The ClubSwan 80 My Song is the product of a truly international team born on the drawing tables at Nautor Swan, from Juan-K design and CFD development, built by Persico Marine, with Nauta for the interior design, Vittorio Volontè as project manager, Pure Engineering (composite structure), Scott Ferguson (Rig design), Southern Spars (Rig development), North Sails (Sails development).
You don’t expect a brand-new boat with a newbie race crew to put in a podium finish on their first competitive outing. And yet that is just what My Song, the achingly sleek new ClubSwan 80 has achieved.
The feat is made all the more impressive by the fact that it came in the teeth of some of the toughest big-boat competition in the world, at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. And then, to demonstrate that it was not a question of luck, My Song repeated the trick the following week in a blustery Swan Cup.
Juan K commented “ClubSwan 80 is a One Design and the notion of it is related to have high-performance boats, which are also the lightest, and from this platform there is a series of interiors and features that can be added on. Working together as a team we’ve managed to have both performance and comfort coexisting according to the use of the boat, and that is very exciting” says Juan K. “My Song was only launched in June, a dream in carbon fibre with a canting keel and a forward rotating canard”.
Mario Pedol of design studio Nauta added: “Despite very little experience of the yacht, they took a first and a third place on different days of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. We couldn’t be happier!”
My Song’s owner, the hugely experienced maxi sailor and industrialist Pier Luigi Loro Piana, was thrilled. “This boat has been a labour of love played out over three years. Not a day has gone by when I haven’t intervened in the project directly. Just to step aboard this beautiful yacht now is a delight, but to make two podium finishes in our first regattas shows there is exceptional potential here.”
Ken Read, President, North Sails and tactician on CS80 during the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, added: “Sailing aboard the new ClubSwan 80 at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup was a fantastic experience. She turned heads, surprised a lot of people, and for a brand-new boat exceeded my very lofty expectations.
The pedigree is standard for the collaboration between Juan K, Nautor and all of the suppliers like the three companies I represent – North Sails, Southern Spars and Future Fibres. A great blend of style and speed. Great things expected for this design. Simply awesome to personally be involved.”
ClubSwan 80 My Song stunning first performance
Hopes were high on the first day of the six-day Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, held in ideal 15- to 22-knot conditions off Porto Cervo. The boat was designed after many hours of complex CFD calculations and looks every inch the racer. But her promise wasn’t confirmed until the helm bore away at the top mark and the huge asymmetric billowed into life.
“At that point we were all spellbound,” says Nauta’s Mario Pedol, who was racing aboard that day. “We were looking at the instruments in disbelief, then watching as our boat overhauled one, then two, then numerous of the bigger yachts as we planed downwind. I don’t think an all-Italian crew has ever remained silent for so long!”
My Song posted a strong third place in the first race of the regatta, and that set the tone for the rest of the event. The high point came on the final day, when a building wind propelled the boats round a 27-nautical-mile coastal course that ducked into the Maddalena archipelago, then off on a long southerly leg downwind. In this endurance race, My Song took a resounding first place.
Giorgio Benussi, ClubSwan 80 – My Song team manager commented: “The brand new CS80 is a game changer, no question! Down into the water in racing trim and with our full crew just a week before the prestigious Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, where we competed against extra ordinary opponents. At the start of the first race, when we finally jumped into the fray, we realised that what we imagined could come true. The CS80 has extraordinary potential; the conception, design and construction process can be turned into a solid, concrete success. We were competitive in handicap despite the canting keel/canard configuration. The performance – taken for granted in the off the wind legs – was just as good on the wind and the boat was easy to handle with a crew of only 18.”
Her performance the following week in the Rolex Swan Cup was perhaps even more remarkable. In a seven-strong fleet that ran up to 115ft LOA, My Song scored three second place finishes in four races. And had she been 33 seconds quicker on day three, she would have taken second place overall. As it was, she settled for an electrifyingly close third. It is the best possible start for the ClubSwan 80.
Best of both worlds
Several months were spent at the start of the project pondering different options for the hull and appendages of the boat. Foils and fixed keels were quickly discarded in favour of the canting keel and rotating canard, because it provided the best balance of performance and usability.
Once the optimum configuration had been agreed, the Nauta team set about designing an interior that would fulfil the requirements of comfortable cruising without sacrificing speed on the racecourse. They left nothing to chance, carefully weighing up the performance effect of every decision, and the result is eye-opening.
Interior furniture of ClubSwan 80 My Song has been built in a mixture of foam-cored carbon fibre and flax fibre composite, and can be quickly and easily removed when necessary. Beds, seating, the oven, toilet and even the aircon can all be taken ashore to lighten the boat for racing. Wardrobes have all been designed as lightweight mesh fabric bags that hang from bars built into the side of the boat, and can also be quickly removed. Two people can transform the boat from racing to cruising mode or back again in just two days.