Swan Sardinia Challenge
Hatari, G-Spot, Nadir and Ulika take victories in Porto Cervo and Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez- a birthday not to be missed!
After being back in my happy place on the docks of Porto Cervo, Sardinia last month for the success of the 14th Loro Piana Suepryacht Regatta, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Porto Cervo brought us yet another week of stunning sailing to end the month with the Swan Sardinia Challenge, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with Nautor’s Swan and ClubSwan Racing.
This year in Porto Cervo there were 12 different nations and a total of 34 yachts racing in four different One Design Classes: Swan 45, ClubSwan 42, ClubSwan 50 and ClubSwan 36. Many passionate yachtsmen joined the Swan Sardinia Challenge this year and it was great to see that women also held a strong presence too, both as owners and as crew.
Kicking off the first- edition regatta on the 22nd of June, competitors first warmed up with a Practice Race, the Skipper’s Briefing and the traditional Welcome Cocktail in typical YCCS style.
The first official day of racing began on the 23rd, with teams aboard the racing fleet of 34 yachts representing 12 nations waiting at the docks before a day of nail-biting racing ensued and red-hulled Earlybird (50 Class), Fever (45 Class) and Koyré (42 Class) took the lead in their respective divisions.
Sardinia lived up to its stunning sailing reputation as the second and third day brought perfect conditions, the kind that has given Porto Cervo its international claim to fame: sparkling sea, perfect breeze, stunning natural scenery where the teams could vent their passion for sailing and test their skills in tricky beats, close crossings and adrenaline-fueled runs.
The final day of racing, June 26th, proved not as idyllic as the forecast for light and shifty conditions was true and the Race Committee couldn’t get a race started. This however didn’t seem to dampen the atmosphere and high spirits of the sailors who were happy to be back sailing in Sardinia and doing what they love most. ClubSwan 50 Hatari’s owner Marcus Brennecke stated “We would have liked to have raced today, but objectively speaking there just weren’t the right conditions. We had some great conditions in previous days here in Porto Cervo, and we’re happy to both have won and to have had a great time.”
Overall, the results were a close call with G-Spot (36 Class) Nadir (42 Class) Ulika (45 Class) and Hatari (50 Class) claiming the overall victories at the regatta. During the prize ceremony in Piazza Azzurra, YCCS Commodore Michael Illbruck commented: “We are very delighted to have organised this first edition of the Swan Sardinia Challenge with Nautor’s Swan. This has been a wonderful first edition and I want to thank all the owners and their crews for having come to Porto Cervo. I also thank the Race Committee and all of our YCCS staff for their hard work.”
Just like the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta last month, Sardinia and The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda have once again welcomed the superyacht sailing community back with enormous warmth and Sardinia hospitality. This Mediterranean superyacht racing season has been a strong signal to the international yachting community that it is time to return to the sea and superyacht life and it is truly thrilling to see the impact these regattas have had on sailors and yacht owners that are so keen to return to racing after such a long absence.
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
From Saturday, 25 September to Saturday, 9 October, a festive atmosphere will be afloat both on the dock and in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez as Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez returns, not only for two weeks of celebration for the most beautiful classic and modern boats, but also to celebrate 40 years of Nioulargue and with it 40 years of seafaring history.
September 29th 1981 saw the birth of the Club 55 Cup, which became the Nioulargue, already bearer of the DNA for Les Voiles: a classic boat and a modern boat. In the wake of this epic challenge, the most beautiful boats in the world, ultra-modern or a century old, have continued to meet in the waters of the Gulf to hoist the sails of the Voiles de Saint-Tropez at the end of the Tropezian season.
The incomparable and inimitable Nioulargue would continue to exist for fifteen years, mixing world famous sailors with teams of all levels, world champions, offshore sailors, Olympic medallists, America’s Cup winners with royalty and celebrities who remained incognito and at ease. Once this nautical jousting was concluded, the nights were eternalised by boules competitions, anchoiades and other festivities oftentimes spontaneously improvised on the dock, in the Place des Lices and thereabouts.
This year we can expect a certain number of novelties to mark this edition, and in particular the new format of the event over two weeks awaits the competitors.
From Saturday 25 September to Saturday 2 October, more than 200 classic sailing boats, no matter their length and some exceeding 40 meters, will join modern boats of up to 18m28. Then from Sunday 3 until Saturday 9 October, Saint-Tropez port will be exclusively reserved for a fleet of around 50 modern giants for the second part: Les Voiles Maxi Yachts.
Carrying on tradition, the philosophy of Les Voiles has always been the most beautiful regattas in the best possible atmosphere. “Everyone must have fun on the water” explains Georges Korhel, the Principal Race Officer of Les Voiles, “To simplify the categories, we are going to race together the traditional yachts which usually race in the same groups, and which have comparable speeds. Our idea is not to transform Les Voiles into a championship final, which would risk compromising the pleasure and safety of the competitors! We want safe and fair racing.”
With the Mediterranean superyacht racing season off to an exciting start, this year’s Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez ensures a birthday not to be missed with 2021 proving a milestone in the history of this extraordinary event. Make sure to add Saturday the 25 September to Saturday, 9 October to your sailing calendar!
By Alice Widdows
Swan Images @ YCCS – Studio Borlenghi
About Alice Widdows
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