The ClubSwan Caribbean Rendezvous, 12th – 17th March 2012 in the British Virgin Islands, organised by Nautor’s Swan, had nearly twenty yachts participating, ranging from Swan 44, South Wind to Swan 62’s, Uxorious and Glisse. The energetic fleet enjoyed the steady easterly trade winds and Caribbean sunshine for a week of outstanding sailing.
Merel Four, Swan 53, Springs into Cruise Mode at the 2012 ClubSwan Caribbean Rendezvous (c) Nautor’s Swan & YachtShots BVI
Throughout the week there was an air of excitement and camaraderie as all participants enjoyed themselves in the true ‘Spirit of Swan’. The fleet enjoyed excellent hospitality during the week which included cocktail receptions, waterside dinners and award ceremonies.
The ClubSwan Rendezvous programme is designed to offer structured cruising and social occasions organised by Nautor’s Swan with the option of low key racing in some of the world’s most sought after sailing locations. The Caribbean element to the Rendezvous suits those intent on enjoying local island hospitality mixed with Swan cruising organisation taking the fleet to a range of island stopovers.
This year the route saw them visit the island of Virgin Gorda, Cooper Island, Jost Van Dyke and Marina Cay. There were daily fun races to each island before the Round Virgin Gorda Race on the last day of the cruise. The week involved not only some incredible sailing in the British Virgin Islands but also many activities held on the islands where the ClubSwan Rendezvous stayed. The most popular of these was the Hors d’Oeuvres Contest, which was won by Swan 51, Delawana and the cocktail competition which saw six excellent entries and was won by Ellen Hermann for her ‘Cucumber Gimlet.’
The Laser Regatta was held at the Bitter End Yacht Club on the opening day of the Rendezvous with the concluding Hobie Regatta held on the Friday afternoon when the yachts returned to the BEYC from the cruise. The winner of the Laser Regatta was Chris Brand sailing on Swan 53, Merel Four. The Hobie Regatta was won by Ilkka Rantasalo participating on Swan 46, Eclipse.
The Round Virgin Gorda race held on the final day both starting and finishing at the BEYC was a highly competitive affair as Swans competed for the ‘Dockwise Yacht Transport Trophy.’ The competitive race to win of this year’s Rendezvous saw Colin Buffin’s British Swan 62, Uxorious finishing first over the water on elapsed time. On corrected time the race was won by Jonty and Vicki Layfield on Swan 53, Merel Four.
As well as running all the social events and contests, the Nautor’s Swan event team were on hand at the daily prize giving’s including the final dinner and awards ceremony staged by the Gazebo on Almond Walk at the Bitter End Yacht Club, the participants enjoyed a lavish seafood buffet before the prize giving commenced. The Swan Owners Association including Steve De Voe, Dave Fraiser and President, Hank Schmitt gave the special prize for ‘Best maintained Boat’ to Swan 62, Glisse from the USA owned by Twanette Tharp.
The overall feedback from the Swan owners and participants was that a fantastic and memorable week was had by all.
Jonty Layfield, Swan Owner, commented; 'Once again we had a great time doing the Rendezvous on the Swan 53. This was our second time and it was nice to meet up with old friends from last year. We will be looking forward to next year’s event.'
Ettore Mattiello of Nautor’s Swan, added; 'The 2012 ClubSwan Caribbean Rendezvous was another successful event for Nautor’s Swan with a complete committment to enjoyment by both participants and organisers. A full mix of fun racing and socialising with old and new Swan family friends in the warmth of the Caribbean sun and sea made 2012 a great Caribbean Rendezvous year.'