Please select your home edition
Henri-Lloyd 2020 LEADERBOARD

Swans embrace the challenge of the Rolex Giraglia

by Nautor's Swan 15 Jun 2019 11:29 PDT 9-15 June 2019
Rolex Giraglia 2019 © Nautor's Swan / Studio Borlenghi

The Rolex Giraglia is one of the Mediterraneans oldest and most loved events. It has evolved continually since its launch in 1953. 2019 marked the 67th edition. With 291 boats competing across all the component parts of this varied and spirited contest, and 243 of them taking part in the offshore race, it is an event in rude health. It is an unmissable fixture for committed racers. And, it is with this background that Nautors Swan has chosen to include the regatta in its Swan One Design circuit The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League and to encourage non-one design Swans to participate by putting up trophies for the best performing yachts of the marque.

2019 has proved a bumper year for Nautors Swan. The conclusion of a highly successful three days of inshore racing off Saint-Tropez, showing the short-course prowess of the Finnish brand, saw 22 yachts compete under Swan One Design and 18 boats in the handicap divisions. Last, but not least, the results in the offshore race to Monaco, where 24 Swans took part, have proved that todays models remain true to the historic DNA of Nautors Swan. Ocean-going racehorses, wolves in sheeps clothing, performance cruisers of the highest order.

The Rolex Giraglia is the perfect fit for our strategy, says Giovanni Pomati, the Nautors Swan Group CEO. We decided some years ago to focus our business on different divisions all linked to performance, seaworthiness, elegance. The Rolex Giraglia offers the possibility for all our owners interested in racing to compete in either one design or under handicap, both inshore and offshore.

It has been great to see our owners sharing their enthusiasm for the sport with their friends and competitors throughout the event, no matter what boat they are sailing upon, continued Mr. Pomati. The Rolex Giraglia is a true festival in this respect.

Mr. Pomati was also keen to stress the importance of events like the Rolex Giraglia within the wider Swan world. Nautors Swan is more than just a pure boat builder, he advises. We are one of the only yards that designs, develops and offers circuits to our owners that mix top events like the Rolex Giraglia and Copa del Rey Mapfre with exclusive regattas like Scarlino and Monaco Swan One Design.

Our aim is to provide a top-level experience for both the owners and sailors of the one design fleet and to those of our performance-cruiser boats who wish to race. Events like the Giraglia help bring the whole Swan family together, which is positive for everyone involved.

For some owners, the experience has been unsurpassed and unexpected in terms of reward, particularly the offshore race. August Schram, winner of the ORC Division overall with his ClubSwan 50, Stella Maris, entered with few expectations at all: We started this campaign less than a year ago at the Copa del Rey and in under a year we have won a major race which is way above anything we could have imagined and which is way above what is reasonable to believe we could do.

Schrams doubts centred not just on his crews ability to perform at the required level, but also the ClubSwan 50s suitability for an offshore race: I am very surprised by the versatility of the ClubSwan 50. It is a true one design racer and this how the competitors and Nautors Swan want to keep it, which is correct. So, going offshore we were surprised how well this boat is built and suited to offshore racing. We never felt we ever crossed the limit even though we were pushing quite hard. It is just really well-suited to offshore racing, which we did not know and did not expect.

In terms of the result, the crew of Stella Maris were justly rewarded in Schrams view: The most beautiful experience is to know we were well prepared, that we have a great motivation to perform and that it has worked out so. We put in so much effort and it has really shown in the result. It is great to have won this ORC event with two other ClubSwan 50s in it because that is a real reference for us. Two great teams and we have been a little bit faster than them both! As for winning the Best-Placed Swan Trophy, Schram is circumspect: To be the best-placed Swan, for now, is a really good feeling.

The race had not been plain sailing. Stella Maris was not the quickest off the line and had to overtake both of the other ClubSwan 50s. This, though, gave the crew confidence: We realized that we were going well because we had two close competitors from the ClubSwan 50 fleet in Ulika and Skorpios. Both are wonderfully well sailed boats, but we were making a little distance on them and so knew we had an edge. This edge in sailing speed was assisted by good crew work and slick decision-making in crossing transition zones between systems: It all made a real difference and the difference was as close as an inshore race could be, which was amazing. Skorpios ended up second overall under ORC and in Class 0, with Ulika in fifth overall and in class.

One of the most memorable moments in the race for Schram was reaching the famed rock: The Giraglia rounding was beautiful. The sun had just gone down and we were just entering the dark. The wind dropped, everything became calm and we could see the rock really well due to the moonlight. It is an impressive picture.

Another Swan yacht making her offshore debut was the Swan 78 Kinina, launched in July last year, so also campaigning at a high level with less than 12-months experience with the boat. Finishing sixth overall in ORC just behind the ClubSwan 42 Fantaghirò (fourth overall & in ORC A) and Ulika, Kinina was first in Class 0.

The owner, Enrico Bonatti, was unsurprisingly in an enthusiastic mood: I am very happy with the race. It is the first we have done and while we have many things to learn and one or two to change, it went very well. As a first-time participant, Bonatti was impressed by the Rolex Giraglia: I really liked it. It was a fantastic race with so many boats. I loved the fact that we started after the small boats so had to overtake them. It was a special spirit. Kinina sailed sensibly and carefully, taking extra care at night with the manoeuvres.

Bonatti put their achievement down to a couple of major factors: We had really good people in the team who stayed motivated. Our tactician was Francesco de Angelis, the Americas Cup sailor, who did a very good job keeping everyone going particularly at night when he was very strong with the crew. The crew boss is Elio Petracchi and I must credit him with putting everything together. We were strong on the bow and with the trimming.

The second factor was the conditions and the way Kinina handled them. The strong winds really suited Kinina. I was really impressed. Several times downwind I saw 20.7 knots, something I did not expect. The boat was at all time safe, nothing broke and nobody was injured, what else can you ask for.

Just like Schram, a high point in the race was rounding the Giraglia: We reached the rock at about twenty past midnight. There were 3 or four boats with us and the moon was bright. It was a beautiful moment. We then found we had a great trajectory to the finish.

With attention in the Mediterranean now turning to the Copa del Rey Mapfre (27 July to 3 August) and in northern waters to the Rolex Fastnet Race (3 August), there is plenty of racing action ahead. Although, it may take some time for the excitement of the Rolex Giraglia to wear off.

The final word lies with Nautors Swan Vice-President, Enrico Chieffi: The whole organization of the event has been a success thanks to the cooperation between the Yacht Club Italiano and the three other yacht clubs: Yacht Club Sanremo, Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez and Yacht Club de Monaco. The beautiful setting of Saint-Tropez has been enriched by the social activities organized with the professionalism of Rolex, making once again the event charming and amazing for both our owners and their crews. Moreover, the weather conditions have created a great battle camp: compelling, competitive and unexpected!

Rolex Giraglia: Selected Nautor's Swan Results:

ClubSwan 50: Cuordileone, Leonardo Ferragamo (winner)
Swan 45: Porròn IX, Luis Senìs (winner)
ClubSwan 42: Fantaghirò, Carlandrea Simonelli (winner)
ORC 0 Cruisers: Lorina, Jean Pierre Barjon (winner)
ORC A: From Now On, Fernando Chain (winner)

Offshore Race
ORC Overall: Stella Maris, August Schram (winner)
IRC Overall: Spare a thought for Jerome Stubler and Raving Swan, one of a handful of sub-50 foot yachts to sneak into the top-twenty of the IRC division.

ORC A: From Now On, Fernando Chain (winner)

Related Articles

2020 Rolex Swan Cup to take place in Sardinia
Over 60 yachts are set to compete in this September's edition Bringing those passionate about the ocean and racing together, over 60 yachts are set to compete in this September's edition of the much-loved regatta in Sardinia Posted on 28 Jul
Nautor's Swan Global Service enhance customer care
A guardian angel for all the Swan owners Nautor's Swan, with more than 2,350 yachts delivered since 1966, redefines its Customer Care Service by creating a new division: Nautor's Swan Global Service. Posted on 22 Jul
The new Swan 98
30 meters of volume, contemporary elegance and effortless performance Designed by the experienced and successful Germán Frers, the brand-new 30-metre Swan 98 will redefine high performance cruising by delivering unrivalled comfort, safety and reliability while ocean passage-making at speed. Posted on 15 Jul
Rolex Swan Cup 2020 opens a great regatta season
Taking place in the amazing setting of Porto Cervo, Sardinia Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Nautor's Swan, together with its longstanding partner Rolex, are pleased to confirm the 2020 Rolex Swan Cup will take place from 7th to 13th September, in the amazing setting of Porto Cervo, Sardinia. Posted on 1 Jul
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and Rolex Swan Cup confirmed
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda sporting season to resume in July The regattas will be held in a modified mode: registration procedures will be streamlined through digital channels, the skippers' briefing and the prize-giving - which will take place outdoors - will involve a limited number of crew members. Posted on 30 Jun
Swan American Regatta postponed to 2021
Covid-19 pandemic forces the New York Yacht Club to modify 2020 Race Week The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the New York Yacht Club to postpone 2020 Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex, which was to include the Swan American Regatta, from its scheduled dates of July 14 to 18 to a to-be-determined date in September. Posted on 28 May
First hull of the new Swan 58 out of the mould
The new Swan Bluewater yacht is well on its way The first hull of the new Swan 58, a proper Bluewater yacht which combines comfort and performance, is out of the mould. The transparent gelcoat, used on the first hull both for bottom and topsides, is employed to better detect any possible imperfection Posted on 30 Apr
Swan European Regatta postponed
Nautor and Turku have jointly decided to postpone the event In the light of the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus affecting the whole world, Nautor's Swan and Turku Yacht Club met yesterday to define the next steps for the organization of the Swan European Regatta. Posted on 9 Apr
CoViD-19 update on ClubSwan racing events
Nautor's Swan is committed to follow instructions to avoid the spread of virus Due the CoViD-19 emergency affecting the whole world, Nautor's Swan is fully committed to follow National and International instructions to avoid the spread of the virus. Posted on 26 Mar
Nautor's Swan reveals Swan 98
Maxi yacht is meant to satisfy and meet owners' needs With a project presented in Monaco in 2018, the New era of Maxi Swan starts with Swan 98, with her 30 metres of volume, elegance and seaworthiness. Posted on 11 Mar
Gul 2020 FOOTERC-Tech 2020 Battens 728x90 BOTTOMRS Sailing 2020 - RSSS - FOOTER