25 Swan 45s expected
Set in the heart of the Mediterranean, the beautiful Bay of Naples provides the perfect setting for some highly challenging One-Design Class racing. With the owner-driver element remaining one of its greatest attractions, Swan owners will have to navigate their Swan 45 through the shifts and gusts of a sometimes unpredictable, yet rewarding venue such as Capri. A carefully chosen team may be crucial to winning or losing and thus, top class sailors from all over the world will travel to Capri to compete for the prestigious Gold Cup.
The Swan 45 Gold Cup will see world-renowned sailor, Vincenzo Onorato, competing with his Swan 45 Mascalzone Latino. Onorato will surround himself with many of the crew that raced with him on his America's Cup challenge in Auckland two years ago including Vasco Vascotto, as well as Adrian Stead of GBR Challenge fame, with the added advantage that he and his crew have an intimate knowledge of the Bay of Naples. Swan 45 Northern European Area Champion, Keith Miller owner of Crackerjack, as well as Swan 45 Mediterranean Area Champion Erik Maris, owner of Twins, will also head for Capri in an attempt to extend their titles to world champion.
Two teams are crossing the Atlantic in a bid to replicate the success they have enjoyed on the American circuit. Swan 45 Eastern American champion Tom Stark will participate with his Rush Reloaded crew. Stark's crew includes North Sails guru and two-time Star world champion Andreas Josenhans, double Olympian from Canada, Phil Gow and World Match Racing Champion, Ed Baird. In addition, William Douglass, owner of Goombay Smash will also travel with his crew and Swan 45 from New York to Capri, saying he is "thrilled to be lucky enough to be part of the event. The Swan 45 Gold Cup is the first regatta of its kind and it promises to be a fantastic sailing event with top class racing."
The six-day regatta will see the Swan 45 fleet compete in nine challenging races, predominantly competitive windward leeward courses, in addition to one long race. A challenging week of racing will be complimented by a social programme second to none for the more than 500 participants to enjoy, in addition to daily prize giving awards in the Regatta Village for the first, second and third placed Swan 45s. Once the first ever world champion of this growing class has been established, the Swan 45 Gold Cup will take place every 18 months. The 2006 edition will be in Key West, USA, in conjunction with North America's top one-design racing event; Key West Race Week.
Enrico Chieffi, Marketing Director for Nautor's Swan, is satisfied at the prospect of holding the first ever 'World Championships' for the Swan 45 Class, just three years after the Swan 45s burst onto the international racing scene: "The Swan 45 Gold Cup promises to deliver the very highest standard of racing. For the Swan 45 Class to have established itself worldwide in such a short space of time is a tremendous achievement for Nautor. It has set the foundations for the Swan 601 Class which Nautor hopes will be an even greater success."
The new Swan 601 will make its debut at the Rolex Swan Cup, in Porto Cervo, from 12-19 September this year. This new one-design class yacht has all the signs of becoming globally established, with the Swan 601 Class Rules and an international racing programme already in place. It is anticipated that some of sailing's most prestigious owners will sign up to the 'Swan 601 Class' just as they have with the Swan 45 Class.