THE NATIONS TROPHY
The Nations Trophy is being launched this year and will become a biennial, focal event in the world of Swan One Design activity.
The Nations Trophy 2017 is the culmination of the Swan One Design European season. It is open to all ClubSwan 50s, Swan 45s and ClubSwan 42s. The event will serve to determine the Swan 45 World Championship, plus the ClubSwan 50 and Swan 42 European Championships. The winner of The Nations Trophy will be determined by taking the scores of each nation’s top two boats from two different classes. The nation with the lowest points score will win. Fittingly, a new trophy has been created by the high-end jeweller and silversmith Buccellati, which will provide the not just the prestigious Nation’s Trophy itself but also prizes to be awarded to the individual winners of the three competing classes.
Nautor’s Swan is a global brand and its yachts are sailed around the world. The Nations Trophy reflects our commitment to promoting the camaraderie and competitiveness that is so pronounced throughout the sailing world. To underline each yacht’s connection with a particular nation, boom stickers with the owner’s name and national flag will be used together with the national flag on the mainsail. The Results Board, at the venue and online, will show the up to date standings in The Nations Trophy using national flags to emphasize the nature of the contest.
Swans have always offered their owners the joys of cruising combined with the opportunity for racing success. This includes the first ever Swan model, the 36, launched in 1968. One such Swan 36 was skippered to remarkable success in regattas around the British Isles, and in particular at Cowes. Her racing achievements generated such a positive feedback that Nautor’s Swan rapidly established a reputation as the foremost manufacturer of high performance racing yachts; a reputation emphatically endorsed by Swan 65 Sayula II’s victory in the first ever Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973/74.
This heritage is as important in maintaining the status of Swan as the craftsmanship, excellence and expertise; the exacting design process and production; the use of top-quality materials and technological innovations; and, the comfort and safety of all the yachts. According to the Group Chairman, Leonardo Ferragamo, it is vital to respect the company’s heritage as well as maintain it. In this sense, it is essential Nautor’s Swan continues its evolutionary drive.
As part of its evolution, Nautor’s Swan entered the one-design world in 2001. Despite its racing heritage, this move was viewed initially with surprise. However, the Swan 45 model, drawn by German Frers, had all the hallmarks of a Swan. At its base, it was like all other Swans, a high-quality performance cruiser/racer competitive in handicap racing; its uniqueness, its one-design capability. The Swan 45 would be followed by the Swan 601, and then by the highly-regarded ClubSwan 42 in 2006. Developed in association with the New York Yacht Club, the 42 was commissioned as a one-design cruiser/racer for both inshore and offshore racing. As a result of it efforts, and success in the one-design field, Nautor’s Swan rapidly acquired valuable experience in designing one-designs and managing the resultant fleets. Carefully written and strictly enforced rules secured the success and longevity of the Swan One-Design classes while providing a template for additional one-design classes to be added.
The appeal of racing identical boats is easy to understand. Removing the design element and pitting crews against each other is the fairest form of sailing competition. It is this principle that has been at the heart of many of the world’s most successful one-design classes. Another secret to a successful one-design lies in creating a yacht that has the potential for a double life: the design needs to be as competitive in handicap tracing as it is popular in its own fleet racing. The ClubSwan 50 perfectly fits this role.
Swan One-Design Philosophy
According to Jochen Schümann, “One-design racing, defined by clear rules, is synonymous with pure sport in yachting competitions. Boats are the same and it is all about strategy, tactics, crew work, and sailing technique. It is still a very complex challenge, but without a technology arms race. One-design racing is for sailors who really like competition and still enjoy sailing even when they don’t win!” In general, one-design racing is attractive because there are usually a lot of boats on the start line. The Swan One-Design philosophy takes this concept further: the boats are truly dual-purpose and the racing calendar is rich. The regattas are always attractive social events hosted by prestigious yacht clubs, the home to both the sailors and the competition organisers and, as such, the cornerstone of the sport, and one of the cornerstones of the philosophy.