One point separation

In the Swan 45s after three races in the Rolex Swan Cup

Friday September 15th 2006, Author: Key Partners, Location: Italy
Clear blue skies and a warm sun are shining over Porto Cervo on the lay-day of the 14th Rolex Swan Cup, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. The memory of yesterday's gloomy skies, torrential rain and variable winds has been short lived for all but the crews who yesterday fought out a grueling long distance race, in some cases spending up to 12 hours at sea.

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.

Results


Pos Boat Skipper Sail No. R1 R2 R3 Tot
Grand Prix
1 AQUA EQUINOX  Filip Balcaen BEL6237 2 1 3 6
2 BUGIA BIANCA  Massimo Dentice ITA14014 1 7 1 9
3 FAVONIUS  Roel Pieper ITA7 5 3 2 10
4 STAY CALM  Stuart Robinson GBR70R 4 5 4 13
5 FLYING DRAGON  Paolo Scerni GBR6770R 8 7 5 20
6 MALIGAYA  Andrew Soriano GBR8663 6 6 8 20
7 MANU  Urs Brunner GBR7007 7 10 7 24
8 FANTASTICAAA  Lanfranco Cirillo-Leonid Mikchalson ITA15185 3 2 22 27
9 BERENICE  Marco Rodolfi ITA989 14 8 9 31
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
18 MYSTERY  Bill Ireland 0 19 18 16 53
19 RANI  Jochen Hertzke GER333 17 22 18 57
20 KING FISHER  Marcel Welling NED1257 20 19 22 61
21 VARSOVIE  ODA Limited USA7701 21 20 22 63
Swan 45
1 DSK COMIFIN  Danilo Salsi ITA2945 1 4 3 9
2 VIXEN  Dick Weismann USA45032 22 1 1 10
3 GOOMBAY SMASH  William A. Douglass USA45454 11 3 2 23
4 BELLICOSA  Massimo Ferragamo USA52225 9 2 5 25
5 FEVER  Klaus Diederichs/Grant Gordon GBR945R 6 14 13 28
6 VERTIGO  Marco Salvi GBR23R 27 9 4 28
7 PLENTY  Alexander Roepers USA52059 3 10 8 29
8 BANDIT  Andrew Fisher USA45026 15 6 7 30
9 SWANTASTIC  Galperti - Rabbo' ITA45013 2 16 19 33
10 WISC  Glynn Williams GBR45R 7 7 12 37
11 T?TOO  Francesco Martino ITA15000 10 18 9 40
12 MINTAKA  Stefano Polti ITA14519 17 17 6 47
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
15 NEMO  Bernard Lambilliotte GBR17R 19 15 15 51
16 ATLANTICA RACING  Carlo Perrone ITA45019 24 11 14 52
17 YASHA  Yukihiro Ishida JPN6234 26 8 21 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
21 CHARISMA  Nico Poons NED7465 16 21 17 64
22 BELLEROSE - DUVEL  P.Van Heurck/Philippe Moortgat BEL4528 4 23 24 66
23 MAGICIAN  Jacques Bureau FRA9400 13 19 18 66
24 GIBIAN  Armando Grandi ITA4541 18 20 23 82
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
Swan 601
1 ARTEMIS  Torbjorn Tornquist SWE11011 1 2 1 5
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
Classic
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
4 JUNKANOO  Colin Buffin GBR1622 4 5 3 12
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
9 MATCHLESS  Carlo Comparini GBR171 11 15 10 36
10 SOLENIA 2 - SUSI  Fabio Scalzi - Gianmarco Rinaldi ITA2992 6 25 5 36
11 SELENE  Mark L. Jephcott GBR976 9 8 22 39
12 EMOTION  Franco Gaiani ITA12482 16 11 17 44
13 ISKAREEN  Reemt Bruhns GER4517 15 17 13 45
14 MONOMOTAPA  Per Ame Nielsen MO9206 25 9 16 50
15 SIMS IV  Stefano Liguori ITA10029 17 24 12 53
16 DREAM  Francesco Persio ITA7182 18 22 15 55
17 DIOSCURA  Erling Astrup NOR11007 28 14 19 61
18 TORTUGA  Sell Guenter GER4760 42 10 11 63
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
22 MILANTO  PASYC GBR9804 29 16 23 68
23 RITA  Achim Tuerklitz GER273 23 18 27 68
24 MONTRACHET  Robert Schuijt NED6293 26 29 14 69
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
29 SAIDA  Michael Krueger GER4365 34 23 25 82
30 SASSENACH  Ian Laing GBR532R 37 20 28 85
31 WAY OF LIFE  Max Manuel Luders GER4141 31 19 35 85
32 YELLOWDRAMA  Stephen Matthews GBR1250 22 39 31 92
33 KIDOGO III  Geminiani Enzo ITA6184 13 38 46 97
34 ASTRA  Jeremy Paul GBR9664 41 27 30 98
35 FIDIBU'  Alfonso Weber FIN5252 33 36 33 102
36 BALLYTRIM  Andrew Allner GBR5046R 40 32 34 106
37 KENTA  Filippo e Marco Alver… ITA3565R 39 31 36 106
38 VAITIARA  Battista Galliani ITA9384 32 43 32 107
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
42 ALBABLU  Renato Irrera ITA11844 38 42 46 126
43 VENATOR  L. H. Prins NED6504 43 37 46 126
44 BERGAME  Pierre Rouaud FRA34606 44 46 37 127
45 FREELANCE  F. Javier Ortiz de Zuntiga BEL678 46 46 46 138

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