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30 July 2003, 09:44 am
Swan 45|s Dominate First Day
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Swan American Regatta
NYYC, Newport, Rhode Island

The weather played a major role in the S. Pellegrino Race Day, the first day of racing for the 50 strong Swan fleet in the 2003 Swan American Regatta.
However after nearly four hours delay due to lack of wind, it was Andrzej ROJECK and his Swan 45, Better Than, that managed to step up to the challenge to win Class A and take overall victory for the day on corrected time.

Racing eventually got underway in Narrangasett Bay as the sea breeze filled in providing winds of 10-12 knots. Due to the conditions, the planned 20-25 mile race was supplemented for a windward/leeward course of varying lengths to accommodate the three different classes separated according to Nautor's own rating system.

It was the big boats that dominated the play on the water, with Roel PIEPER'S impressive Swan 80, Favonius taking line honours. This true performance yacht managed to keep ahead of the fleet throughout the race, but was unable to maintain a sufficient distance in front of the pack of Swan 45's and Swan 56's, to beat her handicap. Yet again Nautor's Swan celebrated Swan 45 showed its competitive spirit against the well raced Swan 56's, by taking four out of the five top placings in Class A. With Swan 45 East Coast of America Area Champion, Vim, owned by Craig SPECK, and five other Swan 45's racing, the week guarantees some well fought battles on the water.

Andrezj ROJECK'S was clearly thrilled with his result: "I am absolutely ecstatic! The crew did a great job, especially as we are 90% amateur.

"I am very impressed with how good racing was today, even though we spent hours waiting the race committee did a good job putting together a race for us today - kudos to them! We had only two minutes to get ready for the start and there was big pressure, which is when people make mistakes. We picked our medium jib for upwind and used our symmetric for downwind, instead of our asymmetric because on a short course such as this one, you lose a lot of time on the gybes."

He continued: "I got the boat in May and competed in the Swan 45 Area Championship against a hot fleet. This is our third time racing and we are still learning about the boat. The boat is excellent in any condition; we think it does well around the buoys and long distance. We looking forward to seeing how it goes in the long distance race later this week."

It was a different kind of battle that was being played in Class B with the experienced and well raced group of Swan 44's taking, again, four out of the five top placings. After a faultless start, David FORD'S Lightwave, took the lead against her main class rivals Martin JACOBSON'S Crescendo and Samuel FORTENBAUGH'S Swan 51, Syrocco. Lightwave rounded each mark first showing great teamwork and boat handling to lead the class throughout the race to eventually cross the line first 6 seconds ahead of Crescendo.

David FORD commented on the tough competition on the water:

"We had to fight for our position throughout the race. On the final leg Crescendo was to leeward of us, but as we were all sailing in a straight line, we couldn't tack to get away from them. We waited for Syrocco to bail out and were then able to get into a stronger position. This gave us enough of an advantage to finish just seconds ahead of Crescendo.

He continued: "I have been sailing with the same crew for many years and am proud to have my two teenage sons on board. The crew made no mistakes today."

Class C, the cruising class, was won by Roland BATHORY'S Swan 53, Amanda.

The S.Pellegrino Race Day Prizegiving was held in the Regatta Bar in Newport Yachting Centre, with trophies presented to the podium positions for the three classes by Nautor's Swan Newport Agent, Jennifer STEWART and to the overall winner of the day, by S. Pellegrino World Marketing Director, Mr Clement VACHON.

Today is the Club Swan Race Day, with the fleet honing their racing skills on two windward/leeward courses, starting at 11.00am in Rhode Island Sound, weather permitting. After the day's racing owners and their crew will be treated to a dinner at the exquisite Harbour Court, home to the New York Yacht Club.

First Day Results


Position Boat Owner Type Nation
1 Better Than Andrzej Rojec Swan 45 USA
2 VIM Craig Speck Swan 45 USA
3 Favonius Roel Pieper Swan 80 NED
4 Goombay Smash Corron Bay Marine Holding Ltd Swan 45 USA
5 Bandit Andrew Fisher Swan 45 USA

Class A

Position Boat Owner Type Nation
1 Better Than Andrzej Rojec Swan 45 USA
2 VIM Craig Speck Swan 45 USA
3 Favonius Roel Pieper Swan 80 NED
4 Goombay Smash Corron Bay Marine Holding Ltd Swan 45 USA
5 Bandit Andrew Fisher Swan 45 USA

Class B

Position Boat Owner Type Nation
1 Lightwave David Ford Swan 44 MKII USA
2 Crescendo Martin Jacobson Swan 44 MKII USA
3 Fierce Pride Van Holston Swan 44 MKII USA
4 Aura Willam J Kardash Swan 44 MKII USA
5 Reef Points Joseph F. Huber Swan 44 MKII USA

Class C

Position Boat Owner Type Nation
1 Amanda Roland Bathory Swan 53 USA
2 Ariel Jaffrey Associates LLC Swan 36 USA
3 Ciao Bella Robert Jellen Swan 60 USA
4 Dire Wolf Thomas C. Little Swan 44 USA
5 Aries Baron Bruno Bich Swan 37 USA
Event Media (As Amended by ISAF News Editor)
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