America's Cup sailor Ed Baird steered Tom Stark's Swan 45 Rush (USA) to victory on Volvo Ocean Race Day, at the Swan Cup yesterday

America’s Cup sailor Ed Baird steered Tom Stark’s Swan 45 Rush (USA) to victory on Volvo Ocean Race Day, at the Swan Cup 2002 organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. The victory moves Rush up to 11th overall on a leaderboard that sees five different nationalities in the top five places. The Swan 56 fleet continues to dominate, with Sir Geoffery Mulcahy’s Noonmark VI (GBR) leading Frank Savage’s Lolita (USA) by one point, with Busch-Johannsen’s Blue (GER) one point further back.

For the longest race of the week, a six to eight north-westerly provided calm conditions for the fleet. As the starting gun went, many of the higher profile tacticians opted for the pin end of the line, with Ed Baird and Stark timing Rush’s start perfectly and sailing over the top of Paul Cayard on Enrico Scerni’s Swan 80 Kora (ITA). However, at the windward mark it was Leonardo Ferragamo’s Swan 80 Solleone (ITA) sailing with King of Spain, Juan Carlos on board that led by two minutes and 35 seconds from Thierry De Passemar’s Swan 70, with Leslie Green’s Swan 60 Sotto Voce (AUS) close behind. Rush rounded in ninth position, amongst a host of larger boats.

Stark commented: “It was very exciting out there today, we had a good start and decided to be a little more aggressive with the bigger boats and try for that first line position, which was fraught with peril when you have boats of this size coming at you. So we got off the line and in the light stuff we were using a light jib and had plenty of power and then really hung in with the reaching boats and then just stayed with it.

“We have a great crew and the boat is very well prepared, we have spent a lot of time getting it ready and the boat is well tested. We did the race to Bermuda and the delivery back, which was very windy, and some top sailing on Long Island Sound.”

Kora moved through the fleet to take line honours from fellow Swan 80 Favonius (NED) owned by Roel Pieper.

Today is Accenture Race Day, the penultimate day of racing at the Swan Cup 2002. After two windward/leeward courses the 2000 competitors will have the opportunity to relax at the Volvo Ocean Race crew party.

Results (Volvo Ocean Race Day)

Overall (After 3 races, no discard)

1. NoonmarkVI, G.Mulcahy Swan 56 GBR (1,9,11) 21 points

2. Lolita, F.Savage Swan 56 USA (2,8,12) 22 points

3. Blue, D. Johannsen Swan 56 GER (15,4,4) 23 points

4. Sotto Voce One, L.Green Swan 60 AUS (16,6,2) 24 points

5. Yasha Y.Ishida Swan 56 JPN (4,16,10) 30 points

Race 3

1. Rush, T.Stark Swan 45 USA

2. Sotto Voce One, L.Green Swan 60 AUS

3. Island Fling, P.Winklemann Swan 60 HK

Class Results (After 3 races, no discard)

Class A

1. Sotto Voce One, L.Green Swan 60 AUS (3,4,1) 8 points

2., T.Passemar Swan 70 FRA (6,1,4) 11points

3. Favonius, R.Pieper Swan 80 NED (5,3,6) 14 points

Class B

1. Blue, D. Johannsen Swan 56 GER (5,1,2) 8 points

2. Noonmark VI, G.Mulcahy Swan 56 GBR (1,3,5) 9 points

3. Lolita, F.Savage Swan 56 USA (2,2,6) 10 points

Class C

1. Solenia 2, R.Ferrero Swan 48 ITA (2,1,1) 4 points

2. Lumikki, J.Kullas Swan 53 FIN (5,3,4) 12 points

3. Aera, N.Likiaropolu Swan 46 GRE (1,5,9) 15 points

Class D

1. Crescendo, Swan44 USA (2,2,1) 5 points

2. Jacobite, G.Clarke Swan 48 GBR (1,1,7) 9 points

3. Mylow, F.Molinari Swan 47 ITA (3,5,3) 11 points