Largest ever gathering of ClubSwan 36s for first ever European Championship
Largest ever gathering of ClubSwan 36s for first European Championship
The largest ever fleet of ClubSwan 36s has gathered in the historic Croatian port of Split for a highly competitive event to decide the class's first European Champion.
No fewer than 12 of the state-of-the-art one-design racing machines will contest the ClubSwan 36 Europeans over four intense days beginning on Wednesday 5 October.
The championship is based at the ACI Marina in Split, with ACI – the Adriatic Croatia International Club – a sponsor of the event working alongside ClubSwan Racing and one of the Mediterranean's largest marina chains.
"We are thrilled to be heading into our first ever European Championship event, it confirms that the class has struck a chord with owners and found its place in the sailing world." said Federico Michetti, Head of Swan One Design Sport Activities.
"There's going to be super-tight competition out on the water, and great camaraderie ashore – it is going to be a spectacular regatta. We are hugely appreciative of ACI's support and collaboration in developing the class and putting on this event,” he added.
With no result discards available in any of the 10 scheduled races, consistency, faultless crew work and smart tactical decision-making will be the key to success in what is sure to be a closely contested championship with eight nations represented.
As the 2022 season's five Nations League regattas have demonstrated – with the opening trio producing three different winners – several teams have shown the skills and determination to be European Champion.
Among those going into the regatta as leading contenders are Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio's G Spot and Lorenzo Mondo's Farstar.
G Spot won the ClubSwan 36 class at the season's opening event, the Swan Tuscany Challenge back in April, and then doubled down on the feat with victory at the two most recent regattas – Copa del Rey and last month's season finale, the Rolex Swan Cup. The team also played a major part in taking Monaco to third place in the Nations League when the season-long competition concluded in Porto Cervo.
Farstar meanwhile has finished runner-up in all three of the regattas she has taken part in this year, only losing the first one – the Swan One Design Worlds in July – on countback, and is certain to want to go one better in Split.
Other likely title contenders include Black Seal, with Richard Thompson's team posting the biggest regatta winning margin of the season at the Swan Sardinia Challenge, Edoardo Ferragamo's Cuordileone, and Mehmet Taki's Facing Future, both regularly featuring on or near the podium.
Indeed Taki is looking forward to the challenge: “It has been a fun and competitive season so far, and the European championship will be a great way to end it. We are proud to represent Turkey at this event.
“We have taken some race wins and have twice been on the class podium, so we are here to do well. We trained in Split last winter so that local knowledge may come in useful, and the facilities here are fantastic, as is the sailing.”
Also out to make an impact are a trio making their first appearance this season – Go Racing and Lucky flying the Croatian flag, and Tacit Consent racing for Finland.
Though something of an unknown quantity to most of the fleet, both Lucky and Tacit Consent, along with Bracing Breeze and Facing Future, took part in the 2021 ClubSwan 36 ACI Cup which was held down the Croatian coast in Rovinj and was something of a forerunner for the new European challenge.
“The ACI Cup was a big milestone for us,” said Ivan Kljaković Gašpić, project manager for ACI Sail which also runs the ClubSwan 36 Training Centre in Split.
“I'm extremely impressed by the quality, the number, and the standard of the competition at the ClubSwan 36 Europeans. We have reached a level we have never seen before in Split.
“One of our main goals at ACI is to establish Croatia as a superb sailing destination and a regular stop for the ClubSwan Racing circuit. The upcoming ClubSwan 36 Europeans will certainly shape the future of sailing on the Adriatic,” added Gašpić, an Olympic Finn sailor.
ACI Sail was created to provide a world-class sailing experience for sailors from all backgrounds. In collaboration with Nautor Swan the unique ACI Sail ClubSwan 36 Training Centre was set up to deliver on that vision.
In addition to the excellent facilities at the ACI Marina and the prospect of superb sailing conditions, the social side ashore has not been neglected with an Opening Cocktail Party, Crew Dinner Party and Sailors' Party all scheduled for after racing.
The ClubSwan 36 Europeans gets underway on Monday 3 October with registration and measurement, with a practice race on Tuesday. Racing runs from Wednesday to Sunday 8 October, followed by the celebratory prize-giving.