Published on Friday March 17, 2017
NO BETTER PLACE TO HAVE FUN!
The 2017 Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean has attracted a strong fleet of spectacular Nautor’s Swan yachts to the iconic waters of the BVI-Caribbean for a memorable regatta that blended hard fought racing with the grace, elegance and style that has become synonymous with this iconic marque. After four fun-filled days of racing at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s Caribbean home in Virgin Gorda, Don Macpherson’s Swan 90 Freya and Leonardo Ferragamo’s ClubSwan 50 Cuordileone have been crowned champions of the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean 2017. In the Maxi Division, the Spanish Swan 80 Plis-Play took second place in the overall rankings ahead of Selene, another Swan 80. In the Grand Prix/Mini Maxi division Gibb Kane’s Swan 66 Bounty took the second place with Earlybird in the third position.
In an 18-boat fleet that ranged from the 13.5-metre Swan Best Buddies to the imposing 35-metre Swan 115s Highland Fling and Shamanna, and from the 1973 launched historic Whitbread winner Sayula to the cutting-edge ClubSwan 50 Earlybird christened before the event at YCCS, the entire spectrum of Nautor’s Swan yachts was well represented. Freya, with Volvo Ocean Race veteran Kimo Worthington calling tactics, scored an impressive run of three straight wins out of four races and can now boast victory in the Swan Cup on both sides of the Atlantic. “We had a fantastic race. It’s wonderful to be here in the beautiful BVI. YCCS is such a great Club
and the Rolex Swan regatta is a fabulous event, everybody had a great time. It’s thrilling and humbling to win against a lot of other great boats. It’s extra special to win this race back-to-back with our win in Porto Cervo in September.” commented Freya’s owner Don Macpherson as he returned to dock at the YCCS Marina.
Leonardo Ferragamo at the helm of Cuordileone had a tough fight on his hands from the off with the second participating ClubSwan 50 Earlybird. Earlybird, the latest ClubSwan 50 hull launched, together with Leonardo Ferragamo’s Courdileone, are futuristic one-design yachts and they have provided an electrifying spectacle during the four days of match. The two boats finished just 4 seconds apart in real time during the last day of competition, however it was the Italian boat with Ken Read on tactics that prevailed overall, again with three wins over the four race days.
As the owner and driver of the winning boat as well as Chairman of Nautor’s Swan, Mr. Ferragamo was doubly satisfied with the week’s events: “We had a fabulous week. The racing was phenomenally good, I think this place is pretty close to paradise and the sailing and racing conditions were just perfect. The racing was fun and competitive among all the various participants. I got to drive the ClubSwan 50 and it was great to see very tight racing and the two boats just seconds apart on the finish line and of course I’m extra happy about Cuordileone’s win.”
Ken Read, tactician on board Cuordileone, enjoyed this superb sailing day: “This area is always breathtaking to sail in and I think anybody in the fleet would have a hard time saying there is any other better place to go sailing or racing in the world.
Great breeze, 20 knots, a fast fun boat,
great crew: a day like today just makes you realise why we all love sailboat racing so much. The key to win was very simple, Daniele Cassinari and Mr Ferragamo just did a great job of keeping the boat going fast.”
Crewed by a pool of friends and family, Best Buddies has been with owners Kay-Johannes and Susann Wrede for almost 20 years – with the exception of a short hiatus in which she was sold, rediscovered by chance by the Wredes in poor condition some years later and then returned by them to her former glory, upon which they vowed never to be parted from her again. With an emphasis on fun but a history of winning and placing in top international regattas, Best Buddies has been one of the participating yachts that best sums up the spirit of the Rolex Swan Cup regattas. For those reasons they won the special prize “Spirit of the Event”.
“We’ve been participating in a few races in the Caribbean and placing well but our final objective was to get here and compete in this event,” explained owner Susann. “There’s a special spirit at Swan events. I think it dates back to when Swan was smaller and known for building the most
seaworthy yachts ever and fast and elegant; now they are even more elegant and bigger but the spirit is still there, it’s a Swan family and it’s just so much fun. This is a strong boat and she really is part of our family.”
During the final prize giving ceremony YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo summed up the unique spirit of Rolex Swan events: “What makes the Rolex Swan Cup events in Porto Cervo and here in the Caribbean so special – in addition to the enduring partnership between YCCS, Rolex and Nautor’s Swan – is the way the Swan family comes together. We have classic and new boats here, large and small yachts, world-class professional sailors and amateur crews of friends and family – but what they all have in common is their passion for these boats and for sailing and we are pleased to share that passion.”