Today the curtain will rise on the 10th Swan American Regatta, hosted for the first time by the New York Yacht Club.
Thirty-three of Nautor's exclusive Swan yachts, ranging in length from 40 foot to 68 foot will compete in the waters off Newport, Rhode Island. Racing is scheduled to begin daily at 1100, from Monday, July 9 to Friday, July 13.
The regatta, partnered by Deutsche Bank Private Banking, follows on from the successful Swan European Regatta of last month, won by the French yacht Xaossa. Again there is a French entrant that, along with one Dutch and three British yachts, intend to threaten the American monopoly at this prestigious event. No foreign yacht has ever taken overall honours in the Swan American Regatta.
Amongst the American entrants aiming to keep the trophy in the country is Clayton Deutsch's Chippewa, winner of the Swan Caribbean Challenge at Antigua Sailing Week. At 68 foot she is the largest Swan in the fleet and a strong contender for line honours.
One of the most intense battles within the two divisions will be between the seven Swan 56's. In particular Frank Savage's Lolita from the USA has enjoyed some tight tussles this year against her British counterpart Noonmark VI, owned by Sir Geoffery Mulcahy, most recently at Antigua Sailing Week where the American Swan 56 reigned in class.
One of the five local entrants holds the distinction of being the longest competing Swan owners in the American fleet. Raymond Peterson, owner of Swan 46 Cygne, has competed in all but one of the Swan American regattas since 1982.
Competing against Peterson will be long term rival Richard Sylvanovich, from Missouri, in Cygnet. Sylvanovich only took delivery of Swan 44 in Finland last year, but in sailing her over to the USA he managed to win his class in the ARC.
Enrico Chieffi, Marketing Director for Nautor's Swan was clearly pleased to see the American Swan fleet assembling. "It's always great to see the North American Swan owners, with so many familiar faces from previous events both here and the Swan World Cup in Porto Cervo. It is noticeable that many of the owners here have invested in new Swans, with 14 of the yachts competing in their first ever Swan regatta."
After a skippers briefing this evening in the ClubSwan Village at the Newport Yachting Center, the fleet will be hosted at New York Yacht Club's Newport clubhouse Harbour Court for an Opening Reception.