Stefano Polti's Mintaka won the prestigious Swan 45 Gold Cup in the final race in Capri yesterday

The inaugural Swan 45 Gold Cup came to a conclusion yesterday after the fifth and final day of racing in Capri.

Stefano Polti’s Mintaka won the prestigious Swan 45 Gold Cup designed by Asprey, the one-design class’ first ‘World Champion’. The title was snatched from Marco Salvi and Alberto Signorini’s Vertigo after an unusually poor result in t Morgan Stanley Race Day on the last day, putting the Italian boat in second place overall, just three points behind Mintaka. Jeroboam (ITA), owned by Vittorio Codecasa, won the Morgan Stanley Race Day with Tom Stark’s Rush (USA) in second, securing a final position of third in the overall championship leaderboard.

Patience was a virtue on the last day, as the final windward-leeward race was delayed due to torrential rain and light, shifty winds. Racing finally got underway at 2.00pm (GMT) in 9 knots of south-easterly breeze and it was Rush who got off to the best start, taking the strong breeze on the right side of the course and leading the fleet to the first mark ahead of Mintaka and Jeroboam. Vittorio’s crew played the shifts well and passed Rush and Mintaka on the leeward run. Jeroboam maintained her lead for the rest of the race and cross the line first, a minute ahead of Rush. With Chris Law as tactician, Klaus Diederichs and Grant Gordon had their best result of the week finishing third onboard Fever (GBR).

Paul Cayard, tactician on board Leonardo Ferragamo’s Cuordileone (ITA), gave his overview of the regatta: “It has been a good week for the Swan 45s and a great turn out. In two and a half years Nautor has sold 45 boats and to have 20 of them here at the world championships is incredible. We were lucky to get all the races in – we had nine races with difficult conditions but we did manage to sail everyday. It’s also nice that Mintaka won – I think Vertigo is a very strong team and the fact that Mintaka beat them is a good result for the whole owner-driver concept.”

The final prizegiving ceremony, sponsored by Morgan Stanley, was held in the regatta village bringing to a close the first ever Swan 45 Gold Cup. Stefano Polti was delighted with his win commenting: “It’s incredible! Vertigo is a very good boat and I didn’t think we would be able to beat her. I’ve only been part of the Swan 45 family for one year – so I am very happy to have won. My tactician Roberto Spata, is extremely good and we are a tight crew, making this week a lot of fun!”

The Swan 45 fleet can look ahead to the next world championship which will be held in Key West, USA in January 2006.