Leaders solidify positions in Swan Islands race, Rolex Cup

By 2200 hours on Thursday evening, the last boat had crossed the finish line of the 57 nautical-mile Islands Race on day three of the Swan Rolex Cup organised by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

In Class A, Bugia Bianca of Italy earned her third win of the regatta, while in the Swan 45/Class B, Italian Massimo Ferragamo’s Bellicosa sailed a strong race for her first win. And, even though Vertigo finished eighth, the British boat still leads Class B by six points overall. In Class C/D, another Italian competitor, Solenia 2, dominated, finishing within 30 minutes of some of the largest boats in the fleet.

After a warm-up beat, reach and run down to Mortoriotto, the crews endured a long beat that lasted upwards of three hours for the smaller boats, taking them through the La Maddalena Islands to Spargi. At the turn towards the rocky outcrop of Baretinelli, the winds were at their strongest topping out at approximately 20 knots with big seas. The competitors enjoyed an exhilarating spinnaker reach before gybing onto the long run outside the islands back to Mortoriotto. The final leg was a short beat back to the finish at Porto Cervo.

Racing continues today (Saturday, 18 September) with Class A scheduled to race windward/leeward courses and Classes B & C/D scheduled for one coastal course. First gun is scheduled for 11:30 hours.