Craig Speck's Swan 45 VIM took an overall win at the Swan American Regatta

The last day of the 2003 Swan American Regatta was held in Newport, Rhode Island yesterday with Craig Speck’s Swan 45 VIM taking overall Swan American title and winner of Class A, having achieved podium position in five out of the seven races completed in this five-day regatta. The Swan 45 took two out of the top three places with Doug Douglas’ Goombay Smash in second place.

“This is outstanding, really exciting,” said Speck on hearing the result. “This win demonstrates that the process I use works; to get good people, a good boat, set goals and go for it. This regatta was our goal for the year – I had set milestones throughout the summer, with this goal in mind. The team is phenomenal, everyone helps with the programme, they contribute to the design of the sails, the boat, the systems – we all work as a team.”

In a week of light and variable conditions, the New York Yacht Club Race Committee gave the fleet a final chance for points with a late decision for two windward/leeward races, instead of the scheduled one. But as the weather unfolded on Rhode Island Sound and the light haze turned into thick fog, the Race Committee was forced to postpone the second race. This proved just a minor set back for VIM, as after a short delay racing continued allowing Speck and his crew to put in yet another solid performance giving them third place in the last and final race of the regatta.

Speck described how difficult it was sailing in such limited visibility: “It was hard to figure out where our competition was and where the rest of the fleet were. It came down to us concentrating on our course strategy and working with the current and the pressure differences, which bring fog. We sailed conservatively – no fouls, no chances.”

The runaway winner of Class B was Martin Jacobson’s Swan 44, Crescendo who rose to the challenge of the trying conditions to win both races today and take the class overall. Jacobson and his crew managed to beat a highly competitive fleet of 20 Swans, including eventual second placed Vixen a Swan 44 owned by local sailor John Wayt. Third position was taken by David Ford’s Swan 44 Lightwave, who never matched their first day’s victory.

For the first time at the Swan American Regatta, Nautor provided a third class for non-spinnaker entries. Class C were first onto the dock, having only sailed one race, concluding their regatta. Despite Clem Napolitano’s Swan 47 Black Tie winning the race, overall class title went to Dier Wolf a Swan 44 owned by Thomas Little

Overall Regatta Results (combining Class A & B)

1 VIM Craig Speck 19pts Swan 45 USA

2 Goombay Smash Doug Douglas 36 pts Swan 45 USA

3 Lolita Frank Savage 40 pts Swan 56 USA

4 Strabo Martin Fisher 41 pts Swan 70 USA

5 Crescendo Martin Jacobson 48 pts Swan 44 MKII USA

Overall Class Results – Class A

1 VIM Craig Speck 19pts Swan 45 USA

2 Goombay Smash Doug Douglas 36 pts Swan 45 USA

3 Lolita Frank Savage 40pts Swan 56 USA

4 Strabo Martin Fisher 41pts Swan 70 USA

5 Favonius Roel Pieper 49 pts Swan 80 NED

Overall Class Results – Class B

1 Crescendo Martin Jacobson 48 pts Swan 44 MKII USA

2 Vixen John Wayt 56 pts Swan 44 USA

3 Lightwave David Ford 62pts Swan 44 USA

4 Aura Willam J Kardash 64pts Swan 44 MKII USA

5 Reef Points Joseph F. Huber 73 pts Swan 44 MKII USA

Overall Class Results – Class C

1 Dire Wolf Thomas C. Little 16 pts

Swan 44 USA

2 Ciao Bella Robert Jellen 17 pts Swan 60 USA

3 Black Tie Clem Napolitano 22 pts Swan 47 USA

4 Ariel Jaffrey Associates 22pts Swan 36 USA

5 Alianza Bruce Cleveland 23 pts Swan 56 USA