Challenge sponsor for Swan

Private aviation company sign up for Swan Challenge series

Wednesday May 11th 2005, Author: Jennifer Holl, Location: United Kingdom
The 38th Antigua Sailing Week marked the first Swan Caribbean Challenge with NetJets as title sponsor of the Swan Challenge Series. Spanning the international racing circuit, the NetJets Swan Challenge Series trophies are awarded to owners of Swans with the highest ranking in regattas around the world. On the final day of Antigua Sailing Week, Edgar Cato with Swan 56 Hissar took home the Asprey trophy winning the NetJets Swan Caribbean Challenge after a demanding week of racing.

A world leader in private aviation, NetJets has previously enjoyed partnering Nautor's Swan at such flagship events as the Swan 45 Gold Cup.

Through title sponsorship of the Swan Challenge Series, NetJets and Nautor's Swan will be hosting exclusive events for Swan owners participating in such key events as the Newport Bermuda Race, Les Voiles de St Tropez, the ARC, Skandia Cowes Week and the Rolex Fastnet Race. Swans compete at these regattas and vie for one of the six Asprey trophies awarded to winners of the Caribbean, Northern European, Baltic Sea, Mediterranean, East American and Transatlantic Challenges.

Across the classes at Antigua Sailing Week, there were 22 Swans in the running for the NetJets Swan Caribbean Challenge Trophy. Winner Edgar Cato chartered Swan 56 Lolita for the week and raced her under the name Hissar. Frank Savage, Lolita's owner, had taken home the Swan Challenge Series trophy at the previous two Antigua Sailing Weeks, which only goes to confirm the strength and stamina of this classic Swan 56 when coupled with two impressive crews.

Throughout the week, competition between Swans was strong in the Racing Big Boat II division, with Erck Rickmer's Swan 86 Flying Dragon, Sir Peter Ogden's Swan 601 Spirit Of Jethou and Swan 86 Dreamland (returning to competition after a 4½ year circumnavigation, and last seen racing in the 2002 Sydney to Hobart Race), competing alongside the new Swan 62 Gienah, chartered from Nautor's Swan Caribbean Charter base. It was Spirit of Jethou that in the end triumphed as the highest placed Swan in the class, taking second place overall. Four Swan 48s also enjoyed a week of close competition within the Racer/Cruiser I Class - Murka, Affinity, Vocation and Yocahu, along with Swan 51s Northern Child of St. Peter Port and Star battled it out for a podium place, with Murka claiming overall victory as class winner.

On the final day of Antigua Sailing Week, Nautor's Swan hosted the Swan owners' reception, attended by Challenge Trophy winner Cato and other members of the Swan family. More than 300 guests gathered at the Cooper & Lumber Store in Antigua to celebrate a great week of sailing and launch NetJets title sponsorship of the Swan Challenge Series. Swan owners are now setting their sights to the colder climbs of the UK for the Rolex Swan European Regatta, the next NetJets Northern European Challenge event.

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