Please select your home edition
Edition
Noble Marine 2012 #2

Skorpios wins ORC division at Rolex Giraglia

by Nautor's Swan Press 16 Jun 16:20 BST 16 June 2018
ORC division at Rolex Giraglia © Fabio Taccola / Nautor's Swan

The Russian ClubSwan 50, Skorpios, skippered by Andrey Konogorov was yesterday evening declared the overall winner of the ORC Division in the offshore race at the 66th edition of the Rolex Giraglia.

Skorpios completed the 241nm course from Saint-Tropez to Genoa, via the Giraglia Rock, in an elapsed time of 33 hours 17 minutes 50 seconds. Her time corrected out to beat the second-placed yacht by four hours. The ClubSwan 42, Daring Sisters, raced by Tomas Dolezal and representing the Czech Republic, finished third overall.

Seasoned Mediterranean campaigner, Nacho Postigo, was racing aboard Skorpios as navigator. "It is great to have a ClubSwan 50 at the top of the ORC Division in the Giraglia," remarked a delighted, but tired Postigo. "As is normally the case with yacht racing, it all came down to proper preparation."

"The biggest decision for our first open or handicap race was which one of the two handicap systems the race uses - ORC or IRC - would best suit the ClubSwan 50. We determined that ORC appeared to be fairer at comparing the ClubSwan 50 with her teak decks, interior and other cruising fittings with pure racing machines with zero concession to comfort, such as a TP52," explained Postigo. "Once this decision was made, we followed carefully the evolution of the weather in the days leading up to the start before making the next important decision: to race with a reduced crew of nine instead of 11. This would keep the boat as light as possible and able to cope with the many wind transitions we expected."

Preparation is only part of the equation. Execution is equally important if the pre-race work is to be converted into a positive result. Postigo continues: "When we started the race, we found ourselves racing very close with the fast, pure racing machines - while we were still enjoying the cold water-bottles coming out of our fridge! The race was really close all the way to the Cavalaire mark, near to Saint-Tropez. Once we headed offshore we were faced with the next important decision: whether to separate from our closest rivals in order to follow what we thought was the best strategy to beat the other boats in our category."

The Skorpios afterguard decided to stay south of the rhumb line and exploit the superior performance of the ClubSwan 50 when reaching at angles suiting its Code Zero and A1 kite. Postigo picks up the story: "This strategy proved correct. As we approached the Giraglia Rock, we were leading the ORC fleet by a good margin and our sistership ClubSwan 50 Mathilde by some five miles."

It was not all plain sailing though. The breeze was constantly shifting and anticipating the transitions was critical. "Just at the rock, we were a bit unlucky," explained Postigo. "The wind transitioned from the north-easterly we had enjoyed all night to a local land breeze from the south generated by Corsica. A 65-footer we had been racing against the whole night enjoyed an easy transition a few metres from us while we stopped for a long time." Skorpios had to endure watching their hard-earned advantage virtually disappear.

"Eventually, we were able to escape and managed to gybe around the rock in the early hours of the second day still leading the ORC Division both in elapsed and on corrected time," said a relieved Postigo. However, it was still not over. The final 83-mile leg to Genoa was subject to a difficult forecast: variable winds of less than 10 knots blowing directly from the destination. "Welcome to the Mediterranean!" laughed Postigo. "The team sailed the boat exceptionally well in these tricky conditions. That and our lightweight configuration probably helped us to stretch more and more our advantage over our rivals. We reached the always difficult, final approach to Genova with a good lead of around eight miles over Mathilde and around one hour and a half on corrected time over the next best-positioned ORC boat."

As it was, Skorpios was able to ghost the last glossy few miles of the course without any serious interruptions, crossing the line at 22.00 on Thursday evening after 33 hours of intense work and tactical decision-making. Mathilde was the second ClubSwan 50 to finish the race 1hour and 39 minutes behind Skorpios.

"It was great to sail such a boat as the ClubSwan 50 offshore," said a delighted Postigo. "The boat was fast in every condition, extremely safe and easy to control thanks to her twin rudders - even when sailing at high heel angles pushing the Code Zero or the kites to their limits. She was perfectly dry and comfortable both on deck and inside...I hope other manufacturers follow the brave decision Swan has made and future cruiser-racers look more like this one: light, fast and fun!"

Skorpios has received the Nucci Novi Trophy for winning the ORC Division during the official prize giving of the 66th Rolex Giraglia at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa.

For full results of the 2018 Rolex Giraglia please visit: www.rolexgiraglia.com
www.clubswan50.com
www.thenationstrophy.com

Related Articles

Rolex Swan Cup 2018 overall
This year sees the introduction of a new trophy Contested by a diverse international fleet of 110 yachts from 17 countries encompassing over fifty years of yacht design and heritage, the 20th edition of the Rolex Swan Cup concluded earlier today following a compelling week's sailing. Posted on 16 Sep
Rolex Swan Cup 2018 day 4
Fleet completes Islands Long Race On the penultimate day of racing at the 20th edition of the Rolex Swan Cup, the Islands Long Race saw the entire fleet of 110 Swan yachts from 17 countries cover a distance of 34 miles - 30.4 for the Sparkman & Stephens class Posted on 16 Sep
Rolex Swan Cup 2018 day 3
Ideal conditions for fleet at 20th Rolex Swan Cup The third day of racing at the Rolex Swan Cup welcomed the typical Mediterranean conditions that the Costa Smeralda is famous for the world over: clear skies, sunshine and a light wind that built from just 6 knots in the morning to more than 16 Posted on 15 Sep
Rolex Swan Cup 2018 day 2
Plis-Play and Mela shine in respective classes At the end of the second day the rankings of four of the six classes in the 20th edition of the Rolex Swan Cup see the leading boats separated by just a handful of points, only Plis-Play and Mela emerge as clear leaders in their respective classes. Posted on 13 Sep
Rolex Swan Cup 2018 day 1
110 Swan yachts from 17 countries racing The 20th edition of the Rolex Swan Cup, which sees 110 Swan yachts from 17 countries racing, got underway today in the waters off Porto Cervo. Posted on 11 Sep
Rolex Swan Cup 2018 Preview
100+ yacht fleet set for 20th edition at Yacht Club Costa Smeralda It is the largest, and most important, global meeting of Nautor's Swan yachts. The fact that it only takes place once every two years adds even greater allure. Posted on 29 Aug
The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League finale
A record-breaking 37th edition applied extra heat to the finale The class winners of this inaugural four-event competition, which began back in March in Monaco, are: Hendrik Brandis' ClubSwan 50 Earlybird; Luis Senis Segarra's Swan 45 Porron IX and Jose Maria Meseguer's ClubSwan 42 Pez de Abril. Posted on 7 Aug
Copa del Rey MAPFRE overall
Record edition comes to a close on Saturday The biggest ever Copa del Rey closed on Saturday with the tradition prize giving hosted by King Felipe VI and members of the Spanish Royal Family. Posted on 5 Aug
Copa del Rey MAPFRE day 5
Win for Campos. Momo, Beau Geste in the box seats Eleventh Copa del Rey Win for Campos. Momo, Beau Geste in the Box Seats. The Copa del Rey MAPFRE finishes tomorrow. Posted on 3 Aug
Copa del Rey MAPFRE day 4
Karl Kwok's Team Beau Geste closing in on the trophy? Fresh from winning The Hague Offshore Sailing World Championship, Karl Kwok and Team Beau Geste, guided by tactician Gavin Brady, are on course to make their first visit to the famous Copa del Rey MAPFRE a winning one. Posted on 2 Aug