Archive for » March 16th, 2015«

Victors Claim Spoils At Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean

Fleet start. Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean 2015.  Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Fleet start. Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean 2015. © Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Virgin Gorda (BVI), 7th March 2015. The second edition of the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean drew to a close today with a fourth day of picture perfect sailing for the 21 participating yachts. Overall winners of the event, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Nautor’s Swan in collaboration with Rolex, were Swan 80 Selene in Class A and Swan 53 Music in Class B. Both received Rolex timepieces and were awarded the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean Trophy. Among the Class B boats sailing under CSA it was the Swan 53 Naia’a, owned by Bob and Kristin Beltrano, that claimed the top spot.

The entire week was characterized by brisk easterly winds of approximately 20 knots and today was no exception. Following a single start for all classes the larger Class A boats went on to complete a 25 nautical-mile course that brought them west to Great Camanoe Island and back to the finish off Necker Island while the Class B yachts rounded the Dog Islands for a 21-mile course. With no change in the prevailing conditions, all three group winners claimed bullets on corrected to time to extend leads they had secured from the start of the event.

Terry Halpin (USA), Skipper on board Selene put their success down to teamwork: “We had a lot of breeze which the boat clearly likes. While we didn’t sail perfectly, we seem to think that we left a little more time on the course than some of the other boats in our class. The secret of Selene is the fantastic team that we have been building up over the years. We’ve been able to identify the strengths among our crew and do manoeuvres on the boat really well.”

James Blakemore, owner of Music also underlined the importance of having a tight-knit crew: “The conditions suited the boat and the boys sailed really well the whole week, no major mistakes or failures. We had a very good preparation, good solid crew training. We’ve had two seconds in the Rolex Swan Cup before so with these winds this was our shot! It’s a fantastic place to sail and the event is so well organised. We’ll definitely be in Sardinia next year.”

YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo summed up the ethos of the regatta: “There is a good reason why YCCS, Nautor’s Swan and Rolex have been collaborating for over 30 years and this week has embodied the spirit of collaboration, sportsmanship and camaraderie that has characterized our partnership from the beginning. This is only the second edition of the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean but already this gentleman’s regatta has captured our hearts and become a firm fixture on our calendar. Here’s to an even bigger and better event in 2017 in occasion of the Yacht Club’s 50th anniversary.”

Leonardo Ferragamo, Chairman of Nautor’s Swan echoed those sentiments: “This has been a wonderful event for everyone – the owners, the crews, their families and friends. There is something for everyone and the atmosphere is simply unique. The setting of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Virgin Gorda is spectacular, and holds many similarities to the Club’s home base in Porto Cervo. The Rolex Swan Cup is always a showcase of passion and sportsmanship, and a testament to the joy of sailing – which is what Nautor’s Swan stands for.”

Owners and crews celebrated at the final prize giving on the YCCS lawn and enjoyed a final cocktail at the Club before bidding each other farewell until the next appointment with the Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo from 12 – 18 September 2016.

For further information visit and Full results are available online.

Video highlights are posted on the YCCS and Nautor’s Swan YouTube channels. For broadcast quality video please contact the YCCS or Nautor Press Office.

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Cyclone Pam keeps round-the-world boats in dock

Auckland (AFP) – Cyclone Pam forced Volvo Ocean Race organisers to make their third postponement to the start of the fifth leg of the round-the-world offshore yacht race on Monday.

Following a meeting with the fleet’s six skippers, race management decided to delay the stage from Auckland to Itajaí, Brazil until Wednesday morning at 9:00 local time, 67 hours behind the previously scheduled departure on Sunday.

They had previously postponed the start of the 6,776-nautical mile leg to Monday, and then Tuesday, to protect a fleet of boats worth around 30 million euros ($31.6 million).

Auckland viaduct, where the boats are berthed, has escaped by far the worst of the 270-kilometre per hour (kph) cyclone, which wrought havoc on Vanuatu and neighbouring islands in the South Pacific.

However, organisers were concerned that once the boats reached the open sea, they would soon run into serious trouble in winds of more than 100kph and a churned-up sea state, creating waves of up to 15 metres.

“To have started on the original timing would have been very stupid,” race CEO Knut Frostad told reporters on Monday.

“It’s the sailors who make the decisions in the Volvo Ocean Race. It’s their decision what they do. If I were a competitor and skipper, and I have been a few times in this race (four races from 1993 to 2005), and I had race management starting me on Sunday, I would have stayed on the dock.

“At best, I would have anchored and just waited. I also think that a cyclone, which has killed many people in some amazing islands that we just raced through north of New Zealand, it’s not just a weather system; we’re talking about a natural disaster.”

Frostad added that in 22 years as a competitor and CEO of the race – formerly known as the Whitbread Round the World Race – he had never had to contend with such conditions.

Spaniard Iker Martínez, skipper of MAPFRE and a sailing gold medallist in Athens 2004, sympathised with Frostad and his team’s dilemma of when to send the boats out.

“It wasn’t an easy decision for the Volvo Ocean Race, that’s for sure. The cyclone is passing now. It’s very strong, and once she’s gone she’ll leave a high pressure behind and, as incredible as it might sound, the wind will decrease really, really quickly to almost nothing,” he told reporters.

“Equally, if you leave too early, you can get into trouble in winds too strong to sail in.”

The nine-month race, generally reckoned to be offshore sailing’s toughest test, visits 11 ports in all, covering 38,739nm and every continent. It is scheduled to finish in Gothenburg, Sweden, on June 27.

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Greenville Boat Show big draw despite fluctuating gas prices

With gas prices decreasing, more people are buying luxury items.  The boat show at Greenville Convention Center brought thousands of people to town.

“It’s not a deal breaker for me,” Tom Brown said.

Boat owners say they still consider gas prices when purchasing a boat.

“Considering whether to get a 200 or 250 horsepower, because the fuel economy did come into play and that conversation, not so much if I was going to purchase the boat or not but whether I was going to get a 200 or 250 engine,” explained Brown.

Vic Williams, a manager for Park Boat Company, says boat sales have increased. “I think fuel prices have gone down. The economy is rebounding. I think everything is back pre-recession now. Everything is looking good.” He says customers do their research before purchasing a luxury item like a boat. “Now they become very educated about the four stroke outboards and they understand that they just don’t burn a lot of gas. They are more than 50 percent more fuel efficient than the old two stroke outboards.”

The annual boat show brought thousands of people to Greenville. There were approximately 25 different manufactures and 14 different vendors.  A variety of high priced boats filled the room from fishing to sports and even pontoon boats.

Williams says the rain on Saturday brought more people to the show.

“At times yesterday you had to step around people to get to the next guy so I was really excited that there were so many people here at the boat show,” Williams said.

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