Big wind, big waves and great racing on the opening day of the Swan One Design Worlds
Big wind on the opening day of the Swan One Design Worlds
The Swan One Design Worlds, hosted by the Real Club Náutico de Valencia, got underway in some style today with three races for each competing class delivering dramatic and exhilarating racing in brisk conditions off Valencia, Spain.
Following storms overnight the ClubSwan Racing fleet had to contend with a steady but shifting breeze that increased during the afternoon from 12-13 knots up to 20 knots amid two-metre waves, setting a true test for the crews who are a mix of amateur and professional sailors.
With tight racing the order of the day around windward-leeward courses, smart tactical calls could make all the difference to the final outcome of any given race.
ClubSwan 42: Spain in the lead
When the spray settled it was perhaps appropriate that the ClubSwan 42 class was led by two yachts representing Spain for the first time this year. Nadir topped the class, with owner Pedro Vaquer helming her to two race wins in a 1-3-1 scoreline ahead of Jose Maria Meseguer's Pez De Abril, four points behind.
Back on the dock Vaquer said: "Today's races were very difficult because there was wind but above all there were many waves and, in those conditions, it is difficult to steer the boat.
"Our goal is to win but I think that any boat of this fleet of nine can win the championship. So we have started very well but we still have a way to go."
And he added: "We are very proud to represent Spain in this international fleet. There are three Spanish boats here on this occasion and every time one of us wins, we are all happy."
Massimo De Campo's Italian-flagged Selene-Alifax was on the third step of the first day podium just a point behind Pez De Abril having taken the win in race two.
ClubSwan 50: three races, three different winners
Equally closely contested, the 16-strong ClubSwan 50 class produced three different winners across the day.
The Leonardo Ferragamo helmed Cuordileone ended the day's racing in pole position posting results of 3-3-1, a point ahead of defending class World Champion Marcus Brennecke's Hatari who won the first race.
Earlybird – like Hatari flying the flag for Germany – was in third place closely pursued by Belgium's Balthasar. Owner and helm Louis Balcaen said: "Today we had epic sailing conditions up to 20 knots, awesome, in warm weather and plenty of breeze.
"You can see at the marks that the level is getting higher and higher all the time, it is getting closer and closer, and we had a penalty at the top mark, so we made our lives a little bit difficult today, but we managed to win the second race which was nice."
ClubSwan 36: Brazil edges ahead
Meanwhile the first day leader in the highly-competitive ClubSwan 36 fleet was also the one that had travelled the furthest to be in Valencia – Mamao all the way from Brazil.
A 1-2-3 scoreline saw her finish two points ahead of the hard-charging British yacht Black Seal, which won the Swan Sardinia Challenge back in June, with Richard Thompson's crew taking the last two race victories.
Mamao's owner Haakon Lorentzen said: "It was very good, and we won the day today. We are having fun and it is great to be back international sailing. We are here to do as well as we can.
"The team is from a yacht club in Rio de Janeiro, and we have been sailing together for many years, and they are great sailors."
The celebratory prize-giving ashore, with daily awards sponsored by Garmin, was held at the host club the Real Club Náutico de Valencia, with all the race teams able to celebrate a successful opening day of the Swan One Design Worlds.
Among the ClubSwan Racing 2022 One Design circuit partners present in Valencia is Rolex, who once again fulfils the vital role of timekeeper. As a now long-standing partner of the ClubSwan Racing One Design circuit, Rolex plays a central part in the ongoing success of the ClubSwan Racing project.
Racing at the Swan One Design Worlds resumes on Thursday and continues until Saturday 9 July.