Glamorous gathering

We preview September's Swan Cup in Porto Cervo

Sunday September 1st 2002, Author: Sally Bellwood, Location: Mediterranean
In less than two weeks, over one hundred of the most beautiful yachts in the world will gather in Porto Cervo, Sardinia for the internationally acclaimed sailing regatta, the Swan Cup. Every second year Nautor's Swan stage their flagship event on the Costa Smeralda, hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, continuing in its role as one of the few elite locations for international regattas worldwide.

From 8-15 September, the largest gathering of Swans will take part in what is largely regarded as the most glamorous and exciting events on the sailing calendar. 21 nations are represented with the largest number coming from Italy (22), United Kingdom (18), Germany (16), United States (11) and France (10) and the remaining from the rest of the world. A true mix of international owner's and crew will come to Sardinia with the anticipated excitement of a week of top class competition, rewarded with a world class social calendar.

In 2000, the title of Swan Cup overall champion was awarded to Theo Kinsbergen's Swan 68 Defiance, but Kinsbergen will not be attending this year to defend his title, leaving the contest wide open. However the competition remains hot, with likely contenders including award winning boats such as Aldo Fozzati's brand new Swan 45 La Forza del Destino, current holders of the Giraglia Cup, and 2001 Swan American winner Swan 56 Lolita, owned by US business tycoon Frank Savage. With a range of Swans represented from the Swan 37 to the hi-tech performance yachts of the Swan 70 and Swan 80, this year's regatta guarantees all the hallmarks of a Nautor's Swan event - style and glamour with world respected craftsmanship and true competitive spirit.

Enrico Chieffi, Nautor's Swan Marketing Director, remarked on the significance of the event and looks forward to the regatta: "The Swan Cup is Nautor's Swan's single most important event, not only because it brings the largest gathering of Swans from around the world to one place for a competitive regatta but also stands Nautor apart from other builders by reinforcing the relationship with our owners."

He continued: "The Swan Cup 2002 will prove to be the bigger and better than 2000. We are being hosted again by the newly refurbished Yacht Club Costa
Smerelda, who never waiver in their professionalism and support for the regatta, providing what can only be described as the most stylish of sailing events!"

It is this all encompassing 'Spirit of Swan' that has previously attracted world renowned sailors and celebrities, from super model Claudia Schiffer to international sailing legend, Paul Cayard. 2002 will prove no different, with the return of America's Cup legend, Cayard who will sail on Enrico Scerni's brand new Swan 80, Kora and previous World Match Racing Champion, Ed Baird, who will be spending the week on Tom Stark's highly acclaimed Swan 45, Rush.

Baird will also have another challenge waiting for him in Sardinia, as Nautor's Swan team up with long term partner, Bvlgari for the inaugural Bvlgari Swan 45 Match Racing event. This unique match racing contest will take place on Monday 9th September creating the perfect showcase at the start of the Swan Cup.

This extraordinary event will see two of the world's greatest skippers fighting it out on Nautor's most exciting performance model to date - the Swan 45. Olympic Gold Medallist and current Finn European and World Champion, Ben Ainslie will be taking the helm of the British boat, McFly, owned by Tony Mack, while aforementioned Baird will be flying the stars and stripes on Stark's Rush. Bvlgari and Nautor's Swan VIPs will be joined by a host of Swan owners, crew and international media, to watch what is guaranteed to be a thrilling example of a sailing duel.

If that isn't enough to whet the appetite and get the adrenaline flowing for the rest of the regatta, Nautor's Swan and their partners have laid on a social calendar that is second to none and epitomises the true Italian style that is the signature of every Nautor event. From the moment the Race Village opens on Sunday 8th September the packed programme of events commences, from the Bvlgari Brunch, celebrating the Bvlgari Swan 45 Celebrity Match Racing, and the Deutsche Bank Private Banking exclusive owner's dinner, to the eagerly anticipated Volvo Ocean Race Crew Party on the penultimate night of the regatta. Whatever happens on the water, the Swan Cup Race Village at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda is guaranteed to provide an atmosphere that can enhance a win or forget a loss!

The Spirit of Swan runs through every regatta this Italian yacht manufacturer holds and it is the Swan Cup that shines as the jewel in the crown. Whether it is a family crewed Swan 39 or a professionally run Swan 70, this unique regatta provides a competitive spirit and a sense of belonging that is yet to be rivalled. Since the creation of the Nautor's Swan in 1966, there is a philosophy that has stayed at the heart of the company that encompasses superior quality, unmatched craftsmanship, exceptional beauty and a unique fraternity. This philosophy is still relevant today and truly embodies the Spirit of Swan. There is no better place to experience it than the exquisite coastline of Sardinia for the Swan Cup 2002.

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