Gazprom Swan 60 class circuit heats up

Gazprom Swan 60 Class prepare for Rolex Fastnet Race
Natuor's Swan
Swan 60 Bronenosec (RUS) continues her strong winning streak keeping this team in first place in the overall Gazprom Swan 60 2013 Circuit, SGM (GER) sits in second just in front of Swan 60 Knights of Crevichon (GBR) and Tsaar Peter (BVI) tied in third place, whilst Petite Flamme (RUS) follows in fourth.

This exhilarating new circuit for Nautor’s Swan has attracted a range of entries from the UK, BVI, Russia and Germany as well as competitors from the high echelons of big boat society right through to grass root sailors.

Now half way through the four event circuit, Bronenosec have established themselves at the front of the pack. Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, currently underway, features as the third event of this year’s circuit with the offshore Nord Stream Race component as the finale during September. Bronenosec (RUS) again leads in points at Cowes this week in third place overall having now completed three races. SGM (GER) follows in fifth place overall, all eyes are now on this Swan 60 to see if the new addition of UK super star dinghy sailor, Ed Wright, will help secure a podium finish for this counter event.

Bronenosec was the first Swan 60 at the season opening Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta before heading to UK shores for the inaugural Gazprom Swan 60 World Championships. Leading the World Championship with an incredible race to spare across the 11 race series demonstrated the crew’s commitment to consistency. After the majority of 2012 was spent in the Mediterranean and Baltic, this year’s circuit has offered helm Vladimir Liubomirov, Commodore of the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg, Russia a different racing scenario within the intricate Solent tidal cycles.

Offering a contrast to the crew formation of Bronenosec, the majority of German crew onboard Swan 60 SGM were selected via a nationwide sailing programme called the German Offshore Challenger (GOC). The project aims to introduce ambitious sailors to offshore sailing under the guidance of experienced regatta sailors and to establish a successful offshore crew.

To date the GOC crew have raced in the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta in Holland and the Gazprom Swan 60 World Championship in Cowes, UK. The team are growing in confidence and gaining more experience as the circuit progresses; they are becoming real competition for the other Swan 60s competing in the circuit and currently sit in second place overall with two events to go.

Both Bronenosec’s and SGM’s most imminent challenge is the 608 nautical mile course as part of the Rolex Fastnet Race; the world’s largest offshore race. With the start immediately following Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week on August 11th these Swan 60s have a busy time ahead.

Vladimir Liubomirov, owner of Bronenosec, is looking forward to the challenge, 'This is the first time I will be racing in the Rolex Fastnet Race and we are excited to be taking part in such a renowned and popular race. The crew now have experience of sailing in these waters thanks to both the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race and the Gazprom Swan 60 World Championship where we took the winning title. We also have experience of offshore racing in tough conditions, so hopefully we are prepared for all weather types; I am looking forward to meeting our competition.'

Excitement for the emerging one design Gazprom Swan 60 Class continues to climb and this performance racer cruiser is providing top race rides for the likes of yachting legends Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Brad Butterworth OBE racing during the recent Gazprom Swan 60 World Championships. Brad commented, 'We really enjoyed the whole regatta and with such an array of talent throughout the entire fleet it has proven for some exciting racing.'