Spectacular conditions deliver competitive and thrilling racing
Three ClubSwan Racing one-design classes light up the Bay of Villasimius
Stella Maris, Black Seal and Nadir take the top spots
The Nations League 2023 – Swan Sardinia Challenge
“ It was very exciting, very shifty with lots of changes of position, a great deal of fun. Honours across the races were pretty even with different winners. ”
Richard Thompson, Black Seal
The Swan Sardinia Challenge delivered spectacular conditions and close racing for the owners and crews competing in the second instalment of the season-long The Nations League 2023.
Teams in the ClubSwan 50, ClubSwan 42 and ClubSwan 36 one-design classes gathered in Villasimius on Sardinia's dramatic southeast coast, with the ClubSwan Racing family hosted by the Marinedi Group's Marina di Villasimius together with Lega Navale Italia Sez. di Villasimius and new Yacht Club Marina di Villasimius.
Strong winds ruled out safe fleet racing on the opening day of the regatta — though many took advantage of the conditions to go kite-surfing and wing-foiling — with light breezes the following day limiting the fleet to a single if challenging race on the pristine waters of the Capo Carbonara Marine Protected Area.
However, fresh winds returned on day three to provide downwind racing conditions described as "epic" by Finnish Olympic sailor Mikaela Wulff racing on the CS50 Stella Maris, with some of the fleet hitting a spectacular 20-plus knots of boatspeed.
At the same time the racing remained close and competitive, with the 13-strong CS50 class producing a different winner in each of the four races sailed during the regatta. August Schram's consistently well sailed Stella Maris (AUT) took victory clear ahead of Andrea Bianchedi's Drifter Sail (ITA) and Andrea Lacorte's Vitamina (ITA).
"The team is very, very happy, everyone did such a great job," said Wulff.
It was a memorable regatta also for another in the class, with Giovanni Lombardi's Django (GBR) taking her first ever ClubSwan 50 race win, while Marcus Brennecke's Hatari (GER) won the final race.
The ClubSwan 36 class was equally hard fought, with the top three yachts separated by just a single point. Richard Thompson's Black Seal (GGY) edged the fierce but friendly contest ahead of Edoardo and Vanni Pavesio's Fra Martina (ITA) and Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio's G-Spot (MON), who were only separated on countback.
"It was very exciting, very shifty with lots of changes of position, a great deal of fun," said Thompson, adding: "Honours across the races were pretty even with different winners."
The tightly packed ClubSwan 42 class saw Spain take the top two steps on the podium with Pedro Vaquer's Nadir (ESP) a point ahead of Jose Maria Meseguer's Pez De Abril (ESP), and Luca Formentini's Koyre - Spirit of Nerina (ITA) able to hold off Massimo De Campo's Selene-Alifax (ITA) to claim the final space.
With the results all in — and with racing not possible on the final day due to high winds and waves— Italy topped the Best-Placed Nations Scoring table, thanks to Drifter Sail and Vitamina, ahead of Monaco and Germany.
"Villasimius and the Marinedi Group have done us proud, and despite the challenges presented by the weather we were able to deliver some spectacular racing in a fantastic setting, which I believe will live long in the memory of all those taking part in the Swan Sardinia Challenge," said Federico Michetti, Head of Sports Activities at ClubSwan Racing.
Daily prize-givings during the Swan Sardinia Challenge were supported by B&G, a ClubSwan Racing Partner, and Gottifredi Maffioli. Meanwhile the Owners & Friends Dinner was hosted by the Falkensteiner Hotel. Set against the picturesque Sardinian backdrop, the evening was filled with laughter, engaging stories and a shared love for the sport of sailing and was a celebration of the Swan family's unity and passion.
The exquisite sparkling wine from Ferrari Trento added fizz to the evening. On display, the sleek and stunning Porsche cars caught everyone's eye, encapsulating the spirit of the night.
The next event in the exciting ClubSwan Racing season is The Nations Trophy (June 20-24), again in Sardinia at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, which will feature the three one-design classes that demonstrated such a fair and competitive spirit at the Swan Sardinia Challenge.
April 25-29: SWAN CROATIA CHALLENGE Split (CRO) | (CS36)
May 16-20: SWAN SARDINIA CHALLENGE Sardinia (ITA) | (CS50, CS36, CS42)
June 20-24: THE NATIONS TROPHY Sardinia (ITA) | (CS50, CS36, CS42)
July 31 - August 5: COPA DEL REY Mallorca (ESP) | (CS50, CS42)
September 12-16: CLUBSWAN 50 CHALLENGE Mallorca (ESP) | (CS50)
September 12-16: CLUBSWAN 36 CHALLENGE Sardinia (ITA) | (CS36)
October 10-14: SWAN ONE DESIGN WORLDS Tuscany (ITA) | (CS50, CS36, CS42, S45)
The Swan One Design Nations League 2023 is powered by ROLEX, RANDSTAD, PORSCHE ITALIA, FERRAGAMO, BANOR with the support of Technical Partners FERRARI TRENTO, SEASE, ETHIMO, NORTH SAILS, QUANTUM SAILS, DOYLE SAILS, GARMIN, B&G, SAILMON, GOTTIFREDI E MAFFIOLI, AON, SEBAGO, LAVAZZA, PERFETTI – FRUITTELLA and Lifestyle Partners ITALY SEGRETA, LA THUILE, GRUPPO LUNGARNO. As Sustainability Partner, The Nations League renews the collaboration with MAREVIVO.