FANTASTICAAAANIENE Swan 100 (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

FANTASTICAAAANIENE Swan 100 (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

The Rolex Swan Cup is one of the most visually captivating sailing competitions: a unique meeting of some of the world’s finest yachts, all built by Nautor’s Swan. So far, nearly 70 Swan yachts have confirmed participation and the final figure is expected to reach 100 – an impressive showing for one of the Mediterranean’s most iconic yachting occasions. This biennial event was inaugurated in 1980 and its enduring partnership with Rolex began in 1984. Traditionally held in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, the 17th edition takes place from 10-16 September.

RITA Swan 55 (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

RITA Swan 55 (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

Four classes are anticipated: Maxi (18.29 metres/60 feet and above), Grand Prix (18.28m and below), Classic (models designed by Sparkman and Stephens) and Swan 45 One-Design, where 2010 World Champion Earlybird (GER) is returning to defend her crown.

The international reach of the Rolex Swan Cup is confirmed by the presence of some 13 countries in the entry list. Debutante Russian entrant Bronenosec (Swan 60) has been a regular on the 2012 Rolex circuit with notable performances at both the Rolex Volcano Race and the Giraglia Rolex Cup. Plis Play (ESP, Swan 80), which also featured at the Rolex Volcano Race, is one of two Spanish entries. The other is Clem (Swan 56), which finished a close second in the Grand Prix class in 2010.

 

Two yachts that will be aiming to improve their 2010 results are the Italian Swan 65 Shirlaf and the German Swan 60 Emma. Both finished second in their respective classes (Classic and Maxi) two years ago. Shirlaf is one of a number of participating Swan 65s; the classic Sparkman & Stephens design won the inaugural Whitbread Round the World Race in 1974 and helped cement Nautor’s Swan’s legendary status in yachting’s firmament.

The Swan 43 Fidibù has the honour of representing the make’s homeland of Finland. Arriving from furthest afield appears to be the American crew on Constanter (Swan 62RS). The smallest participant at 11.66 metres (38 feet), Italian Swan 38 Only You is also one of the oldest, while the largest yacht attending is the 34.4-metre (112-foot) Swan Highland Breeze.

GERONIMO Swan 651  (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

GERONIMO Swan 651 (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

Five days of racing are scheduled on the revered waters of the Costa Smeralda and the Maddalena Archipelago. Competition will be fierce but refreshing, as regular competitor and President of Nautor’s Swan since 1998, Leonardo Ferragamo, explains: “The event has a unique spirit because it represents a love of boats and a desire to compete not just in any regatta, but in a regatta where there is uniformity in the competition. The feelings of friendship and good sportsmanship that characterize this regatta have grown over time.”

The regatta is organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and concludes with a traditional prize-giving on the Piazza Azzura where winners of all four categories will be presented with a Rolex timepiece to crown their excellence on the water.

Ginger Swan 70 (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

Ginger Swan 70 (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

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Andres Soriano, ALEGRE, receives a Rolex timepiece from Gian Riccardo Marini, CEO of Rolex SA. Massimo Massaccesi, President of YCC (left to right) (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

Glamorous La Canzone del Mare is considered as one of Capri’s most famous establishments. The picturesque lido typifies the heart and soul of Capri. Located in the sunny Bay of Marina Piccola with stunning vistas of the Faraglioni and the turquoise waters of the Tyrranean Sea, La Canzone del Mare has been the realm of celebrities for decades and continues to attract an international clientele.

Last night, guests of Rolex Capri Sailing Week reveled in the hedonistic atmosphere, enjoying a gourmet buffet in the comfort of magnificent terraces at the water’s edge. After enjoying a fine dinner, the party was treated to a special video presentation of Rolex Capri Sailing Week, including the stunning scenery of the Rolex Volcano Race. The ensemble danced the night away to live music from famous Caprese band, Anema e Core.

La Canzone Del Mare (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi )

La Canzone Del Mare (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi )

Today, there was some spectacular racing in the Bay of Naples for the final day of Rolex Capri Sailing Week. A light blanket of cloud high above the magnificent island of Capri signified a steady gradient breeze. Out on the six-mile windward leeward course, twelve knots of wind and glorious sunshine provided ideal conditions to bring the inshore regatta to conclusion.

In the Comet Class, Marco Paolucci’s  Libertine won the first race of the day putting pressure on the class leader, but Alberto Franchella’s Farewell 3 won the last two races of the regatta to take the title. The Swan 45 Class has enjoyed some scintillating racing. Henrik Brandis’ German entry Earlybird won the first two races of the day, stamping their authority on the event to take the class victory. Andrea Masi’s Ulika has sailed with precision all week and finished the regatta in style, winning the last race and securing second place for the class.

The ORC division produced a convincing winner: Vincenzo De Blasio’s Scugnizza won all but one of the seven races. Olympic medalist, America’s Cup and World Match Racing exponent, Paolo Cian was calling tactics on Scugnizza. He comments:

“Today was a good example of the fantastic conditions in Capri, I have been sailing here for a very long time and Capri brings back very happy memories for me, especially winning the J24 World Championship. Scugnizza is a small boat in this fleet and we were always conscious of trying to stay in clear air. I am very happy for Vincenzo and all of the crew who have sailed so well all week. Capri is my favourite place to come to, especially for sailing.”

The Prize Giving was held at the Yacht Club Capri in the safe confines of the beautiful Marina Grande. Massimo Massacesi, President of  Yacht Club Capri, presided over the ceremony.

Gian Riccardo Marini, CEO of Rolex SA, was on hand to officially present a Rolex Submariner timepiece to Andres Soriano, Alegre,  for Line Honours and Overall Winner of the Rolex Volcano Race and to Giancarlo Simeoli, helmsman of Comet 45, Farewell 3.

RESULTS:

ROLEX VOLCANO RACE
1. ALEGRE Andres Soriano GBR
2. GRANDE ORAZIO Massimiliano Florio ITA
3. EDIMETRA VI Ernesto Gismondi ITA

COMET
1. FAREWELL 3 Alberto Franchella ITA, 3-1-1-1-2-1-1-10.00
2. LIBERTINE Marco Paolucci ITA, 1-2-2-5-1-2-3-16.00
3. ATHANOR Y.C.Capri / A.S.D. 23 NODI ITA, 2-3-3-2-3-3-2-18.00

SWAN 45
1. EARLYBIRD Henrik Brandis ITA, 1-3-1-3-1-1-2-12.00
2. ULIKA Andrea Masi ITA, 2-1-2-2-4-3-1-15.00
3. TALJ Giovanni Arturo di Lorenzo ITA, 3-2-3-1-2-2-4-17.00

ORC
1. SCUGNIZZA Vincenzo De Blasio ITA, 1-1-1-1-1-2-1- 8.00
2. TWIN SOUL 5, Luciano Gandini ITA, 2-2-3-2-2-1-2-14.00
3. VLAG Salvatore Casolaro ITA, 3-3-2-3-3-3-3-20.00

libertine (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi )

libertine (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi )