Hot on the heels of an intriguing opener to The Nations Trophy Mediterranean League 2019 in Monaco, comes Italy’s opportunity to host a round of the four-stage competition. Marina di Scarlino, situated on the lush, green Tuscan coastline, provides the next enviable setting from 30 April – 4 May.
With a robust fleet of Swan One Design yachts, comprising ClubSwan 50s, Swan 45s and ClubSwan 42s, racing will be intense and spectacular. The shoreside programme of special events is equally impressive. “After the opening event in Monaco, it is exciting to be in Marina di Scarlino for the second round of The Nations Trophy,” says Nautor’s Swan Group CEO, Giovanni Pomati.
“The circuit continues to grow, from 14 participants in Monaco to 23 at the Scarlino Swan One Design, representing 12 different nations. Moreover, this will be the first sustainable regatta of our calendar and will be a blueprint for the events that follow.”
The week’s sailing will be organised by the Club Nautico Scarlino, founded in 2002 and with an impressive background in hosting top-level, international regattas.
“We are looking forward to the event in Marina di Scarlino, which is renowned as an incredible sailing area and for its great conditions,” explains Nautor’s Swan Vice-President Enrico Chieffi.
“One year ago, we would have never dreamt of such great participation at the Mediterranean League events.”
Mr. Chieffi identifies what lies behind the League’s growing success and popularity:
“The combination of a strict owner-driver rule and the healthy existence of three different one design classes, soon to be four with the ClubSwan 36, have been major factors.”
Nautor’s Swan has a close relationship with Marina di Scarlino and, along with hosting this Swan One Design event, the official unveiling of the prototype ClubSwan 36 will be held there on 3 May, followed by a period of extensive sea trials for the marque’s latest one design model. “We are very excited to go into prototype testing phase with the ClubSwan 36 project,” adds ClubSwan 36 Project Leader Philippe Oulhen. “I’m very honoured to be coordinating the team behind the whole project. It is very rare to have such a big team of experienced professionals working together on a project of this size”. On the water, the three one design classes are looking forward to renewing sporting rivalries in Tuscany.
Leonardo Ferragamo’s Cuordileone (Italy) took the plaudits in Monaco with two seconds and a third. Reward for consistent sailing. The bullets were claimed by Skorpios (Russia), Stella Maris (Austria) and Ulika (Italy). However, each of these crews paid for races where they failed to finish in the top three.
While eight ClubSwan 50s contested the season opener, 11 have entered the Scarlino Swan One Design with the additional presence of two German entries, Earlybird and Niramo as well as Regina 2.0 (Sweden).
Racing in this class is typically very tight, more often than not decided by the finest of margins. Only metres separated Cuordileone and eventual winner OneGroup in the inaugural ClubSwan 50 World Championship last year. “Close racing is great racing,” sportingly remarked Cuordileone’s tactician Ken Read at the time.
Defending World Champion and emphatic winner of the season opener in Monaco, winning all three races, Luis Senis’ Porron IX (Spain) remains the crew to beat. However, the Scarlino Swan One Design will offer more stringent and diverse competition with six new rivals. These include Motions (Netherlands), which podiumed at the Class Worlds in Porto Cervo last September as well as Italian yachts Swing Cube and Thetis, both of which had their moments at that regatta.
Like Porron IX, Lorenzo Mondo’s Far Star made short work of the regatta in Monaco claiming all three races. However, Scarlino will herald the return of significant rivals, including George Brailoiu’s Natalia (Romania), the multiple European champion. At last September’s Rolex Swan Cup, Natalia finished second to eventual winner Andrea Rossi’s Mela (Italy), also participating in the Tuscan event, along with Alberto Franchi’s Digital Bravo (Italy), another consistent performer.