Published: Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Asia had a strong presence this year at the Rolex Swan Cup in Costa Smeralda, with Yukihiro Ishida’s Yasha dominating the Grand Prix class during the week, securing an overall victory. This was the newly refitted yacht’s first race since the 2002 Rolex Swan Cup.

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The overall winners in their respective divisions in the Rolex Swan Cup and Swan 45 World Championship 2014 are: Wohpe (Swan 60), Nikata (Swan Maxi), Yasha (Grand Prix), Finola (Classic) and Natalia (Club Swan 42). The winner of the Rolex Swan 45 World Championship – for the fourth time – is Earlybird, owned by Christian Nagel and Hendrick Brandis. At the conclusion of the event, which marks 30 years of partnership between organisers the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Nautor's Swan and Rolex, prizes were awarded to winners in the six competing divisions together with a Rolex timepiece.

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YCCS Member Roberto Lauro's Swan 601 Wohpe rounded off a week of formidable performances with line honours and corrected time victory. This brought the Italian team to a total of three bullets in a series that they took control of, holding a slim lead from day one. Gerard Logel's Arobas took second place just one point clear of Vladimir Liubomirov's Bronenosec.

"I am overjoyed with our success. I have to thank my crew, sailboat racing is all about teamwork and they did an outstanding job,” says Lauro. “Today's win confirms my happiness of having bought a Swan, I strongly believe that the world of Swan stands for a lifestyle where core values are shared among the owners. I came to Porto Cervo with a clear goal; we didn't come here just to enjoy ourselves. You compete to get to the point – to finish first."

Overall victory in the Swan Maxi division ultimately came down to the last race as just one point separated the top three boats in the final classification. The London-based Swan 82 Nikata posted her second bullet of the series to pip Marco Rodolfi's Swan 80 Berenice Bis to the post by half a point. The Swan 80 Selene, with an international crew on board, took third place.

Triumph For Asia At The Rolex Swan Cup In Porto Cervo 

Yukihiro Ishida's Yasha dominated the Grand Prix class throughout the week. With an all-star crew that included Hamish Pepper and Jesper Bank, the Swan 56 consistently claimed line honours and a second place in corrected time was enough to come out on top, ahead of James Blakemore's Swan 53 Music. Third place went to the Swan 441 Best Buddies, owned by Kay-Johannes Wrede.

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In the 23-boat Classic division Chris Frost continued an impressive comeback with his Finola, which saw him post his second consecutive bullet. The win moved the 1978 Sparkman and Stephens-designed Swan 36 neatly into first place overall one point ahead of former division leader Shirlaf, the Swan 65 owned by Giuseppe Puttini. Second place in the last race brought Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino up to third place.

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A week-long battle between the German boats Elena Nova and Earlybird concluded with assignation of the World Champion title to Earlybird with Jochen Schümann on tactics. Elena Nova, owned by Christian Plump, had to settle for second place ahead of Dutch boat No Limits.

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Romania's Natalia delivered the final coup de grâce in the Swan 42 fleet by posting a bullet, which, with a discard coming into play, left her eight points clear of Magical Mystery Tour owned by Edward Leask. Leonardo Ferragamo's Courdileone finished the week in third place.

"I am very happy, we had a great week,” says Natalia Brailoiu, helmsperson on the winning Swan 42. “We weren't always first in our fleet, but we were consistent and consistency pays. We've been sailing with this crew for a long time, about four years, and this is the key to our success. I have complete faith in my crew and they help me a lot. We are very happy to be here in Porto Cervo, the fleet is great and the spirit of the class is fantastic. I am very proud to be able to compete at this level as a woman and I really enjoy what I do."

With the 18th Rolex Swan Cup finished, the YCCS sporting season in the Mediterranean has also come to an end. The next appointment is for the Swan fleet once again, this time in Caribbean waters at the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean (Mar 3-7, 2015), hosted at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's winter base in Virgin Gorda.



Position. Boat (Mod.) - R1/R2/R3/R4/R5/R6 - Total

1. Wohpe (Swan 601) - 1/2/1/(3)/2/1 - 7

2. Arobas (Swan 601) - 2/(5)/2/4/1/2 - 11

3. Bronenosec (Swan 60)  - 3/1/3/2/(4)/3 - 12



Position. Boat (Mod.) - R1/R2/R3/R4 - Total

1. Nikata (Swan 82) - 5/5/1/1 - 12

2. Berenice Bis (Swan 80-100) - 1/3,5/4/4 – 12.5

3. Selene (Swan 80) - 2/2/7/2 - 13



Position. Boat (Mod.) - R1/R2/R3/R4 - Total

1. Yasha (Swan 56) - 2/2/1/2 - 7

2. Music (Swan 53) - 4/1/2/1 - 8

3. Best Buddies (Swan 441R) - 1/4/3/3 - 11



Position. Boat (Mod.) - R1/R2/R3/R4 - Total

1. Finola(Swan 36) - 5/3/1/1 - 10

2. Shirlaf (Swan 65) - 4/1/2/4 - 11

3. Mascalzone Latino (Swan 38) - 1/7/4/2 - 14


SWAN 45 (CLASS 45)

Position. Boat - R1/R2/R3/R4/R5/R6/R7/R8/R9 - Total 

1. Earlybird - 1/2/1/3/2/1/(3)/2/2 - 14

2. Elena Nova - 2/1/2/1/1/(4)/2/3/3 - 15

3. No Limits - 3/5/4/4/5/2/4/1/(6) - 28



Position. Boat - R1/R2/R3/R4/R5/R6/R7/R8/R9 - Total 

1. Natalia - 3/2/2/2/1/2/(4)/2/1 - 15

2. Magical Mystery Tour - 6/4/1/4/(7)/3/1/1/3 - 23

3. Cuordileone - 1/1/4/7/8/(8)/3/3/2 - 29