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Doyle Sails NZ - Never Look Back

Gazprom Swan 60 Class officially recognised by ISAF

by Jennifer Hall on 21 Feb 2013
Team Russia (sponsored by Gazprom), skippered by Vladimir Liubomirav onEdition © http://www.onEdition.com
The Gazprom Swan 60 Class has now been officially recognised as a one design class by the world governing body for the sport of sailing, the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). This comes after a successful inaugural year during 2012 that saw the fleet compete at the Rolex Swan Cup and then at the first edition of the Nord Stream Race.

The Swan 60 was designed by German Frers and the first boat was launched in 2008; eight Swan 60s are now racing from five countries across two continents including Russia, USA, Denmark, Italy and Germany. The Swan 60 retains the fundamental values of Swan, a performance racer combined with features that offer cruising comforts when required. To date, the Swan 60s have raced under IRC in events such as the Copa del Rey, Palma Vela, Rolex Volcano Race, Rolex Giraglia Race and the Rolex Swan Cup.

The Gazprom Swan 60 Class has been developed in conjunction with the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg. The Class is set to grow and with its newly recognised ISAF status will hold a World Championships in Cowes during the Gazprom Swan European Regatta this summer.

As part of the Gazprom Swan 60 Class Executive Committee, Mike Urwin, Technical Director of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) Rating Office has been appointed the Class Technical Manager. Mike commented; 'It is a privilege to take up this position and to be able to play a role in defining the direction of this exciting new class. Given our previous experience working with Nautor’s Swan at their events and with the Swan 45 Class, allied with our other activities such as the Volvo Ocean Race, we believe that we can contribute significantly to developing a strong and successful class.'

The 2013 Gazprom Swan 60 Class circuit will kick start the summer with the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta held in Scheveningen, Netherlands on 17 – 21 May.

From 13 – 19 July, the fleet will head to the shores of Cowes, Isle of Wight for close racing in the Solent during the Gazprom Swan European Regatta. Hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron, the regatta will consist of 11 races over five days, the majority being windward-leeward courses for the Gazprom Swan 60 Class with one long race around the Isle of Wight scheduled for the Thursday. The event will conclude with a prize giving taking place at the Royal Yacht Squadron, one of the most prestigious yacht clubs in the world.

Staying in UK waters and enjoying the challenges that the Solent has to offer, the Gazprom Swan 60 Class will then take part in Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week from 3-10 August.

Concluding the Gazprom Swan 60 Class Circuit is the Nord Stream Race in September 2013 where the Swan 60s will follow the route of the Nord Stream pipeline. The race will begin in Germany and finish in Saint Petersburg.

The 2014 Gazprom Swan 60 Circuit will keep expectations high, starting with the Nord Stream Race in May from Saint Petersburg to Germany. It will then include the Gazprom Swan 60 World Championships followed by the Rolex Swan Cup held in Porto Cervo, Italy. The Circuit will conclude with the start of the Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Cup in Tenerife before competitors race to the British Virgin Islands in preparation for 2015.

2015 will see the Swan 60s making the most of the Caribbean waters and completing their three year world tour with events being held in Antigua, the British Virgin Islands, Newport and concluding in the Baltic for the fourth edition of the Nord Stream Race.

Enrico Chieffi, Managing Director of Nautor’s Swan commented, 'We are delighted that the Gazprom Swan 60 Class has achieved ISAF Class status. We believe that the benefits of this recognition are significant and will contribute to the Class continuing to grow both in numbers of Swan 60s racing and geographical reach, while continuing to attract some of the world’s very best sailors alongside the owner drivers as we saw at the Rolex Swan Cup with Freddie Loof alongside Leonardo Ferragamo onboard Swing and Tommaso Chieffi as tactician for Vladimir Liubomirov onboard Bronenosec.'

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