Rolex Swan Cup - Day 2

FAVONIUS, Roel Pieper - Rolex Swan Cup 2008

Day two of the Rolex Swan Cup was reminiscent of a family day at the park where different age groups take part in different activities. The Swan Maxis went on a hefty 30 nautical mile hike up and down Bomb Alley using the Island of Spargi as an oversized leeward turning mark, whereas the Classics undertook a shorter, 24 nm stroll only venturing into the channel as far as Secca di Tre Monti, but featuring a long beat to Mortoriotto.

Meanwhile, the sprightlier Swan 45s and Club Swan 42s were given their own part of the park to play in and tackled two four-leg windward/leewards of 8 and 7.2 nm.

Continuing the park analogy, in the Swan Maxis the Swan 80, Favonius (BVI) played everyone off it once again winning both on the water and on handicap. The Swan 48 Zen (GBR) conceded her waterline length to finish third on the water, but still came first on handicap in the Classics. Swan 45, Earlybird (GER), was later to finish in her fleet than yesterday posting a 6, 5, but sufficiently good to still lead overall.

Equally, Kora (ITA), the Club Swan 42, had a drop in performance to score two seconds, but again held onto first overall. So, no change at the top after the day's proceedings. All fleets face the prospect of the Long Island Race tomorrow, which will be designed to last 6 to 9 hours. Certainly time enough for someone in each division to have a tilt at the leaders, and stop them putting more distance between themselves and the pack.

The performance of Roel Pieper's Favonius in the Swan Maxi Division must have the opposition quaking in their sailing shoes. The Swan 80 hardly put a foot wrong as she slipped around the course in 3 hours 41 minutes, and seemed to extend her lead throughout the twisting course.

Sir Peter Ogden's Swan 601, Spirit of Jethou, finished second on corrected time to stay in touch with the on-song Favonius. Ogden and crew have their eye on two prizes this week: the Rolex Swan Cup and the Swan Maxi Circuit - for which another Rolex timepiece is the reward. Favonius is only one-point behind her in the circuit so reckon on the all-black Spirit continuing to take the fight to Pieper.

In the Swan 45 division, the battle is on. Christian Nagel and Hendrik Brandis' Earlybird (GER) may be top tonight, but by a significantly reduced margin as first Marco Salvi's Vertigo (ITA) took the finish gun, followed by Carlo Perone's Atlantica Racing (ITA) in the second race.

Elsewhere, Andrea Masi's Ulika (ITA) scored 2, 4 to close to within one point of the Germans. A disappointing ninth for Vertigo in the second race, leaves Salvi and tactician Vasco Vascotto back in third nine points off the lead. Not as bad as 2007 Swan 45 World Champion, Plenty (USA). Alex Roepers crew has failed to find the magic of last year, and presently lie in twelfth. 2006 Rolex Swan Cup winner, Danilo Salsi and DSK Comifin, are equally failing to hit the high notes and are one place further back.

The Classic Division course involved plenty of tactical thinking too and the tussle at the top has a long way to go. The Italian crew on the Swan 56 Vanish II managed to finish first on the water again today, although at Monaci - about halfway round - that looked exceedingly unlikely. The Spanish Swan 56 Clem was way out in front and Vanish II could not seem to shake of the irritation of finding the Swan 48 Zen in front of her.

With John Bainbridge's Swan 48 Zen (GBR) repeating yesterday's success she remains in front overall. Clem dropped to third, following a seventh on handicap today. Dream, the Swan 47 of Francesco Persio, moves up into second having gathered two thirds so far. A second Swan 47, Tortuga, lies in fourth.

The Club Swan 42s raced the same courses as the Swan 45s. Races did not go according to yesterday's extraordinary script. The American challengers had the temerity to take top slots in both of today's racing. John Hele's Daring's took the first race of the day and followed it up with a third. Austin Fragomen's Interlodge achieved the mirror of this with a third in the first race and first in the second. These results move Interlodge into second overall, four points off the lead and two ahead of Leonardo Ferragamo's Cour di Leone (ITA), in third.

The Rolex Swan Cup is renowned for its social programme and this edition is no exception. Today a lunch was organised for non-racing spouses and tonight the Swan 45 Class Owners have a dinner at Safina Restaurant at the Pevero Golf Club.

Leading provisional overall positions - Top 3 boats

Swan Maxi (2 races)

FAVONIUS Roel Pieper BVI 1 1 2 1
SPIRIT OF JETHOU Peter Ogden GBR 2 2 4 2
GINGER Leslie Green ITA 3 4 7 3

Swan 45 (5 races)
EARLYBIRD Hedrik Brandis GER 3 1 1 6 5 16 1
ULIKA Andrea Masi ITA 5 3 3 2 4 17 2
VERTIGO Marco Salvi ITA 4 7 4 1 9 25 3

Swan 42 (4 races)
KORA Enrico Scerni AIT 1 1 2 2 6 1
INTERLODGE Austin Fragomen USA 3 3 3 1 10 2
CUOR DI LEONE Leonardo Ferragamo ITA 2 2 4 4 12 3

Classic (2 races)
ZEN John Bainbridge GBR 1 1 2 1
DREAM Francesco Persio ITA 3 3 6 3
CLEM Jaime Olazabal Fourquet ESP 2 7 9 3

BLUE NIGHTS rounding the mark ahead of the fleet. Rolex Swan Cup