The 17th edition of the Rolex Swan Cup will get underway tomorrow, 11th September in Porto Cervo, Sardinia with a fleet of almost 60 Nautor's Swan yachts. The first of five days of racing commences tomorrow for all four of the week’s classes: Maxi (18.29 metres/60 feet and above), Grand Prix (18.28m and below), Classic (models including those designed by Sparkman and Stephens) and Swan 45 One-Design.
Swan 45 fleet looking for a good start - Rolex Swan Cup 2012
The eclectic fleet includes yachts from thirteen countries and territories, comprising Austria, Belgium, the Cayman Islands, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Three of the competing crews are already well-acquainted with the testing waters of the Costa Smeralda. The Swan 80s Plis Play (ESP) and Marco Rodolfi’s Berenice Bis (ITA) as well as the prolific Swan 60 Bronenosec (RUS) all performed impressively during last week’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.
Bronenosec’s Vladimir Liubomirov is now leading his 17-strong crew for a second challenging week in Porto Cervo following a busy season that has also included appearances at the Rolex Volcano Race and the Giraglia Rolex Cup:
Vladimir Liubomirov, owner of Bronenosec (RUS) - 2012 Rolex Swan Cup
'The boat responds best to conditions in the region of 15-18 knots,' admitted Liubomirov. 'Our target is to be at the top of the competition come the end of the week, where there will be some real contenders (for the Maxi class) such as Emma (GER), which is in full racing mode like us, as well as Berenice Bis and Swing (USA).'
A vast range of Nautor’s Swan yachts are represented from the 11.66m Only You, a Sparkman and Stephens Swan 36, – competing in the Classic division – to the imperious 34.34m Swan 112 Highland Breeze, the largest yacht in attendance and figuring in the highly-competitive Maxi class of 19 boats, which includes four Swan 60s in the aforementioned Bronenosec, Emma, Vertical Smile (DEN) and Swing, whose crew will include Leonardo Ferragamo, President of Nautor’s Swan since 1998. In the same Class, two Swan 66s – Lionessa of Douglas (GBR) and Lot 66 (NED) – represent the model designed to commemorate Nautor’s Swan’s 40th anniversary in 2006.
Elsewhere, in the Rolex Swan 45 World Championship, defending champion Earlybird (GER), led by co-owner Christian Nagel, will start as favourite in the eight-strong fleet. Earlybird is on target for a hat-trick of successes at the Rolex Swan Cup, having also triumphed in 2008.
Weather permitting, coastal races are scheduled tomorrow for all classes except the Swan 45 One-Design who will engage in two windward/leeward races.
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda website