It was a frustrating start for the 92-strong fleet in Porto Cervo, Sardinia

For the 92 yachts at the dock in Porto Cervo it was a somewhat frustrating beginning to a promising week of racing in the biennial Rolex Swan Cup, as the fleet was held for four hours waiting for the breeze and, more importantly, the seas to abate.

The strong northeasterly breeze that blew relentlessly through the night gave Principal Race Officer Peter Craig and his race committee cause for concern. The resulting sea state, while probably not boat breaking, was potentially gear-busting, and most ashore seemed content with the decision to postpone the original 11:30 start time. Then, at 14:00 with the AP flag down, boats headed out to a northeasterly breeze of 15-18 knots and a 2-metre sea.

At 15:30 the warning signal for the Maxis was sounded and the 22-boat fleet, from 60-footers to the 112-footers of Highland Breeze (NED) and Mystery, were sent on a 25-nautical mile course that had a short upwind beat, than a reach into the Golfo delle Saline to round Secco di Tre Monti, a beat up and around Ile di Monaci, a downwind run to Ile di Mortoriotto, up to a buoy in Golfo Pevero, and to the finish off the entrance off Porto Cervo.

Leading the fleet around the course was the Swan 80 Berenice (ITA), the newest Swan here. By the turn at Mortoriotto however, the Swan 90s DSK Pioneer Investment (ITA), and White Lie (ITA) got by Berenice (ITA) to cross the finish line ahead. But it would be Johan Killinger’s year-old Swan 60 Emma, that corrected out ahead of both the Swan 90s to win the Maxi Class A’s first race of the regatta.

The 24-boat Grand Prix class went off on a 20-nautical mile course that followed closely the Maxis though without the leg down to Motoriotto, while the 22-boat Classic fleet went on a similar course, though slimmed down to 17 nautical miles to get them home before dark.

In the Grand-Prix Class B, it was Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56 Clem (ESP) that finished first ahead of P.H.J. Bakker’s Silveren Swaen.

In Classic Class C, it was battle of the Swan 65s with Peter Simon’s Swan 65 Monsoon Jaguar (GBR) first over the line, as well as on handicap ahead of Giuseppe Puttinni’s Shirlaf. Both the Swan 45 and Swan 42 one-design classes sailed two windward-leeward races, twice around with 1.7nm legs.

In the Swan 42 class it was Enrico Scerni’s Kora 4 (ITA) that led the day with a score of 1-1.

Racing continues today, through to Sunday (Saturday for the Swan 45s); all classes will sail an Islands Distance Race on Thursday. Friday is a layday for all classes but the Swan 45s.

Maxi – Class A

1. Emma, GER, Johann Killinger

2. White Lie ITA, Galperti Immobiliare

3. DSK Pioneer Investment, ITA, Danilo Salsi

Grand Prix – Class B

1. Clem, ESP, Amanda Hartley

2. Silveren Swaen, NED, P.H.J. Bakker

3. Crilia, GER, Heinz-Gerd Stein

Classics – Class C

1. Monsoon Jaguar, GBR, Peter Simon

2. Shirlaf, ITA, Giuseppe Puttini

3. Dream, ITA, Francesco Persio

Swan 45 – Class D

1. Ulika, ITA, Andrea Masi, 2-1, 3.0 points

2. Earlybird, GER, Hendrik Brandis, 1-2, 3.0

3. Charisma, NED, Nico Poons, 3-4, 7.0

Swan 42 – Class E

1. Kora 4, ITA, Enrico Scerni, 1-1, 2.0

2. Natalia, ROM, Kdf Energy Romania, 2-2, 4.0

3. Long Echo, GBR, Barry Sampson, 3-3, 6.0

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