The Rolex Swan Cup is one of the most visually captivating sailing competitions: a unique meeting of some of the world’s finest yachts, all built by Nautor’s Swan. So far, nearly 70 Swan yachts have confirmed participation and the final figure is expected to reach 100 – an impressive showing for one of the Mediterranean’s most iconic yachting occasions. This biennial event was inaugurated in 1980 and its enduring partnership with Rolex began in 1984. Traditionally held in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, the 17th edition takes place from 10-16 September.
Four classes are anticipated: Maxi (18.29 metres/60 feet and above), Grand Prix (18.28m and below), Classic (models designed by Sparkman and Stephens) and Swan 45 One-Design, where 2010 World Champion Earlybird (GER) is returning to defend her crown.
The international reach of the Rolex Swan Cup is confirmed by the presence of some 13 countries in the entry list. Debutante Russian entrant Bronenosec (Swan 60) has been a regular on the 2012 Rolex circuit with notable performances at both the Rolex Volcano Race and the Giraglia Rolex Cup. Plis Play (ESP, Swan 80), which also featured at the Rolex Volcano Race, is one of two Spanish entries. The other is Clem (Swan 56), which finished a close second in the Grand Prix class in 2010.
Two yachts that will be aiming to improve their 2010 results are the Italian Swan 65 Shirlaf and the German Swan 60 Emma. Both finished second in their respective classes (Classic and Maxi) two years ago. Shirlaf is one of a number of participating Swan 65s; the classic Sparkman & Stephens design won the inaugural Whitbread Round the World Race in 1974 and helped cement Nautor’s Swan’s legendary status in yachting’s firmament.
The Swan 43 Fidibù has the honour of representing the make’s homeland of Finland. Arriving from furthest afield appears to be the American crew on Constanter (Swan 62RS). The smallest participant at 11.66 metres (38 feet), Italian Swan 38 Only You is also one of the oldest, while the largest yacht attending is the 34.4-metre (112-foot) Swan Highland Breeze.
Five days of racing are scheduled on the revered waters of the Costa Smeralda and the Maddalena Archipelago. Competition will be fierce but refreshing, as regular competitor and President of Nautor’s Swan since 1998, Leonardo Ferragamo, explains: “The event has a unique spirit because it represents a love of boats and a desire to compete not just in any regatta, but in a regatta where there is uniformity in the competition. The feelings of friendship and good sportsmanship that characterize this regatta have grown over time.”
The regatta is organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and concludes with a traditional prize-giving on the Piazza Azzura where winners of all four categories will be presented with a Rolex timepiece to crown their excellence on the water.
Claudio Recchi’s Team 93 (ITA) remains in first place overall with three races having been run in the Audi Melges 32 World Championsip 2009, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. Pieter Taselaar’s (New York, N.Y.) Bliksem (USA) took a bullet in today’s only race and climbed from yesterday’s third place to sit in second place overall ahead of Stefano di Properzio’s Mataran (ITA). Red (GBR), owned by James Woods, slipped from second overall to fourth after taking sixth place in today’s race. Recchi, who is one of the most experienced Melges 32 owners, also has aboard with him former Melges 24 World Champion Federico Michetti and American two-time Olympic medalist (’84 gold in the FD, ’00 bronze in the 49er) Jonathan McKee (Seattle, Wash.). Victory, however, is by no means assured to any of the current leaders, since there are three more days of racing to go and a possible seven more races to be held with a discard coming into play after race six.
The start of racing today was delayed as the Race Committee headed to the regatta course to see whether this morning’s rain storm would pass over Porto Cervo and allow the games to commence. After recording winds of 15-17 knots accompanied by widely spaced swells coming in from the southeast and wind-driven waves coming in from the northeast, the Committee, headed by Principal Race Officer Peter “Luigi” Reggio deemed that racing would be challenging but secure, and the first warning signal was given at 12.30 p.m.
“It was blowing at around 18 knots at the start; the seas were a bit messy but the conditions were not a problem for this class,” said Reggio on his return to Porto Cervo Marina. “As the race went on, the wind picked up to 25-26 knots and the seas were building. This is an owner-driver class and these conditions are tiring, and we decided that for the safety of all, it was better to send the fleet home. We still have three more days of racing left.”
The windward-leeward course set today was again approximately 7 nautical miles and it was Taselaar, with Australian brothers Jeremy (tactician) and Nathan (the 470 Men’s 2008 Olympic Gold medalist and three-time world champion) Wilmot on board, who led the fleet across the finish line ahead of Team 93 and Mataran. Francesco Martino’s Pilot Italia (ITA) took fourth place ahead of Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino (ITA).
Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow, Friday 25th September, at 12 midday with a maximum of three races to be held on each race day. According to the forecast, conditions should improve tomorrow with light rain in the morning giving way to sunshine and northerly winds of approximately 14-18 knots.
Audi Melges 32 World Championship 2009
Melges 32 – Summary Results – as of 09/24/09 at 15:47
Place, Boat Name, Helmsman, Owner, Nation, R1-R2-R3-Points
1. TEAM 93 Claudio Recchi Claudio Recchi, ITA,2,1,2, 5.00
2. BLIKSEM Pieter Taselaar Pieter Taselaar, USA,6,2,1, 9.00
3. MATARAN Stefano Di Properzio Stefano Di Properzio, ITA,7,4,3, 14.00
4. RED Joe Woods Joe Woods, GBR,1,6,11, 18.00
5. MASCALZONE LATINO Vincenzo Onorato Vincenzo Onorato, ITA,12,3,5, 20.00
6. PILOT ITALIA Francesco Martino Francesco Martino, ITA,8,8,4, 20.00
7. ARGO Jason Carroll Jason Carroll, USA,10,10,6, 26.00
8. FANTASTICAAA Lanfranco Cirillo Lanfranco Cirillo, ITA,9,5,13, 27.00
9. BAGUA Andrea Cecchetti Andrea Cecchetti, ITA,5,7,18, 30.00
10. UKA UKA RACING Armando Giulietti L. Santini & A. Marinelli, ITA,4,11,19, 34.00
11. JOE FLY Giovanni Maspero Giovanni Maspero, ITA,3,12,20, 35.00
12. BITIPI Savino Formentini Savino Formentini, MON,11,17,9, 37.00
13. SEI TU 32 Antonello Morina Antonello Morina, ITA,15,14,15, 44.00
14. CALVI NETWORK Carlo Alberini Carlo Alberini, ITA,13,20,14, 47.00
15. MATRIX Luigi Melegari Luigi Amedeo Melegari, ITA,21,13,16, 50.00
16. OPUS ONE Wolfgang Stolz Wolfgang Stolz, GER,20,9,22, 51.00
17. JANAS Pietro Fois Roberto Pardini, ITA,16,30(DSQ),8, 54.00
18. TORPYONE Edoardo Lupi E.Lupi & M.Pessina, ITA,23,21,10, 54.00
19. RUSH DILETTA Mauro Moccheggiani Mauro Moccheggiani, ITA,17,16,23, 56.00
20. TEASING MACHINE Jean Francois Cruette Jean Francois Cruette, FRA,26,24,7,57.00
21. HIGHLIFE Dave Cowell Peter Rogers, GBR,19,26,12, 57.00
22. BRONTOLO Filippo Pacinotti Filippo Pacinotti, ITA,14,15,30(DNF), 59.00
23. TEAM BARBARIANS Fred Kemp Stuart Simpson, GBR,18,19,24, 61.00
24. BLACK MAMBA Martin Knetig Martin Knetig, CZE,27,22,17, 66.00
25. BIG BANG HUBLOT Cesare Curtis Battistella & Curtis, ITA,22,18,26, 66.00
26. SHAKEDOWN Geoffrey Pierini Geoffrey Pierini, USA,24,23,25, 72.00
27. FRA MARTINA Edoardo Pavesio Edoardo & Vanni Pavesio, ITA,25,28,21, 74.00
28. I.NOVA2 Carlo Pesenti Carlo Pesenti, ITA,28,25,28, 81.00
29. LEA Ernesto Faraco Aamalia De Lana, ITA,29,27,27, 83.00
The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s sailing season in Porto Cervo is about to close in style with the twelfth and final event of the season being an inaugural ISAF World Championship for one of the most exciting and rapidly expanding one-design classes around. The Audi Melges 32 World Championship 2009 began officially on Sunday 20th September with registrations, measurements and official checks on the 30 participating boats and crews, but the tension will truly rise when racing starts tomorrow, Wednesday 23rd at 12 midday. Racing will continue through Sunday 27th September with a maximum of ten races scheduled.
Although approximately two-thirds of the fleet is Italian, seven other nationalities – Australia, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Monaco and the USA – are also represented. The teams to watch are numerous and no one boat is seen as a favourite for the championship, so competition is sure to be fierce.
Carlo Alberini’s Calvi Network (ITA) has performed well this season, winning the Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series after four legs in Italian waters. Peter Taselaar’s (New York, N.Y.) U.S. entrant Bliksem showed excellent form in the final two legs of the Sailing Series gaining three bullets and four second-place finishes over 13 races and boasts four-time 470 World Champion Nathan Wilmot of Australia aboard. With three professional sailors allowed on each crew, sailing superstars are not in shorMatrix Cortina t supply. America’s Cup Sailor Ray Davies is calling tactics on Luigi Melegari’s D’Ampezzo (ITA) while Pietro D’Alì, 2007 winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre, is sailing on Rush Diletta (ITA) and Adrian Stead is tactician aboard Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino (ITA). Onorato is a former World Champion in the Farr 40 and Mumm 30 classes and will be looking to establish a name for himself in the Melges 32 class.
The fleet completed a practice race in light winds of approximately 11 knots and lumpy seas today, but many boats were clearly keeping their tactics under wraps until racing starts in earnest tomorrow. Normally sunny Porto Cervo has been experiencing unsettled and stormy weather over the past few days, and conditions look to remain variable for the first few days of racing. Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio is confident, however, that the YCCS Race Committee will manage to fit in the full quota of 10 races, or close to it.
The first signal is scheduled for 12 midday tomorrow, Wednesday 23rd September, and the forecast predicts east to northeasterly winds of 8 to 10 knots.
What’s better than champagne sailing? Well if you’re one of the select few sailing in the Perini Navi Cup off the Costa Smeralda, it was certainly more like Bellini sailing – 30+ knots from the west which provided spectacular conditions for the 18-boat fleet.
Racing started pursuit style with the smallest yacht in the fleet, Elettra starting first at 1205; thereafter the yachts started every two minutes, with the last yacht off the line, the 184-foot sloop-rigged Salute.
The YCCS race committee sent the fleet on a 25 nautical mile course that featured mostly reaching: from the start off Porto Cervo, it was a beat up to Monaci island, once around a reach down to the rocky islet of Mortoriotto, then back on the wind again, though almost a fetch to the finish off the entrance to Porto Cervo.
While the pursuit start sent the boats on a bit of a parade up to Monaci, once around the reach to the leeward mark saw the fleet compress, making for an exciting leeward mark rounding at Motoriotto.
On board Perseus, Bill Lynn, a guest helmsmen, reveled in the conditions, saying “We saw 40 knots a little while before the start, but it was great — these boats handle just fine in that much wind, you just make the sails a little smaller and tell people to hang on a little tighter, and off you go. It’s a totally different beast to sail, everything happens that much slower, but then you get down to that leeward turning mark and there’s eight boats in a pretty small patch of water with rocks to the right, and rocks to the left, and you start getting a little nervous.”
The fresh conditions took their toll with some breakages. On Perseus, the port mainsheet winch failed, preventing the crew from trimming the main on most of the last beat, but they managed with a jury-rig and will work to rebuild the winch for tomorrows race.
While Perinis are massive yachts, under cruising conditions they don’t require a large number of crew to sail. But in racing mode, the crew numbers easily grow to 25 or so. Lynn explained, “We have the regular crew, the race crew which is about six or seven of us, guys that are here to race the boat, the owner and five or six of his friends, and a few other guests — I’m not sure if they snuck on.I never saw them before!”
Even a sailmaker can venture a huge smile after a spirited day of racing in big breeze on big yachts, such as the 174-foot Atmosphere. Robbie Doyle, had first sailed Perinis years ago onboard the newly-launched Andromedea La Dea, and in the 2006 Perini Navi Cup on Maltese Falcon — but he had never sailed the yachts in the strong conditions of today. Doyle said, “It was a testament to Perini that the boats all held together as well as they did. To sail in 30-35 knots and have as little damage done, well it’s big change from five to ten years ago. In general, super yachts when they go racing, you sheet everything in that much harder, and that’s when you break things. They’ve really resolved these systems very well.”
Doyle had high praise for the crew, “The owners son drove, he’s a tremendous sailor — a Melges 24 champion, so it’s a little different sailing this boat, but he did an excellent job. But we were grateful we didn’t have to put a spinnaker up today, since we haven’t practiced it.
The 164-foot ketch Baracuda stood out with their dark carbon hull and lavender-colored sails a striking sight against the emerald water. Former America’s Cup skipper Mauro Pelaschier helmsman onboard, said, “We sailed three days before the race, but in very light winds, so it was very exciting today, but difficult too as it’s not easy to trim the sails in the strong breeze.”
Baracuda was one of the last to start, and was several minutes late at that when another yacht crossed their anchor delaying their arrival on the race course. But they gained around the course and had a strong last beat, Pelaschier said, “We’re training the crew, they’re doing a great job. We know the boat a little better in strong breeze, so we do something better tomorrow.
Top five finishers today were: Maltese Falcon, Felicita West, Antara, Andromeda La Dea, Perseus.
Some of the world’s largest sailing yachts – with rigs towering upwards of 180′ off the water — have been streaming into the picturesque harbour of Porto Cervo, in advance of tomorrows start of the Perini Navi Cup. In fact the 2nd largest traditionally-rigged sailing yacht in the world, Felicita West is here, all 210′ of gleaming teak decks.
This annual gathering, the third edition, is being hosted and organized by Perini Navi in conjunction with the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.
From the (not-so) smallest, the 80-foot Elettra to the 288-foot Maltese Falcon, a technological marvel with it’s three rotating masts, and a boat easily full of superlatives: 26,000 sq ft of sail area, 180′ masts, and a maximum draft of 36 feet.
Racing will take place on Friday and Saturday with one race planned each day; the first warning signal will be at 1200. The thought of all 19 boats on a starting line is enough to give even the most hardened race officer pause, so the fleet will start pursuit-style, with individual boats going off at two-minute intervals. In theory, this allows boats to finish close together.
Principal Race Officer Peter Craig and the YCCS race committee have laid out courses in and around the nearby La Maddalena islands, a scenic yet challenging course, which will allow these behemoth yachts to show their true potential. The weather forecast for tomorrow is calling for westerly winds 18-20 knots.
Bruce Brakenhoff Jr, general manager of Perini Navi USA, said the number of entries has grown since the 2006 event. With 46 sailing yachts built to date, the company currently has eight yachts under construction, ranging from 125′ – 184′, which in the current economic climate is no mean feat.
Brakenhoff explained the genesis of the Perini Navi Cup weekend, saying, “It was more about a rendezvous than the race. We really wanted to get all of our owners together in one place, for one big weekend. The first one in 2004, we were overwhelmed — it was such a fantastic hit. The owners loved it, the crews loved it, so we decided to do it again. This year is the biggest turnout, especially in this economic climate. The owners clearly wanted to go out and have some fun.”
With a fleet of 46 sailing yachts cruising the world’s seas, Perini Navi is a highly respected mega sailing yacht designer and builder. The company is known for it’s revolutionary automatic sailing systems as well as meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail.
The latest launch in the Perini stable is the 184-foot ketch-rigged Riela, delivered in June 2009. The company seems to have hit a chord with this model: Riela is the seventh hull out of ten built to date. The boat has great appeal and plenty of room to accommodate family and friends, with five staterooms. The yacht requires a crew of ten to eleven, which is a relatively low number given the size of the boat.
Dockside at the YCCS, there are some surprising guest crew members here to sail in the Perini Navi Cup, including Andrew Cape, fresh from the Rolex Fastnet Race (sailing on an Open 60, the other end of the design/performance spectrum) former America’s Cup skipper Mario Pelaschier, and Dawn Riley, a former America’s Cup and Whitbread round the world race sailor. Riley who arrived straight from a women’s sailing clinic in the midwest US, is more used to stripped out racing machines, but this week she’s traded up in the luxe living department sailing on board the 148-foot sloop-rigged Helios.
Talking about the differences between her usual rides, she said, “It’s a boat with an engine to start with. I’m amazed at the size of these things: the lines, the sails, the mast.I was walking the docks and (the STP 65) Rosebud looks like a dinghy. It’s really impressive, a photo doesn’t do it justice.”
With Helios’ beam of 32 feet and a displacement of 362 tons, the racing is surely different than what’s she used to, but then it’s a fleet of somewhat similar gigantic boats going around the race course. Riley added, “I’m trying to temper my competitive spirit, because it’s all about fun, but we’re still going to adjust the leads, and put telltales on the sails. I think anytime you put more than one boat on the water, it’s a race.”
Further down the quay, the slate gray-hulled 164-foot Ron Holland-designed Baracuda stands out in a sea of mainly navy blue or white hulls. Delivered in January of 2009, the yacht has hit the sea running as it were, racking up 16,000 nautical miles over the past seven months. After launching, the boat sailed across to the Caribbean, then back to the Mediterranean to Spain and finally Greece, from where the yacht and crew arrived five days ago.
Sergio Lottini, the skipper, was understated when he said, “We had to try out the boat.” Baracuda’s non-stop schedule is likely to continue, after a brief yard period in Viareggio, the yacht will sail to the Canaries in the fall and across to the Caribbean. In fact, Perini Navis are extremely well-suited to distance and round-the-world voyaging — in the last ten years, almost every year, there has been one family in a circumnavigation.
Baracuda is in Porto Cervo, says Lottini, because “the owner loves sailing; he enjoyed the St Barth’s Bucket and then wanted to come here and sail in the Perini Cup.”
Baracuda’s stark interior was designed by John Pawson, the foremost proponent of a minimal aesthetic in architecture and design. Certainly the lavender-colored sails make a design statement, but Lottini and his crew aim to do well on the race course as well
Andromeda la Dea
The Maltese Falcon
When the 20th edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup gets underway in two weeks, expect nothing less than a medieval scrap between various latter day warlords and their trusted retainers. The mightiest contest is expected in the Mini Maxi division where eight of the latest exponents of this growing class will be brushing up on Sun Tzu’s Art of War ahead of the season’s highlight Maxi yacht event, which begins on 6 September and is organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. Equally, compelling contests will unfold elsewhere in the forty-four boat fleet, which features some battlefield goliaths including Albert Buell’s 45.19 metre (148 foot) Saudade (MLT), only marginally outstripped on the size front by Hasso Plattner’s 45.52 metre (149 foot) Visione (GER).
Only one division champion from 2008 is returning to the scene of their triumph. Lindsay Owen Jones’ 28.8 metre (94 foot) Magic Carpet 2 (GBR) will be defending her Wally Yachts’ title. Owen Jones has won his division at this event on four occasions with two different yachts, but even he will be anticipating a tough few days. Jean Charles Decaux and the 24.4 metre (80 foot) J One (FRA) (the former two-time winning steed of Owen Jones) vanquished all opposition in 2007, whilst Claus Peter Offen, a victor in 2005, is returning with a brand new 30.5 metre (100 foot) Y3K (GER). This latest Y3K features a trim-tab fixed keel, PBO rigging, a high modulus carbon-fibre mast and a three-metre bowsprit. Weighing in at 57 tonnes she incorporates a luxurious interior and is no stripped-out flyer, but Offen is a competitive yachtsman and looked to the America’s Cup Class design world when selecting the keel and rudder combination.
Y3K will not be the only yacht making its Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup debut. There are a host of Mini Maxis getting ready to engage in battle on the waters off Porto Cervo for the first time. Niklas Zennstrom’s 21.9 metre (72 foot) Rán 2 (GBR), flush with success from the 2009 Rolex Fastnet where she took the overall win, is heading into the fray. Zennstrom will expect no quarter from Patrizio Bertelli’s all-star cast on the STP 65 Luna Rossa (ITA) or Udo Schütz’s STP 65 Container (GER) – both newcomers too. Schütz is a former Admiral’s Cup winner and is unlikely to be fazed by any of the other formidable weaponry on display. Hap Fauth’s 21 metre (69 foot) Bella Mente (USA) is another freshman hoping to prove her mettle along with Sir Peter Ogden’s Jethou (GBR). At 18.3 metres (60 foot), Jethou is the smallest combatant amongst the IRC oriented Mini Maxis and the crew will have their work cut out to keep pace on the water with some of their competitors. However, first home is not first on the podium. Corrected time is the all-important determinant of who receives the spoils.
Whilst the newest Mini Maxis are expected to replicate an on-water cavalry charge around the courses, a 2006 division winner will be taking the contest at a more leisurely pace. The 38.25 metre (125 foot) Hetairos (CAY) was built in 1993, but is absolutely classic in appearance. Often, at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, she appears to adopt a field-marshal’s role observing the mêlée from afar and then delivering the crushing blow come results time. Another expected to follow this model is the 39.92 metre (131 foot) Maria Cattiva (MLT). Launched in 2003 by the Dutch yard Royal Huisman, Maria Cattiva is a Bruce King design, just like Hetairos, and is also a modern interpretation of a bygone era.
This year’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup also forms the final showdown in the Swan Maxi Class. The 2008 circuit winner, Roel Pieper’s Swan 80 Favonius (NED) (winner of the Rolex Swan Cup in the same year), comes to the arena with a solid track record on the Costa Smeralda. Pieper will expect no quarter from the Swan 90s Solleone (ITA) or DSK Pioneer Investments (ITA), the Swan 82FD Grey Goose (GER) or the Swan 601 @robas (FRA) all of whom will be looking to unseat him.
Leaving aside the warlike analogies for the moment, the event is shaping up to be memorable one particularly if the wind plays its part and allows organisers the chance to put on a full-week of competition. With competing yachts from 16 different nations, including Karl Kwok with Beau Geste from Hong Kong and Neville Crichton with Alfa Romeo 3 from New Zealand, it will be an international occasion. One other thing for certain, the intensity of activity on the water will be matched by the intensity of the social schedule ashore, as owners and crews mix together to trade war stories each evening.
The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2009, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda takes place from 6 to 12 September. Racing commences on Monday, 7 September and concludes with the final prizegiving on Saturday, 12 September. From the most luxurious, through the most traditional, to the most advanced monohulls afloat today, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is nothing if not an astonishing line up of sailing power.
Entry List For Rolex Maxi Yacht Cup 2009
DK Pioneer Investments
Good Job Guys
Magie Carpet 2
Rosebud / Tean DYT