Saint Tropez plays magnificent host to the Swan One Design Worlds, with 41 boats from 18 different nations lined up along the quay in the historic old harbour. The contrast between historic port and cutting-edge ClubSwan raceboats could hardly have been stronger.
Nautor Group Chairman Leonardo Ferragamo, who sails the ClubSwan 50 Cuordileone, spoke emotionally about bringing the Swan Worlds to St Tropez. “Sometimes it is very exciting when you reach your dreams. But when you reach dreams that were not in your mind, that means you have gone beyond the dreams – I have to say it is just exhilarating.
“I think this is one of the cases when we can really be proud of what we are taking part in. We thank everyone for having believed in the vision and the programme of ClubSwan – it is the owners that are able to make this happen. Concluding such a fantastic season after such a difficult and rough time is something I couldn’t have imagined better and is a wonderful start for the championship of the Swan one design. The spirit of Swan Racing will prevail.”
Newbies and gifted amateurs rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in sailing on the ClubSwan circuit, creating a uniquely sporting atmosphere. “All organisations and classes are made by the participants, and we have an incredible party of people here,” said Nautor Swan senior advisor Enrico Chieffi. “And the atmosphere is special because being in a place like this in St Tropez, having a World Championship with very good sailors competing against each other, such good boats as the ClubSwan fleet – that combination is unique.”
It is a sign of Swan’s growing confidence and investment in the racing programme, and it has been no mean feat to organise against the backdrop of Pandemic restrictions. “The time comes when things happen, and this was the right time. The dream was to come and do something on our own, and the World Championship was the perfect opportunity to make it happen. And here we are – dreams come true sometimes.”
With a tradition of loyalty, first to the French Crown, and then to Napoleon, the town has produced many naval heros, maritime adventurers and explorers. So it felt quite right that Ms Bellevy should sing the national anthem to reaffirm that loyalty before a fleet like none other – Swan one design racers drawn from all around the world.