Nautor’s Swan are boosting their three one-design classes with a new calendar of races in some of the world’s finest sailing venues (of course)
Swan regattas have always been special. They are held in stunning locations where the sailing conditions are reliably excellent, and the events are impeccably hosted by some of the world’s most prestigious yacht clubs. Add to that some thrillingly close boat-for-boat racing interspersed with well-organised, genuinely social occasions, and you have pretty much the perfect regatta set-up, one that guarantees a strong entry list. Don’t forget that these boats are also well-appointed, luxurious cruisers, so once the trophies have been handed out many owners go family cruising.
In 2002 Nautor’s Swan made the racing even more exciting by going one-design. The Swan 45 class was followed in 2006 by the ClubSwan 42, both drawn by Germán Frers, and in 2016 by the Juan K-designed ClubSwan 50. Philippe Oulhen, ClubSwan 50 class president, explains why they decided to shift to one-design: ‘I believe ClubSwan one-design racing brings a perfect balance between high-intensity and close racing with very well-organised events at the best yacht clubs in the world. Our goal is to support each team to concentrate and learn the best from the racing on the water, with top-quality race management.’
By now there are more than enough boats in these three classes to support a range of dedicated Swan one-design events in the Mediterranean. The boats race in various ORC and IRC events in their home waters, and each is given a factor so that different events can be made comparable. That process creates a points-based world ranking, and the best boats will be invited to take part in the biennial Nations Trophy, where the best skippers in each one-design class race for global glory.
The racing is extraordinarily close. During the stunning first edition of the 2017 Nations Trophy, in Palma, nine of the 11 boats racing in the ClubSwan 50 class posted at least one podium and five boats recorded at least one win. Positions were changing at every mark and some boats finished within a second of each other. That is the beauty of one-design racing.
This international competition and camaraderie are within easy reach. In fact, due to the success of the ClubSwan 50, with 21 boats sold in its first year and many to owners of the Swan 45 or ClubSwan 42, there is a large selection of boats available in turnkey condition. One such owner is Hendrik Brandis. He was four-time world champion with his Swan 45 Earlybird before moving into the ClubSwan 50 class.
‘Swan OD racing is providing the very best platform to maximise fun for ambitious race sailors – both offshore and inshore,’ he says. ‘There are hardly any other offshore OD classes of a similar size that consistently bring decent fleets to the line and allow for fair competition at a high level. That, in combination with the special Swan community’s social events, is unique.’
So what are your options? You could choose the ever-popular three-cabin, one-head ClubSwan 42. Regina 2.0 is the 58th and last of the class, delivered in 2013. The hull and deck are infusion-moulded E-glass, foam-cored, with unidirectional carbon reinforcement where required. She features a two-spreader carbon rig, a retractable carbon bowsprit plus a full inventory of North Sails 3Di from 2017. The asking price for this turnkey route into some amazing racing in incredible locations? Just 350,000 euros, tax paid.
If 45ft is more your size, look at Earlybird, the 2003 Swan 45 driven to four world titles by Hendrik Brandis. The hull has foam-cored GRP topsides with solid laminate below the waterline and the deck is carbon epoxy Sprint with a foam core. The keel is lead and the rudder foam-cored GRP with a carbon stock. The Hall Spars carbon mast has rod rigging and a carbon spinnaker pole. She has a full B&G H3000 package, a cradle and a 20ft container full of spares, including a second forestay with a furler for cruising. Always professionally maintained, this three-cabin, one-head speed machine is on the market for just 310,000 euros, tax paid.
With these exciting new racing programmes and three one-design classes proven to deliver exhilarating racing, has there ever been a better time to be part of ClubSwan?
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