Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean: Leaders hold firm heading into final race day
Sunday, March 5, 2017 8:07 AM
Race Day Three of the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean brought more of the same sunny and breezy conditions that have characterised the week so far in Virgin Gorda as well as custom courses for the assembled fleet of Nautor's Swan yachts. With just one more race day left in it, the Swan 90 Freya is looking comfortable at the top of the Maxi division where she leads Plis-Play by four points. In the Grand Prix/Mini Maxi division the ClubSwan 50 Cuordileone retains her overall lead despite a spinnaker tear during today's race, while among the Mini Maxi boats the Swan 66 Bounty maintains a healthy delta. Organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with Nautor's Swan and title sponsor Rolex, this third edition of the biennial event concludes tomorrow, Sunday 5th March.
The Maxi division set off on schedule today on a 32 mile course that snaked through the islets off Virgin Gorda passing Great Camanoe and Scrub Island before rounding Ginger, at the south western tip of Virgin Gorda and embarking on a long reach back to the finish line off Necker Island. Don Macpherson's Freya and Vicente Garcia Torres' Plis-Play battled at the front of the pack for most of the duration, while the Swan 80 Selene and the Swan 82 Stay Calm fought for third place.
Victory in today's race took Freya to a total of three consecutive wins and she now looks set to be the overall division winner, save some major upset in tomorrow's final race. The fight is on, however, for second place as Plis-Play sits just one point ahead of 2015 division winner Selene. All three boats may be experiencing a feeling of dejà vu as a very similar battle unfolded at 2016 Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo. In that instance Freya took a clear win while Plis-Play just managed to get the upper hand over Selene on the final day, whether fates will change in Caribbean climes will be revealed tomorrow.
The Mini Maxi and Grand Prix boats completed a shorter course that took them around the Dog Islands for a total of approximately 21 miles. As the two competing ClubSwan 50s settled in for their daily match race-style duel, Cuordileone suffered a massive spinnaker tear, and although she recovered admirably, the setback saw her loose time and points on the scoreboard. Gibb Kane's Bounty, with a mainly American crew, took first place in the division in today's race ahead of the other participating ClubSwan50 Earlybird, which vants Jochen Schuemann on tactics. The overall classification now sees Cuordileone just one point ahead of Earlybird with Bounty sitting one point further behind in third place.
After last night's elegant Rolex Dinner at the YCCS Clubhouse, owners and crews will be relaxing at a Caribbean Barbecue hosted by ClubSwan at the nearby Bitter End Yacht Club this evening.
Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow, Sunday 5th March, with the first warning signal at 12 midday. The final prize giving will take place at the YCCS at 4.30 p.m.