Patience paid off on day two of racing in the Rolex Swan Cup 2004, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. The 107-boat strong fleet of Swans set out in a light southwesterly breeze of around 5-6 knots.
The Race Committee started Classes A and C\D just southeast of Caprera Island. Class A sailed a 38-mile course along the coast, inside the Maddalena Islands - rounding the island of Spargi, then onto Barrettinelli before heading back south, passing Capo d'Orso and Capo Ferro on their way to the finish line at Porto Cervo. Class C/D sailed a similar but shorter course - approximately 30 miles - rounding Spargi, then heading straight for the finish.
For Classes A and C\D the start was somewhat frustating as the wind died on the the first beat. At the top mark, the breeze died out completely for about 20 minutes, and the boats compressed. The new northwesterly breeze filled in at around 18-20 knots, and it was a virtual restart for the fleet. Boats such as the Swan 70's Stay Calm and Flying Dragon, and the Swan46 Eurosia were well-positioned to take advantage of the major windshift.
On board Stay Calm, tactician Adrian STEAD (tactician on 2000 America's Cup challenger, GBR Challenge), kept the pressure on in Class A. Stead commented: "We were able to stretch out comfortably, but the impressive Swan 80, Favonius passed us and sailed off into the distance.
Everyone on the boat showed great team work and sailed well enabling us to finish a good second on the water. The other Swan 70's in our fleet were proving to be very fast showing how competitive this class is. Lots of boats in Class A have a good chance of winning the regatta including one of our sisterships, Bugia Bianca who looks like our biggest threat. Luckily we managed to just keep them at bay in today's race."
Bugia Bianca retains overall lead in Class A, despite a night patching up a hole in the hull following a pre-start collision yesterday. In today's race, the boat was over the start line early, returned to restart and managed to climb back to the front of the fleet by the top mark. They got back to within a minute of Stay Calm, but corrected out to 5th place today.
In Class C'D, Eurosia skipper Emanuel VACCARI claims luck was on his side, but as three-time Rolex Swan Cup winners, that was hardly likely. This crew has sailed together for five years and it shows - crisp crew work and good boat speed prevailed for them around the course.
For the Swan 45's in Class B, the light winds convinced the Race Committee to move the windward-leeward course to the entrance of the port of Porto Cervo. This turned out to be a good decision as the northwesterly breeze of 10-12 knots finally arrived and the fleet got off on their first race at 2pm.
Onboard Vertigo, co-owner and skipper Alberto SIGNORINI, had a 2-1 finish to maintain a comfortable overall lead in Class B. He said, "The wind came round from the north and we managed to maintain good speed by keeping the number of manoeuvres to a minimum in the light breeze."
Racing continues today Thursday 16 September, with all classes sailing the Islands Race. First gun will be at 1130 hours. For Rolex Swan Cup 2004 entry lists, results and photos, visit www.yccs.it and www.regattanews.com .
PROVISIONAL RESULTS - pending protests
Place, Boat Name\Type, Owner, Finish, Total Points
1. Bugia Bianca, Swan 70, Massimo Dentice, 1-1-5, 7 points
2. Aqua Equinox, Swan 56, Filip Balcaen, 12-4-1, 17
3. Chippewa, Swan 68, Clayton Deutsch, 2-6-10, 18
1. Vertigo, Swan 45, Marco Salvi\Alberto Signorini, 1-2-1, 4 points
2. Cuordileone, Swan 45, Leonardo Ferragamo, 2-8-2, 12
3. Mintaka, Swan 45, Stefano Polti, 10-1-5, 16
1. Eurosia, Swan 46, Loris Vaccari, 4-1, 5 points
2. Saga, Swan 441, Alan Foulquier, 3-3, 6
3. Solenia 2, Swan 48, Roberto Ferrero, 1-6, 7