Preparations are under way to welcome 35 Swan one-design yachts to the season’s second major regatta in the splendid surroundings of Porto Cervo. The Swan Sardinia Challenge will see entries in all four Swan one-design classes take to the water for more closely competitive racing from 22-26 June.
This event marks the real launch of racing for the full spectrum of current Swan one designs – an event that is exciting as much interest with race fans as it is with the crews themselves. Organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, the event is taking place under strictly defined Covid standards to ensure the safety of crews, owners and staff.
“Being here in Porto Cervo is always a great emotion for us. The cooperation with the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda has become stronger and stronger over the years, since the very beginning for Nautor’s Swan,” says Giovanni Pomati, Nautor Group CEO. “During the Sardinia Challenge we will witness a beautiful display of the brand’s racing soul: 4 classes, 35 yachts, 12 Nations overall and owner at the helm enjoying the experience of being part of a big family in one of the most appealing venues around the world. It’s something we are very proud of.”
Impressively large fleet
Leading the fleet is the ClubSwan 50, which will field 13 boats in Sardinia. It is an almost identical line-up to the one that competed at the first regatta in Tuscany, where competition for top spot boiled down a dramatic duel between Leonardo Ferragamo’s Cuordileone and Marcus Brennecke’s Hatari. Tight scoring outside the top two means that the competition is wide open, with all the yachts in contention for a podium place.
Five Swan 45s will start, including last year’s world champion, Lennard van Overen’s Motions. He will be battling it out with the 2019 world champion and podium finisher at the recent ORC Europeans, Klaus Diederichs in Fever.
An impressive fleet of six ClubSwan 42s has registered to race in Porto Cervo. Among the notable entries is the Romanian owner-helmsperson Natalia Brailoiu, who is one of the growing number of female owners on the Swan one-design circuit.
The fleet of foil-assisted CS36s is joined by an enterprising German charter entry, YCCS Commodore Michael Illbruck in Pinta. It brings the class to 11 yachts and, with every CS36 in the Tuscany races achieving at least one podium finish, all the boats are in with a chance. Andrea Lacorte’s Vitamina and Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio’s G-Spot will continue their tussle for top spot.
After the success of last month’s Swan Tuscany Challenge, teams are gearing up for the likelihood of stronger Mistral winds off Porto Cervo. Tactics and error-free boat handling will be more important than ever over the course of the 11 planned races, which will follow a windward-leeward course. The competition is guaranteed to be intense against the backdrop of the Costa Smeralda, renowned as one of Europe’s finest sailing grounds, with good winds, protected waters and dazzling scenery.