Around Virgin Gorda
Late night dancing under the stars at the Oil Nut Bay Beach Party did not dent the energy and enthusiasm of the Swan crews and owners at the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean this morning.
With ten knots of prevailing Caribbean winds out of the east, racing organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda got underway at 1100. The course for the racing divisions reversed the route taken yesterday, with a downwind start outside North Sound down Drake’s Passage keeping the Dog Islands to starboard. Turning north with Round Rock to port and racing hard on the wind along the east coast of Virgin Gorda before turning west at Pajaros Point, launching their spinnakers to pass Oil Nut Bay and continue towards Necker Island and onto to the finish. PRO Peter Craig ensured that the fleet returned to the dock in good time for the ClubSwan Cocktail competition.
A repeat performance in the Maxi Class saw Swan 80 Selene take the win off of Jim Madden’s Swan 601 Stark Raving Mad. While in Class B, it was the South Africans on James Blackmore’s Swan 53 Music who were first in class with Phil Lotz’s Club Swan 42 Arethusa second.
“Pretty light conditions should make things a little more interesting in the coming days," said owner Phil Lotz. "We hope it is not too light, as we want to get the races in. We picked the sails we’d need down range under 10 knots, which we haven’t seen much of. We always like coming here to this part of the islands, warm weather and nice breezes. The atmosphere and the parties are great too."
Making the most of the event is the Cruising Class, specially created by the YCCS to offer shorter courses, without spinnakers and a special rating system designed by the YCCS Technical Manager in which the Swans are classified from ‘top secret’ to ‘incredibly super top secret’. After two days of ‘racing’, Swan 44 Hokusai (FIN) leads the Cruising Class.