SWANS ATTACK BUILDING BREEZE
Day 2 of the Rolex Swan Cup got off to a flyer. The 55-strong fleet of Nautor’s Swan yachts were briskly on the water at 10:30 CEST, keen to embrace a day that welcomed a consistent 20 knots of breeze.
The Race Committee presented a course of approximately 24-nautical miles for the Maxi and Classic divisions which sent the fleet towards Monaci before a downwind leg to the Secca di Tre Monti, through Capo Ferro and round Mortoriotto ahead of the return to the finish off Porto Cervo. The Maxi class enjoyed a particularly busy day, tackling a windward/leeward course prior to the coastal race. The Grand Prix class completed a windward/leeward race while two windward/leeward races were held in the Rolex Swan 45 World Championship.
Today’s winners were: Berenice Bis (ITA) in Maxi with a first and a second place; Magical Mystery Tour (GBR) in Grand Prix; Ondine (ITA) in Classic while TalJ (ITA) was the best performer in the Rolex Swan 45 World Championship, claiming a first and a second place.
The overall competition leaders are: Bronenosec (RUS) in Maxi; Magical Mystery Tour in Grand Prix; Ondine in Classic and TalJ in the Rolex Swan 45 World Championship.
The 18-strong Maxi fleet faced two demanding courses today. Marco Rodolfi’s Swan 80 Berenice Bis (ITA) was victorious in the windward/leeward race while the event’s largest yacht – the 112-ft Highland Breeze (NED) took advantage of heavy conditions to claim the longer coastal race. Berenice Bis now lies in second place behind leaders Bronenosec after a stunning day on the water. “We are very pleased with a first and a second place which puts us back in contention,” explained Tiziano Nava, tactician on Berenice Bis. “The second race saw a starting breeze of about 20-25 knots then the wind dropped. The heavier conditions suited our boat: we suffered in the regatta yesterday but made virtually no errors today. We are really hoping that the Mistral stays a bit longer!”
Highland Breeze needed a good day on the water following a 17th place finish yesterday. It is exactly what she managed as tactician Bouwe Bekking revealed: “It was an easier day’s sailing for us, this boat is very comfortable sailing up to 30 knots or more. The windward/leeward race is normally not easy for a boat of this size but we had a very good day – spinnaker manoeuvres went very well and tactically we made the right moves. After a good start in the coastal race, we led from the very beginning.”
The Swan 42 Magical Mystery Tour has made an impressive start to the Grand Prix class, top performer today following yesterday’s runners-up finish in the coastal race. She shares the overall lead with Natalia (ROU) who today notched a second place ahead of Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56 Clem. Magical Mystery Tour owner Edward Leask and his crew are well on course for their pre-event target: “Our ambition is top three and the main competition comes from Natalia and Clem,” commented Leask. “Overall, we prefer racing round the cans, where if you are behind you’ve got another race to recuperate.” Leask can count on the expertise of professional sailors Nacho Postigo and Jeremy Robinson, both fresh from the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. “Nacho’s navigated for me over the last couple of years and until now only in the Solent. Here he brings real local knowledge.”
Natalia’s Luca Lanzillo is taking each race as it comes: “In terms of predictions we will speak at the end of the week. Every regatta is an objective, every step is important. From what have we seen so far, the 42s are going very well especially Magical Mystery Tour – it’s the team to beat.”
Marco Gerbaudo’s Swan 53 Ondine continues to dominate the Classic division, claiming a second straight victory to lead the competition by four points ahead of the Sparkman & Stephens 43 Magia II (ITA).
Defending champion Earlybird (GER) has lost ground in the Rolex Swan 45 World Championship dropping into third position as Vittorio Ruggiero’s TalJ took a first and second place. TalJ now enjoys a significant five-point lead over Stefano Piccolo’s Swanted (ITA). Earlybird lies in third spot.
The Rolex Swan Cup, organized by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), continues tomorrow with the long island race scheduled for all classes.