When it came, it came with some style. Today’s single race at the Monaco Swan One Design was sailed in stiff breeze, big waves and under blue skies. The perfect combination for a challenging race that put a grin on the face of most competitors. The heavy hitters in each class were Mathilde in ClubSwan 50, Porron IX in Swan 45 and Digital Bravo in ClubSwan 42.
As for the overall standings after two days and four races, Cuordileone holds a narrow one point advantage over both Mathilde and Skorpidi in ClubSwan 50; Porron IX leads Ange Transparent by two points in Swan 45 and Far Star has the same advantage over Digital Bravo in ClubSwan 42.
In the battle of the Nations, the strong performances of Cuordileone and Far Star have put Italy into the lead ahead of Switzerland and Russia. There is still plenty of racing left in this, the first event in the 2018 Nations Trophy Mediterranean League, and nothing may be taken for granted in either the individual classes or The Nations Trophy contest.
Two-time Olympian, Leigh McMillan has the role of tactician on Morten Kielland’s Mathilde from Switzerland. One could tell immediately, from his post-race analysis, that the 6.8 nautical mile race had been as tough on the Yacht Club de Monaco’s Race Committee to set, as it was for the competitors to complete.
“It was a tricky day to get your head around. There was plenty of wind offshore, which meant the sea state was rough before the wind came into the bay. When it did come, it couldn’t decide between the west or the south west,” explained McMillan. Initially the wind from the west was patchy, but once the south west settled it did so with a vengeance peaking at 22/23 knots. “It was in at the deep end for all of the teams,” continued McMillan. “We got a good start at the pin end and that really set us up, especially with a couple of boats (Cuordileone and Skorpidi) over the line early.”
Once the lead had been established, Mathilde had to keep control, which was not straight-forward in the conditions. “It was difficult at the leeward gate especially. It was going to take an aggressive manoeuvre gybing right on the mark to get the favoured side of the course. We took the safer option, but the Russian boat Skorpidi (then in fourth) made a big gain by gybing on the mark. They then showed good pace on the upwind and while we kept control it wasn’t easy.”
McMillan is another sailing off Monaco for the first time, and really enjoyed the racing today: “It’s great to get out in those conditions, and I think these boats are at their best in 20 plus knots of breeze when you can get them absolutely ripping downwind. It was a real pleasure.”
When you are the current world champion in your class it requires commitment and resolve to maintain your position. Dr Luis Senis Segarra’s Spanish crew on Porron IX are doing just enough in the Swan 45 class to hold off their closest rival Ange Transparent from Switzerland. To do so today took something special, as Segarra explained: “It was a difficult day with up to 25 knots, but I have a very good team who were in control and did very well to control all the situations.”
Quite possibly, Porron IX had won the race before the start, by making the correct call when setting up the boat: “We made the decision to prepare for medium to high wind. The eventual very strong wind meant we had to make some changes, but it was easier to make a small jump from medium-high to high.”
Senis praised Ariane Mainemare and her YCM team for their skill in getting the race away in the demanding conditions: “It was difficult for them today. They had to be patient and wait to lay the course. Then it was wise to bring us in after one race. There are more days ahead.”
Alberto Franchi, owner of Digital Bravo, was just as delighted with his crew’s performance as the other class winners: “It was good wind and good weather, so we are very happy!” he laughed. “We sailed really well and when we had a chance to get the lead we took it.”
Far Star had looked to be following on from yesterday’s blanket winning ways, leading the class at every point until the all-important finish line. Owner, Lorenzo Mondo, was confident his team would get back on track tomorrow: “It was one of those things. Winning the whole way, then a small mistake on the last leg cost us.”
For those onboard Digital Bravo, luck was only a small part of their victory. “We like these conditions a lot, we enjoy strong winds and they are better for us. The maximum windspeed we saw was 22 knots and the maximum speed for the boat was 16,” said Franchi. “We are hoping for more of the same tomorrow.”
Racing at the Monaco Swan One Design continues tomorrow, Friday 30 March, with the first signal scheduled for 11.00 CEST.
Monaco Swan One Design 2018 – Provisional Results after 4 races
(Position, Team, Country, Owner/Driver, Results, Total)
- Cuordileone (ITA), Leonardo Ferragamo, 1+1+2+4 = 8
- Mathilde (SUI), Morten Kielland, 2+2+4+1 = 9
- Skorpidi (RUS), Andrey Konogorov, 3+3+1+2 = 9
- Porrón IX (ESP), Luís Senís, 2+1+1+1 = 5
- Ange Transparent (SUI), Valter Pizzoli, 1+2+2+2 = 7
- Miss K Checkmate (ITA), Piermarco Babando, 3+3+3+4(DNF) = 31
- Far Star (ITA), Lorenzo Mondo, 1+1+1+2 = 5
- Digital Bravo (ITA), Alberto Franchi, 2+2+2+1 = 7
- Mela (ITA), Andrea Rossi, 3+3+3+3 = 12
The Nations Trophy
- Italy (8)
- Switzerland (6)
- Russia (5)
- Spain (3)
- Sweden (1)
by The Nations Trophy