Two years of racing comes to a head in Palma this month, when the Swan one-design fleet gathers to contest The Nations Trophy. The best performing boats under each national flag contribute valuable points to propel their nations towards victory. Fourteen countries, represented by more than 30 boats across three ClubSwan classes will take to the water from 14-18 September to battle it out.
Four days of intense racing in Palma will decide the country that lifts The Nations Trophy – and bring a close to this year’s Nations League series.
“This event is the pinnacle of the global Nations League project which we have tremendously at heart as it was conceived to establish quality One Design Racing to a high visibility level and to bring back in the world of sailing the competition between Nations as a way of enhancing gentlemenlike confrontation between countries and friendship among them” says Leonardo Ferragamo, Nautor Group President. “This year, despite the situation, we will see more than 30 one design attending from 14 nations to compete not for their own pride, but for their entire country and it will be something inspiring”
One bonus point has already been secured by Germany, as the top-performing nation in last year’s Nations League. When the racing in Palma is over, the final rankings for the 2021 Nations League will also be calculated and that winner will receive a bonus point too. After three regattas so far this season, Germany leads Italy by a narrow margin.
At the last edition of the Nations Trophy in 2019, Italy took the top spot, followed by Germany and Russia. This time round, no fewer than 14 nations are competing, as Norway emerges at last from lockdown and Turkey joins for the first time ever. The winners will be awarded an exceptional piece of art from the renowned Florentine silversmith Buccellati. The winners of The Nations League will receive a special half-model crafted by Luca Ferron.
“These boats have been getting stronger and stronger throughout the season, and the individual competition will be fiercer than ever,” said Federico Michetti, head of Swan sports activities at ClubSwan Racing. “However, The Nations Trophy is a very special event held every second year, and all eyes will be on the winning nation as determined by the best performing boats in Palma. Victory is hard-fought and the winners go home bursting with pride.”
Of course, The Nations Trophy is also a key regatta in the Swan one-design racing season, and the penultimate event of the year. Boats in the ClubSwan 36, ClubSwan 42 and ClubSwan 50 classes are competing for personal glory as well. Performance is peaking, with a handful of boats in each of the highly competitive ClubSwan fleets fancying their chances of success.
G-Spot, Vitamina and Farstar will continue to scrap for first place among the CS36s. In the CS50 class, where the scoring has been more open, half a dozen boats are in strong contention for the lead. Among the smaller CS42 fleet, Natalia and Nadir are locked in a duel. But so close is the racing in these highly developed one designs, that any of the boats is capable of scoring a podium finish.
New entrants to the circuit include two CS50s – Tango and Proxflyer, whose Norwegian owner is finally released from Covid travel restrictions. The CS36 Bracing Breeze has been chartered for the event by a Turkish skipper.
Four race days should deliver a mixture of the fine settled sea breezes for which Palma is renowned, plus the chance of some stronger winds – all on the sheltered waters of the Bay of Palma with its beautiful backdrop. Local knowledge is a big plus here.