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Swan One Design Mediterranean League turns on the heat

by The Nations Trophy 12 Jun 14:03 BST 9-11 June 2019

Difficult weather conditions off Saint-Tropez did little to dampen the spirits of the Swan One Design fleet gathered for the third round of The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League 2019 held within the inshore series of the Rolex Giraglia. Across the three competing classes - ClubSwan 50, Swan 45 and ClubSwan 42, competition was close and enthusiastic. Some 22 Swans took part in the one design racing.

In the ClubSwan 50 class, Leonardo Ferragamo and Cuordileone (ITA) returned to the fray with some authority, repeating the victory they achieved at the first event of the league in Monaco. It was repeat business in the Swan 45 class where Luís Senís Segarra and Porrón IX (ESP), winners in both Monaco and Scarlino, secured the overall win. In the ClubSwan 42 class, Carlandrea Simonelli's Fantaghirò (ITA) extended the success of her debut in Scarlino topping the table once again. Italy was best-placed nation with Cuordileone combining with the Fantaghirò to win by six points from Germany, with Russia in third.

The fourth and final event for Swan One Design classes competing for The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League 2019 is the Copa del Rey Mapfre, hosted by the Real Club Náutico de Palma from 27 July to 3 August.

ClubSwan 50

By adding another win at the Rolex Giraglia to the win at Monaco Swan One Design and second place at the Scarlino Swan One Design, Leonardo Ferragamo's Italian ClubSwan 50 Cuordileone has extended its lead over the chasing pack. With 28 points and seven-point cushion over second-placed Skorpios (RUS) it will take a real turnaround at the fourth and final event in Palma for Cuordileone to be dislodged.

Tomasso Chieffi, Cuordileone's tactician this week, admitted that the win came down to the final leg of the final race: "It was very hard today. We had a navigation problem in the first race and then, in the next, we were second row at the start. We did well to recover places on the downwind legs. Heading into finish the wind almost died completely and we crossed the line in a bunch of boats. Everyone kept calm, our helmsman did an excellent job, and we managed to get to the position we needed to win the series!"

Competition for the remaining places on the podium remains tight. Any one of five ClubSwan 50s is in with a shout. If the crew of Skorpios can start regattas as well as they seem to finish them, the scrap may be confined to third place. Earlybird (GER), Stella Maris (AUT) and Mathilde (SUI) have all shown their capabilities this season, and Skorpios' varied form could play into their hands to keep second place open.

Ahead of the Rolex Giraglia, consistency was identified as the critical ingredient. Cuordileone was by no means impregnable with a score line of 1, 3, 5 over the three races. Both Skorpios and Earlybird ran the Italian team close, finishing one and two points behind respectively. The crew on Skorpios, though, must be kicking themselves. An eighth in the first race of the series proving too great a hurdle despite repeating her final day efforts at Scarlino by producing two bullets on the final day in Saint-Tropez.

Leaderboard (after three events)
1. Cuordileone (Italy) 28 pts
2. Skorpios (Russia) 21 pts
3. Stella Maris (Austria) 19 pts
4. Ulika (Italy) 18 pts
5. Earlybird (Germany) 17 pts

Swan 45

Once again it was the two-time and defending World Champion, Porrón IX, from Spain that led the way in racing. Two first places and a third proved how difficult this crew is to beat over a series. Lennard van Oeveren's Motions (NED) were close, only one point behind in the final tally after scoring three second places. Tea Ekengren's Blue Nights (FIN) came home third with a win in the final race proving this crew has potential.

Luís Senís was elated with the overall result, but was a little disappointed with the last race today: "It was difficult today. We did not do a very good start and at one point we were fourth and Motions was first so we were going to lose the regatta. We stayed strong and believed in ourselves and managed to finish third. Motions' result meant we won by one point."

Looking ahead, Senís commented: "We will not make any changes ahead of the Copa del Rey. Our aim is to win all the regattas this year and at the moment we have three from three. Just one more in the League to win. We will try!"

In terms of the class standings at the end of three events, Porrón IX is pulling away, and, subject to an unlikely catastrophe in Palma, appears to have sewn up the class. Motions and Blue Nights will not have given up the fight and with the prospect of a bigger fleet during the Copa del Rey, the opportunity to contest Porron's position will be greater.

Leaderboard (after three events)
1. Porrón IX (Spain) 13 pts
2. Motions (Netherlands) 8 pts
3. Blue Nights (Finland) 6 pts
4. Fever (Germany) 3 pts
5. Thetis (Italy) 3 pts

ClubSwan 42

Three of the top four ClubSwan 42s in The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League 2019 standings contested the Rolex Giraglia inshore series. It was Fantaghirò that once again shone the brightest. A score line of three second-places proving too much for Lorenzo Mondo's Far Star (ITA), whose uncharacteristic slip on the first day when she finished sixth proved her undoing. Like Skorpios in the ClubSwan 50 class, two bullets on the final day may have repaired the damage to psyche, but it was insufficient to bridge the gap to Fantaghirò. George Brailoiu's Natalia (ROU), too, put in a good series scoring 1, 4, 3 and losing out on second place to Far Star by virtue of countback. Marco Caglieris' Spirit of Nerina (ITA) improved her season's standing by finishing fourth overall.

Carlandrea Simonelli was upbeat: "We are more than happy because this confirms our result in Scarlino. I am also very happy we were consistent in our results. The ClubSwan 42 teams are very good so it is always hard. Everyone has an opportunity to do well. Today, especially, was really very difficult. At the end of the third race we went left while everyone else went right! Fortunately, it ended up being the reason for our success."

Leaderboard (after three events)
1. Fantaghirò (Italy) 15 pts
2. Far Star (Italy) 14 pts
3. Natalia (Romania) 11 pts
4. Spirit of Nerina (Italy) 8 pts
5. Mela (Italy) 6 pts

The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League 2019 Provisional Standings

With three events down, Italy has increased its domination of The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League 2019 country standings. Following an excellent Rolex Giraglia, Italy now leads on 50 points from Germany on 37. Russia has moved into third on 21 points. Switzerland and Spain are tied in fourth on 17 points apiece. The country to win the League will take a point into The Nations Trophy itself, scheduled for 8 - 12 October 2019 in Palma de Mallorca.

Handicap Entries

The Rolex Giraglia is more than just a gathering of Swan One Designs for Nautor's Swan. In the handicap classes, Jean Pierre Barjon's Swan 601 Lorina (FRA) narrowly secured IRC 0 Cruiser division on countback, winning the last race. Vincenzo Onorato's S&S-designed Swan 38 Mascalzone Latino (ITA) came a very creditable fourth in IRC B losing out to yachts far younger. The Swan 45s From Now On (GER) and Ange Transparent (ITA) owned by Fernando Chain and Valter Pizzoli respectively finished first and second in ORC A, with Swan 56 Intrigue (ESP) in fifth.

Tomorrow attention turns to the Rolex Giraglia Offshore Race. 10 Swans are competing in the 131-boat IRC Division and 13 in the 93-boat ORC Division.

For more information about Swan One Design, visit the website

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