28m Freya Takes Rolex Swan Cup Maxi Class

The 21st edition of the Rolex Swan Cup concluded on Sunday following a week of challenging, but amicable, racing across […]

The 21st edition of the Rolex Swan Cup concluded on Sunday following a week of challenging, but amicable, racing across the Maddalena Archipelago in Sardinia. After a tight race with the recently delivered Club Swan 80 My Song & the Swan 80 Plus Play, the Nautor’s Swan sailing boat Freya was voted champion of the Maxi class. With a 600 square metre gennaker, the 2012-delivered Swan 90 Freya crew were lauded for their “great tactical decisions” and well-executed moves in the face of the oncoming mistral, which caused the abandonment of racing on two separate occasions. Freya has sailed in several Porto Cervo regattas and this time was accompanied by two-time America’s Cup champion Mike Toppa as tactician. Donald Macpherson, Freya’s owner, had this to say about his yacht’s overall triumph at the Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo: “Winning this year’s Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo is the apex of success in sailing; there’s nothing greater.

The winds were mild for the first several races, but they picked up for the final victory. The crew is a combination of racing crew and friends & family, it is a team effort, but the team accomplished this. It’s a terrific crew.” Owner Vittorio Ghizzoni said, “We participated in the Rolex Swan Cup for the first time in 1994, and then again in 1996, then after a long absence we returned in 2016 and 2018 – the Rolex Swan Cup was a tremendous impetus to maintain Kokkola looking her best & ready to race.” Having the same group of loved ones at my side through thick and thin is a source of immense happiness. Kokkola will celebrate 50 in 2020, and we can’t wait to sail back to Sardinia with our Sparkman & Stephens classmates and give it our all.

Swans with an LOA between 18.29m and 24,08m will compete in the Swan Mini Maxi class, while Swans with an LOA of 24,09m and above will compete in the Swan Maxi class. Swan 90 Freya is one of the competitors in this category (28m). Owner Don Macpherson said: “My experience was cruising, and I had never actually raced until we built Freya. After being encouraged to try running by my skipper, I realised how much more exciting and fulfilling the experience of sailing could be when everyone on board worked together toward a similar goal in an atmosphere of friendly rivalry.

Meanwhile, the Swan 48 Mia is part of the fourth rating class, Swan Grand Prix, for yachts with an LOA of 18.28m or less.

After the 2018 Rolex Swan Cup, owner Luigi Stoppani remarked, “My enthusiasm for sailing, always there as part of my love for nature, deepened when I was enthralled by the beauty of September sea & the Sardinian coastline coupled with the skill and sportsmanship of the competition.”

Having been in the position of the charterer, I want to give that idea a concrete expression. In preparation for the upcoming Rolex Swan Cup, I purchased the yacht “Mia” (short for “Mine”) and embarked on a series of regattas and cruises that will take me from the 2020 Middle Sea Race through the 2022 ORC World Championship in Porto Cervo. I anticipate a strong camaraderie and excitement, and I hope this may be a moment when we can all put our worries about the present and future aside.