After a frustrating morning of wind shifts and course changes Filip BALCAEN'S Swan 56 Aqua Equinox fought off the Swan 45 pack to win Class A and take overall victory for the day on corrected time.
The second day of the 2003 Swan European Regatta saw two races completed in a day dominated by variable conditions with winds ranging from 5 to 18 knots.
In an attempt to repeat the first day's winning performance, Paul WINKELMANN'S Swan 60, Island Fling, sailed away from the rest of the Class A fleet in both of today's races, following a general recall in each. However in these relatively short races, the Swan 60 was not allowed to spread her wings, giving Aqua Equinox and the Swan 45's a chance to close the distance. It was Graham de ZILLE'S Swan 45, Amnesia, Keith MILLER'S Swan 45 Crackerjack and Leonardo FERRAGAMO'S Swan 45, Cuordileone that provided most of the pressure, showing the ability this performance Swan has in coping with the fickle winds that dominated Race One.
Former crewmember of Nautor Challenge in the Volvo Ocean Race, Boewe BEKKING, is onboard Aqua Equinox: "This is a great result for us today, you never know how the small boats are doing. We sailed nicely and we have a very good crew, three professionals and the rest amateur - it makes a great mix for some good racing.
He continued: "Its very different for the Swan 45's, under 13 knots they are quicker than us, but once the breeze picked up we were able to beat their boat speed. For us the afternoon was the better race as the conditions settled and the breeze increased, making life a little easier.
"The owner has never been on the podium before and now he is up there - he's very excited and that's what this Swan regatta is all about,"
In Class B competition continued until the very end of the day between the first day's class winner, Stephen JAMES' Swan 48 Jacobite and Libby DEEGAN'S Swan 441 Menenes, with close finishes in both races. With Alan FOULQUIER'S Swan 44 Saga, the pack of three left the remainder of the class behind, rounding each mark in close succession. However, it was Menenes that took class honours for the day on corrected time, now only one point behind Jacobite in the overall class standings for the week.
Libby DEEGAN, owner and helmsman on Menenes comments on the day: "We had a great day's sailing - the Race Committee were right to postpone the first race due the shifting wind. We were neck and neck with Jacobite all day, which kept the racing exciting and quite exhausting! I've got a completely local crew which have all sailed together for many years, making it great fun to be on the boat - our plan is to take everyday as it comes and get out of it, what we can."
The Bvlgari Race Day Prizegiving was held in the Regatta Bar in Cowes Yacht Haven, with trophies presented to the podium positions for both classes and the overall winner of the day by Phillip BALDWIN, Managing Director of Bvlgari UK and Pat LILLEY of Nautor's Swan UK agents, Irving & Lilley.
Today is the Bombardier Race Day, with the fleet embarking on a long race taking them around the Isle of Wight. Racing started with Class A at 0710, off the Royal Yacht Squadron line.
Full class and overall results are available on the event website at the address below.