Global Swan family to meet in glamourous Porto Cervo for 21st edition of Rolex Swan Cup
It’s the Swan family celebration of the year, a gathering of the Nautor community, a passionate festival of sail – it is the highlight of the Mediterranean racing season, The Rolex Swan Cup.
As ever the luxurious and atmospheric resort of Porto Cervo, nestled in the heart of the exclusive Costa Smeralda coastal area, is the venue for the biennial festival of all things Swan from 11 to 18 September.
With a growing entry list of 90 yachts gathering from all over the world, the Rolex Swan Cup fleet will showcase the diversity as well as the history of Nautor’s Swan enduring brand.
It will encompass the full range from the brand-new Swan 120 Audrey the First to the S&S designed Swan 36 Josian, a magnificently restored example of one of the earliest Nautor’s Swan models dating back to 1967
Organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Nautor’s Swan in collaboration with longstanding partner Rolex, the regatta will feature six days of racing including a challenging coastal race for all classes. It is also the final event in the season long and hotly contested Nations League competition.
Nautor’s Swan Chairman Leonardo Ferragamo said: “It is with great enthusiasm that we return to Porto Cervo and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda where we always receive a warm welcome.
“The Rolex Swan Cup is the highlight of the Swan calendar and has been an iconic sailing event for the last 40 years thanks to a strong partnership with Rolex and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. This race combines gentlemanly competition with a determined racing spirit and enhances the values of quality, elegance, innovation, performance, and reliability of each of the boats that make up the Swan community that travels from all over the world to share and celebrate its passion for sailing.”
With the wide range of Swan designs attending, the fleet looks set to be divided into seven classes, with three featuring the Swan one-designs – the ClubSwan 50, ClubSwan 42 and ClubSwan 36, which will be making their first appearance at the Rolex Swan Cup.
The other four will offer rating racing intended to provide a fair and level playing field for Swans with very different dimensions and characteristics.
Highlighting the distinctive heritage of the Nautor’s Swan line is the class dedicated to the many Swan yachts designed by Sparkman & Stephens, with entries required to have the original hull and fittings.
Along with the venerable S&S 36 Josian and at least six of the iconic S&S 65s, one of those making a welcome return is the Swan 43 Kokkola.
Owner Vittorio Ghizzoni said: “We took part in our first Rolex Swan Cup in 1994 and then in 1996, and after a long break we returned in 2016 and 2018 – the Rolex Swan Cup was a great motivation to keep Kokkola looking her best and ready to race.
“It is one of the great joys that we still have the same crew of family and friends. Kokkola turned 50 in 2020 and we can’t wait to get back to Sardinia and give it our all out on the water with our friends in the Sparkman & Stephens class.”
The Swan Mini Maxi class will comprise Swans with an LOA of between 18.29m and 24,08m, while the Swan Maxi class will include the largest Swans taking part, with an LOA of 24,09 and above. One of those competing in this class will be the Swan 90 Freya (28m). Owner Don Macpherson said: “My background was in cruising, and I had never really raced until we built Freya. My captain suggested giving racing a go and I was hooked – there is a whole different dynamic to cruising, with a common purpose, camaraderie, and competition.
“It has been a lot of fun. I like to race with my family and friends, and over the years I have met a lot of people in the Swan family, we have a lot in common and it has been fantastic.”
Meanwhile the fourth rating class – Swan Grand Prix – is for yachts with an LOA of 18.28m and below and includes the Swan 48 Mia.
“My passion for sailing, always present as part of my love for nature, increased at the last Rolex Swan Cup in 2018 when I was entranced by the beauty of the September sea and the Sardinian coastline together with the competence and sportsmanship of the competition,” said owner Luigi Stoppani.
“Having been a charterer I wanted to transform that sentiment into a new reality. So, I got Mia – Mine – and set off on a journey to regattas (from 2020 Middle Sea Race to 2022 ORC World Championship) and cruises which has brought me to Porto Cervo for the next Rolex Swan Cup. I am expecting to find a great sense of community and enthusiasm, and personally hope it will be a time to forget the concerns imposed by recent events.”
Off the water the glamourous and highly anticipated social side to the Rolex Swan Cup includes the exclusive Owners’ Dinner, the Rolex Crew Party at the Colonna Pevero Hotel, and a series of post-racing events at the YCCS Regatta Village which will bring together the whole Nautor’s Swan community.
“The Rolex Swan Cup holds a very special place in the Nautor’s Swan calendar,” said Giovanni Pomati, CEO of Nautor’s Group. “It is a true gathering of the whole Swan family and a cherished opportunity to celebrate the camaraderie that is at the heart of the Swan experience, highlight the range and diversity of the Swan brand, and meet the passionate owners and sailors who have travelled to Porto Cervo.”
The Rolex Swan Cup also marks the culmination of the season long Nations League, the one-design circuit organised by ClubSwan Racing that takes in five Mediterranean regattas. The overall winner of the League – along with the individual winners in each of the four Swan one-design classes – will be crowned at the Rolex Crew Party.
The regatta itself gets under way with registration on Sunday 11 September, followed by a practice race for the one-design classes the following day. Full fleet racing begins on Tuesday 13 September, with the coastal race on the Thursday. The final day of racing is on Sunday 18 September.