Swan 45s gear up for their second chance at Gold Cup early next year

Over 16 Swan 45 owners from Italy, the USA, Japan and the UK are looking ahead to Acura Key West 2006 (14-20 January), which will host the second ever Swan 45 Gold Cup. Swan 45s will compete within their own ‘world championship’ following a recent ruling by the ISAF to officially recognise the Swan 45 Class.

This biennial regatta is the main focus for the burgeoning Swan 45 Class, members of which compete against each other within three area circuits, the Eastern American, Northern European and Mediterranean. Prizes are awarded throughout the sailing season to the winners of each circuit, but it is the Gold Cup that is the most hotly contested within the class, and in 2006 comes with the added attraction of a World Champion title. Stefano Polti’s Mintaka, winner of the 2004 contest, will be fighting hard in Key West to keep the Cup, while the rest of the fleet will be fighting even harder to take it from him.

First held in Capri, Italy in October 2004, the Swan 45 Gold Cup is strengthened in 2006 by its involvement with Acura Key West. The international multi-class regatta, one of the highlights of the US sailing calendar, attracts many visitors from around the world to the beautiful azure waters of Key West. With nine races over five days for the Swan 45s alone, the regatta will be action packed, with nearly 300 boats on the water each day. Attracting well known sailors as well as keen amateurs, legends Francesco Bruni, Chris Law and GBR America’s Cup sailor Andy Beadsworth will all be racing on board Swan 45s at Key West.

Also joining in the fun will be two Swan 601s, the Swan 45s one-design ‘big sister’. Swan 601 Moneypenny, owned by Jim Swartz (USA) and Peter Ogden’s Spirit of Jethou (UK) will compete within the Handicap racing class and, following impressive performances at the Rolex Swan American and Rolex Swan European Regattas respectively, are sure to create quite a stir.