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31 July 2003, 05:15 pm
Vim Victorious on ClubSwan Race Day
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Swan American Regatta
Newport, Rhode Island

After a day of light winds and general recalls, Craig SPECK's Swan 45, Vim sailed to victory in the ClubSwan Race Day to take overall winner of the second day of the Swan American Regatta.
Two windward/leeward races were completed in winds ranging from 6 -10 knots, in Rhode Island Sound.

The first race started on time, despite the light conditions and a double general recall for Class A. With their blood up the class fleet set off on an 8.5 nm course. Roel PIEPER's Swan 80 Favonius and Mark DISTEFANO's Swan 56 Nova, favoured the pin end to cross the line first. But it soon became clear that with a relatively short course the Swan 80 did not get the chance to spread her wings, giving the Swan 45's and Swan 56's the opportunity to take the advantage.

However, it was Martin FISHER's brand new Swan 70 Strabo that reached the windward mark first despite a minor collision on the start line. Strabo managed to keep Craig SPECK's Swan 45 Vim and yesterday's overall winner, Andrjez ROJECK's Swan 45 Better Than, at bay to win the first race.

Fisher commented on the rivalry between him and the tightly matched Favonius: " Our main goal for the week is to keep the Swan 80 behind us, because it is a scratch boat and is faster upwind. We are faster downwind, so if we can keep it behind us we have a shot at line honours.

We are getting to understand the boat, it's a quick boat. I am fortunate that a lot of the crew have been sailing with me in the past. And having Chris LARSON doing tactics has really helped.


Race Two belonged to the bigger boats on the water, thanks to a longer course and a stronger breeze. Strabo proved too eager on the start line resulting in an individual recall, giving Roel PIEPER's Favonius the chance to take off straight from the start and put some distance between him and the fleet. Yet again, the Swan 45's and Swan 56's provided most of the pressure, with Doug DOUGLAS' Swan 45 Goombay Smash winning the race on corrected time with 2001 Swan American Champion, Frank SAVAGE's Swan 56 Lolita in second place and Craig SPECK's Swan 45 Vim taking third. This consistent performance from Vim enabled Speck and his crew to take overall winner of the day:

Despite not racing on the water for nearly three years, Speck came back with a vengeance in his new Swan 45: "The Swan 45 is what a cruiser/racer is all about - it is just fun and responsive. I have a phenomenal crew, my job is to drive the best I can and let everyone else do their jobs. We sailed to our targets and did the best in the conditions we had. I am very impressed with all the Swan 45's competing here - they are all well handled."

Speck continued: "We held our lanes, we kept our openings and protected them, and held great positions around the course - this is what won us the day."

In Class B, competition continued until the very end of the day between the Swan 44's with Samuel FORTENBAUGH's Syrocco leading the whole fleet from the start in the first race after a general recall. Despite being one of the oldest boats in the fleet, John WAYT's Swan 44 Vixen took the honours on corrected time for both race one and two, raising the game for the other competitive Swan 44's, including yesterday's Class winner Lightwave, owned by David FORD.
Wayt commented on his successful day:"We had two objectives today - to beat Aura and to stay with Lightwave as much as possible. We felt if we could stay with them, Fierce Pride and Crescendo, we would be doing well. We made no mistakes and stayed clean, thanks to our tactician John GADOROW - a Rhode Island State Trooper!"

There was a four-way tie in Class C between Swan 36 Ariel, Swan 56 Allianza, Swan 44 Intermezzo and Swan 47 Black Tie. Eventually class honours were presented to local sailor Clem NAPOLITANO, owner of Black Tie based on the racing rules tiebreak procedure.

The Swan American Regatta forms part of the world renowned Nautor's Swan Racing Calendar which spans the globe with events specifically designed to provide Swan owners with the excitement of competitive racing and a range of social events that are second to none.

Provisional Results

Position Yacht Owner Type Nation
1 VIM Craig SPECK Swan 45 USA
2 Goombay Smash Doug DOUGLAS Swan 45 USA
3 Better Than Andrzej ROJEC Swan 45 USA

Class A

Position Yacht Owner Type Nation
1 VIM Craig SPECK Swan 45 USA
2 Goombay Smash Doug DOUGLAS Swan 45 USA
3 Better Than Andrzej ROJEC Swan 45 USA

Class B

Position Yacht Owner Type Nation
1 Vixen John & BunnyWayt Swan 44 USA
2 Crescendo Martin Jacobson Swan 44MKII USA
3 Lightwave David Ford Swan 44MKII USA

Class C

Position Yacht Owner Type Nation
1 Black Tie Clement Napolitano Swan 47 USA
Intermezzzo William F Borhek Swan 44 USA
Allianza Bruce and Robin Cleveland Swan 56 USA
Ariel Jaffery Associates Swan 36 USA
Grace Harding (As Amended by ISAF Secretariat)
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