Please select your home edition
leaderboard with question mark E6 launch 2021
Product Feature
Gul Code Zero Longjohn & Longjane
Gul Code Zero Longjohn & Longjane

Shifty winds keep Nations Trophy crews and race officials on their toes

by Nautor's Swan 16 Sep 2021 04:22 BST 14-18 September 2021

Constantly changing winds made a headache of race management on the first day of the Nautor's Swan Nations Trophy in Palma. Officials scrambled to respond as the light southwesterly sea breeze veered and backed under each passing cloud.

The 29-strong fleet of ClubSwan 36, ClubSwan 42 and ClubSwan 50 boats had their eyes fixed on the committee boat, waiting for the sign that racing was due to commence. The AP flag for postponement came down several times, but after more than three hours had passed, the A flag was raised beneath AP, to signal that there would be no racing today.

It was not wasted time, however, as owners were quick to explain once they got back to the dock. "You get used to the waiting," says Pedro Vaquer Comas, the local owner of the CS42 Nadir. "We practised a lot today. You can put plates underneath the mast and turns on the stay to get the rig working better in the light winds."

ClubSwan 36 newcomer Mehmet Taki of Bracing Breeze also took a fatalistic view of the day. "I'm used to it," he says with a shrug. "I know this from ORC racing at the Copa del Rey and from sailing at home in Turkey." It hasn't bluntened his enthusiasm for Swan racing, however. "I like fast boats, and these ClubSwan are so sporty. The big difference is that for the first time I am helming - normally I prefer the lazy positions!"

In the CS50 class, Hatari and Earlybird have been swapping podium positions throughout the season. Earlybird owner Henrik Brandis gave an insight into keeping his crew sharp on the water. "It can change pretty quickly out there," he says. "Once things start to move, we have to be quick. We practice hoists every 20 minutes or so. Otherwise people are discussing, laughing together or taking a nap below."

Everyone except for Brandis himself, that is. "I'm actually working out there," he says with a mock grimace. "It's like half a day in the office!" He agrees that the race committee was right to postpone, though. "We should stay with fair conditions, and a 50- to 60-degree wind shift to the right would mean the righthand boats caught out. It's not true sailing. The wind always shifts, but it should be in a dimension you can deal with."

Principal race officer Ariane Mainemare confirms that this was the problem today. "With wind shifts of 50 or 60 degrees it is basically impossible to set a race course, and even if we do set it, it turns into an unfair one, because positions change too much."

Cloud cover over the Bay of Palma played a particular important role today. "The major problem was the squalls coming from the south," continues Mainemare. "Normally when this happens and you don't have a strong gradient wind, the rain interrupts the wind. Each time a big cloud came through, there was a bit more wind, then the cloud would pass and the wind went down again."

Luckily, the forecast is looking slightly more settled for tomorrow, and there are high hopes that racing will get under way as planned around midday. "If the skies are a bit clearer over the bay, conditions will be more stable," finishes Mainemare.

Related Articles

2022 ClubSwan racing calendar unveiled
Starting from April with the Tuscany Challenge After the great success of the 2021 racing season, which saw a stunning edition of the Swan European Regatta and an outstanding edition of The Nations League, dedicated to Swan One Design, ClubSwan Racing is unveiling the events calendar for 2022. Posted on 4 Dec 2021
Rolex Swan Cup 2022 - Save the date
The event will take place from September 11th to 18th in Porto Cervo The dates of the 2022 Rolex Swan Cup have officially been revealed: the event will take place from September 11th to 18th, in Porto Cervo. Posted on 19 Nov 2021
Successful Swan sailing season is in the books
Competition within the classes at Swan One Design Worlds was at an all time high The Swan One Design Nations Trophy in Palma de Mallorca was quickly followed by the Swan One Design World Championships in St. Tropez, which capped off this year's success for Swan owners. Posted on 1 Nov 2021
Swan One Design Worlds winners crowned
G-Spot wins the ClubSwan 36, Raving Swan triumphs in the ClubSwan 42 The triumphant owners and crews have the right to consider themselves the best in the world after battling to the top of the leader board in St Tropez. Posted on 18 Oct 2021
Fitful easterlies rewrite Swan class leaderboards
Wins for Ferragamo father and son across two classes at the Swan One Design Worlds The Gulf of Saint Tropez kept the surprises coming for the third day of the Swan One Design Worlds, with the wind swinging right round to the east again. Signs of a good sailing breeze early on were scuppered as the winds began to drop. Posted on 16 Oct 2021
Westerlies give Swan fleets boost in St Tropez
An ideal 12-15 knot breeze at the Swan One Design Worlds Crews were scrambled early this morning with the news that racing in the Swan One Design Worlds was to begin early at 11am to take advantage of a good sailing breeze. Posted on 16 Oct 2021
Swan OD Worlds get under way in light winds
Just one race on day one in St Tropez Electricity crackled along the quayside this morning as crews prepared for the first race of Swan One Design Worlds in St Tropez. After the relaxed fun of last night's opening ceremony, tension was palpable as final checks were made and sails stowed. Posted on 15 Oct 2021
A spectacular welcome for Swan OD Worlds
Record fleet of 41 boats from 18 nations brings hundreds of sailors to St Tropez Saint Tropez plays magnificent host to the Swan One Design Worlds, with 41 boats from 18 different nations lined up along the quay in the historic old harbour. Posted on 14 Oct 2021
Stage set in St Tropez for Swan One Design Worlds
A record fleet of 42 boats is starting to assemble Crews and owners are making their final preparations ahead of the biggest event in the ClubSwan Racing calendar, which gets under way on 13 October. Posted on 7 Oct 2021
North Sails: The Debrief
Clean Sweep in Swans, Porto Cervo Photo Journal, View from the Coach Boat What is one thing the Swan One Design Nations Trophy's winners had in common last weekend in Palma de Mallorca? Niramo, Natalia, and Vitamin all carried North Sails. Posted on 26 Sep 2021