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The Nations Trophy all set for Porto Cervo

by ClubSwan 19 Jun 2023 11:53 BST 20-24 June 2023

The ClubSwan Racing family is preparing to gather once again for one of the highlights of the season, the fourth edition of the eagerly awaited The Nations Trophy.

No fewer than 28 race teams crewed by sailors from over 24 nations will come together in the magnificent setting of Porto Cervo in Sardinia, based at the renowned Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, the event organiser, for five days of fiercely contested but friendly racing between June 20-24.

Three ClubSwan Racing one-design classes, the ClubSwan 50, ClubSwan 42 and ClubSwan 36, will be racing on their own separate courses, each yacht competing for individual points in their class, while aiming to contribute to their country's overall score in both The Nations Trophy and the season-long The Nations League competition.

The 2023 edition of The Nations Trophy also offers something special ashore with the Owners' Dinner at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. This year, the occasion attended by owners and their guests will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Leonardo Ferragamo's acquisition of Nautor Swan and the creation of ClubSwan. To celebrate this milestone and commemorate the occasion, ClubSwan Racing Main Partner Ferragamo has designed a unique gift for all attendees.

"The 2023 The Nations Trophy marks a very special anniversary for both Nautor Swan and ClubSwan, and we are delighted to be able to celebrate it in the warm and welcoming surroundings of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda," said Giovanni Pomati, CEO of Nautor Group.

"We are once again eagerly awaiting the start of the friendly and competitive racing that is the hallmark of ClubSwan Racing, along with the camaraderie that is so much part of the Swan experience."

Meanwhile the regatta is further enriched by the presence of Maxi Swans and the Swan Shadow motoryacht which are on site for the hospitality programmes run throughout the event for ClubSwan Racing's highly valued Main Partners, as well as for VIP guests, families and friends.

As a biennial challenge, The Nations Trophy was last held in 2021 when Germany emerged the winner in large part thanks to a dominant performance in the CS50 class when it took the top three places.

One of the podium trio — Hendrik Brandis' Earlybird — returns, with the celebrated Brazilian multi-medal winning Olympic sailor Robert Scheidt taking on the tactician's role: "ClubSwan Racing has been delivering great racing in fantastic venues for many years now, and Porto Cervo is simply one of the best. It's great to be back and The Nations Trophy is going to be something special."

Also joining the strong German CS50 contingent once again in 2023 for a third consecutive season will be Mark Bezner and his Olymp crew, alongside Enis Ersu's Xai Vision and Marcus Brennecke's Hatari, which took third place on The Nations Trophy podium in 2021.

They will face determined opposition in the 13-strong class from five Italian teams, as well as other highly-rated racers from Britain, Monaco and Austria.

Meanwhile the ClubSwan 42 class will welcome Federico Borromeo's Italy-flagged Rachistar and long-time Nautor Swan owner Barry Sampson's Long Echo to the contest. One of the boats to beat will surely be Pedro Vaquer's Nadir, the Spanish entry taking top spot in class at the Swan Sardinia Challenge in May. Taking on the key tactician's role is another multiple winner in the shape of five-time J80 World Champion and nine-time Conde de Godó Sailing Trophy winner, the Spanish ace Rayco Tabares.

"The ClubSwan 42 class is always competitive and The Nations Trophy is an opportunity for all of us to fly our country's flag with pride, and hopefully with success," said Tabares. "Win or lose though, it is going to be great fun and really competitive."

Over in the ultra-modern ClubSwan 36 class, two years ago Monaco's Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio and his G-Spot crew were runners-up in The Nations Trophy despite taking four race wins. They will doubtless be aiming to go one better in Porto Cervo after starting the 2023 season with a win at the Swan Croatia Challenge in April and a strong performance at last month's Swan Sardinia Challenge.

"The crew have been together a long time so we know what we can achieve," said Giangiacomo. "The class is highly competitive so the racing will be fast and exciting, and in a setting like this it is going to be something very special."

Among the opposition will be Haakon Lorentzen's Brazil-flagged Mamao, her crew including Ross Macdonald, the Canadian Olympian and Whitbread round the world racer.

"This is going to be a full-on event and the Mamao team will be going all-out to get some solid results after showing real potential at the first two events of the year," said Macdonald, who also works with North Sails, a ClubSwan Racing Technical Partner.

The race courses off Porto Cervo will be set using robotic marks to avoid any possibility of damage to the sea bed in the Parco Nazionale Arcipelago di La Maddalena.

The 2023 Nations Trophy gets under way with a practice race on Tuesday 20 June, and concludes with a celebratory prize-giving at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda on Saturday 24 June.

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