Craig SPECK, captain of the Eastern American Swan 45 Fleet commented, 'We're looking forward to a fantastic event, which will be one to remember. We're delighted that the ISAF's ruling means we can now challenge the World Champion title at the Gold Cup. Competition is going to be fierce and with half the fleet hailing from overseas, it'll also be a great opportunity to welcome our international friends to the US.'
First held in Capri, Italy in October 2004, the Swan 45 Gold Cup is strengthened in 2006 by its involvement with Acura Key West. The international multi-class regatta, one of the highlights of the US sailing calendar, attracts many visitors from around the world to the beautiful azure waters of Key West. With nine races over five days for the Swan 45s alone, the regatta will be action packed, with nearly 300 boats on the water each day. Attracting well known sailors as well as keen amateurs, legends Francesco BRUNI (ITA), Chris LAW (GBR) and GBR America's Cup sailor Andy BEADSWORTH will all be racing on board Swan 45s at Key West.
Also joining in the fun will be two Swan 601s, the Swan 45's one-design 'big sister'. Swan 601 Moneypenny, owned by Jim SWARTZ (USA) and Peter OGDEN's (GBR) Spirit of Jethou will compete within the Handicap racing class and, following impressive performances at the Rolex Swan American and Rolex Swan European Regattas respectively, are sure to create quite a stir. Premiere Racing's Peter CRAIG commented on the Swans at Key West, 'Having the Swan 45 Gold Cup as part of Acura Key West next year, as well as welcoming the Swan 601s for the first time, will bring an exciting new dimension to the regatta and we're delighted to be hosting Nautor's Swan One Design Classes at our event.'
In addition to grand prix racing on the water, in the evenings owners and crews will experience the glamorous social events for which Nautor's Swan is so well known, which will be held by the Swan 45 Class Association to commemorate the occasion. As well as celebrating their racing achievements at Key West, guests will also be invited to celebrate a landmark anniversary in 2006 - the 40th anniversary of Swans. From its early days producing production yachts, to construction of the groundbreaking Boatbuilding Technology Centre (BTC) in Finland, Nautor's Swan has consistently challenged and innovated, the one design Swan 45 in itself embodying the developments in design, construction and technology that have been the company's focus throughout its 40 year history.