The 2017 Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean came to a close yesterday at the Yacht Club Costa Smerelda clubhouse in Virgin Gorda. This biennial event brings together the unique Nautor Swan family of yachts from 36 – 115 footers, and this year will feature the new one-design Club Swan 50, a self-professed “small revolution” in performance and sailing pleasure. Two entries of this newly competitive design joined 20 boats split between the Maxi and Grand-Prix/Mini Maxi divisions for three days of racing amidst the breathtaking scenery of the British Virgin Islands.
The final race of the event delivered 15-20 knots from the Northeast on a course that sent both fleets around “The Dogs”, a pair of islands on the Northwest side of Virgin Gorda.
Don Macpherson’s Swan 90 Freya sailed extremely well over the four days of racing, scoring three wins out of four races. Freya entered the final day of racing with a comfortable lead, despite a pair of penalty points off the starting line, and secured the overall trophy in the Maxi division. This week’s title makes her a winner on both sides of the Atlantic, having won the 2016 Swan Cup in Porto Cervo. She sails with an inventory of North Sails 3Di ENDURANCE and NPC DOWNWIND, including a four-year-old mainsail (shown below). North Sails Kimo Worthington was among the crew as tactician. Vicente Garcia Torres’ Swan 80 Plis Play earned second place in a tight fleet, followed by Stuart Robinson’s Stay Calm in fourth place.
With two Club Swan 50s in the Mini Maxi/ Grand Prix fleet, it became nearly a ritual for Leonardo Ferragamo’s Cuordileone and Hendrik Brandis’ Early Bird to find themselves in “match race” circumstances at least once per day! Ultimately Cuordileone claimed the class win with three bullets in four races. North Sails President, Ken Read, called tactics with Ferragamo at the helm, and both Cuordileone and Early Bird raced with an inventory of North Sails 3Di RAW and NPC DOWNWIND sails.
As the owner and driver of the winning boat as well as Chairman of Nautor’s Swan, Ferragamo was doubly satisfied with the week’s events:
“We had a fabulous week. The racing was phenomenally good, I think this place is pretty close to paradise and the sailing and racing conditions were just perfect. The racing was fun and competitive among all the various participants. I got to drive the ClubSwan 50 and it was great to see very tight racing and the two boats just seconds apart on the finish line and of course I’m extra happy about Cuordileone’s win.”
North Sails joined Nautor’s Swan and Juan Yacht Design to collaborate on the Club Swan 50 design, advising on solutions for a rig and sail plan that drew optimum performance from the boat and synchronized well with the hull and deck systems. Read more about the design process and the resulting sail inventory HERE.