More Swan racing for Ainslie

Sally Bellwood looks at the British participation due at the Swan Cup next week in Sardinia

Thursday September 5th 2002, Author: Sally Bellwood, Location: United Kingdom
In just under one week on 8 September, the Swan Cup 2002 will commence in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, with an impressive fleet of 17 Swans representing the United Kingdom. Every second year the luxurious yacht manufacturer, Nautor's Swan stage their flagship event on the Costa Smeralda, attracting international sailors from all over the world. This year proves to be no different with the likes of Ben Ainslie pitching their talent against the rest of the world.

Flying the Union Jack at this year's regatta are proven racers such as McFly, the first Swan 45 to be delivered to the UK. Tony Mack's high performance boat has already achieved great success in the short time since her launch in Finland. Mack will be shipping McFly to Sardinia, fresh from a jubilant result at Skandia Life Cowes Week, where he fought off stiff competition, including Richard Loftus' Swan 65, Desperado, to take overall 2nd place in Class 1 IRC. Mcfly will arrive in Sardinia with serious intentions backed up by a serious crew. This sleek new Swan will have the likes of previous Olympic Gold Medallist Ben Ainslie, hoping to race Nautor's innovative model to her full potential.

With Fleet Racing starting on Tuesday 10th September, Mack hopes to show the competition what he and his experienced crew are capable of in one of the
most unique match racing contests ever, The Bvlgari Swan 45 Match Race onMonday 9th September. McFly, skippered by Ainslie will be representing the
US as she goes head to head with US Swan 45, Rush, owned by Tom Stark and skippered by former America's Cup skipper and World Match Racing Champion, Ed Baird. These two sailing giants will fight it out just off the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda marina, providing what is sure to be a highly charged example of seriously competitive sailing.

The thrilling Match Race kicks off a week of highly competitive sailing. Notable British entrants include Peter Ogden's Swan 60, Spirit of Jethou who has participated in a multitude of regattas including the Swan Cup 2000, the Voiles de Saint Tropez in 2000 and 2001, the Swan European Regatta, the America's Cup Jubilee and the ARC in 2001. Ogden will be competing alongside such prolific trophy winners as Desperado, a Swan 65 owned by Richard Loftus. Desperado has participated in ever edition of the Swan Cup, except for one in 1996, and has achieved podium position at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Cork Week, Cowes Week and the Fastnet. Joining the British fleet is Sir Geoffrey Mulchay on his Swan 56, Noonmark VI who will be looking to improve the fourth position achieved at the Swan Cup 2000.

With 111 entrants from 21 countries this truly international event provides a competitive field on which the British contingent can prove their sailing worth. The Swan Cup brings together hundreds of boat owners in a series of sporting and social events that capture the Spirit of Swan. With the stunning backdrop of Porto Cervo and the unmatched hospitality of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, competition may be fierce in the upper echelons but fun seekers are amply provided for, both on and off the water. Whatever the result, the British fleet joins a host of countries for what will be a week of thrilling and eventful racing at the Swan Cup 2002.

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