After three races in the Swan American Regatta, the leaders in the two divisions remain unchanged, with Frank Savage's Swan 56 Lolita (USA) leading the regatta overall

After three races in the Swan American Regatta, the leaders in the two divisions remain unchanged, with Frank Savage’s Swan 56 Lolita (USA) leading the regatta overall. A strong, building southerly breeze and flat water provided the majestic Swan fleet with perfect conditions, rather in contrast to the first day. Two races were held on the Rhode Island Sound and the 12-knot breeze was just what the fleet wished for after yesterday’s light and fickle airs.

Lolita again faced stiff competition from Arien van Vemde’s Swan 60 Sotto Voce (NED), in addition to the fleet of Swan 56’s that are revelling in Newport’s conditions. But it was the Dutch boat that took the prize for the day, beating Lolita by virtue of a superior position in the second race. Arien Van Vemde, Sotto Voce’s owner, commented: “In the first race, we had a bad start and Lolita was first to the windwark mark, which is really good for a Swan 56. This afternoon’s race was a bit more favourable for us, as we’re heavier and the breeze went from 10 to 15 knots. We didn’t make many mistakes and there was just enough speed difference for us to do well.”

In the Small Boat Division Syrocco, a Swan 51 owned by Sam Fortenbaugh (USA), is holding a slender lead from John Santa’s Swan 46 Galadriel. Galadriel won two close contests today with Syrocco, as the two shadowed each other around the race course. Also challenging for division honours is Vixen (USA), owned by John and Bunny Wayt (USA).

In the first race, four boats in the Big Boat Class – Lolita, Sotto Voce, Redoubtable, a Swan 56 owned by Nader Habashi (Huntersville, NC), and Noonmark VI, a Swan 56 owned by Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy (UK) took an early lead. By the first weather mark rounding on a 6-leg windward/leeward course, Lolita led the group, but was followed closely by the Sotto Voce and the Swan 56s. It was at the second windward mark that Lolita fell into trouble, when a fouled spinnaker hoist slowed the yacht down and cost the crew precious time. They fought back to win the race.

The second race was run in an identical format to the first, with Clay Deutch’s Chippewa (USA) taking an early lead. However, at the leeward mark Neva fouled themselves on the mark and set the buoy adrift. The race committee substituted the mark with a rib until the mark could be relaid. By the second weather mark, Sotto Voce had drawn out a lead of almost three minutes over the fleet, which she built on to take the winner’s gun.