ROEPER was delighted to be crowned World Champion: 'I'm absolutely thrilled and the whole crew is. It was a huge cliffhanger. The first race was very light air, we went up the left side of the beach and rounded the first mark in 18th place. On the run we picked off a few boats but then we went back to the same side hoping that the breeze would fill in and found ourselves in fourth place which was an amazing comeback. As you can imagine, the mood on the boat went from dour to elated and so I think we were tied with Goombay Smash going into the final race.'
'Halfway through the second race we were in tenth and hadGoombay well behind us, far behind us enough to be comfortable. I mentioned to our tactician that Goombay had an eight for a throw out and that we were in tenth - so that wasn't good enough. He became aware of it as well so it was a good thing that we struggled back into fifth and won! It was unbelievable.'
Tactician Chris LARSON described how the team had recovered in the first race today, to keep their World Championship hopes alive: 'At the start we ended up going to the left with Fever, thinking that maybe the sea breeze hadn't developed yet and it was going to work. Unfortunately it didn't and we sat over there basically by ourselves, so we were 19th or 20th around the first mark. But when it gets wacky things turn around and luckily we got a huge shift from the second upwind leg and the sea breeze did come in. We got back to where we only lost two points to Goombay so it was game on for the last race.'
After a week of heavy air racing, the Solent provided the crew with a different challenge today. A five knot breeze from the southwest built to 10-12 knots gradually throughout the day, although conditions were still shifty.
Despite the results already being confirmed, both of the winners in the Swan European regatta took part in their race today. In Class A Peter OGDEN's (GBR) Swan 601 Spirit of Jethou notched up a fourth race victory to confirm their status as the standout performer in the regatta. OGDEN confirmed that next year he will be seeking to add the World title to that of European Champion: 'It was a wonderful day's sailing, beautiful weather so we had a wonderful time and we did rather well I think! We'll definitely be doing the Swan Worlds next year.'
Graham and Libby DEEGAN's British Swan 46 Akarana, sailing with Olympic medallist Jo RICHARDS, finished third to consolidate their second place overall ahead of Richard LOFTUS' (GBR) Swan 65 Desperado.
Richard BALDING (GBR) and his championship winning crew on board Philippides 2 also finished the regatta on a high, recording second place. The Swan 41 owner clearly enjoyed the final race in Class B: 'Today was great - great winds, bright sunshine, great competition, and a good course - everything was wonderful!'
Frederico GARCIA-GERMAN's Spanish Swan 39 Flying Neleb won the day to move into fifth place. Ahead of her on points and joining Philippides 2 on the podium were Mark JEPHCOTT's (GBR) Swan 44 Selene and Ben MOBLEY's (GBR) Swan 40 Christina.
At Saturday night's crew party, several non-sailing prizes were awarded. With entirely appropriate orange shirts, Riente BOL's Dutch Swan 45 No Limits won the ClubSwan award for the Best Dressed Crew. The Lewmar Trophies for the best turned out Swan went to Dick WEISMANN's (USA) Vixen in the Swan 45 fleet and Lindsay STUART's (GBR) Swan 40 Kymah. Edward LEASK (GBR) and his crew on Swan 56 Magical won the B&G award for the Most Distinguished Swan.
On Sunday night the owners and crew celebrated a week of first class racing at the Closing Reception in the Royal Yacht Squadron. As one of the ClubSwan portfolio of international events draws to a close, another is about to begin. Across the Atlantic, owners and crews are in their final week of preparations for the Swan American Regatta (15-20 July).