by Emma Upton
Les Voiles de St Tropez provided a stunning week of racing for the closing event of the Mediterranean season for 2012 marked by an impressive turnout of Swans. With five races and the traditional lay day on Thursday to allow for the challenges amongst the Classic yachts, the full programme was completed under sunny skies with sufficient winds for racing. ClubSwan, in partnership with Credit Suisse, hosted an elegant cocktail party onboard the Swan 90 Solleone where close to 100 guests relaxed and enjoyed the atmosphere of St Tropez harbour in style.
Swan 53 Music - 2012 Les Voiles des St Tropez
With twenty Swans competing in the five IRC Classes, podium positions were achieved virtually across the board. Swan 601 Stark Raving Mad raced by James Madden won the final race of the series to take second place overall in IRC A. Genapi, a Club Swan 42, raced by Adalberto Miani and his team won IRC C with by one point. The Swan 53 Music owned and raced by South African James Blackmore and his team took second place overall in IRC D competing in only their second event having only launched the boat in Finland in May of this year.
James Blakemore, owner of Swan 53 Music commented: 'A most wonderful week of sailing with my new Swan 53 Music and with crew performing admirably this led us to finish second in our class. Light airs in the final race put paid to our hopes of getting a first overall but in the end the margin was only 50 seconds or so and I am thrilled to know the capabilities of the boat and I am sure that we can improve her performance. A really grand event with the most beautiful sight of hundreds of boats of all sizes and types gracing the beautiful waters around and in the Gulf of Saint Tropez. Definitely a regatta to keep in the diary. I look forward to racing there again next year. Well done to the Societe Nautique de Saint-Tropez!'
Three of the Swan Racing Circuits concluded at Les Voiles de St Tropez; Earlybird, a Swan 45 raced by Hendrik Brandis and Christian Nagel continued their winning ways after taking the Rolex World Championship at the Rolex Swan Cup winning both the Swan 45 Mediterranean Circuit and the overall Swan Mediterranean Circuit for 2012.
Hendrik Brandis, owner of Swan 45 Earlybird commented: '2012 has been another year of high class racing in the Swan 45 Class which we have enjoyed a great deal. The Copa del Rey and of course the Rolex Swan 45 World Championship in Porto Cervo were two events dominated by highly challenging up and down races. Whereas the two additional events, Giraglia Rolex Cup and Les Voiles de St Tropez with their beautiful coastlines offered everything that offshore racing can provide.'
'The Swan 45 demonstrated again its competitiveness under IRC (Giraglia, Les Voiles de St Tropez) and RI (Copa Del Rey). It was a great season for Earlybird and we are very proud that we could win both the worlds, as well as the overall classification of the Swan 45 Mediterranean Circuit'.
Bronenosec, the newly launched Swan 60 raced by Vladimir Liubomirov and his Italian / Russian crew, sponsored by Gazprom and representing the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg, won the Swan Maxi Class Circuit in the inaugural season. Presentations of the stunning Swan trophies produced by Asprey will take place early in 2013.