Nautor's Swan: Swan One Designs at the Nations Trophy 2019
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 6:36 PM
The Nations Trophy 2019 is less than a month away and has attracted the largest ever gathering of Swan One Designs, quite an achievement given all participating yachts will be in excess of 36 feet. Scheduled for the 8 – 12 October in Palma di Mallorca, some 40 Swan One Designs will take part in the event that pitches nation against nation and celebrates the attributes of real time racing.
The cream of the entry is undoubtedly the 18 ClubSwan 50s, the first time that such a number of the Finnish brand’s flagship one design model have raced together. Six Swan 45s and 12 ClubSwan 42s add to the competitive mix, while the racing debut of the latest Swan One Design to be launched, the ClubSwan 36, promises to polish further an already burnished regatta.
Racing will be conducted by the Real Club Náutico de Palma, a close partner of Nautor’s Swan in the delivery of its pinnacle one design regatta, but also its recently concluded The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League. Mr. José Javier Sanz Fernández, President of the RCNP, had this to say: “The Real Club Náutico de Palma is proud to hold the second Nations Trophy, a regatta of which the club has felt a part since its first edition.
For more than five years we have worked closely with this prestigious boatyard, Nautor’s Swan, to organize some exciting regattas. New, competitive classes, such as the ClubSwan 50, have become a reference at both of our international regattas, Sail Racing PalmaVela and the Copa del Rey MAPFRE.”
The relationship between the RCNP and Nautor's Swan is one of trust and collaboration. The size of the Swan fleet in Palma is no coincidence. Along with Porto Cervo, this superlative racing venue has long been one of the spiritual homes for Swan yachts. Mr Sanz continues: “Nautor’s Swan and the Real Club Náutico de Palma share the same philosophy when working together: we both seek excellence in what we do.
This is why we have attained success together, in these years of collaboration. The Nations Trophy has reinforced our relationship and, despite its youth, owners already believe it a very important event to attend.”
The second edition of the Nations Trophy has attracted some 14 different countries, three more than 2017. The fleet of 40 boats is 12 more than last time. Aside from The Nations Trophy itself, there are three class championships at stake, all adding spice to an already tantalizing flavour: ClubSwan 50 Worlds, Swan 45 Worlds and ClubSwan 42 Europeans.
The form boat is undoubtedly Leonardo Ferragamo’s Cuordileone, the commanding winner of this year’s Mediterranean League, winning three of the four events, including the final leg during the Copa del Rey. The pressure will be on though. The biggest fleet of the season includes some heavy hitters, including: Stefan Heidenreich’s OneGroup (GER), the current class World Champion; Hendrik Brandis’ Earlybird (GER), second overall in the 2019 League, as well as class winner at the inaugural Nations Trophy and 2017 European Championship; and Sonke Meier Sawatzki’s Niramo (GER), winner at the Scarlino Swan One Design in May.
Strength runs deep in the ClubSwan 50 class and, despite Cuordileone’s apparent runaway success, racing has been incredibly close this season with very little separating crews. The avoidance of error or, at least, minimising the impact is critical. Yachts that have shown potential include Dmitry Rybolovlev’s Skorpios (RUS), a thorn in the side throughout the summer and third overall in the league. August Schram’s Stella Maris (AUT) is another to look out for. New to the class this season, it has been a steep learning curve, but results have always improved. Andrea Masi’s Ulika, second at Monaco Swan One Design, has been inconsistent but, like so many others, is more than capable of winning races and putting together a solid scoreline.
The fleet will be further enhanced by the presence of two ‘royal’ yachts: H.M. King Harald of Norway’s Fram XVIII (NOR) and Aifos500 (ESP), helmed by H.M. King Felipe of Spain during the Copa del Rey. Among all this, spare a thought for Pablo Garriga making a racing debut with his brand new Tenaz (ESP).
Slim on numbers, but by no means short on talent, the Swan 45 class has attracted a multi-national fleet representing six countries and including the double-world champion, Luis Senìs Segarra and Porrón IX, aiming for a three-peat to cap a perfect season where the Spanish crew has won every Swan One Design regatta entered. Starting in Monaco in late April, Senìs and his well-drilled team pushed the performance level of their rivals as well as their personal one, as they worked hard to stay ahead. Tea Ekengren’s Blue Nights (FIN) and Lennard van Oeveren’s Motions (NED) have pressed the hardest and go into the season finale knowing nothing but the very best will serve to offer an opportunity to beat Porrón IX. The class welcomes back Samantaga, owned by Philippe Moortgat, Patrick Van Heurck and Dires van Den Abbeele, after an extended absence, along with Swedish entry, Brujo, owned by Bjorn Rosengren.
Heading into the final event of the season, four boats were in with a chance of topping the Mediterranean League. The Copa del Rey would determine the result and did not disappoint. Natalia Brailoiu and Natalia did their best to deliver a lesson in consistency, but could not shake off the attentions of Lorenzo Mondo’s Far Star, Pit Finis’ Dralion and Pedro Vaquer Comas’ Nadir. In the event, the Romanian crew did prevail, becoming the first female-skippered yacht to win at the premier Spanish regatta and, in doing so, lifted the League title. The Romanians will go into The Nations Trophy with confidence, but wary of Mondo’s team that has a point to prove and Carlandrea Simonelli’s Fantaghiró, winners at Scarlino and the Rolex Giraglia inshore series.
With four of the latest Swan One Design from the drawing board of Juan Kouyoumdjan making their racing debut, there will be plenty of attention on the smallest boats in the fleet. The striking design will cause an immediate impact and, if the test programme is anything to go by, so too will the performance of these innovative pocket-rockets.
The Nations Trophy
The destination of the magnificent Nations Trophy, designed in 2017 for the inaugural, biennial event by Milanese silversmiths Buccellati, will be determined by taking the two best-placed yachts from each country and combining their place-position. Yachts may be in the same class. Italy go into the competition as favourites and with a two-point advantage having secured both the 2018 and 2019 Nations Trophy Mediterranean League titles and the bonus points that followed. The 2017 trophy went to Spain, with Italy in second and Germany in third.
Partners and Social Programme
The Nations Trophy 2019 will be more than just a regatta. As a gathering of like-minded Swan owners, the social component will be significant as crews come ashore to set aside rivalries and enjoy the camaraderie of their peers. The feature of the programme will be the owner’s dinner on the 11 October, supported by Ferrari Trentino for whom sustainability, so important to yachtsmen the world over, is a commitment and watchword, and, for whom the production of sparkling wines is a fine art.
With protection of the world's oceans and sustainability high on the global agenda, Nautor's Swan is proud that The Nations Trophy continues to play its part through collaborations with its partners Fundacion Ecomar and Maravivo.