The Mistral wind made the first Corsica Nations League Swan One Design event even more impressive.

  • Second stage for ClubSwan 36 and first for ClubSwan 50 after the warm-up

  • The winners are the Italian Cuordileone in ClubSwan 36 and the German Hatari in ClubSwan 50

  • Warm welcome from Bonifacio that captivated everyone both at sea and on land

  • The Mistral made the event even more characteristic and memorable

The first edition of the Swan Bonifacio Challenge, part of The Nations League circuit reserved for the Swan One Design classes, concluded today after five days of great sailing and social activities. The Corsican event represented the second stage of the season for the ClubSwan 36, while it was the first of the year for the larger ClubSwan 50, following the warm-up in April at Marina di Scarlino.

The Mistral wind, along with the warm welcome from the city of Bonifacio and the friendly atmosphere among owners and crews on land, was the main feature of the regatta. It is here, in the Strait of Bonifacio, that the wind truly shows its best. After a first day with three very technical and well-received races by both fleets, where the best of the week already stood out, a day followed with increasing Mistral winds and a single race with wind speeds from 16 to 20 knots. This was followed by a forced stop yesterday due to formed waves and wind over 25 knots, and a final race today with powerful conditions, with Mistral winds around 20 knots and waves. The conditions were certainly not easy, but some crews in both fleets stood out for their skill in handling their boats, expertly taming them among the waves and gusts, choosing the right sides even after not always perfect starts. We are talking about the winners, the Italian Cuordileone in ClubSwan 36 and the German Hatari in ClubSwan 50.

“What a joy to have won the first event of the season, it was a very close race, the level is getting higher and higher, everyone is working hard, we finished with just one point ahead of Earlybird and Cuordileone, so it couldn’t have been more competitive,” comments Marcus Brennecke, owner and helmsman of Hatari. “Today we had a bad start and rounded the windward mark in eleventh place, we switched to catch-up mode and finished sixth, our discard, as we had a fairly consistent series beforehand. Helming upwind was very challenging for everyone in these conditions, even for the more experienced, then downwind you’re almost flying and you try to keep the boat on the edge, you don’t want to broach, it was tough but also so much fun! Bonifacio was a wonderful discovery, we knew it would be a challenge if the Mistral blew, and it proved exactly that, we couldn’t do eight races but if you think about the overall organization and atmosphere, everything was perfect, I hope we will come back, I think this was one of the best events we have had in this class so far!”.

“I’m very happy with this win, after a long time we managed to reclaim the top step of the podium in great style, it couldn’t have gone better than this!” said an excited Diogo Cayolla, tactician on Cuordileone. “We had a bad start and the first upwind was not our best, but the team did an incredible job and in the last upwind we managed to overtake Lady Ghada and win the race as well, I’m so happy and proud of how the team performed”.

In the ClubSwan 36, following Cuordileone, were the Monegasque Gspot of Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio and the young sailors representing the Yacht Club Italiano, as part of the ClubSwan Academy project, which aims to bring new generations closer to high-level circuits and larger, more technological boats, helping them to enter professional sailing.

In the ClubSwan 50 fleet, behind Hatari, was the other German-flagged boat, Earlybird, and the Italian Cuordileone, helmed by Leonardo Ferragamo, president of Nautor Swan.

Bonifacio captivated everyone with its challenging but fun conditions on the water and the warm welcome on land from the Collectivité de Bonifacio and the Yacht Club Bonifacio. Satisfaction with the event was also shared by Mayor Jean Charles Orsucci, who expressed admiration for the ClubSwan boats, stating, “We are truly proud of how both the city of Bonifacio and Nautor Swan demonstrate a special attention to beauty and performance with exceptional care and attention to detail, each in their own field. May this event be the first of a long series of regattas hosted by our city”.

The next stage of The Nations League circuit, the Swan Sardinia Challenge (June 25-29), will be another ‘first,’ taking place in the enchanting and fascinating Alghero. The ancient beauty of the city will provide a spectacular backdrop for an event that will certainly have glamour. The synergy between social events, the picturesque landscape of Alghero, and the renowned water conditions promises to offer a unique mix of sport and style. “This is a circuit that has great appeal both on the water and on land, and this will represent a great challenge for Alghero. Together with the Region of Sardinia and the Municipality of Alghero, we are working to offer unforgettable experiences during the event. We can assure you that Sardinian hospitality will leave a mark on the owners and sailors,” said Giancarlo Piras, President of the Consorzio Porto di Alghero.

Just three weeks, then, before the next event of The Nations League circuit reserved for the Swan One Design classes, which for the ClubSwan 36 will already be the third stage of the year, with Gspot firmly at the top of the standings after two events.

“Bonifacio was a splendid event, believing in new locations is one of the strengths of ClubSwan Racing, we have demonstrated this over the years,” continued Federico Michetti, Head of Sports Activities at Nautor Swan. “We were sure that Bonifacio would give its best, it was a great satisfaction to see the enthusiasm of our sailors! The city welcomed us in the best possible way and even racing with the Mistral, the characteristic wind of these places, made everything more impressive and unforgettable. The level of both fleets is rising, and we are pleased to see new arrivals like the Yacht Club Italiano and Lady Ghada achieving good results even with wind and formed waves. None of this could exist without the collaboration with our main partners Rolex, Randstad, Porsche Italia, and Banor, as well as Henri Lloyd, who awarded a gift during the Henri Lloyd Hour to the ClubSwan Racing owners who are part of the ClubSwan Active Owners, a sort of club for owners participating in the circuit. The 2024 season will be full of many new features, and we hope they will all have the flavor of this first Swan Bonifacio Challenge”.