Club Swan 42 Road Trip

Published on October 22nd, 2014

The Club Swan 42 Class is a true testament to the spirit of Swan, where passion for sailing and being part of a community with shared values meet high-performance racing. Designed by German Frers, the Club Swan 42 is a Corinthian multipurpose yacht that is very competitive as a one-design racer and also under IRC, both inshore and offshore. While up to two professionals (one of whom must be the full-time boat captain) can race on a boat, they can’t steer and can’t be compensated for sailing on the boat except for the boat captain.

The Club Swan 42 was developed together with the New York Yacht Club in 2006, the ninth one-design class created by the club since 1900. Its introduction was unparalleled: 35 boats sold within the first six months. Today, forty-four boats comprise the Club Swan 42 fleet worldwide. Boats have been sold in seventeen countries.

The Club Swan 42 family includes members from Europe, Asia and the United States. This year – lured by the rich calendar of events in the Mediterranean and the prospect of competing in the spectacular setting of Porto Cervo at the Rolex Swan Cup – three owners from the United States decided to ‘cross the pond’ and join their European friends.

At the completion of the Swan 42 U.S. Nationals, in Newport, RI, four of the Swan 42s scrambled to ready their boats for shipment to the Mediterranean. Aboard Sevenstar’s Egelantiersgracht, Cuordileone owned by Leonardo Ferragamo headed back to her home country of Italy. Joining her were Ken Colburn’s Apparition, Phil Lotz’s Arethusa, and Charles Kenahan’s Mahalo. It would be the first time for all of these US owners at the Rolex Swan Cup and the first time they would sail in the waters of the Mediterranean.

These owners brought a great deal of talent with them. Lotz and Colburn are both two-time U.S. Nationals champions and Lotz skippered the NYYC entry to a first place finish in the 2009 Invitational Cup. Kenahan, one of the newest members of the Class, had won the NYYC’s 159th Annual Regatta.

Lotz was looking forward to the experience. “The Rolex Swan Cup is supposed to be one of the best regattas in the world at one of the best venues, so expectations are high – good sailing, great venue and good food! I am looking forward to meeting owners from Europe and the experience of sailing in Sardinia,” commented Lotz.

As for Kenahan’s goals, “As always, I will aim to be on the podium. I will enjoy meeting the European owners and hope to convince more of them to come to the US and sail one-design.” At the end of the long race at the Rolex Swan Cup, Kenahan, who came in sixth, was all smiles: “This was the greatest day of sailing in my life. We clocked a couple of times at 17.2!”

The Colburns and Apparition have sailed in the last two NYYC Invitational Cups (2011 and 2013) and thoroughly enjoyed the international competition at those events. “I am hoping that the Rolex Swan Cup fosters the same Corinthian spirit and friendly yet intense competition that we saw at the Invitational Cup. Racing one-design tests a team’s sailing skills and eliminates hardware advantages. This is what the Club Swan 42 Class has fostered and we are looking forward to at the Rolex Swan Cup.”

Indeed the Club Swan 42 One Design class, with 12 entries, saw some fierce competition at the Rolex Swan Cup, where Natalia dominated winning her second title in a row at this event. The only female skipper in the fleet, Romanian Natalia Brailoiu steered her crew to a straightforward victory, the second in a row at this biannual regatta. “I’ve been sailing with this crew for a long time, about four years, and this is the key to our success,” said Brailoiu. “I have complete faith in my crew and they help me a lot. I am very proud to be able to compete at this level as a woman.”

With the Mediterranean season heading to a close, Ken Colburn shared his feelings about his first experience there: “The spectacular beauty of Sardinia, the hospitality of Nautor’s Swan, and the tight competitive racing one-design in the Rolex Swan Cup put it on a par with the best regattas we have raced in.”

Report by Nautor’s Swan. Photos by ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi.

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