The new Swan 70, Fast.net owned by Thierry de Passemar (FRA), yesterday won the Swan Cup 2002, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.
Passemar only took delivery of Fast.net on the 14th August this year, and the Swan 70 was only ready for racing two days before the start of the regatta, when the crew met for the first time. Fast.net recorded an eighth place in the only race today whilst overnight leader Leslie Green's Swan 60 Sotto Voce (AUS) could only manage 35th position. Passemar's crew, including Nautor Challenge's Spanish bowman Pepe Ribes, was a model of consistency throughout the regatta. The exciting new Swan only finished outside the top eight once in the 98 strong racing fleet.
Frank Savage's Swan 56 Lolita (USA) followed his victory in the Swan American Regatta 2001 with second place overall. Another of Nautor's exciting new models, Tom Stark's Swan 45 Rush (USA) took third place overall and the Class Trophy, having won the last four races in Class B.
Passemar attributed his extraordinary success to the Swan 70's raw speed and the improved teamwork of his 20 international crew consisting mainly of family and friends from Switzerland, Spain, Great Britain, France, Italy, and the USA. "We had great boatspeed, so we didn't need to take any risks. Our starts were good, and then we just had to look for the better pressure to make sure that we did well. We had a fantastic set of Cuban sails and the only real code zero in the fleet."
The French internet businessman also outlined that the Swan 70 has potential to be even faster. "Each day we set the boat and rig up better, and learned a bit more about sailing her. Once we have spent six months with her we should be able to take two minutes off our time for most of the races that we had here."
In six knots of wind today, the Race Committee set a short windward/leeward course outside the entrance to Porto Cervo. As the big boats started, Clay Deutsch's Swan 68 Chippewa (USA), Leslie Green's Swan 60 Sotto Voce One (AUS), Frank Savage's Swan 56 Lolita (USA), and Tom Stark's Swan 45 Rush tacked out to sea, as the majority of the fleet headed for the island shore. However, after establishing clear air, Rush and Lolita tacked back whilst the other two continued to the right hand side of the course. At the first mark it was Enrico Scerni's Swan 80 Kora (ITA), leading from Roel Pieper's Swan 80 Favonius (NED) and Leonardo Ferragamo's Swan 82RS Solleone (ITA), with Fast.net in fifth place. Kora, with America's Cup legend Paul Cayard on board as tactician, went onto take both line honours and overall victory on corrected time.
Fast.net's overall victory comes at the end of a week of unpredictable results and inconsistent weather. The leaderboard has had a variety of Swans taking their moment of glory, from Roberto Ferrero's Swan 48 Solenia 2 (ITA) to Roel Piper's Swan 80 Favonius. As usual the Swan Cup has not been shy in providing over 2,000 sailors with a host of challenges from navigating the intricate shoreline of the Costa Smeralda, happily delivering 90-degree windshifts, to surviving in over 40 knots in the notorious Bisce Straits. Whether a coastal race between 50 - 100 miles or a three mile windward / leeward race, the fleet of over 112 Swans has provided a week of extraordinary racing and left all involved looking forward to the 13th Edition of this 'Swan World Cup', in 2004.
Overall Results (After 6 Races/No Discard)
||T. Passemar (FRA)
||F. Savage (USA)
||T. Stark (USA)