02 Nov Thank you, Cartouche – the great story of a Swan 51 told by a proud owner
“I’m going to tell you the story of a whirlwind romance between a forgotten boat with a glorious past and a skipper with the sea and the wind in the blood.
In the past, the skipper had a Swan 37 by Sparkman Stephens. This boat had become a little too tight for the new destinations, even though after about ten years of adventures, it had risen to new splendor as many admirers claimed in every port or bay they visited.
The Skipper had long sought a boat to live onboard during long cruises with his crew Anna, Loredana and other friends.
In the end, he found Cartouche, a fantastic old Swan 51, (1982) to navigate in all weather conditions, either cruising or racing in regattas, while sharing with crew and friends the sensations experienced, comfortably seated in a cozy dinette, inspired by the aromas of good food prepared by the mate, Loredana, wrapped in the warm colors of the woods from the Finnish forests that the Nautor shipyard used very well to amuse their eyes.
The boat was found moored, after exciting seasons of racing, in the port of Punta Ala near the famous Dida, another jewel of Germán Frers of the 80’s/90’s.
When the old owner showed the skipper the photos of the artist Bert Richner, where Cartouche dominated with her spinnaker of 150 square meters leading many boats during one of the important regattas, in which she had participated: the Rolex Swan Cup of ‘92 and ‘98 and other IOR regattas, a thunderbolt blew the brain of skipper. The spirit of the regatta together with the dream to sail on a beautiful reactive boat designed by the waves, won out over any doubt!
He bought that Swan to fly on the waves, in the wind and in the sunshine, which was waiting for a sailor for long voyages and at night docked in beautiful bays.
So, Cartouche, the first project by Frèrs for Nautor, based on the waterlines of Arcadia, returned to living in the wind.
An important refitting had begun with the advice of Luca Repetto, a famous sailor who raced in regattas around the world like the Whitbread. The works were: simplification of the sail handling by replacing the 17 winches with about 20 Spinlocks appropriately positioned in front of the winches, new instruments for navigation and safety and new sails!
Meanwhile, the Skipper had learned to manage and to appreciate the power of Cartouche, travelling around the Mediterranean Sea, in total harmony with the message that Cartouche sent him when the sea was strong or weak, to carry her twenty tons like a bird that flies on the surface of the sea.
Cartouche felt reborn and paid back all the attention of her owner by giving her a nice victory in the Swan class at the Giraglia regatta in 2005 beating other bigger Swans.
A beautiful emotion was forever imprinted in the hearts of the crew and her skipper.
Marco Pomi of Elvstrom sails helped the skipper to organize the preparations, other friends like Simone, Cesare, Raffaele and Paolo were always concentrating on going fast when there was wind and when the wind was very little.
The skipper will remember for all his life when he was going from Porquerolles to Giraglia with Spinnaker that was reflecting the colors of the sunset between tuna, dolphins and whales. It was fantastic to manage all the power of Cartouche while flying at 10-11 knots over the waves in that fairytale setting.
Near Giraglia in the north of Corsica, the wind decreased but Cartouche didn’t stop till Genova.
The wind was light but astern of Cartouche we could see a silver trail of plankton which was closing to leave a trace of the path of a dream.
When they got to the harbour of Duke of Abruzzi in Genova, after the news of victory in class Swan the crew of Cartouche were excited like children and full of emotions, because the competition was very strong and aggressive.
After that they went to pay tribute to other Swans, bigger and smaller, that they had beaten.
Thank you, Cartouche, thank you Loredana who has always given the crew energy with her good lunches and her help in sailing. Thank you to Marco, Simone, Paolo, Cesare, Raffaele and last but not least thanks to all those who have contributed to victory with a great boat by Nautor shipyard made to fly on the sea in any condition, even if they weren’t on the boat.
See you in the next story with a new smaller Swan ready to fly in the sea looking at the sunset.