One point separation
After five close races between the Swan 601s, Torbjorn Tornquist's Artemis is still leading its fleet. With the America's Cup legend Russell Coutts calling the shots, the Swedish entry has three bullets and two second places to her credit. With a discard now in play she holds a two point lead over the all-star crew on Jim Swartz's American entry Moneypenny. In a Swan 45 Class otherwise dominated by American entries, Danilo Salsi's DSK Comifin (ITA) retains the lead after five consecutive top four finishes, including a hard won victory yesterday. Filip Balcaen's Swan 56 Aqua Equinox (BEL) is leading in the Grand Prix fleet, while Stephen and Benedict James' Swan 48 Jacobite (GBR) holds a comfortable 7-point margin among the Classics - both handicap fleets having completed three races to date.
The first boat to cross the finish line of the long distance race, after seven hours of racing on a 40-mile clockwise circumnavigation of the Maddelena archipelago, which led the crews all the way up to the French island of Lavezzi, was Peter Simon's Swan 65 Monsoon Jaguar (GBR). Monsoon claimed line honours for the third successive race of the series in the Classic division and a well deserved victory on handicap, following some solid tactical decisions.
The next boat to reach the finish line, approximately half an hour later at 7.30 pm, was Roel Pieper's Swan 80 Favonius, claiming line honours in the Grand Prix division and a third on handicap. Together with the Swan 601 and the Swan 45 fleets, the Grand Prix entries sailed on a challenging 76-mile long zig-zag course, which led the crews to an initial windward mark, before a winding circuit through the Archipelago de La Maddalena and back to Porto Cervo on an outer route. Massimo Dentice's Swan 70 Bugia Bianca (ITA) came in second after Favonius and was able to claim the top spot on handicap. As the rest of the Grand Prix division came home in darkness, it soon became clear that Filip Balcaen's Belgian Swan 56 Aqua Equinox, with Volvo Ocean Race Dutch skipper Bouwe Bekking on board, still topped the overall leaderboard in the Grand Prix division, having scored a third on corrected time in yesterday's long distance race. Bugia Bianca follows in second, holding a narrow one point margin over Favonius.
Olympic medalist and two-time Round the World skipper Roy Heiner, calling the tactics on board Favonius, summed up yesterday's long distance race: "We had a great start, leaving most of the fleet behind us, but there was a lack of wind fairly early on which made us lose some time. As we neared Lavezzi, the yachts behind us brought the wind up and we managed to get back on track just before the half way mark. We made up the time and really made it happen in the second half of the race, with Bugia Bianca providing the biggest threat. They were sailing fast and were close by throughout the course. It was an interesting race, great fun and I don't think offshore racing really gets any better. We are looking forward to the weekend races and will sail as fast as we can, performing as best we can and leaving the rest to the rating."
The Italian Swan 100S Fantasticaaa co-owned by Lanfranco Cirillo and Leonid Mikchalson, who yesterday was third overall in the Grand Prix division, has now dropped to eighth, having retired from the long distance race.
Torbjorn Torquist's Swan 601 Artemis (SWE) claimed another victory, the third of the series, in yesterday's technically demanding race and now lies in first among its division with a slim two point margin over James R. Swartz's Moneypenny (USA). The Swedish boat crossed the finish line less than two minutes ahead of the American entry - an amazing result after almost 80 miles of sailing and over eight hours spent at sea; an unmistakable proof that this is One-Design sailing at its best. Sailing legend Russell Coutts, tactician on Artemis this week is aided by a top-notch crew that includes a number of experienced America's Cup sailors. Coutts and company had no easy job on their hands, wrestling from start to finish with the talent-loaded crew on Moneypenny, which includes America's Cup and Round the World veterans such as Mark Rudiger, Brett Jones, Peter Craig, Dee Smith, Kimo Worthington and Mike Toppa. Leonardo Ferragamo's Cuor di Leone from Italy, with Paul Cayard leading the afterguard, is currently sitting in third on 10 points.
Commenting on yesterday's long race, James Swartz, owner of Moneypenny, had not foreseen such varied conditions: "It was pretty tough, we had some challenges getting through the light winds but it was fun. All the 601s were pretty even half way around the course and lost some time due to the varying weather conditions, there really was a little of everything. We made around forty sail changes and the crew worked incredibly hard but we have to make fewer mistakes. Artemis sailed a great race, they have a strong crew with Coutts on board. We are optimistic for the other races, the winds have picked up and we are working well as a team."
The Swan 45 fleet, as expected, is enjoying a cut-throat battle at the top. Danilo Salsi's DSK Comifin (ITA) holds on to its overall lead by a slim one point margin with an impressive series of results - 1,4,3,4,1 - which includes an authoritative win yesterday, after lying third at the halfway point. Yesterday, the one-design fleet raced in a tight pack from start to finish throughout the course. Early race leaders, Grant Gordon and Klaus Diederich's Fever (GBR) were edged out in the second half during the demanding beat back from Lavezzi, eventually finishing fourth behind Italian entry, Francesco Martino's T..Too. With an all-Italian crew that includes former Olympian, Whitbread racer and America's Cup competitor Pietro D'Alí and solo sailor Andrea Caracci, yesterday's nine hours and a half passage did nothing to unsettle DSK Comifin, which crossed the finish line four minutes ahead of the second-placed Swantastic (ITA).
Although yesterday's podium was dominated by Italian entries, possibly advantaged by sailing in home waters, three American teams are aggressively chasing overall honours. Dick Weismann's Swan 45 Vixen lies in second on 10 points, only one point behind DSK, but with a weighty 22nd scored in the first race of the series as its discard.
Reggie Cole, Captain on board Vixen, is thrilled about his team's results so far: "We are ecstatic with our performances; this is the best event we have ever had. We were well positioned from the start but lost some time around Lavezzi up to Monaci as it was a real struggle here. Although we didn't react to the conditions as well as we could, we managed to push Vixen back into a strong position, with the crew working really hard." Cole's hopes are high for the final outcome of the series: "I am confident that we can catch DSK, we are improving with every race and love a challenge. We have great chemistry onboard and our primary goal is to sail clean races over the weekend. If we continue to sail well and place well, I am confident that we can win."
William A. Douglas's Goombay Smash currently sits third among the Swan 45 fleet on 23 points and a 12th as its worst performance to date. With an inconsistent series of results including a 23rd in race four, one of the pre-regatta favourites, Bellicosa, still hasn't shown the form that enabled Massimo Ferragamo's team to claim the class world championship last January in Key West.
With a second on handicap in yesterday's long distance race and two bullets in the first two days of the series, the British Swan 48 Jacobite owned by Stephen & Benedict James is firmly in the lead among the Classic division. Jacobite holds a comfortable 7-point margin over William J. Kardash's Swan 44 Aura (USA). Monsoon Jaguar, by far the fastest yacht on the water in its division, is lying in third, on equal points with Aura.
Racing for all fleets resumes tomorrow, Saturday, 16 September. Tonight owners will enjoy the hospitality of Rolex and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda at a gala dinner to be held at the YCCS Clubhouse.
The 14th edition of the biennial Rolex Swan Cup, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda with the collaboration of Nautor's Swan and Rolex as title sponsor, runs from from September 11th to September 17th.
|1||AQUA EQUINOX||Filip Balcaen||BEL6237||2||1||3||6|
|2||BUGIA BIANCA||Massimo Dentice||ITA14014||1||7||1||9|
|4||STAY CALM||Stuart Robinson||GBR70R||4||5||4||13|
|5||FLYING DRAGON||Paolo Scerni||GBR6770R||8||7||5||20|
|8||FANTASTICAAA||Lanfranco Cirillo-Leonid Mikchalson||ITA15185||3||2||22||27|
|10||VIRAGO||Stuart & MarrGwen Townsend||USA51114||12||9||13||34|
|11||THE BLUE PEARL||Anders Johnson||GBR4773||18||11||6||35|
|12||ATALANTE 2||Raymond Tanghe||BEL565||10||14||12||36|
|13||SILANDRA V||Gian Luca Braggiotti||MON76||13||13||10||36|
|14||BRAIN WAVE||J. Brand||NED6131||11||12||14||37|
|15||CLOVER III||Neil Finnegan||52056||9||15||15||39|
|16||KIWI INA ASSITALIA||Team Vela Srl||ITA13521||16||17||11||44|
|17||MARIE BLUE||Carel Paauwe||GBR6095R||15||16||17||48|
|20||KING FISHER||Marcel Welling||NED1257||20||19||22||61|
|1||DSK COMIFIN||Danilo Salsi||ITA2945||1||4||3||9|
|3||GOOMBAY SMASH||William A. Douglass||USA45454||11||3||2||23|
|5||FEVER||Klaus Diederichs/Grant Gordon||GBR945R||6||14||13||28|
|9||SWANTASTIC||Galperti - Rabbo'||ITA45013||2||16||19||33|
|13||TALJ - JEROBOAM CA' NOVA||Vittorio Ruggero - Vittorio Codecasa||ITA1452X||17||13||11||49|
|14||AY! AY! AY!||Leopoldo Gavito||FRA21690||5||30||20||50|
|16||ATLANTICA RACING||Carlo Perrone||ITA45019||24||11||14||52|
|18||PIPER AT THE GATES OF DOW||Charles Swingland||GBR9050||8||22||10||57|
|19||STAR TRADING||Stefano Masi||ITA45050||23||12||16||57|
|20||BLUE NIGHTS||Tea Ekengren-Saur‚n||FIN10390||20||5||30||61|
|22||BELLEROSE - DUVEL||P.Van Heurck/Philippe Moortgat||BEL4528||4||23||24||66|
|25||GINGER||Leslie Green/John Calvert Jones||ITA14545||21||25||22||84|
|26||TOP CLASS||Michael Shlen||ITA14525||12||30||30||102|
|28||MANDOLINO||Diego Visconti/Martino Orombelli||ITA3001||28||26||30||108|
|29||EARLY BIRD||Hendrik Brandis/Christian Nage||GER5245||25||30||30||115|
|2||MONEYPENNY||James R. Swartz||US61007||2||3||2||7|
|3||CUOR DI LEONE||Leonardo Ferragamo||ITA16015||3||1||3||10|
|4||SPIRIT OF JETHOU||Peter Ogden||GBR2601R||4||4||4||15|
|1||JACOBITE||Stephen & Benedict James||GBR48R||1||1||2||4|
|2||AURA||William J. Kardash||USA51016||2||2||7||11|
|3||MONSOON JAGUAR||Peter Simon||GBR9165||3||7||1||11|
|5||BLACK TIE||Gavin Howe||GBR43500||8||3||4||15|
|6||CRILIA||Heinz Gerd Stein||GER4342||10||4||8||22|
|7||FOREIGN AFFAIR||Paul Basson||MON46||12||6||6||24|
|8||REEF POINTS||Joseph Huber||USA52244||5||13||9||27|
|10||SOLENIA 2 - SUSI||Fabio Scalzi - Gianmarco Rinaldi||ITA2992||6||25||5||36|
|11||SELENE||Mark L. Jephcott||GBR976||9||8||22||39|
|14||MONOMOTAPA||Per Ame Nielsen||MO9206||25||9||16||50|
|15||SIMS IV||Stefano Liguori||ITA10029||17||24||12||53|
|19||HESTER||Hans Olaf Henkel||GER2969||14||33||18||65|
|20||LOWLY WORM||John Dean||GBR4639R||7||12||46||65|
|21||TWILIGHT||Michael J. Huyghe||BEL469||19||21||26||66|
|25||BLACK SWAN||Gaetano Breviglieri||ITA8155||20||26||29||75|
|26||NORTHERN CHILD||Julian Sincock||GBR5951T||21||34||24||79|
|27||CHERI HAKKATAN||Ronald Wulff||GER777||24||35||21||80|
|28||HINANO||Pietro, Matteo e Paolo Algeloni||USA51047||30||30||20||80|
|31||WAY OF LIFE||Max Manuel Luders||GER4141||31||19||35||85|
|33||KIDOGO III||Geminiani Enzo||ITA6184||13||38||46||97|
|37||KENTA||Filippo e Marco Alver…||ITA3565R||39||31||36||106|
|39||GUNDEL G||Jens Ulrich Kiessling||GER4850||35||28||46||109|
|40||TARANTELLA||Oy Nautor Ab||FIN36001||27||41||46||114|
|41||MAGIA II||Enrico Scopesi||ITA5529||36||40||46||122|
|43||VENATOR||L. H. Prins||NED6504||43||37||46||126|
|45||FREELANCE||F. Javier Ortiz de Zuntiga||BEL678||46||46||46||138|