Please select your home edition
Flagstaff 2020 - Excess 11 - LEADERBOARD

Rolex Swan Cup 2016 – Tradition meets innovation

by Quinag on 12 Sep 2016
Fleet of 125 yachts to offer a spectacular week of sailing - Rolex Swan Cup Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
Even the famous pontoons of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo have rarely paid witness to such a flurry of activity and vibrant sense of anticipation. Tomorrow, Tuesday 13 September, racing at the 2016 Rolex Swan Cup commences and a record-breaking fleet of 125 yachts will offer a spectacular week of sailing on Sardinia’s renowned nautical playground, the Costa Smeralda.

Landmark occasion

This is a momentous year for the Rolex Swan Cup, an event established in 1980 and defined by one of yachting’s most enduring and successful partnerships, that between Nautor’s Swan, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) and title sponsor Rolex. Fifty years ago in the town of Pietarsaari, Finland, the very first Swan yacht in the form of the 36-ft Tarantella was constructed, spearheading the creation of one of sailing’s most successful and distinctive marques.

In celebrating this historic occasion, the Swan world has responded with its customary enthusiasm. The record number of entrants registered for this year’s event comfortably surpasses the 91 yachts which took part in the previous Porto Cervo gathering in 2014 and the current event record of 116, set a decade ago.

“We are delighted to welcome this record fleet for the 19th edition of the Rolex Swan Cup. This is a special event with a unique atmosphere and it is wonderful to see these beautiful Swans from all around the world lined up in the marina,” explains Riccardo Bonadeo, Commodore of the YCCS. “We are looking forward to a week of exciting racing across all of the competing categories as well as some distinctive events to mark Nautor’s Swan’s anniversary.”

The impressive number of entrants gives an indication of the standing of the event, renowned for its prevailing sense of camaraderie, sportsmanship, flawless race management and host of popular social events. The diversity of the fleet, divided into six different classes, is testament to Nautor’s reputation as a builder of yachts of enduring quality and appeal.

“The Rolex Swan Cup is a synonym for passion, racing, fun and dedication. It is an opportunity for us to share with our owners and our historical partners, Rolex and the YCCS, our unique and unconditional love for the sea and for our Swans. And this year, it is most specially the moment in which to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company,” reveals Nautor’s Swan Chairman Leonardo Ferragamo. “Walking on the docks and looking at the fleet, you can feel the special atmosphere that is being created in preparation for a week of racing.I am truly excited to know that I will have the honour and the privilege to race in the marvellous waters of Sardinia, together with friends, owners and professional sportsmen from all over the world.”

Always innovating

Admired for their size, power, sleek lines and elegance, the Swan Maxi class comprises 16 entrants with interest particularly heightened around the presence of three Swan 115s – Lord Irvine Laidlaw’s Highland Fling 15, Leonardo Ferragamo’s Solleone and the most recent build Shamanna, launched earlier this year. Created to cruise in style and race at breathtaking speed, this new flagship of the SwanLine, designed by the legendary Germán Frers Snr, come together for the first time in Porto Cervo.

The latest thinking in Swan design and evolution is not limited to the imperious 115s. The presence of three ClubSwan 50s – Cuordileone, Genapi and Ladykiller – is drawing equal curiosity and excitement. Inspired by the creative mind of designer Juan Kouyoumdjian, the ClubSwan50 was conceived with the intention of celebrating the marque’s 50th anniversary and providing an extremely fast racing boat which unites the captivating appeal and natural elegance of Swan. Evolution and innovation in equal measure.

Elsewhere in the fleet, one design competition in the Swan 45 and the ClubSwan 42 classes habitually goes down to the week’s very last race, where well-honed teamwork and tactical guile come to the fore. The 16-strong Swan 45 fleet features four-time world champion Earlybird from Germany and another former champion in Samantaga. Defending ClubSwan 42 champion Natalia has been a class winner during her last two Rolex Swan Cup appearances.

Timeless quality

Contrasting the cutting-edge and envelope pushing new launches are the 36-strong Sparkman and Stephens designs, classic yachts produced between 1966 and the early 1980s. The class comprises Tarantella, Swan’s historic first build, together with Josian, winner of the inaugural Rolex Middle Sea Race in 1968, and a host of designs which dominated yacht racing in a bygone era. Among the historic models, the Swan 65 provided the winner of the first Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973-74 and seven of its kind have gathered in Porto Cervo.

These durable, timeless yachts are all united by their proud history, their feats of human endeavour and a lineage of passionate owners who have invested their time and love in adding their own chapter to this most impressive of nautical legacies.

For Pekka Koskenkylä, the Finnish founder of Nautor’s Swan and the man who commissioned Tarantella, witnessing the enduring durability of these early designs naturally evokes an emotion of pride. “Over the next 50 years I’m sure Tarantella and most of the Swans that are afloat now will still be there. This is not a wooden or a steel boat or made of aluminium. It doesn’t rot, it’s just fibre glass, a wonderful material that is built strong enough so it doesn’t flex and lasts practically forever.”

The Rolex Swan Cup is a meeting of tradition and innovation, heritage and progress. Notions which unite all of the event’s longstanding partners.

Racing commences on Tuesday 13 September with the first warning signal scheduled for 11:30 CEST.

Webasto AUS 2020 FOOTER 2Vaikobi 2019AUG - Footer 2Sail Exchange FOOTER New Sails

Related Articles

70th Bermuda Gold Cup day 2
Fireworks continue in Bermuda with six crews through to the quarterfinal round If the conditions on Day 1 of the 70th Bermuda Gold Cup and 2020 Open Match Racing World Championship were spectacular, today they were nearly perfect.
Posted today at 5:30 am
The Ingrid Abery Sailing Calendar 2021
25 hand-picked artistic, dramatic, modern and classic regatta images The Ingrid Abery Sailing Calendar 2021 is now available! Recently awarded a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society, photographer Ingrid has hand-picked twenty five artistic, dramatic, modern and classic regatta images.
Posted on 27 Oct
2020 America's Cup HoF induction set for Thursday
Virtual America's Cup Hall of Fame Induction on Thursday via Zoom buy tickets here The Herreshoff Marine Museum / America's Cup Hall of Fame advises that 2020 America's Cup Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held via Zoom videoconference this Thursday October 29th
Posted on 27 Oct
Offshore Doubles hits 1000 members
1,035 members from 56 countries within its first 2 weeks of existence announced today that it has 1,035 members from 56 countries within its first 2 weeks of existence. Thirteen percent of these members are women and all six continents are well represented.
Posted on 27 Oct
70th Bermuda Gold Cup day 1
Crews come out swinging As Phil Robertson's China One Ningbo and Torvar Mirsky's Mirsky Racing Team streaked out to 4-0 leads in their respective groups, it's hard to believe all of the skippers, including those two, who talked of being rusty coming into this regatta.
Posted on 27 Oct
2020 Inductees to Australian Sailing Hall of Fame
Acknowledging exceptional performance and contribution The Australian Sailing Hall of Fame acknowledges exceptional performance & contribution at highest level by an individual or a team, both past and present, covers all disciplines of sailing, including those in supporting roles such as coaches & designers.
Posted on 27 Oct
The incomparable Vendée Globe
This is ocean racing in its purest form For a race that only started in 1989, the Vendée Globe has reached iconic status in the intervening time. Taking place every four years, this is ocean racing in its purest form; single-handed, non-stop around the world in 60-foot monohulls.
Posted on 26 Oct
Youth Foiling World Cup set for Hong Kong
Things are hotting up in Hong Kong and for the right reasons! Things are hotting up in Hong Kong and for the right reasons! With only five days to go to the entry deadline we have a strong cadre of teams signed up to participate in this groundbreaking event. And not just any teams!
Posted on 26 Oct
Meet the Vendée Globe skippers: Clarisse Cremer
"There is still a lot unknown to me on this Vendée Globe" In what is actually a very short time Clarisse Cremer has gone from the Mini Transat in 2017 to the IMOCA and the Vendée Globe in 2020. But at the age of 30 years old, nothing seems to distub her chirpy demeanour and her unquenchable thirst for learning.
Posted on 26 Oct
70th Bermuda Gold Cup set for competition
All sailors, race committee, umpires and support staff clear COVID testing After a year in which too many regattas were postponed or cancelled due to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, the spectre of International One-Design (IOD) sloops thrashing about Hamilton Harbour is welcomed by all associated with the 70th Bermuda Gold Cup.
Posted on 26 Oct