A fleet of twenty-three ClubSwan yachts has gathered at the Marina di Scarlino to mark the debut of an explosive new racing season. No fewer than 10 ClubSwan 36s and 13 ClubSwan 50s have been measured for the Swan Tuscany Challenge, which will pit crews against each other across four days and up to 11 races in the sheltered waters of the Gulf of Follonica.
Seas set fair off Scarlino
With owners and their teams impatient to return to the water, the Swan Tuscany Challenge has already delivered some thrilling action from just the practice racing. What began as a gentle sea breeze swung through 50 degrees and gusted up to 25 knots. The start was reset to account for the change in wind direction, and the fleet was soon jostling for position at the line.
It was a chance to go through the motions, and for many of these teams, the first time for months that they experienced the familiar shot of adrenaline of a start. Most boats stayed out for a few thrilling legs of this windward-leeward course, before returning to port to keep sails and crew fresh for the scoring races tomorrow.
A more settled forecast with calm seas, plenty of sun and steady sea breezes sets the scene for the days ahead, promising plenty more action on the water.
A bullish Eddie Campbell captaining British entry Perhonen says he is hoping for a podium finish in this regatta. “We were strong in our first season, but last year with Covid, we couldn’t get big momentum. Light airs can open things up a bit,” he said.
Nautor’s Swan launches ClubSwan Racing
Not only does the prestigious event mark the return of thrilling Swan one-design racing under the auspices of the Nation’s League, it kick-starts a new era of competition for the hallowed Finnish brand. Nautor’s Swan has established ClubSwan Racing to organise its regattas and provide owners with unprecedented levels of service and support.
“ClubSwan Racing is born, and it is big news,” says President Enrico Chieffi. “Swan invests so much energy in the racing world, that it made sense to set up a new company to handle and direct the effort. Owners will see the benefits immediately, with more stand-alone events for Swan yachts this year, and seamless support ranging from every service an owner can dream of.”
Alongside Chieffi, who is Vice President of Nautor Group, ClubSwan Racing counts a team of five staff, including the much-feted competitive sailor Federico Michetti, who joins as head of ClubSwan sport activities. Naturally enough, the new entity is based at the epicentre of Italy’s marine sector in La Spezia. Together with Enrico and Federico, the team counts on another well-known name in the racing panorama: Claudia Tosi.
“The Tuscany Challenge launches an amazing season for Swan, which culminates in the One Design Worlds in St Tropez in October. In between, there are several rating – racing events in the Med, the Baltic and Asia,” says Michetti. “Our expert team puts good class rules at the heart of ClubSwan Racing to ensure great fun, full service and a great Corinthian spirit that we know our owners love.”