on the final day, Skorpios goes into the Rolex Giraglia on a high. “We are constantly growing as a team, feeling more confident,” explained tactician Fernando Echávarri.
With 10 ClubSwan 50s competing in Saint-Tropez, including all of the top four boats in The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League standings, fireworks should be expected. Newcomers to the fleet include the Spanish Navy entry Aifos 500 and HM King Harald of Norway’s Fram XVIII.
Leaderboard (after two events)
1. Cuordileone (Italy) 18 pts
2. Skorpios (Russia) 12 pts
3. Ulika (Italy) 12 pts
4. Stella Maris (Austria) 12 pts
5. Niramo (Germany) 11 pts
The two-time and defending World Champion, Porron IX, from Spain continues to be the benchmark boat in the Swan 45 class. With a four-point lead over Lennard van Oeveren’s Motions (NED) and a further point advantage over Tea Ekegren’s Blue Nights (FIN) in third, owner Luis Senis is profiting most from having competed at both the Monaco and Scarlino Swan One Design regattas. “I am very proud of my crew and whenever someone has a bad day, the rest of the crew becomes even stronger,” Senis remarked at the end of Scarlino.
Saint-Tropez will see all of the top three Swan 45s in action and an interesting tussle is on the cards. Senis’ crew remain strong favourites based on recent performances, but if Motions and Blue Nights can up their respective games, both are more than capable of challenging the Spanish boat and climbing further up the podium.
Five Swan 45s are taking part with Valter Pizzoli’s Ange Transparent II (SUI) returning to the fray after missing out on Scarlino and finishing second in Monaco. Luca Locatelli’s Thetis (ITA) is the fifth boat.
Leaderboard (after two events)
1. Porron IX (Spain) 9 pts
2. Motions (Netherlands) 5 pts
3. Blue Nights (Finland) 4 pts
4. Fever (Germany) 3 pts
5. Thetis (Italy) 2 pts
The ClubSwan 42 class could hardly be closer with the top two yachts tied on seven points and the top four boats separated by only two points after two events. The Italian entry Fantaghirò owned by Carlandrea Simonelli heads the standings on countback from Lorenzo Mondo’s Far Star (ITA). Andrea Rossi’s Mela (ITA) is in third on six points, and Natalia Brailou’s Natalia (ROU) in fourth a further point back.
The table could quite literally have been turned had results gone differently on the final day of racing at the Scarlino Swan One Design. Far Star was in pole and Natalia in fourth two points behind, with Mela and Fantaghirò sandwiched in between. The verdict went to the last race with a winner takes all shoot-out to decide the victor. It was the debutant Fantaghirò that scored the all-important bullet. “Our secrets were good crew work and a little fortune in the last race,” said owner Carlandrea Simonelli.
Eight ClubSwan 42s have entered the Swan One Design contest at the Rolex Giraglia inshore series, including three of the top four boats: Fantaghirò, Far Star and Natalia. Christophe Wargny’s Zappy S (FRA) which finished second in Monaco returns to competition.
Leaderboard (after two events)
1. Fantaghirò (Italy) 7 pts
2. Far Star (Italy) 7 pts
3. Mela (Italy) 6 pts
4. Natalia (Romania) 5 pts
5. Spirit of Nerina (Italy) 3 pts
The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League 2019 Standings
In terms of The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League 2019 standings after two events, Italy leads on 32 points from Germany on 25, with Switzerland and Russia tied on 12 points. The country to win the League will take a point into The Nations Trophy itself, scheduled for 8 – 12 October 2019 in Palma de Mallorca.
The Rolex Giraglia is more than just a gathering of Swan One Designs for Nautor’s Swan. A feeder race from Sanremo precedes three days of inshore racing in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez and the event concludes with a 241nm offshore race to, this year, Monaco via La Giraglia, the rocky outcrop off the northern tip of Corsica. Some nice Swans are participating in the handicap divisions of the inshore series, including the Swan 78 Kinina, the Swan 70 Flying Dragon and the Swan 53 Gaia.
The offshore race will feature around 20 Swans including a number of the one design models: ClubSwan 50s Skorpios, Ulika and Stella Maris; Swan 45 Ange Transparent, and, ClubSwan 42s Dralion, Fantaghirò, Raving Swan, Spirit of Nerina and Zappy S. The S&S Swan 38 Mascalzone Latino will be the smallest and oldest representative of the marque. Swan 601 Lorina 1895 recently claimed second place in ORC Racer Cruiser during Rolex Capri Sailing Week.